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,
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 found at http://www.tamos.com/products/commwifi/. 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 mode.
card is not on your list of supported hardware. What are my
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. Before 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 is used. 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 simply order a boxed version from us; it comes with a
compatible USB adapter.
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 at http://www.tamos.com/products/commwifi/adapterlist.php.
By using this list, you choose the best adapter based on the form
factor (USB, Integrated, etc.), sensitivity, sensitivity, supported
Windows version, and supported 802.11 bands. Generally, the best
choice would be an 802.11ac USB adapter.
Which supported adapters have external antenna connectors?
Unfortunately, there are very few such adapters. Speaking of legacy
802.11n hardware, connectors are available in all Ubiquiti Networks
adapters (SR71C, SR71X, SR71-USB, and SRC) and CACE Technologies
AirPcap (Ex and NX). As for 802.11ac adapters, you may want to try
Amped Wireless ACA1, but our tests show that its reception quality
is rather poor.
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 information.
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.
of the channels are not available in the channel selection
controls. Is this normal? What if want to monitor these
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 2.4 GHz 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
||No technical support is
available for this utility.
||You must install the
driver that comes with CommView for WiFi prior to using this
||This utility works ONLY
with adapters based on the Atheros chipsets.
||This 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.
the utility, click here. For non-Atheros adapters,
enabling channels 12 and 13 may be possible through some
configuration changes. Contact us if you need assistance.
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 packets?
A. Yes, in
WPA-PSK mode. Both TKIP (WPA) and AES/CCMP (WPA2) are
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 the Open 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!
switch to the Packets tab. The Latest 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?
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 channel number.
CommView for WiFi run on multi-processor computers?
A. Yes, it
seems to be impossible to save more than 5,000 packets from the
packet buffer. Is there a workaround?
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
Settings window. 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 the Logging tab. However, 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
tab. Such 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
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
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
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.
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
WiFi can also be purchased as a boxed product. Boxed versions
include a compatible wireless adapter and a USB flash drive. The
price includes UPS ground shipping.
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
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).