Nirsoft’s SmartSniff is a packet analyzer, a program that captures and logs the exchange of data in a computer network. It is a useful tool for monitoring the network to see if there are any suspicious activities that might be happening, such as malware sending information to another remote computer.
As a network monitoring utility, SmartSniff can be helpful for network administrators, technicians, and individual users in several ways. It can monitor bandwidth use; check the effectiveness of firewalls, filters, and such like; monitor misuse and abuse by users; and more.
The program works by capturing TCP/IP packets that go through the network adapter. TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol) is basically how data is streamed from a program of one computer to that of another. The data, when sent, is broken into smaller bits called packets, which is then reassembled by the receiving end. SmartSniff captures these packets so administrators can monitor and study what is going on within the network.
SmartSniff can capture TCP/IP packets in three ways: raw sockets, which does not require the installation of a separate capture driver; with the use of WinPCapture Driver; and by using a capture driver provided by the OS company.