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I've been trouble shooting a WiFi connections issue in Windows 10 BootCamp on a 2017 MacBook Pro. Now I started monitoring internet packets using the Microsoft Network Monitor 3.4.

Here is an excerpt of the captured packets. There are a whole lot of "WiFi:[ ManagementProbe response]" or variants there of. It's constant and doesn't seem to stop, ever. From what I gather, it's a way for the computer to monitor surrounding WiFi connections. I want to check if this process is interfering with my WiFi connection.

Question: What is it, and is there a way to turn this off this process while I am connected to a network?

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Probes come in two Types; requests and responses. your wireless access point sends out passive management frames (Beacons) around ten times a second(100ms).

Beacons have detailed information about the network, connection rates, BSSID, etc.

the difference is active vs passive. active scans, the wireless client sends a probe request, either directed at the specific access point, or to all client stations in the surrounding enviroment using the broadcast SSID, the access point will send out a probe response. Similar to a beacon frame, you find that probe responses contain much of the same information required for two stations to begin communication.

Why your adapter is doing active scans while connected to your access point is entirely a different question. it could be interference, low RSSI, your adapter specific drivers,to many AP's in the configured list, etc.

you can read more about it here: https://www.hak5.org/episodes/haktip-23

  • I bloocked everything using the firewall and the packets still were appearing – Leandro Gil-Silva Feb 14 '18 at 16:10
  • So I'm not sure if that means that it's a passive process. I'd still like to find a way to regulate it. Anyway, I'm not sure if it's the culprit in my WiFi problems, I noticed there were a lot of packets coming from my System, sending data to random Microsoft servers. – Leandro Gil-Silva Feb 14 '18 at 16:17
  • You can block Microsoft servers if you wish. But that's an entirely new question you should post here. 😉 As far as the packets appearing, they are layer-2 packets and should never be leaving your internal Network. (It's communication between the wifi router and client) and is necessary for proper function. – Tim_Stewart Feb 14 '18 at 18:59

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