A network protocol analyzer is a combination of programming and hardware and in certain cases, a separate hardware device that can be installed in a network or computer in order to improve its security level against viruses and other types of malicious activities.
When used as a corporate security tool, it's important to keep in mind that a NPA needs to be distributed since this is going to make it possible for it to cover all of the network's areas. On top of that, the NPA should also be capable of capturing and decoding all protocols from every type of media, including 802.11, WAN, Ethernet, etc) on which the corporate data flows.
It's essential that the NPA also supports flexible filtering that’s capable of allowing triggered notifications. After all, NPA will only be capable of capturing and decoding data it can actually understand. Therefore, if it's going to be used in a switched network environment, then it's only going to detect the traffic that’s local to the switch.
Wifi network analyzers come in hardware, as well as software versions. Hardware is used for packet sniffing typically works just like a router, where as software based wifi network analyzers run on the devices being monitored. Software wifi packet sniffers are most commonly used for either the invasion of privacy or others for monitoring server traffic, where as hardware wifi packet sniffers are most commonly used for diagnostics and monitoring for performance and security related purposes. However, when a packet sniffer is used for the right purpose it proves itself to be a perfect resource for your network.
Packet sniffing, in the wrong context, is illegal and governed by multiple laws. For example, the Wiretap Act states, "to intercept and monitor [communications] placed over their facilities in order to combat fraud and theft of service."
When you use a network monitoring solution, you'll be able to know exactly what's happening on your network, the amount of resources available and the connectivity of your devices. It's essential for you as a business to be able to identify saturation of network resources and also rogue access points. On top of that, it's also very useful to have access to track user activity and real time mapping anywhere on your wireless infrastructure. By having an up-to-date image of your company's infrastructure, preventing, pinpoint and fixing related problems is going to be a lot easier.
We offer reviews on the top software network analysis tools and services. Before purchasing or downloading any network analyzer or monitoring tool, we recommend an in-depth research for beginners that want to start learning about packet sniffing. Take the needed time to discover tools that we consider to be the foundation of network security utilities.