Release Date: March 30, 2002.
Ethereal is used by network professionals around the world for troubleshooting, analysis, software and protocol development, and education. Ethereal has all of the standard features you would expect in a protocol analyzer.
Ethereal is one of the best protocol analyzers available. You can compile the source code or install
from a precompiled package. Ethereal doesn't have its own code to capture packets; it uses libcap or WinPCap for this task, so it can only capture on networks supported by these libraries.
Ethereal has a simple and easy to use interface. The main window is divided in three panes that show the user a great deal of information. The panes appear only if you have captured data to display.
The first pane shown gives a summary of each captured packet, displaying the packet number, its source and destination addresses, the type of the upper layer protocol contained in the packet, and some additional information about the packet.
By clicking on packets in this pane you control what is displayed in the other two. The second pane gives detailed information about a selected packet.
Ethereal understands many protocols from RIP, OSPF to STP and Token Ring. You will certainly find all the protocols you want. You can capture packets only intended for you or you can capture packets in promiscuous mode.
For example, if you are connected to a hub you will see all the traffic that the hub handles because hubs are made to transmit a packet on all ports regardless of what the destination is.
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