Document Type


Publication Date



IEEE 802.11 Wireless Sniffers have been widely used in research and network management communities because of their capabilities to monitoring network traffic at the MAC layer and above. However, most commercial wireless sniffers are costly and complex to use and do not have the flexibility of an open source solution. This document describes how to build and use a basic IEEE 802.11 wireless sniffer from open source software and off-the-shelf wireless networking hardware. This "homemade" wireless sniffer will still provide basic functionality for monitoring wireless 802.11 networks, but with a reduced cost. All of the tools and packets included in this document were gathered from Internet sources. You can refer to the links embedded in this document for more detailed information.

The document is organized as follows: SEction 2 introduces related wireless measurement approaches and other related works; Section 3 describes how to build the wireless sniffer; and Section 4 discusses what can be done by using this homemade sniffer. Finally, have fun with your new sniffer, but use responsibly and use at your own risk.