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802.11 Wireless Sniffing (Packet Capture)


This article has been superseded by

Fundamentals of 802.11 Wireless Sniffing






In order to understand how and why 802.11 (WiFi) devices behave as they do, it is invaluable to perform a wireless packet capture ("sniffer".)  This can be especially important when working with Cisco TAC to resolve a technical problem.  The following articles will help you to choose and use a wireless sniffer.



Additionally, there are several commercially available wireless sniffer products:


  • OmniPeek from WildPackets
  • AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer from Fluke
  • CommView for WiFi from TamoSoft
  • AirPcap from Riverbed (formerly CACE)


When providing Cisco TAC with wireless packet captures, please supply them in a format that is readable by current Wireshark, and that includes 802.11 meta data (RSSI, channel, data rate) - such as OmniPeek (Airopeek) or Netmon 2.0 format.

Cisco Employee

great document thanks a lot Aaron

Super útil. Gran aporte.

Cisco Employee

Hello Aaron,

Just wanted to share this post with you:

Cisco Employee
Hi Aaron, Great page, thanks! It seems that with the new communities format, all the referenced links redirect to a "Page not found" error page. Would you be able to fix that? Regards, Federico
Cisco Employee

This document has been superseded by the following CCO article:


I'll update this document to point to the new one once I can figure out how to edit it ...