Author Topic: My programs list includes WinPcap - do I need it?  (Read 1099 times)

Offline Rupert

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My programs list includes WinPcap - do I need it?
« on: December 28, 2014, 04:57:13 PM »
During a cursory clear out of unnecessary stuff on my PC I saw among the list of Installed Programs something called WinPcap 4.1.2 from CACE technologies.

I searched for an explanation and came up with this from a site called '' ...

What is WinPcap?
WinPcap is the Windows version of the libpcap library; it includes a driver to support capturing packets. WinPcap consists implementations of a lower-level library for the listed operating systems, to communicate with those drivers; a port of libpcap that uses the API offered by the low-level library implementations. It uses NDIS to read packets directly from a network adapter.

About  (from CACE Technologies)
WinPcap is the industry-standard tool for link-layer network access in Windows environments: it allows applications to capture and transmit network packets bypassing the protocol stack, and has additional useful features, including kernel-level packet filtering, a network statistics engine and support for remote packet capture. WinPcap consists of a driver, that extends the operating system to provide low-level network access, and a library that is used to easily access the low-level network layers. This library also contains the Windows version of the well known libpcap Unix API.

Upon being installed, the software adds a Windows Service which is designed to run continuously in the background. Manually stopping the service has been seen to cause the program to stop functioning properly. It adds a background controller service that is set to automatically run. Delaying the start of this service is possible through the service manager. The setup package generally installs about 5 files.

I know they're trying to be helpful, but they're really not, as I don't understand a word of what they're saying!!

Can anyone on here simplify things by explaining in words of two syllables or less what WinPcap is/does and, more importantly .. do I need it?

(My OS: Windows 8.1 x64 bit)

Offline Nick Peers

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Re: My programs list includes WinPcap - do I need it?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2014, 07:04:53 PM »
        It will almost certainly have been installed by another program - nothing untoward, but I wouldn't remove it without first identifying what that other program is. A list of programs that use Winpcap can be found at
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Offline Willabong

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Re: My programs list includes WinPcap - do I need it?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2014, 10:53:43 PM »
Some internet video capture devices use WinPcap, so if you use a program to capture online video, you will probably find WinPcap is a component of the software?
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