Data Packet Capture

The Winpcap library is an excellent method of reading and writing data packet, but it is not so easy to interface to from .NET. Thus this design tip uses a code wrapper from the Code Project [Click here]. The solution and demo of this example is at:

[Click here to download of the solution]
Video: [Click here for a demo]

and uses the following code:

using System;
using Tamir.IPLib;
using Tamir.IPLib.Packets;
namespace NapierCapture
public class CapturePackets
public static void Main (string[] args)
PcapDeviceList getNetConnections = SharpPcap.GetAllDevices();
// network connection 1 (change as required)
NetworkDevice netConn = (NetworkDevice)getNetConnections[1];
PcapDevice device = netConn;
// Define packet handler
device.PcapOnPacketArrival += new SharpPcap.PacketArrivalEvent(device_PcapOnPacketArrival);
//Open the device for capturing
//true -- means promiscuous mode
//1000 -- means a read wait of 1000ms
device.PcapOpen( true , 1000);
Console.WriteLine("Network connection: {0}", device.PcapDescription);
//Start the capturing process
Console.Write("Press any <RETURN> to exit");
Console.Read(); device.PcapStopCapture();
private static void device_PcapOnPacketArrival( object sender, Packet packet)
DateTime time = packet.PcapHeader.Date;
int len = packet.PcapHeader.PacketLength;
Console.WriteLine("{0}:{1}:{2},{3} Len={4}",time.Hour, time.Minute,
time.Second, time.Millisecond, len);

A sample run shows data packets and their lengths:

13:17:56,990 Len=695
13:17:57,66 Len=288
13:17:57,68 Len=694
13:18:4,363 Len=319
13:18:4,364 Len=373
13:18:4,364 Len=371
13:18:4,365 Len=375
13:18:4,366 Len=367

Most of the captured traffic, in this case is backgroun traffic with small data packets. If we want to capture only IP and TCP then a filter can be setup:

device.PcapOpen( true , 1000); 
Console.WriteLine("Network connection: {0}", device.PcapDescription);
string filter = "ip and tcp";
//Associate the filter with this capture
device.PcapSetFilter( filter );
//Start the capturing process

To capture just ICMP packet (such as from PING and TRACERT) we can modify the filter with:

string filter = "icmp";

Thus when we ping a node, such as:


The result is something like:

13:40:47,761 Len=74
13:40:48,756 Len=74
13:40:48,759 Len=74
13:40:49,757 Len=74
13:40:49,760 Len=74
13:40:50,757 Len=74
13:40:50,760 Len=74