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Can Wireshark sniff a Wi-Fi network, and what applications can it sniff (for example, Skype)?


Hi, I have some questions about Wireshark that I hope I get answers for.

Can Wireshark be used to view whatever is being sent in a WiFi network? In other words: If I installed Wireshark on my computer, can I view whatever other users on the same WiFi network are doing? Can I record their Skype calls and videos? If so, Isn't there an application other than Skype that Wireshark can't get its data (text, voice, video)?

asked 10 Apr '15, 09:49

ammar's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 10 Apr '15, 14:04

Guy%20Harris's gravatar image

Guy Harris ♦♦

One Answer:


Yes, you can record everything that is sent over the air, as long as you have your WiFi adapter(s) tuned to the channels the others are sending on (usually the channel used by the access point(s)). You can record all applications that send packets.

Sounds too good to be true? It is. Because all of those packets will be at least encrypted once, since most applications use encryption like HTTPS/SSL by now. Twice, if the WiFi is encrypted, too. So yes, you can capture it all, but reading it in clear text is another matter entirely.

answered 10 Apr '15, 10:06

Jasper's gravatar image

Jasper ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

Thanks Jasper. So you say that encryption HTTPS/SSL prevents Wireshark from reading packets. According to your experience, is it possible to record Skype/Viber/Redphone calls? Is it possible to record calls? What calling apps you know that Wireshark can't read its packets?

(10 Apr '15, 10:24) ammar

No, encryption prevents Wireshark from displaying clear text or playing back voice/audio. It can read the packets nonetheless.

And yes, you can record the calls, but you can't break the encryption and play them back. So the recordings are basically useless if that's what you want.

(10 Apr '15, 10:27) Jasper ♦♦

No. I'm really asking about displaying the packets. So, yes I can record Skype/Viber/Redphone calls but I can't play them and hear the actual conversation? But I'v seen some web pages that teach how to do that (Link: !

(10 Apr '15, 10:38) ammar

Yes, correct.

And regarding that blog post: that's about SIP calls (not Skype), and it's from 2008 where SIP was mostly unencrypted. Skype uses a proprietary audio protocol and it is heavily encrypted with no Wireshark decoder available.

(10 Apr '15, 10:50) Jasper ♦♦

Aha. Thanks man. You were helpful

(10 Apr '15, 10:58) ammar