So I am fairly new to using Wireshark and cannot figure out how to capture all the traffic on my network. The steps I have taken are putting my card into monitor mode then opening Wireshark and choosing that interface. Once Wireshark starts I get lots of information about AP's around me however all are on the 802.11 protocol. Thats about it. Althought, if I open Wireshark and choose my other adapter that is not in monitor mode and is connected to the internet then I can see HTTP and TCP packets but only from my machine. I am not picking up packets from the rest of the network. So I am not sure what I am missing. Are there some other settings that I need to configure to pick up traffic from the rest of the devices on the the network. Thanks to anyone that can be of help.

  • Capturing traffic from other Wi-Fi stations is hard. I recommend not doing this unless you absolutely have to. Capturing on the access point or router is super easy (if supported) and will generally capture what you want. What's your goal?
    – Daniel B
    Commented Jan 24, 2023 at 21:34
  • Make sure your npcap is up to date, and you installed wireshark with with "Support raw 802.11 traffic (and monitor mode) for wireless adapters" selected. Otherwise, only 802.11 data packets can be seen, per wiki.wireshark.org/CaptureSetup/…
    – Cpt.Whale
    Commented Jan 24, 2023 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


If your wireless network is encrypted (e.g. if you're using, say, WPA2-PSK), then Wireshark at first will only be able to see the encrypted form of the 802.11 packets, and won't be able to decrypt them to see the TCP/IP (or UDP/IP) packets inside.

Wireshark can decrypt WPA2-PSK encryption, but it takes some work. You need to know the passphrase or PSK of the network, the network name (SSID), and you need to capture the WPA2 eapol-key "4-way handshake" that is performed between the target client and the AP (wireless router) when the client joins the network. If you capture that 4-way key handshake, and know the password and SSID of the network, then you can decrypt all the packets to/from that client, for that session (i.e. until that client leaves and rejoins the network, in which case you'd need to capture the new 4-way handshake in order to decrypt the traffic from the newly-started session).

The details of how and where to input the network password and name in to Wireshark is available in the Wireshark documentation for How to Decrypt 802.11

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