Network Traffic Sniffer

Written by Scott Martin
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A network traffic sniffer can be the single most powerful protective and analytic tool that you can implement on your network. These tools can help you catch internal misuse and informational leaks, as well as guard against malicious external threats. Most of all, these programs can help you analyze your network, and optimize it for maximum performance.

Tips for Choosing a Network Traffic Sniffer

When researching a network traffic sniffer purchase, you'll want to make sure that self-training is an easy and timely process. Many so-called high-tech network traffic sniffer packages are extremely cryptic, and require hours upon hours of training sessions. This not only ties up your technical staff, but makes it near-impossible for non-technical professionals to glean information from your generated reports.

Another important feature to look for when shopping for a network traffic sniffer is full protocol decoder capabilities. You'll want to seek out a program that works on all Windows platforms, and captures traffic over both an Ethernet and WLAN network. Furthermore, you'll want to make sure that your program can decode all major application protocols, such as TCP/IP, UDP, HTTPS, and SMTP, to name a few.

Finally, you'll want to make sure that the network traffic sniffer you choose can employ easy-to-use and powerful filters. Sure, you can capture all of your data through all ports and protocols, but you'll want to make sure the data is understandable, and easy to isolate. You should be able to isolate your traffic data by specific node, IP address, protocol, error type, and packet content.

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