Professional all-in-one
packet sniffing tool

  • PRTG is a professional network sniffer tool
  • PRTG monitors data packets
  • PRTG filters according to IP addresses
  • PRTG filters according to protocols
  • PRTG filters according to types of data 

Free Download
  • Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days
  • After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version
  • Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime

Packet sniffing with PRTG


Network Monitoring, Network Analysis and Network Diagnostics

Saving time, worry, and money
is easy with PRTG


iWhat is packet sniffing?

Packet sniffing is the practice of gathering, collecting, and logging some or all packets that pass through a computer network, regardless of how the packet is addressed.

Read more ...

PRTG's packet sniffing gives you valuable insights about your infrastructure and network performance. PRTG is a packet sniffer tool for Windows that offers a number of possibilities for monitoring everything like bandwidth and traffic. When monitoring data packets, PRTG uses different technologies like SNMP, Netflow, WMI, REST APIs and network sniffing.

The PRTG Dashboard shows clearly which applications use most bandwidth and how much traffic flows through your network. Thus you are able to stop bandwidth hogs and put your resources to better use.

What is packet sniffing?

Packet sniffing is the process of capturing each packet that is transmitted over the network and analyzing its content. Most of the time, packet sniffing is used to troubleshoot network problems or to gather network statistics. The software or device used for capturing packet data is called packet sniffer, packet analyzer, network sniffer or simply network analyzer.

The Packet Sniffing Tool PRTG offers a quick graphical overview as well as detailed statistics about different parameters such as CPU usage or network bandwidth.


The Packet Sniffer Sensor monitors, among other things:

  • Total traffic

  • Port sniffer
  • Web traffic (HTTP, HTTPS)

  • Mail traffic (IMAP, POP3, SMTP)

  • File transfer traffic (FTP, P2P)

  • Infrastructure traffic (DHCP, DNS, ICMP, SNMP)

  • Remote control (RDP, SSH, VNC)

  • Other UDP and TCP traffic


Desktop, smartphone, tablet... you can use the packet analyzer of PRTG on all your devices. And that means you'll always know if everything is alright with your network.

Network sniffing: Why PRTG is the right solution for you

A centralized tool

A centralized tool

PRTG is a comprehensive network monitoring tool. You can use it to monitor every important hardware parameter, such as CPU and memory. All sensors are available free of charge in the trial version. A customizable alarm system is also included, as is the reports feature. There are no hidden fees or extra charges. Our motto is: "All in One!"

A constant overview

A constant overview

Toplists in PRTG provide a graphical overview according to IP addresses/devices, protocols, and connections. A quick glance is all it takes to see what is going on in your network. By default, the Packet Sensor Sensor generates toplists in 15-minute intervals and stores the data's top 100 entries. The amount of generated data is therefore kept to a minimum, and you can immediately identify devices consuming high levels of bandwidth as well as spot dramatic changes in traffic.

Alternatives to packet sniffing

Alternatives to packet sniffing

In addition to packet sniffing, PRTG uses monitoring protocols such as SNMP and WMI, and the xFlow technologies Netflow, sFlow, and jFlow. You can therefore decide on a case-by-case basis which protocol will work best for you. For example, you might use Netflow for Cisco hardware, while resource-conserving SNMP is more than adequate for obtaining an overall view of traffic.

An introduction to monitoring with PRTG

If we've struck a chord, then you should try PRTG!


PRTG Network Monitor



iWhat is a sensor?

In PRTG, “Sensors” are the basic monitoring elements. One sensor usually monitors one measured value in your network, e.g. the traffic of a switch port, the CPU load of a server, the free space of a disk drive. On average you need about 5-10 sensors per device or one sensor per switch port.

View video (3:26 min.)

Packet sniffing for promptly identifying consumption trends

Practical example #1:
Packet sniffing for promptly identifying consumption trends

A server administrator at a medium-sized company with around 5,000 employees finds that for two days, bandwidth use has increased sharply. Using the PRTG Packet Sniffer Sensor, he determines that a new cloud app is using too much bandwidth, resulting in additional demands on the network infrastructure.

Packet sniffing for monitoring bandwidth

Practical example #2:
Packet sniffing for monitoring bandwidth

An administrator at a company with around 15,000 employees would like to find out if it is possible to cut back on the amount of bandwidth that is ordered from his bandwidth service provider. Using the SNMP Sensor and Packet Sniffer Sensor, he determines that the company's total bandwidth consumption is significantly lower than the amount which has been purchased. By using the packet analyzer, costs can be reduced in the long term.

Packet sniffing for increasing security

Practical example #3:
Packet sniffing for increasing security

An administrator at a medium-sized medical technology company filters traffic according to IP addresses and protocols. He uses a packet analyzer and finds that P2P data is circulating via a certain IP address outside business hours. He may therefore be dealing with a network security problem, which thanks to PRTG monitoring can quickly be fixed.

Your Packet Sniffing software at a glance 
even on the go

PRTG can be started within minutes and it's compatible with many mobile devices.


PRTG comes with all the features you need, plus more your IT infrastructure won't want to live without.


PRTG monitors these vendors and applications, and more, in one view!


Customer Quote Network Monitoring

"For us, PRTG Network Monitor is the most effective tool for monitoring our IT infrastructure in the long run."

Oliver Jähn, IT Manager at the University of Bonn

200,000 system administrators worldwide
trust our software. Every day.

We have compiled some reviews for you.


  • Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days
  • After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version
  • Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime

Stephan Linke Zitat

“Hey Stephan, do you have any tips for packet sniffing 
with PRTG?”

“The Packet Sniffer Sensor allows you to analyze traffic in your network in much the same way as deep packet inspection. You can see, for example, if mail traffic is alarmingly high, or if P2P file sharing is being used in your company network and thus posing a risk to network security.”

Stephan Linke, Paessler Technical Support

A comparison of traffic monitoring:
WMI, SNMP, packet sniffing, NetFlow


How do you want to set up your bandwidth monitoring? PRTG comes with a variety of options, including WMI, SNMP monitoring, packet sniffing, and NetFlow monitoring. Each of these tools has its own pluses and minuses. A summary:





Packet Sniffer

xFlow (IPFIX, NetFlow, sFlow, jFlow)




Easy to complex (depending on filter rules used)

Can be complex (e.g., the switch must be configured)

Traffic can be filtered





Differentiate bandwidth usage by protocol or IPs





PRTG can show Toplists (Top Talker, Top Connections, Top Protocols, custom)





Filter bandwidth usage by IP





Filter bandwidth usage by MAC address





Filter bandwidth usage by physical network port





Monitor network parameters other than bandwidth usage





CPU load on the machine running PRTG



Higher, depends on the amount of traffic

Higher, depends on the amount of traffic

Excess bandwidth usage of monitoring



None (except when monitoring switch ports are used)

Depends on the traffic

Reader tips from our knowledge base

With PRTG, you get free access to a vast amount of support! On business days, we usually answer your questions within 24 hours. We also offer an extensive user manual and numerous videos and tutorials. You'll find answers to many of your questions in our knowledge base. Here are two reader tips on packet sniffing to enable you to adapt PRTG individually and dynamically to meet your specific needs using an API:


Configuring the packet sniffer

You have two options for filtering data traffic via packet sniffing.

Monitoring data traffic on one computer

Option #1: Monitoring data traffic on one computer

If you wish to monitor just one single computer - such as your web server - then do the following: 
Install a remote probe on the computer. Create the Packet Sniffer Sensor on the probe device and select the kind of traffic you would like to monitor. You can usually choose between the most important network protocols.

Monitoring data traffic in an entire network

Option #2: Monitoring data traffic in an entire network

If you wish to monitor your entire network, then you must ensure the packet capture gets all data traffic. Set up a monitoring port on a central router or switch. Use a network cable to connect the router or switch to the network card of a computer that is running a PRTG probe. Copies of all data packets are now running via your probe system and you can create a packet analyzer on the corresponding probe device. Filter according to the information you wish you monitor.


Network Monitoring Software - Version (October 10th, 2019)


Download for Windows and hosted version available


English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese


Up to 100 sensors for free (Price List)

Unified Monitoring

Network devices, bandwidth, servers, applications, virtual environments, remote systems, IoT, and more

Supported Vendors & Applications


PRTG saves time, worry, and money

PRTG saves time

With PRTG, you get one central monitoring tool for monitoring your traffic via packet sniffing. You also get a quick overview of your entire network thanks to our dashboard and apps.

PRTG saves worry

Configurating PRTG is quick and easy. 200+ predefined sensors – such as the Packet Sniffer Sensor – make it easy to get started with PRTG or switch from another tool.

PRTG saves money

PRTG is worth it. 80% of our customers report substantial savings in the area of network management. And license costs pay for themselves in an average of only a few weeks.

Packet sniffing, packet analysis

Packet sniffing

Many administrators are in search of a network, LAN, or Wifi sniffer. A sniffer lets them check anomalies in their networks, or else just monitor their network generally so they can be informed of changes. For packet sniffing, a wide range of tools and providers is available. PAESSLER AG has been around for 20 years, and is 100% committed to network monitoring. With PRTG, PAESSLER has developed a centralized tool that is used by more than 200,000 administrators worldwide.

Packet analyzing

Many administrators wish to perform a targeted packet analysis or network diagnosis. These analyses and diagnoses often dig deeper than regular packet sniffing. Tools like Wireshark are available for packet analysis. But such tools are sometimes questionable and cannot be used routinely in all scenarios. For dependable tests and packing sniffing, PRTG is all you'll ever need.

Award winning solution

We work hard on making our software as powerful and easy-to-use
as possible for our customers each and every day.
Of course it makes us proud when we get awards for that.



German quality

Free Download
  • Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days
  • After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version
  • Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime


Made in Germany: The PRTG Network Monitoring Tool is the fruit of an engaged team. The company was founded by Dirk Paessler. The Paessler AG headquarters are located in the city of Nuremberg, in the heart of Germany. We combine typical German virtues such as high quality standards, industriousness, and commitment with international, cosmopolitan flair. Read more about our firm here. By the way: We are regularly looking for new recruits.

Case Studies: Airports, utility companies, banks, colleges, hospitals: PRTG is present in every industry. For each of our customers, business and organizational processes depend on the proper functioning of the network infrastructure. The PRTG customer satisfaction is close to 100%. Read in our case studies how our customers use PRTG.

Product tests: It goes without saying that we are convinced by the quality of PRTG. But what about the others? PRTG has always performed extremely well in tests. PRTG user “LanLine” sums it up best: “PRTG was already good several years ago, and has gotten better from version to version ever since.” Such has been our steadfast and sincere goal. Read more about monitoring software product tests and comparisons here.

Support: Our support team works hard every day to help customers solve their monitoring problems. Our goal is to resolve all inquiries within 24 hours (on business days). We've drafted a comprehensive manual and built up an extensive knowledge base featuring videos, webinars, and FAQs. All support, of course, is also included!

Getting started is easy: The trial version is free, which means you can try our monitoring tool risk-free. To switch to another version of PRTG, simply search for an appropriate license. You can upgrade any time you like.



Want to read more? Please do!

Bandwidth Monitoring: In a professional environment, reduced bandwidth can have serious consequences. Incidents (or indeed crashes) at work are associated with increased expenses and losses in sales. Whether it be slow applications, backup problems, or file transfer issues, PRTG provides comprehensive monitoring of your bandwidth.

SNMP Monitoring: Network monitoring with SNMP offers a number of advantages: SNMP uses minimal bandwidth, is extremely reliable, and is compatible with many major manufacturers. PRTG comes with several preconfigured SNMP sensors. You can also use PRTG as an SNMP trap. Find out more on our SNMP page.

Server Monitoring: With PRTG, you get a comprehensive tool for your server monitoring. Mail, web, database, virtual... PRTG monitors all your servers around the clock. You'll be promptly notified in the event of complications. Our software also helps with capacity planning.

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