Lab Exercise 6 (Packet Sniffing With Wireshark)

Objectives: We were to download Wireshark to use it’s packet sniffing capabilities on our network. Then we were to do the following activities while Wireshark captured the incoming and outgoing data:

  • Browse a webpage on a server outside of campus
  • Perform a file transfer to an FTP server
  • Test our connectivity to a host with by “Pinging”
  • Acquire our network address with DHCP (which was
  • Choose an experimental activity to see the results it produced (We chose to fill out and submit a web form on Titan Motorsports website)

Equipment List: Wireshark Packet Sniffing Software, and a computer

Notes and Observations: I stuck with my normal lab partner, Nick. We began by installing Wireshark on the computer, then proceeded to do each task as listed while doing a separate “Capture” on Wireshark for each activity. This yielded many different results and protocols for each task.

Diagrams, flowcharts, and figures: None

References: The lab handout 

Questions: What is the purpose of sequence numbers? Most data is too large to be sent out as one unit, so it’s broken down into packets, the purpose of sequence numbers is to keep these in order.

What is the purpose of source & destination address? The purpose of source and destination addresses are to show where information is being sent and received.

What is the purpose of DNS? DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is responsible for translating web addresses into a series of numbers.

What is DHCP? DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.

What is the relationship between the OSI model of networking and the TCP/IP model you saw in this lab activity? TCP/IP consists of only 4 layers as opposed to the OSI Model’s 7. TCP/IP also primarily focuses on connecting the host to the internet.

What evidence of layered network design did you discover when examining the captured data? How does the Wireshark data demonstrate encapsulation? The different protocols, the sending/receiving, and the multiple tasks and codes are displayed in different groups primarily. Encapsulation is shown by the grouping of certain frames.

What are the implications of having a tool like Wireshark freely availaible? For network administration? For security? Companies or schools can download this software very easily and use it to keep track of their data and use by employees/students.


Conclusions: We successfully downloaded Wireshark and learned to analyze the different packets and protocols of the information that was being sent/received by our computer. There is still much that we don’t understand that was listed in some of the captured data logs, which I hope to understand more of by the end of the semester.


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