5 best packet sniffers for Windows 10/11 [2022 Guide]

by Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies... read more
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  • Need to intercept and log traffic that passes over a digital network? Then you need a packet sniffer.
  • This article below showcases the best network sniffer for Windows that you can get today.
  • It gives you insightful data about your network and a full perspective over the traffic and more.
  • So, if you're looking for a good sniffing tool for Windows 10 and 11, carry on reading!

NetFlow Analyzer offers comprehensive real-time data regarding the status and use of your network's bandwidth. Use it to gain access to:

  • Bandwidth monitoring that is flow-based, as well as comprehensive traffic analysis
  • It contributes greatly to your security analysis and network forensics
  • Effective voice, video, and data monitoring
  • Offers capacity-based planning and billing
  • Provides multivendor support and flow technology

Gain better control over what happens within your network with this amazing monitoring and management tool.

A packet sniffer, also known as a network analyzer or a protocol analyzer, is a program that can intercept and log traffic that passes over a digital network.

Packet sniffers are diagnostic tools that allow network technicians to analyze the network and diagnose network problems.

In order to work, the packet sniffer needs to have access to the wireless or wired network interface on its host computer. The tool can analyze traffic from the entire network or only a small part of it.

Then the sniffer converts the analysis into a readable format, helping the network technicians to pinpoint network faults.

What is a network packet sniffer?

If you’re wondering what exactly a packet sniffer is, it can be simply explained in a few words: A network traffic analysis tool.

The utility of this software relies on the support for analyzing the great amounts of network data, such as passwords and log-in credentials, or users’ online activity.

Most of the network packet sniffers gather data from your network using two systems, Unix-like systems or Windows systems. In case you require a network sniffer for Windows, you can easily find them on the market.

Additionally, you should know that it’s possible to use software network sniffers or hardware network sniffers. The hardware sniffers will best help you troubleshoot network issues.

Nevertheless, using software network sniffing tools is more reliable and doesn’t need plugging support to detect network insights.

In order to discover the best packet sniffers or free network sniffers for Windows 10 and 11, dive deep into this article and find the one you need.

What are the best packet sniffers for Windows 10 and 11?

PRTG Network Monitor

PRTG Network Monitor is an advanced, professional tool for analyzing and monitoring local networks. The tool captures the data passing through your network, analyzes it, and then presents it in a readable format.

It has a special Packet Sniffing Sensor that will let you know if any of the network packets are suspicious.

Be careful as such a sensor could use many of your PC’s resources and you will need to manage your processes carefully when you will want to scan for dangerous data packets.

PRTG Network Monitor detects all network data activity, as well as application usage of the system’s ports.

The tool offers a flexible system of configurable filters and reports that users can use to capture specific traffic patterns and network data.

Also, it supports many selections of events, methods, and properties.

PRTG Network Monitor comes in two variants: a completely free, basic edition and a paid version with full features. You can test the tool for free for 30 days and continue on a free basis with limited features or buy the full version with user support.

PRTG Network Monitor

Manage the way your PC uses your bandwidth with one of the best network monitoring tools on the market today!

Free trial Visit website

NetFlow Analyzer

Packet sniffers need to be a complete package that allows network management and control, as well as provide in-depth statistics regarding the traffic analytics of a given network.

NetFlow Analyzer is one such tool, and it is one of the best packet sniffers on the market today, providing hundreds of companies with much-needed intel regarding their network status, and how they could improve it.

The software is built around the idea that things need to be easy to understand and as transparent as possible, and that’s exactly how the data is displayed for any Network administrator using it.

Here are some of the features of this program:

  • Network forensics and troubleshooting
  • Efficient bandwidth monitoring
  • App-centric monitoring
  • In-depth traffic analysis
  • Security analysis

NetFlow Analyzer

If you’re looking for an efficient packet sniffer, both in terms of costs and performance, then you need to try out NetFlow Analyzer.

Free trial Visit website

Wireshark

Wireshark is one of the most popular packet sniffers in the world, allowing you to see what’s happening on your network at a microscopic level. This free tool is used by industries and educational institutions.

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Wireshark has powerful display filters that can read and write a huge number of capture file formats, such as:

tcpdump (libpcap), Pcap NG, Catapult DCT2000, Cisco Secure IDS iplog, Microsoft Network Monitor, Network General Sniffer, Sniffer Pro, and NetXray, Network Instruments Observer, NetScreen snoop, Novell LANalyzer, RADCOM WAN/LAN Analyzer, Shomiti/Finisar Surveyor, Tektronix K12xx, and more.

Other features include:

  • Deep inspection of hundreds of protocols, with more being added all the time
  • Live capture and offline analysis
  • Standard three-pane packet browser
  • Captured network data can be browsed via a GUI, or via the TTY-mode TShark utility
  • Rich VoIP analysis
  • Live data can be read from Ethernet, IEEE 802.11, PPP/HDLC, ATM, Bluetooth, USB, Token Ring, Frame Relay, FDDI, and others
  • Decryption support for many protocols, including IPsec, ISAKMP, Kerberos, SNMPv3, SSL/TLS, WEP, and WPA/WPA2
  • Coloring rules can be applied to the packet list for quick, intuitive analysis
  • Output can be exported to XML, PostScript®, CSV, or plain text/

Get Wireshark 

Free Network Analyzer

Free Network Analyzer is another excellent free network monitoring software that can analyze the wired or wireless connections of your computer.  The tool can capture, filter, and display all traffic data and decode the network packet raw data.

Packets are then parsed, extracted, and presented in a readable form, offering you a throughout analysis of the data transferred via your PC network interfaces.

Key features include:

  • Real-time protocol analysis and effective dataflow processing even under high traffic load on high data rate communications
  • Data filtered by specific protocol
  • Search for data patterns with RegEx (Regular Expressions) support
  • Importing log files from third party protocol analyzers
  • More than 70 different data encodings supported.

Get Free Network Analyzer

Solarwinds Network Packet Sniffer

This network traffic platform offers an exhaustive solution for valuable insights regarding your network connection.

In the first place, the tool will measure your network performance from every side and isolate the cause of potential connection issues on your network.

There are so numerous traffic analysis tools that can capture packets but are not actually able to present information clearly and accurately.

For this reason, SolarWinds offers detailed reports from over 1.200 applications or networks that impact the end-user experience.

Ultimately, you have included a Wi-fi packet capture that gives valuable information for your wireless networks such as connection performance, traffic, or configurations details.

Get Solarwinds Network Packet Sniffer

Capsa Free Network Analyzer

This tool is the right choice for regular users, such as students, teachers, or computer geeks. Capsa Free allows you to monitor network traffic, troubleshoot network issues and analyze packets.

It supports over 300 network protocols, MSN and Yahoo Messenger filters, email monitor and auto-save, as well as customizable reports and dashboards.

The main advantage of this tool is that it allows you to learn how to monitor network activities, pinpoint network problems, and improve network security.

Get Capsa Free

How do packet sniffers work?

The packet network sniffing tools will efficiently work by intercepting network traffic using the software or hardware interface on the user’s PC.

With the network sniffing process you have the necessary method to capture the packets that pass through your network and analyze detailed network data or connectivity issues.

A network sniffer for Windows will monitor and offer connection insights for the whole network or only a certain section, depending on the network configuration.

On the other hand, using the packet sniffer for a wireless network, you will be able to monitor and analyze only one channel at a time. However, if your PC supports multiple wireless interfaces, you can do it for multiple channels.

There are valuable free network sniffers for Windows 10 and 11 on the market, so employ the ones we covered for you in this article and easily catch traffic data.

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