Npcap or WinPcap?
WinPcap has been the de facto standard library for packet capture and link-layer packet injection for over a decade. Many open source and commercial network tools use WinPcap for network access and filtering, but it has been unmaintained since 2013 and is no longer supported.
Npcap is the exciting and feature-packed update to the venerable WinPcap packet capture library. Building on the successful WinPcap legacy, Npcap brings increased speed, security, and Windows 10 support. All of WinPcap's packet capture and injection features are included, with a few great additions like raw 802.11 frame capture. Still wondering if Npcap is right for you? Check out this comparison of features:
|Actively maintained and supported||Yes||NoWinPcap development was terminated|
|Last release date||April 26, 2023||March 8, 2013|
|libpcap version||1.10.4 (2023)||1.0.0 (2008)|
|License||Free for personal use||BSD-style|
||Yes: Npcap OEM||NoWinPcap Professional product terminated|
|EV SHA-256 code signing||Yes||No|
|Limit access to administrators (optional)||Yes||No|
|Packet capture with the cross-platform libpcap API||Yes||Yes|
|Link-layer packet injection||Yes||Yes|
|Source code available||YesNpcap source on Github||YesWinPcap source on winpcap.org|
|Capture raw 802.11 frames||Yeswith many widely-available adapters||Yeswith specialized AirPcap hardware|
|Capture Loopback traffic||Yes||No|
|Inject Loopback traffic||Yes||No|
Ready to give Npcap a try? Just download the latest installer. Npcap works great with Wireshark, Nmap, and more of your favorite tools already. For software that's written with WinPcap in mind, simply select "WinPcap API-compatible mode" at installation.
Want to develop software for Npcap? Check out the Npcap Developer's Guide and the Npcap SDK. For software that already uses WinPcap, you can test Npcap in WinPcap API-compatible mode. You can easily support both WinPcap and Npcap or simply use the SDK to use Npcap with all of its new features. If you want to distribute Npcap with your application, ask us about getting a Npcap OEM license and support contract.