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Network Monitor overview

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Network Monitor overview

By using Network Monitor, you can gather information that helps you keep your network running smoothly, from identifying patterns to preventing or solving problems. Network Monitor provides information about the network traffic that flows to and from the network adapter of the computer on which it is installed. By capturing and analyzing that information, you can prevent, diagnose, and solve many types of network problems. For more information about troubleshooting networks, see Network Monitor Resources.

You can configure Network Monitor to provide specific types of information that are most relevant to you. For example, you can set up triggers so that Network Monitor starts or stops capturing information when a circumstance or set of circumstances arises. You can also set up filters to control what types of information Network Monitor captures or displays. To make analyzing the information easier, you can modify how information appears on the screen, and you can save or print the information for review at a later time. For more information about customizing Network Monitor, see Capturing Data and Filtering data.

The Network Monitor component that ships with Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 family operating systems can capture frames that are sent to or from the computer on which Network Monitor is installed. If you want to capture frames that are sent to or from a remote computer, you must use the Network Monitor component that ships with Microsoft Systems Management Server, which can capture frames sent to or from any computer on which the Network Monitor driver is installed. For more information on Systems Management Server, go to the Microsoft Web site.

The information that Network Monitor provides comes from the network traffic itself, which is divided into frames. These frames contain information such as the address of the computer that sent the frame, the address of the computer to which the frame was sent, and the protocols that exist within the frame. For more information about frames, see How Network Monitor works.

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