Review of Colasoft – Network Activity Analyzer – It’s Awesome!

The other week, I downloaded Colasoft’s Network Activity Analyzer, and took it for a test drive. Colasoft is a fabulous network analyzer, intuitively obvious and such a pleasure to work with. It installs and works in a few minutes. It’s highly recommended!

Colasoft Network Analyzer

Colasoft Network Analyzer

I was prompted to download it, because I’ve often wondered about network activity on my machines.

In addition to seeing the total network activity on the machine, I’d like to see the network activity by each browser window. And further, by each tab in each web browser. So far, I haven’t found a product to do this. If anyone knows of a such a product, please leave a comment. I’d love to see the product.

When I downloaded the product, the browser displayed a license key. Copy that and save it to disk. It was a little confusing, because the message said to wait for for an email. But the email never came. Perhaps it comes for the enterprise versions I would pay for. Then, I remembered the license key, and proceded to install with that key.

Colasoft Installed in Few Minutes:

If you have read some of my other posts, you will know that I place a big emphasis on a quick and reliable install.

The first thing to strike me was how simple and reliable the install was. I installed Colasoft in just a few minutes, and it proceded to work. So much unlike so many other installs I’ve been struggling with. Isn’t it such a pleasure when software just installs properly?!

Intuitively Obvious:

Immediately after installing, working with Colasoft also intuitively obvious. You click on the different categories on the left, and the tabs on the top. I don’t work in Cisco networking. But because the interface of the product is so well thought out, I immediately understood how to use the product. And immediately understood what the product was doing. That’s what GUIs are for, right?

You can see all the physical machines on your network. And all conversations between machines on your network, and web pages on the internet. You can also see the packets.

Colasoft Network Connection Matrix

Colasoft Network Connection Matrix

What was really cool, was the matrix that Colasoft shows in graphical form. If there is network activity, the lines will change color, in real time.

Fabulous Documentation and Demos:

On the right hand side, Colasoft has some documentation and demos. It lists important security issues to look for, and how to use Colasoft to detect them. Such as: How To Detect A SQL Slammer. Very smart. This is the first time I’ve really noticed something like this. The really important things you should know about, are not only documented, they are highlighted!

In most all other documentation, you have to first know about these things, and then search for them. You will be lucky if the product gives clear instructions or a tutorial on how or what to do. Perhaps the product won’t even do what you need it to do, or what you thought it did. You will also have to be creative on how to search for the solution, entering many variations of different key words. See my rants on useless documentation.

Again, for most software, the best documentation, will not be in the company’s docs, but in the blogs of users. Like mine. 🙂 But with Colasoft, it seems the best documentation seems to come with the product!

I really applaud Colasoft on this. And everything else! This is excellent documentation!

Other Notes:

I won’t comment all the features, since networking is not my specialty. It would also take a long time I’m sure. Colasoft works on Windows only. Sorry Linux lovers. Written in Microsoft Visual Studio. Stable. No crashes. No funny error messages.


Colasoft is a fabulous network analyzer. I had no need to read docs, either on how to install the product, or how to use it. Installs and is working in a few minutes. Colasoft is intuitively obvious to work with. Why isn’t all software made like Colasoft?

Colasoft is such a pleasure to work with.

It’s highly recommended!

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