[kismac] Re: USB 802.11 adapters

  • From: Ryan Verner <xfesty@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: kismac@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 21:37:11 +1030

On 31/01/2004, at 8:30 AM, Chris Osborn wrote:

I see a list on the KisMAC website of a bunch of adapters that are known to work. What's required to make them work with KisMAC? Does there need to be a driver so that OS X can use the adapter as a network connection, or does KisMAC talk to the USB adapter directly? And would I need to load any KisMAC drivers to talk to a USB adapter?

KisMAC does two types of scanning; active, and passive.

Active works much like Netstumbler under Windows, and for the same reasons - it basically sends out packets on every channel, and 'detects' AP's by getting a response back from one. Advantages: As long as you have a wireless card with drivers, and KisMAC has basic support for it (channel swapping, etc), it'll probably work. Disadvantage: It's very possible to tell there's somebody wardriving, and you're only going to see AP's that will talk back to you.

Passive mode talks directly to the card - it sticks it into a certain mode, and *listens* for any traffic on the channels its scanning. Advantage: Absolutely nothing is sent out, so nobody knows you're scanning, and you'll pick up a hell of a lot more - tunnels, adhoc peers, AP's with SSID hiding. Disadvantage: KisMAC needs to understand very specifically the chipset of the card itself, regardless of drivers (you don't even *need* drivers installed for KisMAC to talk to a supported card).

Your best bet is something Prism based. The 200mW cards are especially tasty.


(Does KisMAC support /any/ USB adapters in passive mode, regardless of chipset? If so, I'm impressed.)


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