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Does anyone know a small tool that you install which simply informs you of what information applications are sending with their online connections, e.g. so if you are installing photoshop elements trial it would be nice to see a message like this:

adobe_install.exe 
made connection to: www.adobe.com/ksdjldkfd.aspx
sent: _this text_
received: _this text_

and perhaps wrote everything in a log that you can look at whenever you want.

I'm not looking for a full blown Norton antivirus solution, just a little sniffer tool that helps you keep an overview of what applications are doing with their online connections.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 14 down vote accepted

For general looking at everything that goes out over your network card, I would use Wireshark, You can sort by protocol and "Go deep" in to exactly what is being transmitted where!

Also for Windows, if you just want to see (and edit) HTML requests, any program that youcan input a proxy server to, or respects the computers "Internet Options" proxy setting, you can use Fiddler

Whilst there are MANY similar tools, these two are by far my favourites and use them all the time.

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4  
Keep in mind, WireShark is a great program, but it offers a lot of information. I quickly got overwhelmed by it. –  alex Sep 5 '09 at 6:47
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  1. run CMD as administrator, type

    netstat -b 2

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You can use Tcpview from sysinternals, its free

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It might not be free like Wireshark is, but I prefer greatly CommView.

Having used both, I think CommView is much more user-friendly and makes it easier to filter the relevant information from the network capture.

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Wireshark is what you're looking for.

But keep in mind, Wireshark offer A LOT information. It's easy to get overwhelmed by it!

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