by on July 6, 2017
You may know Wireshark as the ‘best network protocol analyzer in the world,’ but do you know how to use it? Being familiar with this popular tool can help you stand out on your resume, or can help you go further in your current IT role as it has plenty of benefits for users.
“With more than 500,000 downloads a month, the IT industry has embraced Wireshark as the go-to tool for network troubleshooting, optimization, and security,” says TechTarget. Sure, it’s important to be able to configure a TCP/IP network, but understanding the inner workings of a network can set you apart as an in-demand network analyst.
What is a network packet analyzer?
A network packet analyzer (also known as a network analyzer, protocol analyzer or packet sniffer) is a computer program or piece of computer hardware that can intercept and log traffic that passes over a digital network or part of a network.
You could think of a network packet analyzer as a measuring device used to examine what’s going on inside a network cable. Without it, understanding a network communication exchange would be almost impossible.
As a refresher, the network protocol is comprised of 7 layers, of which Wireshark deals with 2 through 7. Essentially, Wireshark can decode most well-known protocols. For a refresher, review the OSI Model.
Why is Wireshark the best?
In the past, packet analyzers were very expensive or proprietary, but Wireshark has changed that. Those with the ability to use this tool have become a highly demanded. Not to mention, it offers a wide range of capabilities to those who utilize it.
According to the Wireshark website, “It [Wireshark] lets you see what’s happening on your network at a microscopic level and is the de facto standard across many commercial and non-profit enterprises, government agencies, and educational institutions. Wireshark development thrives thanks to the volunteer contributions of networking experts around the globe and is the continuation of a project started by Gerald Combs in 1998.”
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