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Lesson 6 – Bluetooth LE sniffer


One of the main challenges when debugging a Bluetooth LE application is that the communication is real-time. Data exchange is happening on the interval of milliseconds and if the CPU is paused for debugging the communication will break. In addition, many of the Bluetooth LE packets are handled by the lower layers of the Bluetooth stack and it can be tricky to monitor them from the application.

This is where a Bluetooth sniffer comes as a very handy tool. It not only provides an overview of what happens over the air, it offers you a better understanding of the protocol. It also gives you very detailed information about each and every packet exchanged between the two devices in near real-time, even when the connection is encrypted. It’s also an excellent capture tool that allows you to capture and provide the sniffer trace to our technical support team. From that, they can quickly inspect your data without having to reproduce the whole setup on our side. This can significantly speed up the investigation and troubleshooting process.

Nordic provides a Bluetooth LE sniffer, called the nRF Sniffer, that is simple to use and easy to set up. You only need to have an extra development kit or dongle to be able to use as the hardware back end of the sniffer.


  • Learn how to use a Bluetooth sniffer to capture advertising packets
  • Learn how to install and run Nordic’s Bluetooth sniffer, nRF Sniffer, to capture and analyze Bluetooth LE packets
  • Through nRF Sniffer, learn how to follow a connection and inspect the communication
  • Observe and decrypt the Bluetooth LE communication of a secured connection

Special hardware requirements

You will need one of the following boards listed on the nRF Sniffer for Bluetooth LE product page.

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