Monday, August 18, 2008


Tools for debugging http and https traffic

I spend a lot of time troubleshooting web applications. My Swiss army tool of choice for all network related issues is WireShark but it falls short when it comes to analyzing SSL encrypted traffic.

FireFox takes forever to load compared to IE7 but its wide range of add-ons can be a life saver at times for developers. I am a heavy user of:

  • User Agent Switcher which quickly lets me change the user agent of the browser

  • SwitchProxy lets you quickly swap between proxies. Proxy configuration scripts are great if you always use the same proxies but I frequently have to force a specific proxy to test different web application behaviors.

  • LiveHTTPHeaders plugs into FireFox so it is able to see all the http traffic in real time. You can filter the request using regular expressions and see https requests in clear text!

Fiddler is also able debug https but it relies on a "man-in-the-middle" approach which has some limitations.