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Wireshark for troubleshooting

Network, Security, Systems Administration, VoIP No Comments on Wireshark for troubleshooting 416

As many IT professionals know, there can often be times when we face a “strange” or “weird” problem that we just can’t seem to wrap our heads around. This is where Wireshark comes into play.

Wireshark offers computer network administrators the ability to capture packets of data as they travel across the network. I personally used this tool just last week to troubleshoot a problem where a rogue device was poisoning my server’s ARP table by sending responses to IP<->MAC address requests after another device had already responded. Wireshark allows you to visually “see” network packets and analyze them from a saved file, giving you time to carefully troubleshoot each step of data transfer across your network. Being able to save the packet capture log also helps when dealing with third party vendor support, as you can send them the log file and they can analyze the results themselves, often assisting them in tracking down whatever issue you’re experiencing.

Wireshark is a completely free tool, available at https://www.wireshark.org for download. It has been a staple in my own personal network troubleshooting toolbag, and it is my opinion that it should be an essential resource for any networking professional.

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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