Wireless Drivers and Supported APs for Packet Capture

WildPackets Wireless Solutions

OmniPeek provides flexible options for capturing wireless packets for analysis, including support for directly-attached WLAN adapters and remote captures from supported access points (APs).

WLAN Adapters

For wireless network analysis using supported WLAN adapters, OmniPeek requires the installation of special drivers to capture wireless management, control, and data packets.

WildPackets supports wireless network adapters from many different manufacturers, based on the underlying wireless chipset used in the device. Supported features may vary based on the underlying chipset. Please refer to the following descriptions to find supported wireless adapters and to identify and download the appropriate drivers for the hardware. Click here for a list of best practices for usage of these drivers.

To aggregate packets on different channels, from any set of wireless adapters, and perform roaming latency analysis, use the Aggregator/Roaming adapter in OmniPeek.

Portable Network Analyzer and OmniEngine Consoles

Serving a dual role as both a portable network analysis solution and as a software console for OmniEngines, OmniPeek offers an intuitive, easy-to-use graphical interface that engineers can use to rapidly analyze and troubleshoot enterprise networks. OmniPeek provides centralized expert analysis for all networks under management. With OmniPeek, Enterprise IT professionals can also analyze local segments on a portable basis. Using OmniPeekís intuitive user interface and "top-down" approach to visualizing network conditions, network engineers Ė even junior staff Ė can quickly analyze faults from multiple network segments, drill down through multiple layers of analysis, and pinpoint problems that need correction.
You must be a MyPeek member to download drivers through the site. Click here to learn more about the benefits of membership and find out how to sign up for free.

Compatible Wireless Adapters and Drivers

Ralink wireless adapters

Ralink, a wireless chipset manufacturer who supplies chipsets to many name-brand OEMs, has developed a driver that works with OmniPeek products and provides full support for all OmniPeek features. The list of commercially available wireless adapters, along with a link to the required driver, is as follows:





OmniPeek WLAN USB Capture Adapter(11n) * a/b/g/n
(3-stream 11n)
Ralink v5.1.12.48
(32 and 64-bit drivers)
MyPeek Members Only
OmniPeek WLAN USB Capture Adapter(11ac) * a/b/g/n/ac
(2-stream 11n/11ac)
Ralink v5.1.12.48
(32 and 64-bit drivers)
MyPeek Members Only
Alfa AWUS051NH (Externally connected USB with external antenna connection) a/b/g/n Ralink v5.1.12.48
(32 and 64-bit drivers)
MyPeek Members Only
D-Link DWA-160 Rev B (USB) a/b/g/n Ralink v5.1.12.48
(32 and 64-bit drivers)
MyPeek Members Only
SparkLAN WMIR-200N (Dual-band MiniPCI) a/b/g/n ralink_cardbus2860
(32 and 64-bit drivers)
MyPeek Members Only
Belkin F5D8013 (Wireless N Notebook Card) b/g/n ralink_cardbus2860
(32 and 64-bit drivers)
MyPeek Members Only
Belkin F5D8073 (Wireless N ExpressCard) b/g/n ralink_cardbus2860
(32 and 64-bit drivers)
MyPeek Members Only

* OmniPeek WLAN USB Capture Adapters

The driver for this device requires an update from Microsoft that adds functionality for the SHA-2 hashing algorithm to all supported editions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. See https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/3033929 for further details.

Ralink Driver Known Issues:

  • The driver does not pass an FCS value to OmniPeek so the reported FCS value is always "Calculated"
  • The driver does not distinguish between 11a and 11n in 20MHz mode Ė all packets are reported as 11a

Atheros-based wireless adapters

WildPackets develops its own Atheros wireless drivers to support Atheros-based wireless network adapters, and we support a broad range of hardware. These drivers are designed for use with Atheros AR5001, AR5002, AR5004, AR5005, AR5006, AR5008, AR9170, and AR9380 chipset-based adapters (except Super G and Turbo models), and support advanced functionalities such as 802.11n with 3-stream operation, WPA/PSK decryption, noise measurement and hardware time-stamping in all OmniPeek products.

WildPackets currently supports multiple versions of the Atheros driver, depending on the embedded Atheros chipset. Please use the appropriate driver as described below.

Atheros Chipset

Driver Version

AR9380 (PCIe Support) OmniPeek Folder:
AR9170 (USB Support) OmniPeek Folder:
AR5008 OmniPeek Folder:
AR5006 MyPeek Members Only

Though any Atheros-based wireless adapters using the supported chipsets should work with OmniPeek, the following adapters have provided good results with OmniPeek.





SMC 2336A-AG a/b/g v4.2.2.9 MyPeek Members Only
Cisco CB21AG a/b/g v4.2.2.9 MyPeek Members Only
NEC Aterm WL300NC a/b/g/n v6.0.4.13 Available with OmniPeek
D-Link DWA-652 b/g/n v6.0.4.13 Available with OmniPeek
D-Link DWA-160 Rev A (USB) a/b/g/n
(2-stream 11n)
v3.0.0.168 Available with OmniPeek
Ubiquiti SR71-USB a/b/g/n v3.0.0.168 Available with OmniPeek

Remote Captures from APs

OmniPeek supports both remote Pcap and Custom Remote Adapters for capturing packets from network-attached APs. The following table outlines the specific devices tested by WildPackets.



Controller Required

Controller Model



Cisco AP3700 1
AP2700 1
Yes CT2504 Custom Remote Adapter a/b/g/n/ac
Aruba AP-225 Yes 7210-US Custom Remote Adapter a/b/g/n/ac
Alcatel AP-225 Yes Custom Remote Adapter a/b/g/n/ac
Aruba IAP-225 No Direct Connection via Ethernet a/b/g/n
Meru AP110 Yes MC1550 Custom Remote Adapter a/b/g/n
Aerohive HiveAP120 Yes Cloud-based Remote Pcap a/b/g/n
Ruckus ZoneFlex7363 Yes ZoneDirector Remote Pcap a/b/g/n
1. Cisco APs cannot be used to capture 40MHz 802.11n traffic in the 2.4GHz band. Cisco specifically restricts the use of 40MHz bandwidth in the 2.4GHz band (click here for more details) due to possible interference issues with other users in the band.

Best Practices

Single Channel, Single Band (b/g or a) Captures

Just about any wireless adapter included on this page will do the trick. Simply determine which band (b/g or ďa") and which hardware interface is available on the computer youíre using (PCcard, PCExpress Card, USB, etc.) and find a suitable card from the list.

Single Channel, Dual Band (a/b/g)

For this type of capture, a card that supports a/b/g at a minimum is required. Simply use the ďbandĒ column to locate an adapter with a minimum requirement of a/b/g. Itís worth considering an a/b/g/n wireless adapter, even if you donít need to capture and analyze 11n today.

802.11n, Single Band, 1 or 2-Stream RX/TX

In this case youíll need an adapter thatís either b/g/n or a/n, depending on the band in which youíre deploying 11n (2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz respectively). Simply use the "band" column to locate a suitable adapter.

802.11n, Dual Band, 1 or 2-Stream RX/TX

In this case youíll need an adapter thatís a/b/g/n. We recommend the D-Link DWA-160 since itís readily available and is USB Ė something that will fit into just about any computer.

802.11n, Dual Band, 3-Stream RX/TX

Use the OmniPeek WLAN USB Capture Adapter (11n)

802.11ac, Dual Band, 1 or 2-stream RX/TX

Use the OmniPeek WLAN USB Capture Adapter (11ac), This adapter can also be used to capture a/b/g/n traffic, up to 2-stream 11n traffic.

Third-Party Applications

WildPackets does not authorize or support the use of our proprietary drivers in any applications other than OmniPeek.