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I am interested in monitoring and saving all wireless traffic going through a router (that includes the management frames sent from and the router too) but I am not sure what is the optimal strategy to accomplish this.

One option I can think is to have a card set to promiscuous mode connected to a laptop somewhere close to the AP and then have wireshark log the traffic this card captures.

I am not sure what the downsides of this strategy are. Let's say I have 10 clients connected in the access point all doing network intensive tasks such as playing games, streaming video, skype calls etc. Will the "monitor" device be able to sniff ALL traffic and log it?

Are there routers that do this automatically?

What other options do I have?

Thanks in advance and sorry if this question seems a bit general!

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What problem are you trying to solve here? What equipment do you have at your disposal? Managed switches? I would typically forget about trying to sniff this on the wireless side and uplink the AP into a mirrored port on a managed switch. Then connect to the mirror port and fire up tcpdump. –  EEAA Jan 6 '13 at 20:02
well, I am trying to create a profile (dataset) of all traffic coming in and going out of the AP for statistical analysis and evaluation. It is important to include the management and control frames of the 802.11 –  dr.doom Jan 6 '13 at 21:34
Also, why would you not go with the wireless side approach? Too many packet losses? Equipment suggestions would be great as long the cost is apropriate for SOHO situations. Thanks again. –  dr.doom Jan 6 '13 at 21:46

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