View Full Version : Sniffer?

09-14-2015, 07:23 PM
I just learned of a new term. A WiFi sniffer our router sniffer. It enables you to find out what is going on within your own WiFi. Is this legal and ethical? And what is a packet?
Does OS X Yosemite allow me to do this on my home WiFi?

09-14-2015, 08:36 PM
Packet sniffing on any network, wireless or wired, that you are legally in direct control of is indeed legal and ethical. The software is utilized by network engineers all of the time. Sniffing public networks is questionable at best. Google got into serious trouble over their wifi sniffing of public and private networks. I do know they asked the Supreme Court to review the case but I just can't remember the final outcome. Personally, I use a packet sniffer on my own network and have used it professionally before retiring. If you don't know what a packet is, perhaps google basic network training as it is the primary method that data is transmitted over a network. An in depth discussion of networking principles is just too much for a forum discussion.


09-14-2015, 09:26 PM
You can basically do anything with your own network (except for some things and, as with anything, you will have to obey local laws). In fact, as bboggess suggested, testing your own network is a great way to determine if you have any issues with your network. Are you looking to test your own network?

09-14-2015, 10:27 PM
In case anyone is interested. Mac OS X has a builtin "wireless diagnostics" feature. To access it:

- press the "option" key
- click on the Airport/wireless icon in the menu bar
- select "Open Wireless Diagnostics"

* Nick

09-15-2015, 06:06 AM
Thanks for your responses. I have more questions to come here about this subject once I have more coffee. lol Ill be back.

Is there a utility now I can use within Yosemite as a network sniffer or should I purchase one?

09-15-2015, 10:13 AM
It might be better for us to know what you are trying to sniff on your network and why? There are numerous free applications that will do packet level sniffing on the network, but without knowledge of the packet structure, what do you hope to get out of it?

09-15-2015, 11:20 AM
I have more questions to come here about this subject once I have more coffee.Always a good idea to let the coffee settle in.

One built in tool that will let you see connections made by various apps and thus "sniff" your own traffic is nettop. I just ran it here and it showed a variety of connections from OneDrive to Mail and where each of them is connected. Here's a typical line of output for OneDrive:
OneDrive.8378 10 KiB
tcp4<->msnbot-65-52-108-205.search.m en1 Established 10 KiBMy machine, here, is connected to a server that, if you look it up, is a Microsoft server is Redmond. That's just one of many different tools to sniff your own traffic (that's built in). However, that's not really a router sniffer. Like Raz0rEdge, I too would like to know what you're trying to accomplish.