Handheld WiFi Packet Monitor

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Every day you wake up, perhaps check your phone or other Internet connected device, and head out the door or into your home office to do whatever it is that keeps you busy during the day. This almost certainly involves some sort of communication and that constant passing of data wouldn’t be possible without switched packet communications.

This technology allows a network to allocate resources based on traffic needs, not tying up an entire data line for one connection, whether data is currently being transmitted or not. This is especially important for wireless communications, where there is a limited data spectrum that everyone has to share.

This then begs the question, how much data is flying around the air at any one time? If you’d like an answer in your specific location, this ESP8266-based device will tell you how many packets of data are sent over the WiFi channel that it’s monitoring. It does this using an ESP8266 module to intercept these transmissions, along with a small OLED screen, which displays a nice graph to show you peaks and troughs in the data usage of networks in range.

It’s a strange thing to think about all of this information literally passing through your body at any point during the day. Add to that the WAN channels that you won’t be monitoring at a certain time, along with other frequencies like FM or VHF, and it’s truly amazing to think about. Perhaps wearing a tinfoil hat isn’t the craziest idea anyone’s come up with, considering the invisible system that governs much of our lives constantly transmitting data through the air!