In recent times, the most predominantly means of connecting to the internet among different households with broadband access has been through Wi-Fi networks. This is achieved through the use of a wireless router which enables them to connect multiple devices. Apart from the wireless networks used at home, various hotspots can pop up at various places which many people make use of it to perform multiple tasks.
However, the major challenge about wireless networks is that its security often gets breached from an unknown person making it very difficult to apprehend the perpetrator(s). One of the significant tools used to breach Wi-Fi networks is the Wi-Fi Sniffer. In this write-up, we’ll a critical look at what wireless sniffer is and its impact on the Wi-Fi network.
The meaning of WiFi Sniffer
This is a unique packet sniffer or network analyzer, specifically designed to function with the wireless networks. To successfully carry out Wi-Fi sniffing, it involves the use of specific software application or piece of electronic equipment. In other words, wireless sniffing is very much similar to phone line tapping.
Wireless sniffing is not total illegal because there is some valid legal reason to use it. For instance, a typical example is the use of Wi-Fi sniffer by a particular network administrator to monitor and secure its network from hackers. Aside from that, it can also be employed at home by any user to have a better understanding of how their network(s) functions. Regrettably, the primary reason behind the use of Wi-Fi sniffer, especially by devious individuals is to illegally access an unsecured network and steal personal details of unsuspecting individuals. In other words, a wireless sniffer is a software that is specially used by an unknown individual in a different location to attack your network, thereby compromising your data.
How Wi-Fi Sniffer Works
Wi-Fi sniffers can either be in the form of software or hardware, but both perform the same function though the software version of it is more predominant than the hardware. There are sniffers for Mac, Windows and even different mobile OS. However, mobile device sniffer can be referred to as a hardware sniffer, primarily when it is used to sniff other application.
Features of WiFi Sniffer
Just like every other wireless device(s) which can be seen in the market today, Wi-Fi sniffer is of different brands, but it strictly depends on the model of the device. There are certain essential features to look out for such as; a device that can surpass various interferences like the Bluetooth device, microwave ovens or even cell phones. In other words, you need a unit with higher quality in other to capture any available wireless signals regardless of the environment you found yourself.
Wi-Fi sniffers that function on 2.4GHz are regarded as the best type. This is because it can detect 802.11b and 802.11b/g signals. Most importantly, it should be very convenient so it can be easily carried about in your bag. Furthermore, any Wi-Fi sniffer that comprises of the above features can also be a useful home tool. One thing a wireless sniffer does is to help you discover the best corner around your home or office where you’ll receive the most reliable signal during the installation of any internet device. By so doing, you can effectively maximize your signal capabilities.
You need to understand that some benefits of Wi-Fi sniffer may be different when it comes to privacy law of a particular area. It is legal to use a sniffer to discover the best area to locate your wireless network, but it is illegal to use it as a tool to crack other people’s password to access their systems.
Furthermore, it is also needed in a business environment because it remains a vital tool for network administrators. But the one used in business areas is commercial grade Wi-Fi sniffers often used in various hardware devices. With this unique tool, the network administer can quickly perform a troubleshooting problem or even carry out a diagnostic test to confirm if there has been any unauthorized access to their network.
This unique tool, when it gets into the hands of dubious people, can be used to steal personal details and also cause serious havoc to networks. In other words, with this tool, your account information and passwords can be taken by a hacker. Also, your emails can be read with it and most important your movement can be tracked.
How To Protect Your Data from Wi-Fi Sniffers
There are specific things you can do for yourself to protect your data and home network if you’re using an unsecured Wi-Fi.
- Make sure you set your Wi-Fi router to WPA encryption.
- Your password must be at least nine characters in length with the combination of letters and numerical figures. The lengthier it is, the more difficult it will be for any hacker to break it.
- Make use of a VPN to track your activities on the internet. This way, your data won’t be compromised by hackers.
Wi-Fi Sniffer can be a useful tool, but at the same time, it can be used to cause serious havoc. Now you’ve understood the purpose this device serve in your home and your office environment. Whenever you’re in a doubtful location, follow the instructions outlined in this write-up to safeguard your data better. Most importantly, stop performing any bank transactions when you’re connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Form it as a habit to use only https encrypted websites.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does the Wi-Fi sniffing function?
Specifically, it is used to locate any nearest wireless connection, or better still intrude in a network. Wireless sniffing includes snooping goings-on that is happening within wireless networks.
What is the primary use of a network sniffer?
A network sniffer can also be referred to a packet analyzer that can interrupt data packets moving within a network. Network administrator use network sniffers to observe their network traffic, thereby assisting them to ensure secure it.
Is it possible to detect a Packet Sniffer?
It is challenging to detect any packet sniffer in monitor mode. This is because a wireless sniffer in promiscuous mode, in turn, sniffs outward-bound data. Further, the sniffer itself, in reality, transfers data through the network.