The Complete Guide to Wireshark and How You Can Use It

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What is Wireshark and what is it used for?

Wireshark is a free and open-source packet analyzer. It is used for troubleshooting, analyzing, software and communications protocol development, and education.

The name “wireshark” comes from the old slang word “shark” for “a person who unsavory business practices”, though it can also be interpreted to mean a person who examines network traffic. It has been described as “the world’s foremost tool for network analysis“.

Wireshark provides users with the ability to see what’s happening on their networks at the moment they’re happening without having to collect all of that data first. This includes seeing who is connecting to your wireless access point, how much bandwidth your neighbor is hogging on that guest wireless router they have, or just capturing packets for a few minutes.

How does Wireshark Work?

The following is a brief overview of how Wireshark works:

  1. Wireshark (and all other protocol analyzers) intercept and store network traffic that is sent to or from the machine that is running the analysis tool.
  2. The user selects the desired network communication to analyze.
  3. The user then examines the data packet in detail, including the packet data, protocol, and various statistics.
  4. This is done by clicking on various icons.

What are three reasons for Wireshark?

Wireshark is a packet analyzer, meaning it lets us see the traffic on the network. It lets you capture packets, then display them for inspection.

One of the best reasons to use Wireshark is to troubleshoot an intermittent network problem. The other main reason is to analyze network traffic for security purposes.

Thirdly, you might use Wireshark to figure out how much bandwidth your home internet connection really needs by monitoring how much data your devices are requesting over time.

What Kind of Data Can You Analyze

Analyzing network data has many different uses. It can be used to identify network issues, determine which devices are online, or to monitor network activity.

This software is often used by companies for security purposes or by ISPs to ensure that their networks are running smoothly.

Advantage and Disadvantage of wireshark

Advantages of wireshark

  1. Wireshark is the most popular network protocol analyzer.
  2. Wireshark can capture packets in real time.
  3. It has an interactive, deep, and powerful user interface.
  4. It has a rich capture filter language, which can be used to filter packets according to their content.
  5. It has the most advanced features, such as deep packet inspection, decryption, or data.

Disadvantages of wireshark

  1. Limited to local networks
  2. It can capture packets on a network interface
  3. This is a packet capture and analysis program with a very strong community of developers and users. 
  4. Wireshark can be used to capture network traffic and then analyze that traffic to find security problems, create network maps, or perform other data-related tasks.

The Benefits & Drawbacks of Using Wireshark for Network Monitoring

A network is the life-blood of any business. It allows for communication between people, devices and networks. Network monitoring is crucial to ensure that your company’s network is running efficiently and secure from threats.

The benefits of using Wireshark for Network Monitoring are:

  • Identifying performance issues quickly
  • Making process optimization easier
  • Improving the efficiency of troubleshooting problems on networks

The drawbacks of using Wireshark for Network Monitoring are:

  • It requires a lot of technical knowledge and expertise to use Wireshark which will require employees to take time off from their regular work duties to learn how it works.
  • All data that you view in Wireshark will be in graphical form which can sometimes make it difficult to understand. This is because these are network packets, and they are represented as graphs.