How can I check to see if my (rooted) android device has a wireless card that supports either monitor mode or promiscuous mode?

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately you need root to be able to do that, despite you saying it, but thought it would be useful to leave that in here for others :)

All modern wireless cards chipsets would may have that feature to be able to sniff/monitor, but as Matthew Read pointed out in the comments below, its a grey area in terms of driver support.

When you issue the binary command ifconfig there's a 'promisc' switch to tell it to go into promiscuous mode to enable monitoring/sniffing.

  • 1
    I'm not sure all modern chipsets have that feature, I recall some XDA discussions about phones that did not (though I can't remember which). There's also frequently no driver support for it in Android. Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 22:05
  • Top off my head, there's Atheros, Broadcom, they are the main two used.. in fact, simple check to see if it is supported - wifi sniffer app for android (play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=vadim.ofer.sniffer) that will confirm promiscuous mode, and shark for root (play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=lv.n3o.shark)
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 22:15
  • @MatthewRead You are 100% correct on driver support, especially Atheros, its extremely sketchy to say the least :) And purported claims of sources are well and truly scattered about but broken or don't build at all :)
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 22:16
  • play.google.com links seem to be dead.
    – jayarjo
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 12:09

Well if you are running Linux, any of these commands could do it for you. The first one should work, though, this one works for my phone.

Type these in the command prompt:

  1. iw phy -- this is the one that tells you what modes your device can handle. Look for "supported interface modes". Mine says IBSS, Managed, AP etc. Does not say Monitor.)
  2. iw phy0
  3. iw wlan0
  4. iw eth or iw eth0 -- this is for a computer with "Wired" internet connection

If you don't know which one of these commands is right for your phone, computer or laptop, type in iw dev first and this will tell you what to follow iw with.

If you're new to Linux, consider these commands:

  1. man ifconfig
  2. man iwconfig

man is short for Manual.

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