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What are the tools which help us to see and catch the application and system tools web traffic? HTTPAnalyzer is the HTTP sniffing tool which allows us to track all the web traffic of a particular computer. It is available as a Windows standalone application (as well as an Internet Explorer or FireFox add-on). Here we share on the standalone edition which in use for sniffing application traffic. As such an application, it tracks system-wide, single- or multi-process HTTP traffic. The full list of the HTTP analysis tools is here.

Practically, as you launch the HTTPAnalyzer, it works perfectly for sniffing all the HTTP/HTTPS traffic of the computer. It works for browsers, application and system web traffic. In the picture I can see the dropbox.exe application web traffic and svchost.exe – system program web traffic (both in red):

HTTPAnalyzer

Sniffer features

The standalone HTTP traffic sniffer works well to monitor every possible web activity. It watches carefully for each request and response (Headers, Request Network Timing, Content, Cookie, Cache, Query String, Post Data and Instant Status Code). Other useful merits are the following:

  • Real-time Request Level Time Chart
  • Real-time Page/Process Level Time Chart
  • Multi-level data filtering
  • Decrypt HTTPS Traffic
  • Saving a session grid in various formats
  • Saving response content to directories, having both CSS and JS files.
  • Multi-level summaries
  • Text encode/decode tool for quick content overview
  • Automation in some programming languages

It’s especially good in that you can choose to monitor:

(1) applications of current user session

(2) all sessions including system processes

(3) a particular process

(4) a selection among running processes

Sniffer automation

Other applications or DLLs can talk to the HTTPAnalyzer Stand-alone application (or HTTPAnalyzer IE Add-on) through an automation library. Thus HTTP/HTTPS traffic can be easily controlled or captured.

Testing thru automation

HTTPAnalyzer can be integrated into a unit test and be used to verify whether the data sent/received by your Web method are correct.

Handcraft an HTTP request

What if you want to imitate an application request? HttpAnalyzer does it. Go to Tools -> HTTP Request Builder to make an HTTP request by using the HTTP Request Builder. Drag-and-drop an existing request from the session grid into the Request Builder to edit and execute it over again. The multipart/form-data POST method can be used to upload files too.

Saving Formats

The program is good for saving both single traffic requests and grid data into various formats:

  • XML
  • Excel
  • Har (HTTP Archive format file)
  • HTML

Some more features

JSON visualizer is built into the traffic sniffer (see the picture at right).

As the HTTPWatch sniffing tool, the HTTPAnalyzer supports HTTP compression with compression rate show up.

For those loving .NET cookie, the analyzer can decode the hidden ViewState cookie on an ASP.NET Page.

The sniffer works well both with HTTP and HTTPS. HTTPAnalyzer shows unencrypted data sent over HTTPS/SSL connections.

All the Analyzer features can be read here.

Detecting Potential Problems

The HttpAnalyzer examines each request. Based on this examination, the analyzer issues functional, security and performance hints that could be viewed at the Hints tab:

Summary 

HTTP Analyzer is an essential tool both for developers who want to monitor  application and system HTTP traffic behavior and also for users who are eager to trace website or application work. It’s perfect for all kinds of traffic research, from HTTP requests/responses data lookup and site performance, to multi-level summaries and automation for test purposes.