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Learn Wireshark with online courses and programs

Wireshark is a powerful network protocol analyzer that commercial, non-profit, and educational institutions use to monitor their networks. Learn ways you can leverage Wireshark in online courses delivered through edX.

What is Wireshark?

Wireshark is an open-source packet analyzer. A packet is a single message or a unit of data from a specific network protocol or web server. Wireshark catches these packets when they travel from your device to the internet and offers real-time network analysis. It can troubleshoot performance issues, latency issues, retransmission problems, and dropped packets in your network. 

In addition, Wireshark lets users see the network's type, frequency, and latency, converting binary network traffic into a human-readable format. It also offers multi-platform capabilities; you can run it by installing Wireshark on Ubuntu, Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, or any other supported platform.Footnote 1

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Wireshark tutorial curriculum

From network administrators and security engineers to QA teams and developers, Wireshark offers a wide range of capabilities for troubleshooting network issues.Footnote 2 This makes it a valuable tool for aspiring and existing technical professionals looking to advance their careers.

Whether you’re interested in learning Wireshark for professional advancement or you want to have a stronger understanding of network security, an introductory Wireshark course can explore Wireshark’s features and uses, provide instruction on how to install Wireshark and configure it, and review its development and maintenance.

A more advanced Wireshark course may cover how to:

  • Import and export files from other capture programs. 

  • Use protocol dissectors. 

  • Report problems and crashes.

  • Navigate the user interface and menu bar. 

  • Capture live network data. 

  • Save captured packets and merge capture files. 

  • Filter, mark, ignore, and define packets.

  • Understand protocol streams, TCP analysis, time stamps, time zones, and packet reassembly. 

Start building the knowledge you need to work in cybersecurity with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. Busy professionals can even take advantage of executive education courses tailored to those in leadership and management positions. Find the right course for you.

Explore jobs that use Wireshark

Many positions in networking and security industries may require knowledge of Wireshark. It is standard for many government agencies, educational institutions, and other organizations because it lets network specialists conduct traffic analysis and identify troubleshooting issues at the root source.Footnote 3

Some of the roles that might use Wireshark are: 

  • Penetration tester: Simulates network threats to spot vulnerabilities in network infrastructure and test the strength and effectiveness of security protocols.Footnote 4

  • Network engineer: Designs and maintains network infrastructure, analyzes network traffic to enhance network performance, identifies potential security threats, and examines incidents.Footnote 5

  • Security analyst: Identifies and manages security issues in network infrastructure and resolves issues surrounding unauthorized access and malware.Footnote 6

  • Network administrator: Configures network infrastructure, tracks network traffic, and diagnoses network issues.Footnote 7

  • Network forensics investigator: Investigates cyber threats and security attacks and identifies their sources.Footnote 8

Depending on the industry and organization you work for, the roles listed above may require you to obtain additional knowledge or credentials. You may want to consider a cybersecurity boot camp to learn the fundamentals of the field at a quicker pace. Or you could enroll in a full degree program to gain a more comprehensive education. Before deciding on which learning path is right for you, research the roles you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your professional aspirations.

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