Networking/Computing Tips/Tricks

Rate this content:
5 of 5 - 4 votes
Thank you for rating this article.

Check out these great references as well: 

 Our Wireless custom profile for Wireshark
 Our Udemy course on Wireless Packet capture
 Our other Wi-Fi related articles

Ok all you MAC users, here is the way you capture Wi-Fi/WLAN frames using your MAC and Wireshark.

First, MAC users get a really easy time of putting their interface into Monitor Mode, because the Wireshark interface works simply and easily, plus you don't need any other drivers or anything to make it work.

If you are a Windows user look here: https://www.cellstream.com/reference-reading/tipsandtricks/332-capturing-wi-fi-wlan-packets-on-windows-for-free

Linux users, look here: https://www.cellstream.com/reference-reading/tipsandtricks/335-capturing-wi-fi-wlan-packets-in-wireshark-on-linux

OK - MAC users - here we go.

First simply install Wireshark from www.wireshark.org.

Second - you are going to need our Wi-Fi/WLAN profile - get it here: https://www.cellstream.com/reference-reading/tipsandtricks/284-a-wireshark-wifi-profile  Honestly, this is optional but if you want to do it right.... :-)

Now, once Wireshark is open, select your Wi-Fi/WLAN Interface (just click on it once so it is highlighted green):

2020 04 11 10 41 06

 

Now on the drop down menu of Wireshark - select Capture> Options (or you can select the Gear button, or you can do a command-K).  You will get the following pop up:

2020 04 11 10 46 41

You see my Wi-Fi: en0 interface is highlighted/selected.  Over to the right (you can resize the window if necessary, click on the Monitor Mode tick-box (as shown).

Now there is an assumption here, and that is that you are connected to a Wireless Network.

Click the START button.

You should start to see all the wireless frames your MAC can hear scrolling:

2020 04 11 10 50 35

But look closely, you will only be looking at the channel your current connection is operating on - in my case above the Channel column says Channel 1.

That's fine and may be all you need.

But what if I want to listen/sniff on another 2.4Ghz or 5GHz channel?

Wireshark used to have the Wireless toolbar, but this is gone now (except Windows).  So how do you change channels on your MAC?

Easy.  Open your Spotlight search (command-SPACE) and enter "Wireless Diagnostics".  You should get a screen that looks like this:

2020 04 11 10 55 59

Run that Wireless Diagnostis app.  Your app will look like this:

2020 04 11 10 57 22

Click continue.

Ignore the next screen. Up on the main menu bar, select Window> Sniffer:

2020 04 11 11 01 53

This will bring up the following dialogue:

2020 04 11 11 03 57

Ah-ha - from here you can pick the channel you want your Wi-Fi/WLAN interface to listen to!

All the 2.4Ghz and 5GHz channels are listed in the drop down.  Pkus you can adjust the channel width here as well.

Once you pick which channel, you will have to enter your administrative password once to make the change by clicking the Start button.  To make further changes click Stop, change the channel, then click start again.  You can see in this screen shot, I changed to channel 6 from channel 1, and then changed again to channel 11:

2020 04 11 11 09 45

Keep in mind, you will not be able to use the wireless interface during this time.

Also, once everything is closed, you may have to turn off/on your Wi-Fi interface, and/or manually connect to your AP to get it to reconnect.

I hope you find this article and its content helpful.  Comments are welcomed below.  If you would like to see more articles like this, please support us by clicking the patron link where you will receive free bonus access to courses and more, or simply buying us a cup of coffee!, and all comments are welcome!

Did you learn something?
Did I save you time? 

Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee!

Find by Tag

5G Networks 6LoWLAN 6LoWPAN 802.11 802.11ah 802.11ax 802.11ay 802.11az ACL Addressing Analysis Ansible Architecture ARP Assessment AToM Backup Bandwidth BGP Biography Bloom's Taxonomy Briefings CBRS CellStream Cellular Central Office Cheat Sheet Chrome Cisco Clock Cloud Computer Consulting CPI Data Center Data Networking Decryption DHCPv4 DHCPv6 Display Filter DNS Documentation ECMP EIGRP Ethernet Ethics Flipping the Certification Model Follow Me Fragmentation Git GNS3 Google GQUIC Hands-On History Home Network HTTPS ICMP ICMPv6 IEEE 802.11p IEEE 802.15.4 In A Day Internet IOS Classic IoT IPv4 IPv6 IS-IS L2 Switch L2VPN L3VPN LDP Learning Services Linux LLN Logging LoL M-BGP MAC MAC OSx Macro Microsoft mininet Monitoring Monitor Mode MPLS Multicast Name Resolution Netflow NetMon netsh Networking Network Science nmap Npcap nslookup Online Learning Online School OpenFlow OSPF OSPFv2 OSPFv3 OSX Parrot PIM Ping Policy POTS POTS to Pipes PPP Profile Profiles Programming Project Management PW3E Python QoS QUIC Requirements RIP Routing RPL RSVP Rural SAS SDN Security Self Certification Service Provider Services Sharepoint Small Business Smartport SONET Speed SSH SSL Subnetting T-Shark TCP TCP/IP Telco Telecom 101 Telecommunications Telephone Telnet Terminal TLS Tools Traceroute Traffic Analysis Traffic Engineering Training Travel Tunnel Utility Video Virtualbox Virtualization Voice VoIP VRF VXLAN Webex Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6/6E Windows Wireless Wireless 5G Wireshark Wireshark Tip WLAN ZigBee Zoom

Twitter Feed