Network scanning is the process of identifying, analysing and fixing loopholes and vulnerabilities in a network to prevent a malicious attacker from gaining access to your network system.
For a network to run effectively, there has to be some form of network security in place. This comprises set of rules, policies and acceptable instructions used to monitor and prevent unauthorised manipulation of a network.
There are tools that are helpful in identifying loopholes and vulnerabilities in network and these tools are known as Network Scanning Tools.
Here’s a list of the top 5 network scanning tools:
Also known as Network Mapper, Nmap is a free open-source tool that can be used to map networks and ports. It can check for host availability by identifying IP packets and handshakes
- Free and open source
- Perform scan from an IP list
- Scan IP ranges
- Scan websites
- Output scan results to an .xml or .txt file
- Works on both Linux, Windows and OS platforms
- Great documentation
- Community support
There is also Zenmap which is just a version of Nmap that has a Graphical User Interface. Normally, you would run Nmap from the Command Line Interface.
Official Download page: Nmap
2. Angry IP Scanner
Angry IP scanner is a fast IP address and port scanner. It can scan IP addresses in any range as well as any their ports. It is cross-platform and lightweight and doesn’t require any installation.
- Free and open source
- Output scan results to a .csv, .txt or .xml file
- Multi-threaded, i.e., able to perform multiple scans at the same time
- Scan report can consist of hostname, NetBIOS (Network Basic Input/Output System), MAC address, computer name, workgroup information, etc.
Official page: Angry IP Scanner
With solarwinds, you can monitor, discover, scan and analyse network devices.
- Free for 30 days after which you start paying
- Detect and analyse faults in network devices
- Flexible dashboard to view scan results
Official Download page solarwinds
Netstumbler is an award-wining windows-based tool used to discover and analyse WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) running on 802.11 a/b/g standards.
Official Download page: netstumbler
First written in perl by H.D Moore and published in 2003, metasploit is a framework that comprises collection of exploits, shellcodes, payloads, encoders, etc., and is available on all major Linux, Windows and OSX platforms.
Metasploit has a wide range of tools and utilities to perform attacks against all operating systems, including Android and iOS.
- Perform exploits
- Use payloads – payloads are malicious instructions that run that run after a successful exploit.
- Post-exploitation – gain further access and collect more information about an exploited target system
Official download page: metasploit
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