Deep Packet Inspection (DPI, also called complete packet inspection and Information eXtraction or IX) is a form of computer network packet filtering that examines the data part (and possibly also the header) of a packet as it passes an inspection point, searching for protocol non-compliance, viruses, spam, intrusions, or defined criteria to decide whether the packet may pass or if it needs to be routed to a different destination, or, for the purpose of collecting statistical information. There are multiple headers for IP packets; network equipment only needs to use the first of these (the IP header) for normal operation, but use of the second header (TCP, UDP etc.) is normally considered to be shallow packet inspection (usually called Stateful Packet Inspection) despite this definition.
There are multiple ways to acquire packets for deep packet inspection. Using port mirroring (sometimes called Span Port) is a very common way, as well as optical splitter.
Deep Packet Inspection (and filtering) enables advanced network management, user service, and security functions as well as internet data mining, eavesdropping, and internet censorship. Although DPI technology has been used for Internet management for many years, some advocates of net neutrality fear that the technology may be used anti competitively or to reduce the openness of the Internet.
Founded: 2002, Fremont, CA, USA
Key Principals: Networking Hardware and Software
Founded: 1999, Austin, Texas, USA
Key Principals: Network and IT Infrastructure Management Solutions
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