Millions of web professionals have long been fans of a neat utility called Fiddler. It's a low-level debugging tool that runs in your web browser and lets you view precise details of all the data that goes back and forth between your browser and the web servers it connects to. I've written about Fiddler in this column before, although the software's been updated recently so watch out for an update in the next few days.
Meanwhile, I note that Google's Chrome browser is now beginning to sport low-level traffic analysis features of its own. Whether you want to use them for troubleshooting sites you develop, or you just want to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes when you surf the web, these features are well worth exploring.
Fire up your Chrome browser on your PC and head to chrome://chrome-urls in order to view a list of all the interesting built-in features of the browser. If you particularly want to look at network traffic, choose the net-internals link and your browser will then start capturing events. Flip to a different tab, browse a site, then flip back to the net-internals tab to see those events. Where the number of events captured is indicated, click on that number to see the list of events. Then click on an event to view the detail of that particular transaction.
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