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Practical Packet Analysis, 2nd Edition by Chris Sanders

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Wireless Card Modes

Before we start sniffing wireless packets, we need to look at the different modes in which a wireless card can operate as it pertains to packet capture.

Four wireless NIC modes are available:

Managed mode This mode is used when your wireless client connects directly to a wireless access point (WAP). In these cases, the driver associated with the wireless NIC relies on the WAP to manage the entire communication process.
Ad hoc mode This mode is used when you have a wireless network setup in which devices connect directly to each other. In this mode, two wireless clients that want to communicate with each other share the responsibilities that a WAP would normally handle.
Master mode Some higher-end wireless NICs also support master ...

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