Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to Use Wireshark

Do you require sniffing and spying on LAN or WAN network communications or any other network configuration? Or are you in a difficult problem of troubleshooting problems related to network both inside and outside it? Then you definitely require a network analyzer that can examine the packets of information moving in and out of the media. The network analyzer tool that can help you is Wireshark. Keep on reading to find the details. This article will tell you how to use Wireshark.

Wireshark is one of many most popular open source network analyzer tools. And because it is open source, one can take its help for all intentions as long as you stand by its terms and conditions of use, whether you use it for commercial, educational or personal related projects.

This article is intended for those readers who know nothing or much about this tool and analysis of network packets. Here in this article I will discuss some necessary concepts related to network communication, terminologies and getting initiated with Wireshark. Here installing the Wireshark network analyzer tool and how to use it will also be discussed.

In the Internet / transport layer, Wireshark catches data packets. The protocols that govern together are IP and TCP and are generally called as TCP/IP or “Internet Protocol Suite”. The network is a packet switch network based on packet communication; the concerned data is sent to the receiving remote system according to the information provided in the header of the data packet. Later we will discuss about detailed information on packets.

The task of a network analyzer to perform analysis of the information that travels in and out of a network interface or LAN card. It discloses the information details of communication that travel across these interfaces. Information is received in the form of data bundles called packets. So how does this benefit? The network administrator can collect details or information that surpasses the interface using Wireshark and analyzing the data packets.

You can view the screen shot on any search engine that shows how data is converted into packets and the path through which they reach the destination

If you are assigned a task of a network administrator to examine or protect the data that is being transmitted away from the host machine, then these are very important steps to take. Take for instance; if the host machines which are being employed to handle work have highly classified information, then you can employ Wireshark to check thoroughly if the data packets sent into the network are encrypted. This will actually confirm that the protocol regulating encryption in your machine is working fine or will notify of danger if it is not.

Take some other example, if sensitive data like passwords are not encrypted, than it can be seized on its way in form of clear text when Wireshark analyzes the packets. For the system users this is both a bad and a good news altogether. The good thing is that if administrator forgets, it can be tracked if he regularly monitors the network. Another good thing about it is that can be used to check the sensitive information two times to ensure that data is encrypted and secured.

Now you are aware of the networking basics, that regulate the analysis and operation of Wireshark data packets, following are the instructions that you must follow to install Wireshark. Follow the instructions given below.

Download the tool Wireshark. While downloading this, see that you download the latest version of this application.
Install the tool on your machine. Installing the tool is quite very easy. You will also be required to install third party apps associated with it as you will be requiring them later.
After you have installed it, you will have to become familiar with its features. Launch Wireshark and learn more.
Work out with the dashboard panel which has a “capture” section. Here you will have to select the device which you require to monitor.
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