Network Traffic Analysis

What Does Network Traffic Analysis Mean?

Network traffic analysis is the process of recording, reviewing and analyzing network traffic for the purpose of performance, security and/or general network operations and management.

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It is the process of using manual and automated techniques to review granular-level detail and statistics within network traffic.

Techopedia Explains Network Traffic Analysis

Network traffic analysis is primarily done to get in-depth insight into what type of traffic/network packets or data is flowing through a network. Typically, network traffic analysis is done through a network monitoring or network bandwidth monitoring software/application. The traffic statistics from network traffic analysis helps in:

  • Understanding and evaluating the network utilization
  • Download/upload speeds
  • Type, size, origin and destination and content/data of packets

Network security staff uses network traffic analysis to identify any malicious or suspicious packets within the traffic. Similarly, network administrations seek to monitor download/upload speeds, throughput, content, etc. to understand network operations.

Network traffic analysis is also used by attackers/intruders to analyze network traffic patterns and identify any vulnerabilities or means to break in or retrieve sensitive data.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.