Learn how to use the popular network analyzer to track down WiFi problems.

When it comes to open-source tools for network engineers, a top choice is Wireshark, created in 1997 by Gerald Combs, who needed a tool to track network problems. Originally named Ethereal, the network analyzer is supported by a community that has added additional dissectors, features, and bug fixes.

Wireshark isn't just for wired networks; wireless network engineers can utilize the tool to help them troubleshoot and diagnose various WiFi issues. Before getting into the details of using Wireshark to capture WiFi traffic, let's go over the particular requirements.

In a Windows operating system, you need a network card capable of capturing wireless frames. The built-in network card is not capable of this because drivers may not allow a user to manually select a channel, or to place the wireless network in monitor mode.

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