Microsoft Network Monitor

Microsoft Network Monitor 3.42350

Free
Network Monitor is a protocol analyzer which allows to capture network traffic
4.2  (14 votes)
3.42350 (See all)

Microsoft Network Monitor 3.2 is a tool for protocol analyzation, in short can be called a ‘protocol analyzer’. The main function of Microsoft Network Monitor is to allow capturing of network traffic, viewing it and then analyzing it. The version 3.2 of Microsoft Network Monitor is actually an update which replaces Network Monitor version 3.1.

The version 3.2 of Microsoft Network Monitor has been modified to add some new tools with improved functionality. The new feature called ‘Process Tracking’ has been added in this version to identify any scamp applications sending network data. You can also view all the network traffic generated processes on your machine and view the frames associated with each process by using the conversation tree. So far conversation tracking was really difficult and problematic to use. It was even harder to correlate the frames with the conversation nodes in the tree. But, now with the introduction of these new features, you can easily locate and mark the frames in the same network conversation. The version 3.2 of Microsoft Network Monitor includes extensive parser set and also better parser management. Imagine how interesting it would have been if you could create your own applications and make them capture, parse and analyze network traffic. There is no need to imagine, when version 3.2 has really made it happen. You can actually create such application for capturing network traffic with the help of a new feature called ‘Network Monitor API’. Capture engine in this version has been redesigned to improve the capture rate for high-speed networks. Besides all, these there are a number of advance features in this version such as; IA64 builds, more extensive documentation of the API and NPL, PCAP capture file support.

Microsoft Network Monitor 3.2 supports Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 (+ IA64 builds), Windows Vista and Windows XP Operating Systems. It requires a CPU of 1GHz or greater and a memory of 1GB or greater. Apart from this, other necessary requirement to install Microsoft Network Monitor 3.2 are a free hard disk space of 25MB and an extra room for capturing files. The actual download size of Microsoft Network Monitor 3.2 varies from 4.3MB to 15.1MB depending on the download components selected. One thing that should be kept in mind is that, if you want to capture with the help of NM3 GUI with conversations enabled, it might take up a large amount of memory space. This may result in the cases when your machine stops responding. It is always advisable to use the included line utility, NMCap and the DisableConversations switch if you need to capture data for longer periods of time. One of the most amazing features is that, Network Monitor 3.2 can coexist with Network Monitor 2.x and earlier versions. This is possible because Network Monitor 3.2 is installed in the %Program Files%\Microsoft Network Monitor 3 folder in default case. So there is no confliction if an earlier version is installed in a different folder on the same system. The earlier version gets uninstalled with the installation of Network Monitor 3.2.

MOUMITA BISWAS
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Identify any scamp applications sending network data
  • Quickly locate frames in the same network conversation
  • Includes extensive parser set and better parser management
  • Create your own applications that capture, parse and analyze network traffic
  • Includes much more extensive documentation of the API and NPL; and PCAP capture file support also

Cons

  • Protocols do not parse correctly
  • You receive error messages like; ‘None of the network adapters are bound to the Netmon driver’ or ‘This network adapter is not configured to capture with Network Monitor’ when you run Network Monitor 3 on a Windows Vista-based computer
  • May consume lots of system resources
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