Stunning Level Of Detail For Network Detectives


It seems to be my week for recommending great alternatives to the accepted freeware standards. A couple of days ago I told you about Acoustica, a great audio editing freeware which I think is better than Audacity. Now, here's another. This time it's all about network monitoring.

If you want to monitor the traffic that travels across your home network, either for serious reasons or just for fun, Wireshark has always been the go-to program. It's well known, powerful, and free. It's also difficult to use and, more importantly, the results can be difficult to decipher.

NewWitness monitor windowI've recently been playing with something called Netwitness Investigator. It's a freeware utility from EMC, and is a great tool for playing the IT detective. It takes a little getting used to, and you'll probably want to look at their documentation or the Youtube videos to get you started, but it only took me a few minutes to create the report shown below. Here you can see the recent web-browsing activity on my PC, broken down by URLs, destination addresses and so on.

It even lists every image file that I viewed, sorted into categories such as gif, png, jpg and so on. If you fancy yourself as an IT sleuth, head to for the download. The program is quite large, at some 130 MB, but it should run on all recent versions of Windows. You'll also need to register with an email address and some other details, and then activate the program. But once this is done, you're ready to start learning about what goes on within your home LAN.

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The software is very huge, and not worth the time.It is only for professionals, not for home users.

How does this compare with Nirsoft freeware, Networktrafficview?

I feel the same way as RandyN. Too much to do for it. I guess I am spoiled.

Sorry, but the amount of hoops you have to jump through to use this software is ridiculous and not worth it.