Formally known as Ethereal, Wireshark is a powerful network protocol analyzer that is a must have tool for network troubleshooting and developing protocols. Wireshark is basically a packet sniffing application with all of the usual features that come with a protocol analyzer. Today Wireshark has grown tremendously with over 500 contributing people working to maintain the overall coding and release of new updates.
What would I use Wireshark for? Wireshark is mainly used to troubleshoot any network issues you may encounter such as lost connection,IP configuration and locating bottlenecks. It has a built in network intrusion detector that notifies you of any intruders to your system. Network traffic such as incoming and outcoming connections are logged for forensic analysis. The current version has up to 602 protocols which can be dissected. Logs of information found can be saved as a text document or printed for troubleshooting purposes. Another handy feature is the built in DoS discoverer which notifies you of any DoS (denial-of-service) attacks that may be causing problems to your network. Wireshark also has abilities such as capturing passwords and usernames of users, Network mapping, OS fingerprinting and uncovering important private documents. All in all, Wireshark is a great powerful application that has amazing features for network troubleshooting. If you’re not familiar with networks it could take some getting used to as it is a very in-depth program with several features and options. For those that choose to use it will certainly realize just how useful Wireshark can be for maintaining an effective network.