Analysing the data that you receive over a network is not an easy task and earlier it was expensive as well. However, a network packet analyser is a handy tool as it helps you keep your network safe and secure. That’s not all, it also helps you determine any network problems that you might be facing so that you can fix it.
One such popular network analyser is Wireshark. This widely used network protocol analyser allows you to see, at a microscopic level, the details inside a network so you understand what’s happening inside the network.
Wireshark is one of the best packet analysers in the market today which is also free and openly sourced. So, if you are interested in learning more about this network analyser and how to install it on your PC, then keep reading on.
Highlights of Wireshark
Here are a few major highlights of Wireshark that make it such a popular and widely-used network packet analyser in the world.
Live Capturing from Different Network Media
One of the best things about Wireshark is that it has the capability to capture traffic from several network media types like Bluetooth, Wireless LAN, USB, Ethernet, and so on. As a result, it is capable of capturing different media types as well but that majorly depends on your hardware and operating system.
You can learn more about the media types that are supported on your system by checking out this link – https://wiki.wireshark.org/CaptureSetup/NetworkMedia
Import and Export Files for Multiple Capture Programs
Another great feature of Wireshark is that it can easily open capture files from other capture programs as well and then analyse them. Similarly, it can also capture files and then allow you to save in a different format that makes it compatible to be opened by a different capture program.
So, you can easily share the packet captures with others or accept the packet captures from other users for further analysis
Open Source Software
Wireshark is open-source software that has been released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). This means that you can easily download Wireshark on multiple platforms and devices without having to pay any fees or using any license keys.
Also, the entire source code of Wireshark is available under GPL so anyone can add new protocols to Wireshark like plugins or directly into the source.
A few other important features worth mentioning are:
- Deeply inspects the numerous protocols
- Live captures the network packets and then analysis them offline.
- Rich VoIP analysis
- The compressed captures files with gzip can be easily decompressed while analysis.
- Decryption support is available for multiple protocols like WPA/WPA2, IPsec, WEP, Kerberos, and so on.
- Display the network packets information including their protocol details
- Colorize packets for a quick and intuitive analysis
- Output can be exported in different formats like CSV, XML, plain text, etc.
Installation Requirements for Wireshark
Although the amount of system resources that Wireshark needs depends on the packets that you are analysing, here are the minimum system requirements that your PC needs to meet so that you can run Wireshark on your PC.
Windows System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 10, 8.1, Server 2019, Server 2016, Server 2012 R2, and Server 2012
Processor: Any latest 64-bit AMD64 or x86-64 or 32-bit x86 processor
RAM: 500 MB or more (depending on the size of the capture file)
Hard Disk Space: 500 MB or more (depending on the size of the capture file)
Display: 1280 x 1024 resolution or higher
Supported Network Card: Windows compatible Ethernet card or 802.11
macOS System Requirements
Operating System: macOS 10.12 or higher
RAM: 500 MB or more (for larger capture files)
Hard Disk Space: 500 MB or more (if you are analysis larger capture files)
How to Download and Install Wireshark on PC
Once you have ensured that your PC meets the system requirements to run Wireshark on PC, all you need to do is follow the below steps and get started.
- Head to the official website of Wireshark at https://www.wireshark.org/ to find the latest downloadable version.
- Next, click on the ‘Download’ link on the homepage and you will be taken to the Wireshark download page.
- Click on the ‘download page’ link to find the list of both current and old stable version. You can choose the right version for your PC (Windows or MAC) and then click on the click on that link.
- Your download will get started. Now, you need to just wait for the download to get completed.
Installing Wireshark on Windows PC
Once the download is completed, follow the below steps to install Wireshark on your Windows PC.
- Head to the Downloads folder where the Wireshark executable file has been saved.
- Then, double-click on the executable file to start the installation process.
- Choose the components that you wish to install as part of the Wireshark package and choose the location for the installed package.
- Wait for the installation to get completed.
Wireshark is now successfully installed on your Windows system and is ready to use.
Installing Wireshark on Mac OS PC
After the download is completed, you need to follow these steps to successfully install Wireshark on your mac OS.
- Open the Finder window and then look for the Wireshark dmg file saved on your OS.
- Double-click on the .dmg file to open it and then drag the Wireshark file to the Applications folder to install it.
- Next, run Wireshark, then select ’About Wireshark’ and in the ‘Folders’ tab, double-click on ‘macOS Extras’. This will download the ChmodBPF launch demon on your system as well.
You are now ready to use Wireshark on mac OS to analyse capture files on your system.