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Why are management frames showing up as 802.11a rather than 802.11ax?

asked 2024-06-05 06:58:11 +0000

AlahambraOligododo gravatar image

updated 2024-06-06 05:45:48 +0000

Guy Harris gravatar image

Dear all,

I would like to connect my computer using 802.11ax to my router, to investigate some Wifi 6 specifics with wireshark. The router settings allow for a Wifi6 connection. The wifi adapter of my computer is also Wifi 6 compatible.

However, when I capture the wifi traffic, it seems as if both the router and the computer use the 802.11a protocol, instead of 802.11ax, i.e. the capture filter wlan_radio.phy == 5 applies.

Is there any way to easily setup a Wifi 6 connection?

Background: I can capture wifi packets of my Lenovo X1 carbon. The management frames of the association requests contain "tag: HT capabilities, Tag: VHT capabilities, Ext Tag: HE capabilities". However, the provided 802.11 radio informations shows "PHY type: 802.11a (OFDM) (5)". The HE capabilities seem to contradict PHY type = 5?

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Not really a Wireshark question, also note that looking at WiFi specifics other than general traffic on Windows is problematic.

grahamb gravatar imagegrahamb ( 2024-06-05 07:52:23 +0000 )edit

Thanks! I added some background to make it a Wireshark related question.

AlahambraOligododo gravatar imageAlahambraOligododo ( 2024-06-05 08:08:21 +0000 )edit

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answered 2024-06-05 17:52:38 +0000

johnthacker gravatar image

updated 2024-06-05 18:08:21 +0000

Management frames in 802.11ax are transmitted at basic rate and will show as the 802.11a PHY - see the comment mentioned here

The management frames indicate that the device supports HE for the data frames, but the management frames themselves are transmitted at basic rate with the backwards compatible PHY.

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Asked: 2024-06-05 06:58:11 +0000

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Last updated: Jun 06