Understanding 802.11 Management Frames

There are 3 types of frames used in the 802.11 layer 2 communications happening over the air which manages and controls the wireless link.

Management Frames

Control Frames

Data Frames

In this blog we will have a detailed look at all the management frame packet captures.

Management Frames: Management frames are used by stations to join and leave a BSS (Basic Service Sets).

Frames  Subtype Bits
Association request 0000
Association response 0001
Reassociation request 0010
Reassociaiton response 0011
Probe request 0100
Probe response 0101
Beacon 1000
ATIM (Announcement traffic indication message ) 1001
Disassociation 1010
Authentication 1011
Deauthentication 1100
Action 1101

Below is the packet capture of each of these frames. These are captured over the air using Saavius adapter and Omnipeek software.

Association Request: 

Association request

Association Response: 

Association Response

Re-association request:

Check out some important elements points in the re-association request frames

Reassociation Request

Reassociation response:

Reassociation Response

Probe request:


Probe Request

Probe response:

Probe response

Beacon: Notice some important elements inside the Beacon frames.


ATIM (Announcement traffic indication message):







Action frame

In the next section, I shall add the packet capture of control and data frames

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