Technology / Networking

5 Reasons to Learn Wireshark

by Keith Barker
5 Reasons to Learn Wireshark picture: A
Published on November 21, 2014

Wireshark has been dubbed the "world's foremost network protocol analyzer." Below, trainer Keith Barker shares his top 5 reasons you should add Wireshark to your skill set:

Packets don't lie. Regardless of what a network host or server is supposed to be doing, the actual traffic going to and from those devices tells the real story of what's happening. Having the skills of capturing and analyzing those frames and packets can help you cut to the chase to find out what's really happening on your networks.

Find top talkers, latency, and more. Identifying who (or what) is consuming the network resources (bandwidth) and latency details are important for both troubleshooting and planning. In the right hands, Wireshark can provide insight regarding these and many other network characteristics.

Verify what you read. Wireshark is a fantastic educational and verification tool. As President Reagan said (from a Russian saying), "Trust, but verify." Wireshark allows us to do that by seeing the actual traffic being sent on the wire, including details such as protocols used, port and protocol numbers, header types, addresses, payloads, and more.

You can be "that" person. In the world of Information Technology (IT), there are constant changes and challenges. Many times, a problem can't be solved without going to the packet or frame level to see what is going on. In that moment, you can be "that person" who has taken the time to learn Wireshark and can now apply the skills to quickly capture and analyze the traffic in question.

It's exciting. Wireshark is one of the most fun network tools out there, when the user of Wireshark has taken some time to learn how to use its features. Most IT folks still get a thrill out of using Wireshark (and the insight it provides) even after many years of experience in the field. There's always something new to learn from the packets coursing through the veins of a network.

Ready to get started? Start watching Keith's "Wireshark" course, or watch completed videos in his in-progress course, "CCNA Labs Through the Eyes of Wireshark." 

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