Learn Wireshark

Have you ever had a theory for the cause of a network issue but been unable to prove it?

Have you ever been asked by a customer to sniff some network traffic and send them the file?

Have you ever been asked to baseline your network?

Have you ever had speed issues on your network but been unable to find the cause?

I’m sure one or more of these has happened to you, but if you don’t know how to capture packets on your network, then you will be left totally in the dark as to how to troubleshoot and resolve. Luckily for you, there is a free tool you can use to solve all these issues and more.

What is Wireshark?

Wireshark is a popular network protocol analyzer software that allows you to capture, analyze and troubleshoot network traffic in real time. It can capture traffic on various types of networks, including Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth, among others.

With Wireshark, you can capture packets of data as they pass through your computer’s network interface card (NIC) and then analyze and interpret the contents of those packets. This can help you understand the behavior of network protocols, diagnose network issues, and identify security vulnerabilities. It comes with a GUI so you can see interfaces, graphs, and a menu system.

Wireshark is a powerful tool that can be used by network administrators, security professionals, developers, and anyone else who needs to analyze network traffic. It is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems and is free and open-source software.

Popular Uses for Wireshark

  1. Network Troubleshooting: Wireshark can help troubleshoot network issues such as slow performance, connectivity problems, or unexpected network behavior. You can use Wireshark to capture network traffic and analyze it to identify the root cause of the issue.
  2. Protocol Analysis: Wireshark can be used to analyze network protocols, such as TCP/IP, HTTP, DNS, and others. By analyzing the packets exchanged between hosts, you can identify protocol-specific issues and optimize network performance.
  3. Security Analysis: Wireshark can help identify security issues such as unauthorized network access, malware infections, or data breaches. It can also be used to capture and analyze network traffic during security incidents to identify the source and nature of the attack.
  4. Network Performance Optimization: Wireshark can be used to optimize network performance by analyzing the network traffic and identifying areas of congestion or latency. By analyzing the packets exchanged between hosts, you can identify performance bottlenecks and optimize network configurations.
  5. Protocol Development: Wireshark is a powerful tool for protocol developers. Developers can use it to capture and analyze network traffic to test new protocols, troubleshoot issues, and optimize performance.

There are many other uses for Wireshark, including finding bottlenecks, failing network interfaces, proving a theory, and even complementing the certification you are currently studying.

Overall, Wireshark is a powerful and versatile tool that can be used for a wide range of network analysis tasks, making it an essential tool for network administrators, security professionals, developers, and anyone else who works with computer networks.

Wireshark Certification

Wireshark offers a program that provides recognition for individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in using Wireshark for network analysis. The certification program is offered by the Wireshark Foundation, the organization that develops and maintains the Wireshark software.

The certification program consists of the: Certified Network Analyst (WCNA). The WCNA certification focuses on network analysis skills using the software.

To become certified, candidates must pass a proctored exam that covers topics such as packet analysis, network protocols, security analysis, and troubleshooting. The exam is based on the current version of Wireshark and is designed to test practical knowledge and skills rather than theoretical knowledge. It currently costs $299 to sit and can be done at a testing center or online.

The exam is multiple choice questions and pass/fail. They do not publish the passing score required, and after three years, you have to resit the exam to retain your credentials.

The Wireshark certification program is designed for network professionals, security professionals, and developers who work with computer networks. It provides recognition for individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in using Wireshark for network analysis and can help individuals advance their careers in the networking and security fields.

It’s worth noting that while the Wireshark certification can be a valuable addition to a resume, it is not necessary to have the certification to use Wireshark or to work in the networking or security fields.

Is Wireshark Certification Worth It?

Wireshark knowledge will save your bacon many times during your career. Not only that, but understanding how TCP/IP works at a deep level will set you apart from your colleagues who may only have some theoretical knowledge.

While having any certification is optional, Wireshark certification may well be the thing that separates you from other job applicants who have the same experience and or certifications you do. Having the WCNA credentials shows that you can troubleshoot networks, send packet files to customers to demonstrate your point without question as well as make intelligent recommendations for network upgrades.

I strongly recommend you pass the Wireshark exam. We teach the theory on our sister website howtonetwork.com and, of course have 101 labs and 200 exam questions on this website.


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