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Packet analyzer vs. Packet sniffer


Is there a difference between them?

asked 05 Oct '11, 10:43

YKG's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

One Answer:


Mostly a semantic difference, but yes:

  • A packet sniffer records packets observed on a network interface.

  • A packet analyzer looks at packets and tries to make some inferences about what they contain.

answered 05 Oct '11, 14:17

multipleinterfaces's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%


And a lot of packet sniffers (including the original Sniffer software that ran on DOS, and its Windows successor, as well as tcpdump, Wireshark, snoop, Microsoft Network Monitor, and so on) are both sniffers (in that they can capture network traffic) and analyzers (as they can dissect packets and analyze them).

(07 Oct '11, 13:33) Guy Harris ♦♦