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How to capture wireless traces from a Macbook or MacAir

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TitleHow to capture wireless traces from a Macbook or MacAir
Objective
  • How to capture wireless traces from a Macbook or MacAir
  • Troubleshooting without a wireless sniffer

 
Environment
  • Macbook
  • MacAir
  • Airtool
  • Traces
  • ExtremeWireless
  • Troubleshooting 
Procedure
For versions prior to El Capitan:
  1. Download and install Airtool
  2. Wireless Capture on the SSID the MacBook is currently attached to:
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  1. Wireless Capture on a specific channel/width, example Channel 36 40MHz Width:
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  1. A popup will appear when the capture is started: 
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  1. Replicate the issue or capture for the length of time needed, then hit the "Stop" button. This will create a trace file that can be reviewed with Wireshark on the MacBooks desktop. 
The procedure is different on El Capitan, there is no need to install airtool:
 
1. Press the ALT key and click on the wifi icon in the top right, then choose wireless diagnostics

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2. Ignore the wireless diagnostics splash instead click on Window, then choose "Sniffer"
 
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3. Replicate the issue or capture for the length of time needed, then hit the "Stop" button. This will create a trace file that can be reviewed with Wireshark on the MacBooks desktop. 
 
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Additional notes
Using CloudShark with Airtool - https://youtu.be/n5NBVm1xVQ0

 

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