Best network sniffer / LAN analyzer

Unanswered Question
May 6th, 2009

Looking for the latest & greatest, with functionality including (but not limited to):

- packet sniffing

- traffic analysis

- network utilization

- WiFi capability

- network diagrams (Visio integration)

Etc.. All the good stuff that we should have in order to really know how our networks are performing, identify bottlenecks and have the ability to troubleshoot them quickly on most common problems.

Any/all comments & recommendation will be much appreciated!



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glen.grant Wed, 05/06/2009 - 13:57

Free would be Wireshark . For a paid one I would use Network Instruments Observer more feature rich and less costly than Network Generals sniffer.

lloyd_andrew Sun, 05/10/2009 - 17:04

Free is Wireshark no doubt. The paid version I've used and seemed to like is Network Instruments Observer.

scottmac Wed, 05/06/2009 - 20:23

I have (and love) the Fluke Optiview. IT has copper GigE, Fiber GigE (SFP), and wireless. Ours is old enough to "just" have 802.11g, but they now have an 802.11N module.

In addition to the usual packet capture/decode, it has an expert (does a superficial analysis and finds common issues), does cable testing, TDR, and lots of other useful tools ... like crawling the subnets to find hosts, then doing an SNMP crawl to identify the devices and stats.

Plus it's relatively small, battery powered, remotely accessible ... lots of stuff.

It's also an excellent real-time network monitor, so it doesn't rot on the shelf between problems.

It does NOT do certification scans, but we have other equipment for that anyway.




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