Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

About Wireshark and how to use it

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 8,876
Thanks: 1,493
Fixes: 478
Registered: ‎01-01-2012

About Wireshark and how to use it

1. What Is Wireshark?

Wireshark is a free network protocol analyser - it captures information about all network activity from your computer and can be used in diagnosing problems you may have with network performance, be it general or for a specific application.
Wireshark can be downloaded from here. Choose the file appropriate to your computer's operating system. Note that a Windows portable version is also available which can be installed on a USB key.
Wireshark was written by an international group of networking experts, and is open source software. Plusnet cannot be held liable for issues that arise from the download or use of the software.

2. When To Use Wireshark

If you think that a particular application is transferring data slowly or performance is not what should be expected, Wireshark can help pinpoint any issues.

3. How to Capture Data

  • Firstly, start Wireshark by double clicking the application icon on your desktop:


  • Select Options from the capture menu


  • Select the relevant network interface from the drop-down at the top of the Options window. This will be either Ethernet or WiFi as shown below


  • At this point, it is best to shutdown any other applications that might be causing network traffic like IM clients, email clients and Peer-to-Peer applications. Failure to do this can make it difficult to interpret the captures.
  • Click Start to start capturing traffic:


  • Once the packet capture has begun you can open the application or download for which you want to check the priority of.
    Important: you should only do this after the packet capture has started.:
  • Packet captures can result in fairly large files if left running for long. You only need to capture about 10 seconds of traffic. After this time click the red square at the top left hand corner to stop as shown below:


  • Now the data is captured you will need to store the results in a file. Select Save As from the file menu:

 save as.png

  • Save the file with a relevant filename ready to send to us. Please ensure you save the file as a Wireshark .pcap file and then attach it in your reply to the thread you're posting in
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Matthew Wheeler
 Plusnet Help Team