I do use iwlist wlan0 scanning and it gives me a fair amount of data, but one part is missing. It is protocol version. By protocol I mean (a/b/g/n). It would be very good to have these commands in standard distro. I am using OpenWRT.


iwconfig (and its wireless extension API) is deprecated (it's in "maintenance only mode" and "no new features will be added"). Use iw instead. This requires a moderately recent kernel (e.g. >= 3.0) with support for nl80211.

using iw dev wlan0 scan, you can figure out the protocol used:

  • If there are Supported rates below 11mbps (except 6), there might be 802.11b support (even APs which allow disabling b support will announce those rates but reject b-only clients).
  • If there are Supported rates or Extended supported rates above 11mbps or 6mbps, there might be 802.11g support (even APs which are set to require_mode n will announce those rates but reject b/g clients).
  • If there is a HT capabilities IE, there is some kind of 802.11n support. The specific HighTroughput features available are whether there is a secondary channel (in that case you are using a 40 MHz channel, so you have 150 mbps per special stream instead of 72.2 mbps), and the number of spacial streams supported for tx and rx.
  • If you are on the bleeding edge and you see a VHT IE, welcome to the 802.11ac world.
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