802.11 Frame Types

There are 3 primary frame types in 802.11 wireless infrastructure

  1. Management frames (Type value – 00)
  2. Control frames (Type value – 01)
  3. Data Frames (Type value – 10)

Management Frames : These frame types are used to manage the wireless medium. We would be observing detailed participation of these frames with regards to joining and exiting a wireless service set.

There are 14 types of management frames:

Type ValueSub-Type Value (decimal)Description
000000 (0)Association Request
000001 (1)Association Response
000010 (2)Reassociation Request
000011 (3)Reassociation Response
000100 (4)Probe Request
000101 (5)Probe Response
000110 (6)Timing Advertisement
000111 (7)Reserved
001000 (8)Beacon
001001 (9)ATIM
001010 (10)Disassociation
001011 (11)Authentication
001100 (12)Deauthentication
001101 (13)Action
001110 (14)Action No Ack
001111 (15)Reserved

More details on Management frames can be found on the below link

Control Frames : These frames types help to assure the reliability of delivering the data frames over the wireless medium.

Type ValueSub Type Value (decimal)Description
010100 (4)Beamforming Report Poll
010110 (6)Control Frame Extension
010111 (7)Control Wrapper
011000 (8)Block Ack Request
011001 (9)Block Ack
011010 (10)Ps-Poll
011011 (11)Request To send (RTS)
011100 (12)Clear To Send (CTS)
011101 (13)Ack
011110 (14)CF-End
011111 (15)CF-End and CF-Ack

More information on control frames in the below link:

Data Frames : Data frames are used to carry the information collected from the higher levels of OSI model in the frame body.

There are 15 types of data frames.

Type Value Sub Type Value (decimal) Description
100001Data + CF-ACK
100010Data + CF-Poll
100011Data + CF-ACK + CF-Poll
100100Null (no data)
100101CF-ACK (no data)
100110CF-Poll (no data)
100111CF-ACK + CF-Poll (no data)
101000Qos Data
101001QoS Data + CF-ACK
101010QoS Data + CF-Poll
101011QoS Data + CF-ACK + CF-Poll
101100QoS Null (no data)
101110QoS CF-Poll (no data)
101111QoS CF-ACK + CF-Poll (no data)

More information on control frames in the below link:

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