Abstract: Monitoring the activity on an IEEE 802.11 network is useful for many applications, such as network management, optimizing deployment, or detecting network attacks. Deploying wireless sniffers to monitor every access point in an enterprise network, however, may be expensive or impractical. Moreover, some applications may require the deployment of multiple sniffers to monitor the numerous channels in an 802.11 network. In this paper, we explore sampling strategies for monitoring multiple channels in 802.11b/g networks. We describe a simple sampling strategy, where each channel is observed for an equal, predetermined length of time, and consider applications where such a strategy might be appropriate. We then introduce a sampling strategy that weights the time spent on each channel according to the number of frames observed on that channel, and compare the two strategies under experimental conditions.
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