An ESP32-Based Packet Monitor

Reporting from Shanghai, China
Mar 5, 2018

The original Packet Monitor board was based around ESP8266 and allowed you to monitor the wireless space around you. It has recently been upgraded with ESP32.

Did you ever wonder how many data packets are flying around you right now?! There is a little device, PacketMonitor32, which can tell you not only how many Wi-Fi packets-per-second are sent in the air, but it can also save them. This capability is not limited to one network only, since the device scans all the traffic in the air. You can see peaks whenever a device starts surfing the internet and it will also warn you when a deauthentication attack takes place on a selected channel.

Apparently, Espressif Systems’ ESP8266 and the ESP32 modules have become the go-to boards for hacking out projects. The original Packet Monitor board was put together by Stefan Kremser and was based on ESP8266, allowing you to monitor the wireless space around you. However, nearly two years after the advent of ESP32, the original PacketMonitor was due for an upgrade.

So, today we have the PacketMonitor32. Built around the ESP32-WROVER module, which has a 4MB Flash and a 4MB PSRAM, the PacketMonitor32 board comes with SD-card support along with higher specification hardware, which can be used to save the captured traffic into a PCAP file. The PacketMonitor32 also has a 1.3-inch OLED, and a battery charging circuit that includes both over-charging and over-discharging protection, enabling the board to run entirely from a LiPo battery.

The board is available in two different versions, one with an external antenna, and one with a PCB antenna, while it comes pre-flashed with the open-source packet monitoring software.

For more details, you can view a demonstration of the PacketMonitor32 on YouTube.