This is our old Q&A Site. Please post any new questions and answers at

I have Metageek's Wi-Spy dbx and Wi-Spy 2.4 adapters with me. Is it possible to use either of them as the wireless adapter to capture packets using Wireshark...?

asked 24 Aug '15, 22:32

adheeshak's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 25 Aug '15, 20:44

Guy%20Harris's gravatar image

Guy Harris ♦♦

Did you read the wiki page regarding WLAN capturing using Wireshark?

(25 Aug '15, 07:00) Amato_C

Yes, but that doesn't apply to Wi-Spy spectrum analyzers, because they aren't adapters, they're spectrum analyzers.

(25 Aug '15, 20:43) Guy Harris ♦♦

Yes... but as I stated... if they are not recognized as adapters by WinPCap... they cannot be used by WireShark...

I use AirCap which is identified as a valid adapter. And I see the 802.11 packets as they are captured.


(26 Aug '15, 05:55) Walter Benton

If WinPCap can discover the adapters under Wireshark's [Capture] -> [Interfaces] or tshark's -D option, you should be able to use them. Cheers,

permanent link

answered 25 Aug '15, 00:16

Walter%20Benton's gravatar image

Walter Benton
accept rate: 0%

If WinPCap can discover the adapters under Wireshark's [Capture] -> [Interfaces] or tshark's -D option

It can't, because they're not adapters. See my answer.

(25 Aug '15, 20:43) Guy Harris ♦♦

Unfortunately, MetaGeek's Web site appears to have been taken over by marketoons who want the Web site to talk about "solutions", rather than "products" - their "products" page doesn't list "what they make", it lists product bundles and prices, so it's hard to find where they describe the Wi-Spy hardware that they offer.

However, with enough digging, I found the Chanalyzer + Wi-Spy User Guide, which says:

Note: Wi-Spy is a spectrum analyzer. It is not capable of reading at the Wi-Fi packet layer. Therefore Wi-Spy will not appear in the Wi-Fi card drop-down list. Due to the way Mac OS X handles Wi-Fi, if you are running Chanalyzer in a VM, you will need an additional USB Wi-Fi adapter to collect network information.

so, no, you cannot use a Wi-Spy as a capture adapter, on any OS. It has a radio and an antenna, just as a Wi-Fi adapter does, but, instead of doing 802.11-style processing on the radio signals to turn them into 802.11 packets to hand to the host, it does spectrum analysis, showing the signal power at different frequencies throughout its frequency range.

permanent link

answered 25 Aug '15, 15:25

Guy%20Harris's gravatar image

Guy Harris ♦♦
accept rate: 19%

At least the original hardware generation of the Wi-Spy was a Bluetooth adapter with a modified firmware. Thus the 1 MHz steps used for scanning the spectrum. And thus not 802.11 (bgn) capable.

permanent link

answered 25 Aug '15, 23:30

jmayer's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 24 Aug '15, 22:32

question was seen: 4,590 times

last updated: 26 Aug '15, 05:55

p​o​w​e​r​e​d by O​S​Q​A