Free Network Monitor Software from . August 2007 . Vol. 13 No. 8

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles.

July 2007--Freeware Utilities for Your Flash Drive from®.
June 2007--QuickBooks Pro 2007 from Intuit Inc.
May 2007--Flash Drives: You Got to Get One!
April 2007--WildPresenter Pro 3.1 from WildForm


A Neat Free Network Monitor from and NirSoft

By Howard Berenbon

If you have a network, either at home or in your office, and have ever wondered what’s coming through from the Internet, well you can stop wondering.  Because I found a neat little piece of Windows compatible freeware at called SmartSniff that lets you watch the data coming in from the Internet.  It’s a TCP/IP packet capture program that monitors and records network traffic that passes through your network adapter.  That includes pages visited and files coming in.  And this useful little program is free from NirSoft ( designers of lots of little freeware utilities.

After you download and unpack the Zip file from (click on SmartSniff to download ) you’ll be monitoring your Internet in minutes.  Double click on the SmartSniff icon to begin.  It’s easy to use: just click on the green start capture button to begin.  After about a minute, the data received will be displayed on the screen, one line for each page captured beginning with Index 1.  To view more data, click on the index number and the data will be displayed half way down the screen in a separate window.

How it Works and What You See

You can view the TCP/IP conversations in ASCII mode (for text-based protocols, like HTTP, SMTP, POP3 and FTP.) or as a hex dump. (for non-text base protocols, like DNS).  It allows two methods for data packets capture:

* Raw Sockets (for Windows 2000/XP or greater)--allows capturing TCP/IP packets on your network without installing a capture driver. This method has some limitations and problems.

* WinPcap Capture Driver--allows capturing TCP/IP packets on all Windows operating systems. For this method you must download and install WinPcap Capture Driver, free from NirSoft. 

For each line of capture you’ll see (if available) the Protocol, Local Address, Remote Address, Local Port, Remote Port, Local Host, Remote Host, Server Name, Packets, Data Size, Total Size and Capture Time.

SmartSniff is free for business or personal use.  If you’re using it in your business, you can’t charge a customer for the software or installation.  And you must make them aware that it’s completely free to use and it’s from

Have fun sniffing.