What is a Network Sniffer?

A network sniffer, as the name suggests, "sniffs" or monitors network traffic for information such as how it flows, which devices are used, or what protocol is being used. Network administrators can use this information to monitor and optimize their environment.

Network sniffing can help enhance security by facilitating network penetration tests to validate firewall settings. Network analysis can additionally help monitor data flows and ensure that they are encrypted, thereby also enabling the early detection of bandwidth bottlenecks.

How do Network Sniffers work?

Simply put, a network consists of devices that exchange information with each other. This information flows in the form of many small "packets" moving back and forth among devices. By breaking down and later reassembling large blocks of information into small packets and vice versa, it is ensured that the network does not get "clogged" and data streams can flow constantly.

A network sniffer takes advantage of this "route" of packets and intercepts the package or information flow. In turn, it can examine each packet that flows between two end devices and analyze the contained data.

Network Sniffers with Alerting Function

Many modern network sniffer solutions offer integrative capabilities for IT alerting platforms such as ilert. This enables constant network monitoring and immediate notification of the right person to troubleshoot in case of an issue.

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