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Deep packet capture (DPC) is the process of capturing all of the data packets passing through or from a network medium. It is a type of packet filtering, analysis and traffic logging technique used to capture and view packets that typically aren’t detected by a standard packet monitoring or filtering solution.
Deep packet capture might also be called deep packet sniffing.
DPC is primarily a network analysis, monitoring and optimization technique to evaluate all the different packets that flow within a network or device. It is implemented using specialized networking software, hardware or a combination of both and is usually a component of a firewall. DPC is generally performed by network administrators or system administrators.
Unlike standard packet capture, which only reviews the information in the packet header, DPC captures and reviews the packet header as well as the data or payload the packet's carrying.