SmartSniff – simple packet capture utility

smartsniff_icon I had posted how to use Wireshark to capture network port usage while back. I poked Wireshark some more and it is probably a bit too advanced for my occasional use.

So when I caught mention of SmartSniff packet capture utility from Nirsoft I was very interested if it can deliver simpler experience for network traffic capture.

What it does

SmartSniff uses one of three methods to capture network traffic:

  • raw sockets (described as unreliable, worked fine for me);
  • WinPcap driver;
  • Miscrosoft Network Monitor driver.

For any of the options result is the same – packets passing through network adapter are captured and logged. smartsniff_interface

Top part of interface is usual for Nirsoft multi-column view with data, lower pane shows internals of selected packets, which can be displayed in automatic mode (default), text, HEX or list of URLs (if applicable).

Strong features

The app is easy to use and capture process is easy to control. Columns display a lot of information in structured way (as usual).

I liked most that:

  • it can work in statistics only mode, sometimes precise connection stats are more interesting then specifics;
  • filter rules are easy to write and apply (something I struggled with in WireShark).


SmartSniff can display (if enabled in options) which executable connection belongs to. This is really useful but there is major feature missing that filters cannot include/exclude by process name. Such option would make it much more useful in many scenarios.


Not as feature packed as professional software, but simple, tiny and portable sniffer that makes great addition to tech’s toolkit.

Home&download http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/smsniff.html

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  • Dotan Cohen #

    Any relation to the simplesniff.com website? That is also handy for finding things like IP address and browser settings.
  • Rarst #

    @Dotan Cohen What do you mean relation? By the way I would really appreciate disclosure when you comment/recommend your own site. ;)