In this post you may find a brief overview of several HTTP sniffers. You might immediately jump to the web sniffers classified table.

Web Sniffers are classified in 3 categories

  1. Browser plugin sniffers – work to catch all the web traffic pertinent only to a particular browser.
  2. Online sniffers – do the sniffing by users visiting (requesting) the target server from their web page.
  3. Stand-alone sniffers – do all their computer traffic sniffing as independent background applications. They are much more powerful compared to browser built-in tools, since they are capable of catching all the traffic: including that of applications, browsers and systems.

The following table is the sniffer’s treasury for your interest. As we review various web sniffers, we will add them to this review table.

Web Sniffers Review table

SNIFFERREVIEWFeaturesHTTPS/SSLTrial period or free edition
Additional notes
1. Browser built-in Sniffers
HTTPWatchREAD REVIEWMulti-featured, automationsupportsBasic edition is freeFF and IE plugin. The sniffer automation makes it possible to use it for unit testing.
READ REVIEWHeaders, cookie, content displaysupportsFreeFF plugin, lightweight
HTTPFox - HTTP analyzerREAD REVIEWHeaders, cookie, content display, filteringsupportsFreeFF plugin, simple
Firebug for HTTP activity sniffingREAD REVIEWMulti-featuredsupportsFreeFF plugin
2. Online Sniffers
Web-sniffer.netREAD REVIEWHTTP(S) headers and content view.
supportsFreeSimple handy tool for an express HTTP monitoring.
Web-sniffer.meREAD REVIEWHTTP(S) headers, download speed.supportsFreeHandy tool for HTTP monitoring. Various user-agents are emulated,
3. Stand-alone Sniffers
HTTP AnalyzerREAD REVIEWMulti-featured, automationsupports15 days trial
EffeTech HTTP SnifferREAD REVIEWMulti-featureddoes not support15 days trialcatches TCP packets; displays IP addresses
WireSharkREAD REVIEWHeaders, content, hexadecimal code, cookie. TCP packets.supportsFreePowerful tool; multy-layer protocols capture.
HTTP ScoopREAD REVIEWHeaders, cookie, cache, content, hex or text POST data, TCP packets.does not support unless proxy configured14 days trialFor Mac OS. Timeline is not present
4. Sniffers as proxy
Charles proxyREAD REVIEWMulti-featured. It can re-send requests by the number of iterations and concurrency. supports30 days trialAn unlicensed copy (trial) of a Charles sniffer will run only 30 min at a time. Lacking timeline.
FiddlerREAD REVIEWMulti-featured.supportsFreeIssues its own RootCertificates for HTTPS capture. There are some Addons and 3d party utilities for extended functionality.
Web Sniffers Review table shall be populated as we review more products. You are welcome to share with us your experience with HTTP sniffers or to ask any questions. If you want us to review any particular sniffer, just add your comment.