The musings of an IT Consultant

Aug 11 2008   4:28AM GMT

Packet sniffing is your best friend…

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Sometimes when you are troubleshooting network issues, you just can’t seem to put your finger on the source of the problem. Whatever it is that is causing your network issue is evading you and you’re wondering how are you going to track it down.

I find using a packet sniffer to actually look at the traffic flowing on the network is helpful at this point. You will most likely have to configure your switch to mirror all traffic to one of the ports on the switch so you can plugin a laptop with a packet sniffer onto that port to monitor the traffic.

One of my favourite packet sniffers to use is Wireshark, formerly known as Ethereal. You can also use Network Monitor which comes builtin with Microsoft’s operating systems. Once you have it up and running you can watch network traffic scroll past your screen live and hopefully find the source of your problems.


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