Analyzing data packets is one way to monitor for problems in your network traffic or to detect connection problems.
Wireshark is a professional protocol analyzer aimed to help users in troubleshooting, analysis, software and protocol development, and education. All of the standard features you expect to find in a protocol analyzer are here but Wireshark also has a few added extras because it's open source and has been enhanced by it's community of users. The contribution of global networking consultants across the globe are what make Wireshark a particularly powerful analyzer.
If you don't have any network analyzing knowledge, Wireshark might make you feel a bit lost. The program does have an extensive manual and forum but unless you are familiar with protocol analysis, they won't mean much to you. For those that are in the know, Wireshark features deep inspection of hundreds of protocols, live capture and offline analysis and even VoIP analysis. Any captured network data can be browsed via an easy to use GUI or alternatively via the TTY-mode TShark utility. In addition, live data can be read from Ethernet, IEEE 802.11, PPP/HDLC, ATM, Bluetooth, USB, Token Ring, Frame Relay, FDDI, and others (depending on your platform).
Wireshark is a highly specialized tool that the average user won't find much use for but for any network administrators out there, it's an essential addition to your toolkit.
- Various bug fixes.