File Extension Search

.pcap File Extension

Developer: Wireshark
File type: Packet Capture Data
You're here because you have a file that has a file extension ending in .pcap. Files with the file extension .pcap can only be launched by certain applications. It's possible that .pcap files are data files rather than documents or media, which means they're not meant to be viewed at all.

what is a .pcap file?

The .pcap file extension is mainly associated with Wireshark; a program used for analyzing networks. .pcap files are data files created using the program and they contain the packet data of a network. These files are mainly used in analyzing the network characteristics of a certain data. These files also contribute to successfully controlling traffic of a certain network since they are being monitored by the program. The data and the results of the network analysis are saved using the .pcap file extension which is why they are called .pcap files. These files are used to determine network status, allowing analyzers to attend to problems that may have occurred on the network and allowing them to study data communications using Wireshark. Since Wireshark can be accessed in Windows, MAC and Linux, these .pcap files can also be opened provided the appropriate applications used to open them are found on the system. Some common applications that can open .pcap files are Wireshark, WinDump, tcpdump, Packet Square - Capedit and Ethereal.

how to open a .pcap file?

Launch a .pcap file, or any other file on your PC, by double-clicking it. If your file associations are set up correctly, the application that's meant to open your .pcap file will open it. It's possible you may need to download or purchase the correct application. It's also possible that you have the correct application on your PC, but .pcap files aren't yet associated with it. In this case, when you try to open a .pcap file, you can tell Windows which application is the correct one for that file. From then on, opening a  .pcap file will open the correct application. Click here to fix .pcap file association errors

applications that open a .pcap file



Wireshark is an application that is integrated with features for monitoring relevant network activity and for storing these pieces of data into logs and databases for future analysis. This software is classified as a network management and data analysis program, and this application was developed for network computers that are running on compatible Windows-based systems. Different network protocols can be monitored, tracked and analyzed by Wireshark, providing network system administrators and IT personnel with a quick and easy way to improve the efficiency of network ports and data transmissions to and from network computers, other devices that are connected to the network and Internet servers. Version 1.8.5 is the most recent stable release of Wireshark, which was developed by Riverbed Technologies. This version is now implemented with support for computers that are running on Mac OS X 10.5.5. The Wireshark source code is also available for developers who intend to add plugins and add other useful functionalities to the integrated features of this network analysis program.
Netresec NetworkMiner

Netresec NetworkMiner

Netresec NetworkMiner is an application that is classified as a network forensics analysis program, and this software is implemented with compatibility support for Windows-based computers. The latest version of this application is also embedded with support for other types of operating systems, such as Linux, BSD and Mac platforms. NetworkMiner is integrated with features that can allow users to determine network-relevant information like system types and versions of computers that are connected to the network or are trying to access resources of the network, along with the IP addresses of those machines, open ports, hostnames and active session logs among others. There are also other packet capturing and passive sniffing functionalities that are integrated into Netresec NetworkMiner, and these can be used by system administrators and IT personnel to secure the network and optimize the efficiency of protectitive and privacy-related resources that are available to all computers and devices which have been granted access to the network. PCAP file parsing features are available in this software, along with the function of reassembling or regenerating certificates and files that have already been transmitted to and from network devices. Netresec NetworkMiner was designed to gather forensic network details and not network traffic data.


WinDump is an application that is categorized as a network analysis program, and this software was developed for computers that are running on compatible versions of widely used Windows systems. WinDump is integrated with a command line user interface and many features that allow users to gather network-related data and store it in logs for future analysis, via the Windows command line. WinDump was created to serve as the Windows version of the tcpdump application, which is implemented with support for UNIX-based platforms. Network packet capturing functionalities are integrated into this application, and this network analysis software was developed by Riverbed Technologies, a popular software development group that also created Wireshark. Network system administrators and IT personnel of businesses and companies can use WinDump to closely monitor and store logged details of network activity, which can later be used for improving certain settings of the network infrastructure that can in turn enhance the efficiency of data transmissions to and from computers and devices connected to the network, and these details can also help system administrators in fortifying network security.

a word of warning

Be careful not to rename the extension on .pcap files, or any other files. This will not change the file type. Only special conversion software can change a file from one file type to another.

what is a file extension?

A file extension is the set of three or four characters at the end of a filename; in this case, .pcap. File extensions tell you what type of file it is, and tell Windows what programs can open it. Windows often associates a default program to each file extension, so that when you double-click the file, the program launches automatically. When that program is no longer on your PC, you can sometimes get an error when you try to open the associated file.

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