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Learn More About Packet Analyzer Tools

What are Packet Analyzer Tools?

Packet analyzer tools, or packet sniffers, monitor every packet (smallest unit of information) flowing through the network. They are helpful towards network administrators for traffic logging, monitoring, and analysis. They are also helpful in detecting the root cause of any issue within the network. These tools come in both software and hardware form. Due to convenience, the software option has become the more popular option, yet both are effective in dealing with troubleshooting and are plugged into a network where they store the information they are receiving.

Packet analyzer tools help IT professionals simplify and speed up the process of troubleshooting for both new and existing information traveling from sender to receiver by decoding the packets. In simple terms, they provide visibility into a traveling process that is otherwise invisible. These tools add clarity to current issues and help preempt future issues. This also benefits the end-user experience, whether it be from online chatting, gaming, video streaming, or shopping.

Packet Analyzer Tools Features

Some features users can expect from packet analyzer tools include:

  • Traffic Data Collection
  • Packet Analysis
  • Header Recording
  • Network Testing
  • Multiple user interfaces
  • Dashboards & maps
  • In-depth reporting
  • Alerts

Packet Analyzer Tools Comparison

Some useful facts to keep in mind before choosing the appropriate packet analyzer tools for you include:

  • Monitoring flexibility. Some users may desire the ability to monitor almost anything that is network-connected; e.g. SNMP, scripts, business and/or production servers. Make sure your packet analyzer product has flexible monitoring options so that you can troubleshoot across all relevant systems.
  • Support & setup. Having a product that is easy to set up and offers endless support saves the user a lot of time. Additionally, there may be instances where devices need to be added. Therefore make sure the setup is compatible or can be supported with the tool you’ve chosen.
  • Business size. Depending on the size of your business may determine ease of deployment and managing as well as capabilities and speed desired. Research the type of businesses your product caters to and if it will satisfy the functions you are seeking.

Start a packet analyzer comparison here

Pricing Information

Pricing for packet analyzers depends on the features offered by the tool, and whether the tool is hardware or software-based. Software-based options that only collect packet headers tend to be the cheapest, while tools offering deeper analysis are more expensive. Hardware packet analyzers are typically often packaged with a disk array, so pricing can depend on many factors. Many packet analysis tools are available for free, and most proprietary options include a trial version prior to making a purchasing decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What businesses benefit most from a packet analysis tool?

Packet analysis tools are valuable for any business that wants to analyze their web traffic in more detail. As many tools can break traffic down by application, packet analysis is particularly valuable to businesses with multiple applications, or highly data driven applications.

What businesses should use a proprietary packet analysis tool instead of a free one?

The biggest advantage to a proprietary packet analysis tool is that they are often offered alongside a suite of other analysis tools. Purchasing a packet analysis tool among other analytics tools ensures that it will integrate well.

What are the advantages of hardware vs software packet analysis?

Hardware-based packet analysis tends to be more expensive than a software-based alternative, but they also offer higher performance, making them a good choice for businesses that want to analyze high-speed connections. In general, a hardware-based solution will collect more data, and collect that data more quickly than a software alternative.

What do packet analyzer tools do?

Packet analyzer tools assist IT professionals in troubleshooting network communication by collecting and analyzing packets of data. They may come in software or hardware form and also assist in monitoring and in-depth breakdown of the visibility within the network to gauge performance.

How much do packet analyzer tools cost?

Pricing for packet analyzer tools depends on if you plan to purchase their software or hardware version. Software options that only collect packets will be cheaper, while products offering deeper insight and analysis will be more expensive. Hardware packet analyzer tools vary in pricing depending on the packages needed. For detailed pricing, contact the vendor directly. Many offer versions of their product free, while others will at least offer a free trial.