I am trying to run an experiment which involves monitoring 3 wireless channels simultaneously in Wireshark which would allow me to see a single frame captured 3 times on each channel.

To do this, I have 3 Wifi adapters configured on channels 1, 6, and 11 and have selected them in Wireshark to have their traffic captured.

However, instead of seeing 3 of each frame in the captured traffic (one for each channel), I see only one, which I assume means that Wireshark has chosen the one with the strongest signal strength or some other criteria. I am wondering if there is a setting in the application that would allow me to disable this feature or if there is an issue with how I have setup the experiment.

Edit: I see that it would not make sense for the frame to be picked up on the three channels (1, 6, 11) since their bands to not overlap.

  • 1
    Why do you think the frame to be captured is transmitted on multiple channels? Wireshark does no such optimizations.
    – Zac67
    Sep 23, 2021 at 19:34
  • Good to know Wireshark is not hiding anything. It is clear to me now that a frame would not be captured on all three channels, but couldn't a frame transmitted on channel 2, 3, 4, or 5 for instance be captured on channels 1 and 6? Sep 24, 2021 at 2:01
  • 1
    No, not at all.
    – Ron Maupin
    Sep 24, 2021 at 2:02
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question does not keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could post and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Dec 23, 2021 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


Each frame is only transmitted once and you can capture it only on the transmitted channel, once. Only if there are multiple copies of an original frame (e.g. broadcast/multicast across multiple channels or bridged between channels) should you be able to capture (mostly) identical frames multiple times.

Basically, each channel represents a layer-1 segment of its own - wireless device can only transmit to each other when they're on the same channel. Think of a shared wire like with 10BASE5 or 10BASE2 - different channel, different wire.

With a multi-radio access point or multiple WAPs bridged together it is possible that a frame is bridged between channels (or even bands) but that depends on the setup that you haven't told us anything about.

Wireshark doesn't suppress/filter multiple identical (or mostly identical) frames.

  • I think what I am still not sure of is if a frame was encountered in the overlapping frequency band of two channels, which channel would it be captured in? In practice though, I have found what you answered here to be true since revisiting the experiment. Dec 24, 2021 at 23:18
  • @TaylorArtunian AFAIK it is transmitted on one specific channel; other channels see it as interference which they can't process Aug 12, 2022 at 10:05

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