Microsoft releases beta for network monitor

A beta of Microsoft's latest network traffic monitor is available for download. Windows Vista support and improved wireless tracking are among the new features.

Microsoft has released Network Monitor 3.1, the latest beta of its free network sniffer that includes new features and support for Windows Vista.

Network Monitor 3.1 is a protocol analyzer that checks network traffic that it captures from local area networks. It graphically displays the captured data, which IT administrators use to pinpoint trouble spots.

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Some of the tool's new features are the ability to trace wireless traffic, easier methods of creating capture filters for specific protocols by right clicking a mouse, an automatic prompt for new releases through Microsoft Update, an improved user interface and fixes for the bugs that users reported in previous versions, the company said.

The tool also captures and monitors wireless traffic on Windows Vista, but it requires Native WiFi hardware to do so. Network Monitor 3.1 software can be downloaded for free at the Microsoft Connect Web site.

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