Jaws on your network

Today I’ll show you a little something for network administrators. And if I may add, probably something for beginning network administrators, because I have to face the fact that if you have been administering networks for a few years you probably already know this tool.

I’m talking about wireshark. This is a tool that allows you to sniff network traffic. To be very exact, this is a network protocol analyzer. It contains a set of options which allow you to analyze network traffic so you can easily figure out whatever you are looking for.

For example, you can trace network abuse with this. Some people are simply are not using the internet at work, just for their work. Or you can trace problems on your network. For example, which data does a server send out, which packages are received (we already used this to fix quite a bit of things, and I’m no network administrator so ==> easy to use :D).

Wireshark is free, all you have to do is download and install the program and you are all set to go. This tool is available for Windows, Linux and even MacOS.
Downloadable from here

For those who have ever worked with Ethereal.. Well this is the same program. “The same”, meaning it originated from ethereal. During the course of developing this product, the name had to be changes for a bunch of reasons.
Just so you know, if you are an ethereal specialist, you’ll probably as well be a wireshark specialist ;-).

As with most of these free products the support is “limited”. And with limited I mean it’s mostly community based. There is a FAQ, a wiki and some other things that will help you well on the way with this tool. No worries you are not alone. Far from even.

You are probably anxious (*ahem*) to see some examples and by this time you probably ate half of your keyboard because I haven’t given any. But.. this is something you should try for yourself. It’s not that hard and it will take me quite a lot more time to explain you with a few examples than it will if you try for yourself.

Don’t be afraid, just download it and have a go. Maybe you’ll find a few gems on your network. Like your brother streaming Britney Spears music (or other “material” of this person).

You’ll have fun… (in a strange way).


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