Capturing Traffic

Out of the box, Fiddler Everywhere provides an automatic capturing functionality through the system capturing options and the preconfigured browser capturing feature.

System Capturing vs. Preconfigured Browser Capturing

The following table demonstrates the major differences between the two functionalities.

Feature System Capturing Preconfigured Browser Capturing
Additional configuration Requires trusting of the root certificate for enabling HTTPS capturing. No additional configuration is needed.
Modification of the system proxy Requires modification of the system proxy. Automatically configures the system proxy for Google Chrome.
Explicit installation of the trust root certificate Requires you to add the certificate in the OS keychain. No certificate configuration needed - automatically configures the trust certificate for Google Chrome.
Capturing of browser traffic Supports all browsers. Support for all Chromium browsers.
Capturing of other applications traffic Yes. Supports traffic capturing on virtually any application that uses the system proxy. No.
Required administrative access Requires OS admin rights for installing and trusting a root certificate and modifying the system proxy. Requires user rights for starting a Chromium browser with custom parameters.
Working with VPN tooling Requires Cisco VPN support. Provides multiple VPN tooling support out-of-the-box.
Captured output Captures all traffic that goes through the system proxy. Captures only the traffic from the preconfigured browser instance.

System Capturing

Once Fiddler Everywhere is installed, and it's root certificate trusted, you can utilize the web-traffic capturing of the proxy client.

The client logs all HTTP and HTTPS traffic between your computer and the Internet and helps you analyze and debug the incoming and outgoing traffic from virtually any application that supports a proxy—Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and more. You can use the captured traffic to debug issues, identify performance bottlenecks, or share it with your teammates.

To capture system traffic with Fiddler Everywhere:

  1. Start Fiddler Everywhere. Ensure the proper configuration as described in the First Steps tutorials for Windows, macOS, or Linux.

  2. Switch Live Traffic to Capturing. Your incoming and outgoing traffic will be immediately captured and displayed in the Live Traffic tab.

    Enabling Live Traffic

When you switch Live Traffic to Capturing, open a browser and type an arbitrary web address. As a result, Fiddler Everywhere will immediately intercept the request, and Live Traffic will be populated. The Result field for that arbitrary web address will return 200, which means that your first request is successfully captured with Fiddler Everywhere.

Preconfigured Browser Capturing

The preconfigured browser capturing is a feature that allows you to capture traffic from a specific browser instance. Currently, Fiddler Everywhere supports preconfigured browser capturing only for Chromium browsers.

The feature is useful when you need to capture browser traffic, but your environment doesn't allow you to change the system proxy or install and trust root certificates. It also solves the compatibility issues with some VPN and third-party security tools, which modify the system proxy. Additionally, it allows you to focus your capturing on a sandboxed browser instance and prevent the capturing of other system traffic.

To start the preconfigured browser capturing with Fiddler Everywhere:

  1. Install Google Chrome or other Chromium browsers.

  2. Start Fiddler Everywhere. No additional configuration is needed. To prevent polluting the Live Traffic list, you can disable the Live Traffic toggle.

  3. Click Open Browser from the Live Traffic toolbar.

    the "Open Browser" option for opening the preconfigured browser for automatic capture

  4. Enter the URL in the newly opened Chrome window. Fiddler Everywhere immediately starts capturing all the traffic generated from the preconfigured browser.

To change the preconfigured browser, from the Browsers sub-menu either assign a path to third-party Chromium browsers, like Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi or change the default path to the Google Chrome browser.

HTTP Version Specifics

Fiddler Everywhere 3.0 and above support HTTP/2 traffic capture and composing. Note the following specifics when handling HTTP/2 requests.

  • By default, the HTTP/2 support in Fiddler Everywhere is disabled and needs to be explicitly enabled through the Connections menu.

  • With the Enable HTTP/2 support (BETA) option, the connection between a client and a server will default to HTTP/2 if both support it. When the option is disabled, Fiddler Everywhere forces the communication to go through HTTP/1.1.

  • Even with HTTP/2 support enabled, Fiddler Everywhere cannot guarantee that all requests will use HTTP/2. If a client only supports HTTP/1.1 or lower, Fiddler will only communicate using the client's version. If the client works with HTTP/2, but the server does not, Fiddler will allow the HTTP/2 request, but internally it will translate the request to HTTP/1.1 when communicating with the server.

  • Some browsers will share a single HTTP/2 connection to a website between several different tabs and keep a connection open for some time even after a tab is closed. That could lead to unexpected behavior with the beta HTTP/2 support in Fiddler Everywhere, so if you experience similar issues, you should restart the browser.

Additional Resources

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