These terminals demonstrate exactly
how different protocols on the Internet work. It is important to understand
the textual background that all web-based applications work upon.
They are indispensable tools for developers who need help with network
How do I use it?
The TCP Hook is like a simple Telnet Utility. You can connect to a port
and exchange data at the ‘raw’ level. The best way to understand
what it does is to try it:
Type in a web site to the "Host" field and set the port to
80. Then hit connect and paste the following text in:
GET / HTTP/1.0
Then hit return twice. It should then display the HTTP headers and HTML
of the chosen web site.
That is an example of how a web browser works. You can try it with any
protocol (FTP, SMTP, POP3 etc).
SSL Hook is exactly the same as TCP hook, only it ads a standard SSL
security layer. This means that you can test your SSL applications and
SSL based protocols at the ‘raw’ level; something that before
was almost impossible. For example, you can connect to a SSL web server
(one that begins https://) on port 443 (the standard https port) and
send a regular http request as in the TCP Socket example. The server
will return an encrypted http response, which Net Tool Box will transparently
decrypt and display. If you tried to intercept the packets using a Traffic
Watcher, you would see the encrypted code – completely unreadable
and therefore 100% secure.
Note: Listening on ports less than
1024 is only possible while Net Tool Box is running in the authenticated
environment. See Using Net Tool Box for more information about authentication.
The TCP Listener does exactly as the Hook does; only it is used for
examining and interacting wityh the protocols sent by a protocol client
instead of a daemon (server program). In other words, it simulates a
server. For example, you make a TCP listener listen on port 80, and
then type "localhost" into your web browser, and you will
see exactly what your web browser sends to every web site you visit.
UDP (Or “User Datagram Protocol”) is the basis for most
high-speed, highly distributed network traffic such as media streaming
and video conferencing. It is a connectionless protocol that has very
low overhead, but is not as secure as TCP. Since there is no connection,
UDP is a much more versatile form of communication. As well as having
the ability to communicate on a 1-to-1 basis (called “Unicasting”),
UDP also allows you to send messages (known as “Datagrams”)
to many computers as either a group of users (multicast group) or as
a network (broadcasting).
The Net Tool Box implementation of the UDP protocol allows you to communicate
in all three UDP states (Unicast, Multicast and Broadcast). To start,
open a UDP Tool from The “Terminal” menu on the toolbar,
and then choose a port to communicate on. The button next to the port
field will give you access to the built in Port Database. Click “Connect”
to bind your UDP Tool to that port.
Once your UDP Tool has successfully bound itself to a port, the address
and data fields become enabled. By default the address field will contain
your local IP address. Communicating on this address will act as a loopback
(everything you send, you get back), your packets won’t go anywhere
outside your computer. The “Broadcast” button, when pressed,
will automatically enter your local broadcast address. Communicating
to your broadcast address will send your messages to everyone listening
on your specified port within your subnet.
To communicate with others in a multicast environment you must each
join the same multicast group. To do this you must enter a multicast
address to the address field and click the “Join Multicast Group”
button. A multicast address is a special type of IP addresses in the
range of 188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206. The “TTL” field will
determine how many ‘hops’ from your computer your datagrams
will go. By default the TTL is set to 1. This means that your datagrams
won’t go outside your subnet.
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