Mar 192012

This is an article of mine, first published on Wazi

Some find the fine art of capturing and interpreting the packets that run through your network to be as arcane as reading The Matrix, but you don’t need to be the new Neo to be able to parse the network flux. A powerful ally can help you in this mission: Wireshark, a powerful software tool to analyze your network traffic.

Wireshark is several tools in one application. You can use it to analyze the structure of your wireless network in search of potential configuration errors. It can identify many types of encapsulation and isolate and display all the fields that make up a network packet. It also works as a packet sniffer, similar to tcpdump.

With all of those powerful capabilities, you might think Wireshark would be hard to learn. In some respects it is, but you can easily learn how to use some of the filters that come with the software and let you zero in on specific clients and kinds of traffic. In this article I’ll show you several ways to use Wireshark to focus your searches.
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