Capture is a collection of frames gathered from network traffic.

What is Capture (in computer networking)?

A collection of frames gathered from network traffic. You can use packet-sniffing software such as Network Monitor (which is included in Microsoft Systems Management Server and in a simplified form in Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000) for capturing all kinds of traffic on the network.

This captured traffic is displayed in the capture window as a variety of statistics and details about the nature of the traffic. Additional windows can display details about individual packets that have been captured.

Capturing network traffic is a common troubleshooting technique on enterprise-level networks. Captures can show whether services such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Windows Internet Name Service (WINS), Domain Name System (DNS), and other common network services are performing properly. Captures can also isolate servers that are generating excessive network traffic because of failed hardware. Captures can even be used to detect unauthorized traffic initiated by malicious hackers and disgruntled employees, and to profile network traffic for planning purposes.