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There are many different types of data network monitor and analyzer available for testing and monitoring the performance of today's data networks.
These test instruments come in a variety of forms, some insister of software that can be embedded into the network, whereas others may be test instruments in the more traditional format thought of for electronic test equipment.
Whatever the physical format, these data network analysers and network monitors provide a variety of capabilities dependent upon the actual network analyzer.
In view of the fact that there are many different forms of data network analyzers, they may also be referred to as protocol analyzers, packet analyzers, network sniffers, Wi-Fi sniffers etc.
Data network analyzer types
There are very many different tasks that the analyzer can undertake and these include a number of the items listed below:
- Investigate and provide data regarding the for current and recent activity on the network.
- Monitor bandwidth utilization as a function of time.
- Some network analysers are able to test anti-malware programs and they may also be able to locate potential vulnerabilities
- They are able to monitor the network traffic and this can lead to them detecting abnormal levels of network traffic. This can arise from a failure, changing pattern of usage or some form of attack on the network.
- Some data network analysers may be able to test for unusual packet characteristics. This may also fall into the category of a protocol analyzer.
- Identify packet sources or destinations.
- Again the protocol analyzer capability may allow the analyzer to locate and identify specific data strings in packets.
Although data network analysers are not intended to perform as firewalls and antivirus programmes, they may be able to detect when there is abnormal activity that may arise from unauthorised access or usage.
Types of data network analyzer
There are several different types of what may be termed data network analysers - electronic test instruments and software that test and monitor data networks. These are able to perform a variety of tests on data networks, as opposed to circuit networks- the vector network analyzer, for example is a test instrument for analysing RF networks.
Some of these may be installed as software and network monitors, whereas others may be stand alone items of electronic test equipment.
Some of the different types of data network analyzer are outlined into edit below:
- Network monitor :
- Network traffic analyzer : One of the key issues associated with data networks is that traffic can travelling a variety of different paths. These are not always easy to predict and therefore it is necessary to monitor the traffic. A network traffic analyzer accomplishes just this. It will locate traffic hotspots which may be causing areas of the network to slow. As such the network traffic analyzer is key to ensuring the performance of a network is maintained.