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Getting Started with Tonic


To perform packet capture and live packet analysis, Tonic requires at least one packet capture adapter. The adapters that Tonic can leverage are standard, off-the-shelf USB Wi-Fi adapters, but they use a special packet capture driver to perform full packet capture.

To begin, connect one to three supported packet capture adapters, and launch MetaGeek Tonic. As Tonic launches, it will swap out the packet capture adapter's default driver for the special packet capture driver.

Note: While Tonic does support hot plugging and hot unplugged packet capture adapters, hot plugging adapters can sometimes cause unexpected results. This is especially true when mixing adapter models. As a result, we generally recommend connecting all desired adapters before launching Tonic.

Optionally, a Wi-Spy DBx can be connected to provide Layer 1 spectrum analysis data.

Supported Packet Capture Adapters

Tonic supports several standard, off-the-shelf Wi-Fi adapters. You can bring your own adapter(s), or purchase adapters from MetaGeek or a MetaGeek Partner.

Tonic Supported Packet Capture Adapters

Driver Installation

To perform packet capture functions, Tonic installs a special packet capture driver for each supported adapter. This process happens automatically when Tonic launches, and is why Tonic requires Administrator privileges.

Before Tonic launches, supported packet capture adapters will either have no driver installed, or a standard driver.


While Tonic launches, a "Reconfiguring Wi-Fi adapter..." progress will appear while the special packet capture drivers are installed.


For the rest of the user session, Windows Device Manager will show that the special packet capture driver has been installed.


When the user session concludes and Tonic is closed, it will uninstall the special packet capture drivers, and reinstall the standard driver (if available).

Troubleshooting Packet Capture Adapters

If you experience issues where supported packet capture drivers aren't detected, or Tonic is stuck at "Looking for Packet Capture Adapters...", consult the packet capture adapter troubleshooting guide.

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