Wireshark is a network packet analyzer. A network packet analyzer will try to capture network packets and tries to display that packet data as detailed as possible. You could think of a network packet analyzer as a measuring device used to examine what's going on inside a network cable, just like a voltmeter is used by an electrician to examine what's going on inside an electric cable (but at a higher level, of course). In the past, such tools were either very expensive, proprietary, or both. However, with the advent of Wireshark, all that has changed. Wireshark is perhaps one of the best open source packet analyzers available today.
- Deep inspection of hundreds of protocols, with more being added all the time
- Live capture and offline analysis
- Standard three-pane packet browser
- Multi-platform: Runs on Windows, Linux, OS X, Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and many others
- Captured network data can be browsed via a GUI, or via the TTY-mode TShark utility
- The most powerful display filters in the industry
- Rich VoIP analysis
- Read/write many different capture file formats
- Capture files compressed with gzip can be decompressed on the fly
- Live data can be read from Ethernet, IEEE 802.11, PPP/HDLC, ATM, Bluetooth, USB, Token Ring, Frame Relay, FDDI, and others (depending on your platfrom)
- 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
What’s new in Wireshark 2.6:
- Wireshark 2.6 is the last release that will support the legacy (GTK+) user interface. It will not be supported or available in Wireshark 3.0.
- Many user interface improvements have been made.
- Dumpcap might not quit if Wireshark or TShark crashes. (Bug 1419)
New and updated features since version 2.5.0:
- HTTP Request sequences are now supported.
- Wireshark now supports MaxMind DB files. Support for GeoIP and GeoLite Legacy databases has been removed.
- The Windows packages are now built using Microsoft Visual Studio 2017.
- The IP map feature (the “Map” button in the “Endpoints” dialog) has been removed.
- The following features are new (or have been significantly updated) since version 2.4.0:
- Display filter buttons can now be edited, disabled, and removed via a context menu directly from the toolbar
- Drag & Drop filter fields to the display filter toolbar or edit to create a button on the fly or apply the filter as a display filter.
- Application startup time has been reduced.
- Some keyboard shortcut mix-ups have been resolved by assigning new shortcuts to Edit → Copy methods.
- TShark now supports color using the --color option.
- The "matches" display filter operator is now case-insensitive.
- Display expression (button) preferences have been converted to a UAT. This puts the display expressions in their own file. Wireshark still supports preference files that contain the old preferences, but new preference files will be written without the old fields.
- SMI private enterprise numbers are now read from the “enterprises.tsv” configuration file.
- The QUIC dissector has been renamed to Google QUIC (quic → gquic).
- The selected packet number can now be shown in the Status Bar by enabling Preferences → Appearance → Layout → Show selected packet number.
- File load time in the Status Bar is now disabled by default and can be enabled in Preferences → Appearance → Layout → Show file load time.
- Support for the G.729A codec in the RTP Player is now added via the bcg729 library.
- Support for hardware-timestamping of packets has been added. [full release notes]
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