I want to receive (repeatedly if possible) a time stamp (preferably in nanoseconds) at my access point from clients that are not necessarily connected to my access point

  1. Does the 802.11 protocol have such type of packet/frame defined or would I have to create my own extension protocol?
  2. Is it even possible to extend the 802.1 protocol and customize it ?
  3. Would I have to have both the client and the access point use this protocol ?
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2 Answers 2


You can download the 802.11-2012 standard from the IEEE web page. On page 429 you can find the the information contained in the probe request body, none of which contain a time stamp.

However, you will note that the final element is defined as "Vendor Specific." It would be possible to add a time stamp in this this element. This would typically require that you modify the code of the driver on the client device. Any device not running your customized driver would not be sending this time stamp.

If you want the access point to recognize this and act on it, then you would need to modify the access point as well. If it would suffice for your needs, you would be able to view the contents of this element if you were doing something like a packet capture as probe requests are not encrypted.


As I remember my last Wi-Fi packet capture, there no imestamp.

In theory, extension can be made, but it need deep integrated in driver and hardware. AFAIK not any Wi-Fi hardware allow such deep modification. (I imply it must be extension in wireless-management frames, to not be encrypted, when client connected to WPA protected AP)

Of course client and Your sniffer (because client connected to other AP) must support it.

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