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I'm interested to know more about how certain network protocols work (like SSH or FTP for example). Is there a program that can facilitate connecting to computers on the network and communicating with them? I'd prefer a GUI program, and I'd prefer for it to work on OS X.

For example, I use a program that allows me to test REST services. I can use it to send requests in the HTTP method of my choice, and analyze the response.

Of course, this program is made for HTTP requests. I'm looking for a much more general way to look at protocols.

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Wireshark will show you the protocol (but not let you enter data).

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Note that wireshark won't help you a lot for SSH and co., because of the encryption. –  Jonas Wielicki Jan 27 '13 at 10:56
    
But can I make requests with Wireshark? I used it before, and it seemed to be only for viewing the traffic that's already there, not initiating requests myself. Can this be done in Wireshark? –  Hassan Jan 27 '13 at 11:12
    
No, but if you set up an ssh session it will show you the the sequence of messages although obviously not the decrypted values –  parkydr Jan 27 '13 at 11:21

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