Running your own NTP server(s) is usually a good idea. Even better if you know that they’re working correctly and serve their answers efficiently and without a significant delay, even under load. This is how you can use Wireshark to analyze the NTP delta time for NTP servers:
If you are following the daily IT news you have probably seen many articles claiming they have scanned the whole Internet for this or that. Indeed there are tools such as the ZMap Project “that enable researchers to perform large-scale studies of the hosts and services that compose the public Internet”.
This time I was not interested in scanning something, but in the question about “how many scans happen during one day on my home ISP connection?” Or in other words: What is the Internet background noise as seen by almost any customer? For this I sacrificed my Internet connection at home for 24 hours, while a factory-resetted router established a fresh Internet connection (IPv6 & IPv4) without any end devices behind it. No outgoing connections that could confuse or trigger any scans. That is: All incoming connections are really unsolicited and part of some third-party port scans, worm activities, or whatever. Using a network TAP device I captured these 24 hours and analyzed them with Wireshark.
In this blogpost I will present some stats about these incoming port scans. Furthermore I am publishing the pcap file so you can have a look at it by yourself.
I was interested in how Apple AirPlay works in my network. I am using an iPad to stream music to a Yamaha R-N500 network receiver. There is a great Unofficial AirPlay Protocol Specification which already shows many details about the used protocols. But since I am a networking guy I captured the whole process in order to analyze it with Wireshark.
A common mistake when analyzing network speed/bandwidth between different applications and servers is to fully rely on the mere size of the files being transferred. In fact, one big file will transfer much faster than thousands of small files that have the same accumulated size. This depends on the overhead of reading/writing these files, building TCP/IP sessions, scanning them for viruses, etc. Furthermore, it is application dependent.
I built a small lab with an FTP server, switch, firewall, and an FTP client in which I played a bit with different file sizes. In this blog post I am showing the measured transfer times and some Wireshark graphs.