April 1st, 2006 by Keith
Most users, especially laptop owners, are using wireless (Wifi) networking either in their home or office. One of the recommended tool to detect the presence of surrounding wireless access points and peer-to-peer wireless (802.11) devices, other than those supplied by vendors and from Microsoft Windows, is Netstumber 0.4.0, a powerful and dedicated wireless network detection tool for Windows.
Besides Netstumber, there is also Kismet, yet another powerful wireless network detection tool, which has been available in the open source community for a long time. As Netstumbler is more for detecting presence of wireless access points (APs), Kismet is more than just detecting wireless APs. It is a 802.11 layer wireless detector, sniffer and intrusion detection system software. Kismet supports the following protocols: 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g.
Kismet have been developed over the years and have shown to support any wireless cards that provides raw monitoring (rfmon) capability. By picking up packets in the 2.4Ghz or 5.0GHz frequency, Kismet is able to identify the presence of network, including hidden networks. It is also capable of infering the presence of nonbeaconing networks via data traffic.
Though powerful, Kismet is available only in the source code form. Users will have to compile the source codes by themselves if they want to use the software. The source codes can be downloaded here.