6 great software tools to inspect network traffic with [2020 Guide]


Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
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software network traffic

Network-monitoring software is primarily designed for the business domain and network admins. This is software that provides network report details and enables users to fix any network faults, compliance issues or bottlenecks that might emerge.

Network monitoring, otherwise traffic analysis, is an important aspect of these software tools. There’s an extensive range of software that enables you to inspect network traffic. Here are a few great Windows software tools to inspect network traffic with.

Paessler PRTG (Editor’s Choice)paessler prtg screenshot

This tool is developed by one of the biggest network security company in the world. It will let you verify the traffic that comes into your network and check if it is safe or not. Basically, it is your best friend when you want to see if some of the traffic on your WI-Fi network is dangerous for your devices or not.

PRTG will monitor your firewalls and all that they let through. Its SNMP and NetFlow sensors will immediately let you know if your firewall has a breach. All the unusual traffic is located through the program’s Packet Sniffing Sensor. Once something odd is “sniffed”, PRTG notifies you and proposes some actions to take as soon as possible. In case there are security holes in the network because of the WIndows Updates, PRTG let the administrator know and helps him find solutions so none of the network’s data remains exposed.

PRTG is also a great WI-Fi scanner and monitoring tool that you could use while overwatching your network’s traffic.

You can try this program for 30 days and you can go on the free (but limited) version after that or you can continue by upgrading to a pro plan.


Wireshark

network software3

Wireshark is an open-source IP traffic-monitoring tool for Windows platforms, Mac OS X and Linux that has had rave reviews. This is software primarily designed for a more advanced user base that provides detailed traffic info and statistics. Press the Download button on the software’s home page to add Wireshark to Windows. Note that you might also need WinPcap installed for Wireshark to work.

Wireshark is a network-monitoring tool that can inspect a multitude of protocols. It includes an interface list from which you can select which interface to inspect traffic on. The software captures traffic in real-time and enables you to set up filters to inspect more specific traffic and connections. Its display filters are among the best in the industry. Another great thing about Wireshark is its color coding that highlights different types of traffic. For example, green highlights TCP traffic and blue DNS traffic. Users can also create their own custom color code sets for data packets. In addition, the program also generates variety of reports for things such as protocol hierarchy.

Capsa

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Capsa is a network analyzer for Windows that you can inspect Ethernet traffic with. It has a freeware, Professional and Enterprise edition retailing at up to $995. Press the Download Now button on this page to save the freeware edition to your desktop or laptop. The freeware version alone has plenty of handy options, and Enterprise boasts an even wider range of advanced features.

Capsa monitors more than 300 protocols and provides traffic and bandwidth statistics in both numerical and graph formats within an intuitive dashboard UI. The software gives users detailed and customizable summary reports for each type of analysis that include total traffic, DNS queries and responses, data link, packet size distribution details and more besides. The Enterprise edition has a variety of diagnosis tools to help fix networks and a matrix view that includes the top 100 node connections in a network. In addition to this, you can also schedule tasks, set up alarm notifiers, configure decoder and export packets with Capsa.

ManageEngine OpManager

network software2ManageEngine OpManager is comprehensive monitoring software that provides network traffic analysis for Windows servers. The software has an Essential, opManager Plus and Enterprise edition for more than 500 network devices. The more limited Essential edition, for 25 devices, is retailing at $595.

ManageEngine OpManager has tools for network monitoring, bandwidth analysis, configuration management, IP address management and firewall log management. The software‘s netflow monitoring module is ideal for inspecting network traffic. That provides real-time bandwidth monitoring and detailed traffic reports and graphs for end users. With that you can then discover the apps and protocols that are hogging the most network bandwidth. ManageEngine OpManager also comes with a wide range of reporting profiles, and users can also set up their own custom reports. So this is an invaluable tool for isolating and eliminating bandwidth hogs.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page. If you’re interested in other network products, check out our wide collection of guides.