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USB to Ethernet Adapter and Promiscuous Mode



Is anyone aware of any USB to Ethernet adapters whose chipset/Windows drivers can operate in promiscuous mode?

I need to replace my aging brick of a laptop and my workplace has given me a choice between a cheap laptop with a screen resolution worse than my old one (old is 1280x1024 and new would be 1366x768) or a Microsoft Surface Pro. The Surface Pro has the highest screen res and is the most portable so I'd like to give that a go unfortunately it also has no ethernet port.

Is promiscuous mode even that necessary for packet sniffing? A basic question I know but I've never had problems capturing what I've needed using whatever computer I've had to hand at the time.


asked 04 Nov '15, 02:02

llamatron's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

One Answer:


I'm using these, and they work fine for me in promiscuous mode:

I have to say I'm not owning a Surface Pro, but with my Win8.1 Ultrabook (which has no Ethernet ports) they work without a problem.

answered 04 Nov '15, 02:05

Jasper's gravatar image

Jasper ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 04 Nov '15, 02:07

Well that's interesting. I was originally looking at this device which is also by Anker:

It uses Realtek's RTL8153 chipset. I got in touch with Realtek and asked the question and they replied saying no, it's not capable of running in promiscuous mode. I guess the device you've linked to uses a different ethernet chipset.


(04 Nov '15, 04:57) llamatron

Very interesting - I have that exact USB3 hub, too, and just tested it - it works fine in promiscuous mode on my HP Switch SPAN port. Saw lots of traffic (with all protocol bindings disabled), so I'd say it works (using Wireshark 2.0.0rc2).

dumpcap -D also lists the adapter.

(04 Nov '15, 06:49) Jasper ♦♦
(05 Nov '15, 04:15) Jasper ♦♦