In this chapter, you can
find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. The
latest FAQ is always available at
on a wireless network, and I want to monitor my own inbound and
outbound packets. Which product do I need: the standard,
non-wireless CommView edition, or CommView for WiFi?
A. You need the standard,
non-wireless CommView edition. It will allow you to monitor your
own traffic, but you will not be able to see the traffic of other
WLAN stations. Unlike the standard CommView edition, CommView for
WiFi allows you to monitor other wireless stations, capture
management frames, view signal strength, etc.
Q. Do I
need special hardware to use CommView for WiFi?
A. Yes, you need a
compatible wireless adapter. The list of compatible adapters can be
In order to enable the monitoring features of your wireless
adapter, you will need to use the special drivers that come with
this product. When CommView for WiFi is not running, your adapter
will be able to communicate with other wireless hosts or access
points, just like when you are using the original driver supplied
by the adapter manufacturer. When CommView for WiFi is running,
your adapter will be put in passive, promiscuous monitoring
card is not on your list of supported hardware. What are my
A. Our hardware
compatibility list includes only those cards that we've tested
ourselves in our test lab. There are other cards that may be
compatible with CommView for WiFi. The best way to find out if your
card is compatible is downloading our
Adapter Test Utility and running it on your
computer. If a compatible adapter is installed, the utility will
display its name. Please note that:
adapters are compatible only if you use Windows Vista, Windows 7,
or Windows 8. An adapter may not be compatible if you test it under
Windows XP, but the same adapter may be compatible if you test it
under Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8.
running our test utility, make sure that you use the latest driver
supplied by your computer or adapter vendor. Visit their Web site
to download and install the latest driver version. This is
important, because the results of the test depend on the driver
that you use. The newer the driver, the better the chances that it
will work with CommView for WiFi.
Finally, you may want to
buy a compatible card, as they are not terribly expensive these
days, or order a boxed CommView for WiFi version that includes a
adapter would you recommend for use with your application?
A. We suggest that you
refer to the list of compatible hardware, which can be found
. By using
this list, you choose the best adapter based on the form factor (PC
Card, ExpressCard, USB, PCI, etc.), sensitivity, supported Windows
version, and supported 802.11 bands. Generally, the best choice
would be an 802.11 a/b/g/n USB adapter, such as Proxim ORiNOCO
8494, or an 802.11 b/g/n PC Card or ExpressCard adapter, such as
D-Link DWA-645 or DWA-643. Again, you can order a boxed CommView
for WiFi version that already includes a compatible adapter (you
can choose between several adapter models.)
Which supported adapters have external antenna connectors?
A. All Ubiquiti Networks
adapters (SR71C, SR71X, SR71-USB, and SRC) and CACE Technologies
AirPcap (Ex and NX).
I capture data from multiple channels simultaneously?
A. Yes, if you use
multiple supported USB adapters. Please refer to the
Multi-channel Capturing chapter for more
installed the special driver for my adapter and now the adapter
cannot connect to my wireless network after I close CommView for
WiFi. What could be the problem?
A. When you replace the
driver for your adapter, the configuration settings (including
preferred networks and passwords) may be lost, so you may have to
re-configure the adapter. If your adapter has been configured and
still can't connect, please disable and re-enable it in Device
Manager, this will restore the connectivity.
the program support 802.11a Turbo mode?
A. Yes, if your adapter
supports it. Some of the adapters that support 802.11a Turbo mode
are Linksys WPC55AG and NETGEAR WAG511.
of the channels in the scanner options window are grayed out. Is
this normal? What if want to monitor these channels?
A. Depending on your
country, your wireless adapter may not support all the channels
shown in that window. The channels that are available for use in a
particular country differ according to the regulations of that
country. In the United States, for example, FCC regulations only
allow channels 1 to 11 to be used in the 802.11b/g/n band. The
firmware of the wireless adapters being sold in the US is typically
configured to disallow channels 12 and 13. This is not always
convenient, as you may need to travel to other parts of the world
and be able to monitor locally available channels with CommView for
WiFi. You may want to purchase an adapter locally, but you can also
use a utility that allows you to change the regulatory domain and
country code for some adapters. Before downloading and using this
utility, please note:
domain may permanently damage the device. Proceed at your own
·Changing regulatory domain
may not be legal in your country. Consult your company's legal
technical support is available for this utility.
must install the driver that comes with CommView for WiFi prior to
using this utility.
utility works ONLY with adapters based on the Atheros
utility does not support USB adapters. When you use USB adapters,
CommView for WiFi enables all the channels supported by the
hardware, so you don't need to change the regulatory domain.
To download the
click here. For non-Atheros
adapters, enabling channels 12 and 13 may be possible through some
configuration changes. Contact us if you need
monitoring a WLAN, can I be sure that the program will capture
every packet being sent or received?
A. No, and here is why.
When a wireless station is connected and authenticated, the station
and access point(s) employ a mechanism that allows them to resend
the packets that were not received by the other party or damaged en
route for some reason (e.g. radio interference). In case of
CommView for WiFi, the wireless adapter is put into passive,
monitoring mode. Therefore, the adapter cannot send "requests" to
have packets resent, nor can it acknowledge successful receipt of
packets. This results in loss of some packets. The percentage of
lost packets may vary. Generally, the closer to other stations and
access points you are, the fewer packets will be dropped.
the program decrypt WPA- and WPA2-encrypted
A. Yes, in WPA-PSK mode.
Both TKIP (WPA) and AES/CCMP (WPA2) are supported.
on a WLAN with high traffic volume, and it's hard to examine
individual packets when the application is receiving hundreds of
thousands of packets per second, as the old packets are quickly
removed from the circular buffer. Is there anything I can do about
A. Yes, you can use
current buffer in new window button on the small
toolbar on the Packets
tab. This will
allow you to make snapshots of the current buffer as many times as
you wish, at any intervals. You will then be able to explore the
packets in these new windows at your leisure.
launched the program, selected the channel, started capturing, but
no packets are displayed. Please help!
A. First, switch to
IP Connections tab might be empty if you
did not enter correct WEP keys, and your WLAN uses WEP encryption.
If the Packets
tab is empty
too, look at the program's status bar. If the packet counter is
being incremented, then you have active rules that prevent the
program from displaying packets. Click Rules
=> Reset All, and then press three
toolbar buttons: Capture
Data Packets, Capture
Management Packets, and Capture
Control Packets. If the packet counter on
the status bar is not being incremented, then there are probably no
active wireless stations or access points available/detected. If
you are absolutely certain that there are wireless stations or
access points, report this problem to us.
CommView for WiFi read NCF log files generated by the standard,
non-wireless CommView edition? How about vice versa?
A. Yes, CommView for WiFi
can read NCF log files generated by the standard, non-wireless
CommView edition. The standard, non-wireless CommView edition can
read NCF log files generated by CommView for WiFi, but (a) you need
CommView 4.0 Build 321 or higher, and (b) you will not be able to
see wireless-specific columns, such as signal strength or WEP key
CommView for WiFi run on multi-processor computers?
A. Yes, it does.
seems to be impossible to save more than 5,000 packets from the
packet buffer. Is there a workaround?
A. Actually, there is no
such limitation. The application uses a circular buffer for storing
captured packets. By default, the buffer can contain up to 5,000
latest packets, but this value can be adjusted in the
maximum buffer size is 20,000 packets (the buffer cannot be
unlimited for an obvious reason: your computer’s RAM is not
unlimited). You can save the contents of the buffer to a file using
by no means does this limit on the buffer size restrict your
ability to save any number of packets. You simply need to enable
automatic logging on the Logging
automatic logging will make the application dump all the captured
packets to file(s) continuously, and you can set any limit on the
total size of the captured data.
firewall software warns me that CommView for WiFi is "attempting to
access the Internet." I am aware that some sites are able to track
users by collecting the information sent by their programs via
Internet. Why does CommView "attempt to access the
A. Three activities may
alert your firewall. First, it may be an attempt to resolve IP
addresses to hostnames. Since CommView has to contact your DNS
servers to make a DNS query, it inevitably triggers the alarm. You
can disable this feature (Settings => Options => Disable DNS
resolving), but in this case, the Latest IP Connections tab will
not be able to show you the hostnames. Second, you may have
configured the program to check if updates or new versions are
available. To do this, CommView has to connect to
www.tamos.com. You can disable this
feature (Settings => Options => Misc. => Enable automatic
application updates). Third, when you purchase the product, you
need to activate it. If you select online activation, CommView has
to connect to
www.tamos.com. You can avoid this by
selecting manual activation. These are the only types of
connections CommView can potentially make. There are no other
hidden activities. We don't sell spyware.
often logged on as a user without administrative privileges. Do I
have to log off and then re-logon as the administrator to be able
to run CommView for WiFi?
A. No, you can open
CommView folder, right-click on the CV.exe file while holding down
the Shift key, and select "Run As" from the pop-up menu. Enter the
administrative login and password in the window that pops up and
click OK to run the program. Under Windows Vista and higher,
CommView is automatically launched with elevated rights.
reconstructing TCP sessions that contain HTML pages in Japanese or
Chinese, I can't see the original text.
A. To see text in East
Asian languages, you should install East Asian fonts. Open Control
Panel => Regional and Language Options, select the "Languages"
tab, and check the "Install files for East Asian languages"
confused about the license types available for CommView for WiFi.
Could you explain the difference between the license types?
A. Two license types are
currently available for CommView for WiFi: Standard license and
VoIP license. The more expensive VoIP license enables all the
application features, including VoIP analyzer, whereas the standard
license doesn't enable VoIP analyzer.
Additionally, the Standard
License is also available as a One Year Subscription, which is a
time-limited license valid for one year from the date of purchase
CommView for WiFi can also
be purchased as a boxed product. Boxed versions include a
compatible wireless adapter and CD-ROM. The price includes UPS
Please refer to the End
User License Agreement that comes with the product for other
licensing terms and conditions.
I save the audio from the VoIP analyzer to a standard .wav or .mp3
A. Not directly, but there
are many utilities on the market that offer a "virtual audio cable"
that allows saving anything that is played back through your sound
card to a file. Try, for example,
Xilisoft Sound Recorder
(use the "What
you hear" mode).