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The Windows 10 May 2020 update will have enhanced network diagnostics

An example of what PacketMon can do. (Source: Microsoft)
An example of what PacketMon can do. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft has announced that the latest stable upgrade to the Windows 10 OS will have an "enhanced" form of Packet Monitor. This is an extensive diagnostic tool that can detect, log and export packet drops in a network. Therefore, it may help the user address discrepancies in their Ethernet configurations.

What with the advent and advance of virtualization, networking stacks used for Windows have evolved into complex multipartite entities these days. Therefore, misconfigurations within such infrastructure can result in what is perceived as considerably slower online connections. This is where Packet Monitor, a recent addition to Windows 10, comes in.

This program is what Microsoft calls its "in-box cross-component network diagnostics tool" for its all-pervading OS. Therefore, it might be expected to be able to pinpoint and specify the individual culprits for drops in a given stack.

The facility - also known as PacketMon - is indeed capable of packet-counting, packet-drop detection, detailed drop reporting, packet-capture and of filtering the same according to specific ports.

It is accessed by running pktmon.exe as an administrator, and responds to commands such as pktmon start –etw -m (to start logging); pktmon stop (to stop); and pktmon filter add -p [port number]. It outputs in the .etl format, but can convert these logs to .txt files.

The updated Packet Monitor in Windows 10 May 2020 will be compatible with Microsoft Network Monitor (NetMon) and Wireshark (pcapng). It will also offer high-volume in-memory logging; real-time on-screen monitoring; multi-location (in terms of a given stack) packet capture and flexible counting.

Then again, it will not work on wireless connections, reports on a limited number of components and lacks firewall compatibility. Hopefully, Microsoft will work on these deficiences for future updates.


Microsoft via WinCentral

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 05 > The Windows 10 May 2020 update will have enhanced network diagnostics
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2020-05-24 (Update: 2020-05-26)