The Best Network Scanning Tools in 2020
Network scanning tools, as the term implies, scan networks so that an organization can look for anomalies, troubleshoot problems, and gather information. Given the world’s current situation, frequent network scanning is more important than ever to IT teams.
2020 ushered in a great deal of uncertainty in the world of IT. As the nature of work changed, so did business priorities. These changes make it even more important to reassess your requirements and see which networking scanning tools are right for you and your organization.
Let’s dive into the current vendor landscape for 2020 and see some of the best networking scanners available. With so many free, open source, and paid network scanning tools available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, here are a few that may meet your needs (in no particular order).
Finding the right network scanner for your organization
1. Angry IP Scanner
If you’re looking for open-source software that supports Linux, Macs, and Windows, you will find it in Angry IP Scanner. This lightweight networking tool has been around for years and doesn’t require any installations on your devices, so you’re free to use it anywhere.
2. Advanced IP Scanner
With a reported 45 million users, Advanced IP Scanner is a portable, free solution that can show your network devices, offer remote control of your computers, and even allow you to remotely power them down.
Another free network scanning tool is MyLanViewer (currently only for Windows). It checks all the boxes (find all IP addresses, MAC addresses) and also supports remote shutdown. You can also access shared folders, end user sessions, detect rogue DHCP servers, and more.
NetCat, or “nc,” isn’t strictly categorized as a network IP scanner, but it lands in this category since you can use it to check outbound and inbound connections, either using TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or UDP (User Data Protocol). “Tunneling mode” allows you to specify network parameters (e.g., source port/interface, listening port/interface, and more).
5. LanSweeper IP Scanner
LanSweeper offers a freeware network scanner that lets you ping computers, track IP usage across your network environment, group computers based upon their IP location, and perform remote shutdowns. You can also schedule complete network scans by IP range with configurable settings.
6. ManageEngine Advanced IP Scanner
ManageEngine Advanced IP Scanner offers a free version with the basic ping toolset (network scanner, trace route, DNS resolver, MAC address resolver, etc.) and a paid version with more advanced tools to help network administrators. This includes network monitoring for 24/7 availability status, device scanning to monitor subnets or a range of IP addresses on Cisco devices, and more.
7. Spiceworks IP Scanner
Spiceworks IP Scanner is a cloud-based tool allowing you to quickly discover the devices on your network, along with acquiring detailed hardware and software information on your workstations and servers (e.g., CPU, storage, and memory), along with detecting potential risk issues like open ports or outdated operating systems.
8. SolarWinds IP Address Manager
SolarWinds IP Address Manager offers a great deal of information visualized on a single dashboard, providing in-depth details on your IPs. Offering many granular controls, this solution includes IP address alerting, troubleshooting, and reporting, along with multi-vendor DHCP and DNS support (both on premises and the cloud).
Network scanning tools should play an integral part of your security stack. As attack surfaces expand, so do the chances of a cyberattack. But with the constant inflow of reporting data, monitoring can quickly grow overwhelming. The right balance lets you cut through the noise via the power of automation while maintaining your network visibility.
PagerDuty integrates with many monitoring tools, including SolarWinds. You can customize alert rules to reduce false positives while also ensuring the right people on your team receive the right information—boosting efficiency when seconds matter during downtime or breaches. See for yourself.
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