How to Scan For 5GHz WIFI Networks

Using an external WIFI card to scan for networks around you is very easy as most of the WIFI networks works on 2.4GHz band.

A variety of devices use the 2.4GHz band while small number of new devices use the 5GHz band, and few external WIFI cards use the 5GZh band or dual bands.

Using a WIFI card with the 5GHz for scanning for devices around you can be a bit tricky, specially on Kali Linux as most of the users use Airmon-ng for scanning for WIFIs and you need to enable the 5GHz band as it’s not enabled by default.

There are a couple of ways to do this, keep in mind it’s different from one card to another but the steps apply to most of the cards.

Method 1:

Install Wireless Drivers for AWUS036ACH & AWUS1900 and (RTL8812AU/21AU and RTL8814AU)

apt install realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms

Let’s verify our WIFI card name:

Then you need to manually enable Monitor mode:

ip link set wlan0 down

iwconfig wlan0 mode monitor

ip link set wlan0 up


airmon-ng start wlan0

Now switch the channel:

iw wlan0 set channel 6 HT40-

iw wlan0 set freq 5745 80 5775

The first method has some issues as I said before it won’t apply to all the cards, that’s way we have another method to try in case of method one doesn’t work for your card.

Method 2:

airmon-ng start wlan0

As you can see it’s in monitor mode and it’s running on 2.4GHz band.

Now we use these commands to enable 5GHz:

iw wlan0 set freq 5180

This will enable the 5GHz band, but the problem is if you try to scan the WIFIs with Airmodump-ng the card will automatically shutdown the 5GHz band and uses the 2.4GHz band.

The solution to this is very easy, all you need to do is to add some parameters to the command to enable the dual band:

airodump-ng start wlan0 –band abg

The band 2.4GHz uses the b and g beacon frames, but the 5GHz band uses the a for beacon frames.

As you can see, the first network is running on channel 44 which is a 5GHz band, also you can confirm that using KISMET:

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