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What's the deal with lack of monitor mode support in Windows?

smrbrts
Beginner
1,899 Views

Why don't the drivers provided by Intel for Windows support monitor mode for the AX200 and AX210?

I've got both cards running in monitor mode in Ubuntu and I can load CommView for Wifi and it will put the AX200 into monitor mode on Windows 10.

Is it a Microsoft or Intel process or policy that prevents these cards from supporting monitor mode in Windows?

The output of "netsh wlan show wirelesscapabilities" show the card as not supporting monitor mode though I know the CommView and Ubuntu drivers both make it function.

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8 Replies
DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,888 Views

Hello smrbrts,  


  


Thank you for posting on the Intel® communities.   


  


In order to better assist you, please provide the following:  


  


1. The brand and model number of your system. You can also provide the Intel® System Support Utility for the Linux* Operating System for more details: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26735/Intel-System-Support-Utility-for-the-Linux-Operating...


2. Is this the original adapter that came pre-installed on your computer or did you change/install the adapter to this one?   


3. Is the Bluetooth working?   


4. Is this a laptop or desktop computer? 


5. Have you update your drivers and BIOS? 


6. Do you have issues with your internet connection?





Best regards, 


Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


smrbrts
Beginner
1,867 Views

I've tried getting the AX200 and the AX210 cards into monitor mode in Windows 10 on multiple systems. The latest is a ThinkPad Carbon 6th Gen. The card is an upgrade and seems to work fine as a wireless station and for bluetooth, but from a command prompt,"netsh wlan show wirelesscapabilities" shows Network Monitor Mode and Promiscuous Mode as not supported with both cards.

 

Yet I know the cards can be used to capture because they do so in Ubuntu (21.04 for the AX210) and with the Driver that CommView for Wifi provides on Windows 10.

 

So why doesn't Intel support monitor and promiscuous modes with the Windows drivers from the Intel site? Why do we have to resort to Linux or Mac to do wireless analysis, or some third part software like CommView for Wifi?

DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,832 Views

Hello smrbrts, 



Thanks for the information provided, 



Before we continue further I would like to confirm the following information:



1. Were you able to enable the "monitor mode" with other wireless cards on Windows? If so, which models?


2. Have you contacted Microsoft to confirm that this feature is blocked on their operating system?


3. Were you reinstalling the wireless cards (AX200 and the AX210) on different systems manually?





Best regards, 


Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


smrbrts
Beginner
1,820 Views

I have not recently had an adapter that supports Monitor mode in Windows using the standard driver, except to say that I've had both the AX200 and AX210 in monitor mode using the CommView driver on Windows.  I am under the understanding that some do: https://secwiki.org/w/Npcap/WiFi_adapters

 

I have not contacted Microsoft, as I assumed Intel is writing the drivers for the Intel cards and was hoping you could tell me why they don't support monitor or promiscuous mode.

 

I started with standard Intel AC adapters in both a work and personal laptop and have upgraded them both to AX210. I can get both machines to capture raw 802.11 frames for the work that I do, but one is running Ubuntu and the other is Windows using the CommView driver. Because it appears to me that the cards support the feature, I posted here trying to understand why the drivers for Intel don't support the monitor mode or promiscuous mode features. Is this something Intel chose not to support or is this something that Microsoft doesn't allow you to support, since the cards can obviously support these modes.

 

Thanks,

Steve

 

 

 

DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,796 Views

Hello smrbrts, 


  


Thank you for the information provided 


  


I will proceed to check the issue internally and post back soon with more details. 


  


Best regards, 


Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,783 Views

Hello smrbrts, 



I would like to let you know that the monitor mode and package injection are not supported on Intel wireless adapters. This also applies to the promiscuous mode. 


However, as you noticed, Linux does support monitor mode but depends on the Linux driver. The command line '# iw list' will return what is and is not supported for the wireless card.


Bear in mind that you will have to go and check directly with the WiFi Linux community about setting up monitor mode or package injection.




Please let me know if you have further questions




Best regards, 


Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


smrbrts
Beginner
1,749 Views

Thanks for the confirmation.

I suppose what I really want to know is why? Why do we have to rely on third party drivers to do network analysis? I don't really want to learn all the tedious and hacky stuff I'm going to need to know to do get a card into promiscuous and monitor mode in Linux just to be able to analyze how a device is performing on a wireless network.

The card is obviously capable, why not include the capability even if you aren't marketing it as a supported feature?

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,738 Views

LOL! The answer should be obvious: These features were dropped from consideration to improve quality, to improve schedule and/or to limit headcount requirements. That a later Linux driver came out supporting it does say that it can be done - without the same schedule constraints in place.

At this point, all that you can do it formally request that the capability(s) be added. It is best to call Intel Customer Support and get a proper ticket opened to request this. At least then you know that it will at least be considered.

...S

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