Analyze and Troubleshoot Your Network & Networking Protocols With Wireshark

Written By Sam on 17 June 2009

Wireshark is one of the widely used network protocol analyzer across many industries and educational institutions. Wireshark is a freely available open source application which works on Windows, OS X, Linux and UNIX. Wireshark was actually renamed from Ethereal. Wireshark is used for network troubleshooting, analysis, software and communications protocol development.


Wireshark has many information sorting and filtering options similar to tcpdump. By putting the network interface into promiscuous mode the users can see all the traffic that is passed over the network. Wireshark uses cross-platform GTK+ widget toolkit running on various operating systems including Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. Wireshark reads live data from Ethernet, Token-ring, FDDI, 802.11 wireless LAN, ATM connections and any Linux supported device by libpcap recent versions. Wireshark displays the encapsulation and other fields along with their meanings of different packets specified by different networking protocols. Wireshark can only capture the packets on the networks supported by pcap as it uses pcap to capture packets.

Features of Wireshark

  • Live capture,offline analysis and deep inspection of hundreds of protocols.
  • Multi-platform: Runs on Windows, Linux, OS X, Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD and many others.
  • Captured network data can be browsed via a GUI or via the TTY-mode TShark utility.
  • It has the most powerful display filters in the industry and rich VOIP analysis.
  • Read and write many different capture file formats like tcpdump (libpcap), Pcap NG, Catapult DCT2000, Cisco Secure IDS iplog, Microsoft Network Monitor, Network General Sniffer (compressed and uncompressed), Sniffer Pro, and NetXray, Network Instruments Observer, NetScreen snoop, Novell LANalyzer, RADCOM WAN/LAN Analyzer, Shomiti/Finisar Surveyor, Tektronix K12xx, Visual Networks Visual UpTime, WildPackets EtherPeek/TokenPeek/AiroPeek and many others.
  • Live data can be read from Ethernet, IEEE 802.11, PPP/HDLC, ATM, Bluetooth, USB, Token Ring, Frame Relay, FDDI, and others.
  • Output can be exported to XML, PostScript, CSV, or plain text.
  • Plugins can be created for dissecting new protocols.

Download Wireshark

2 Responses to “Analyze and Troubleshoot Your Network & Networking Protocols With Wireshark”

  1. chinmoy says:

    I tried netstumbler once. Wireshark has many more options. It has been very helpful to me in hacking the college wifi.

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