The first thing that comes up in our mind when we read this is what is a network monitor? To say in common computer language network monitor is an analyzer of protocols in any network. One can use to capture, view, and analyze the data being transferred via any network. It can also be used to locate any problems that exist within any network and with any of the application running on the network.

For those users who have used the 2.x version of network monitor you will find network monitor 3 a complete transformation from that version. There are many added features and advantages in this version. A few of them are:

  • It provides services to windows 7 OS also
  • It works on both 32 bit as well as 64 bit version in any OS.
  • It can capture sessions that are running live simultaneously.
  • It provides frequent updates with script based parser model.
  • It also enables capturing in wireless mode of monitor in network.

While installing network monitor 3.4 if there are any previous versions available of network monitor 3 they will be uninstalled and only the 3.4 version will exist. But for those of you, who have 2.x versions on their computers, will have to uninstall the 2.x version if they don’t want it. That is because installation of network monitor 3.4 versions can take place even if 2.x is already installed as they are installed in different folders.  So both the versions will smoothly run simultaneously on the same monitor.  There is a new driver available in network monitor 3.4 for its working on windows vista, server 2008 ad the latest windows 7. Due to this added new driver this monitor will also support NDIS 6.0 driver. In case you have 2.x version still installed then its NPP tools will stop working. Also windows vista’s data can only be captured via network monitor 3.4 and not the 2.x version. It gives some errors while using the 2.x version.

For proper running of the network monitor 3.4 the processor must be faster then 1GHz, it should have more than 1GB memory and at least 60 MB available on your hard disk. Also a special hard disk is required for the capturing of data from the network. The 3.4 version of network monitor is supported by Windows 7, vista, server 2008, XP and server 2003.

Microsoft does not recommend the usage of network monitor 3 on system where system load has to be taken into consideration. Production systems come under this category. It has to use the command line version of network monitor 3. It is Nmcap.exe.

In general a network uses a lot of resources of the computer. We have to keep in mind about the following resources:

  • Disk Space: network monitor captures files of size 20 MB each and stores it. You can change the capture size and where it should store by going in the tools menu.
  • Memory Usage: there is a conversation feature available in network monitor three which uses up a lot of memory space. To change this feature you can go in tools menu and enable or disable or the conversation capturing option.
  • Use of Processor capacity: when lots of frames are being captured a significant portion of the processor is used. This can be decreased by turning off the conversation feature as described above.