Packet sniffers are tools which can be used to intercept, capture, and log data packets as they move through a network. IT companies offering network security in Ottawa, will be well aware of these tools as well as how they function. Packet sniffers capture data packets during transmission of a data stream. If the data is coded, the packet sniffer will decode it first before reading and display the values contained within the data packets.
Packet sniffers can capture data from both wired and wireless networks. In wired networks, such as Ethernet and Token Ring networks, packet sniffers can analyze data packets from all parts of the network using one machine. Some tools use switches with monitoring ports which mirror data packets as they are transmitted through the network. Network taps are considered better by some hackers because they do not drop data packets even in a high traffic network. In wireless connections, packet sniffers utilize adapters to be able to gain access to and read data from a network. To capture data from several channels, one would require more than one adapter.
Once data has been captured, sniffing tools either record the entire content of the data or just the headers. Capturing just the headers has the advantage of reducing storage requirements. Once the data has been captured, it is decoded and stored in human-readable format, which allows the user to read and utilize the information being exchanged within the network.
Packet sniffers can do more than capture and decode data. Some tools have the ability to generate traffic and use the data to test the robustness of a network by monitoring how it handles data containing errors. Packet analyzers also vary in the way they represent captured data. Others come with capabilities of tracking down and recording errors.
Uses of Packet Sniffers
Packet sniffers, while majorly under use by hackers, can be used by companies to review their network system. For businesses in Ottawa, computer services can be improved by utilizing packet sniffers in analyzing various network problems. These include detection of intrusions and attempted intrusions by a foreign network. They can also be used to detect any misuse of network resources by users within and from outside the network.
Due to data collection and decoding properties, packet sniffers can also be used to monitor and record bandwidth utilization, record compliances and monitor data in motion within the network. These properties are recorded and reported through statistical reports and sometimes diagrammatic representation. They are also useful in debugging various properties such as client-server communication, network protocols and their implementation as well as verification of ads.