What Are Network Scanning Tools and How they work with some best Tools

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Network scanning tools are software applications designed to scan computer networks for vulnerabilities, open ports, and other security issues. They are commonly used by security professionals to identify and assess potential security risks in a network environment. Network scanning tools can be used to map out a network’s structure, identify devices connected to the network, and identify potential attack vectors.

Network scanning tools come in different forms, ranging from simple command-line utilities to sophisticated GUI-based applications. Some popular network scanning tools include Nmap, Angry IP Scanner, and Advanced IP Scanner.

These tools can be used for various purposes, such as monitoring network performance, detecting unauthorized access attempts, identifying vulnerable network services, and discovering hosts that are connected to a network.

However, it’s important to note that network scanning tools can be used for malicious purposes, such as reconnaissance and data theft. Therefore, it’s crucial to use network scanning tools responsibly and with permission from the network owner.

How Network scanning tools work

Network scanning tools work by sending packets of data to different IP addresses and ports on a network to discover hosts and services. The scanning process involves sending a series of queries to each device or service to gather information about it, such as its operating system, open ports, running services, and vulnerabilities.

The scanning process can be either active or passive. Active scanning involves sending packets of data to the target network, which can be detected by firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Passive scanning, on the other hand, involves listening to network traffic and collecting information without sending any packets to the target network.

Network scanning tools use various scanning techniques, such as TCP and UDP port scanning, OS fingerprinting, and vulnerability scanning. TCP and UDP port scanning involve sending packets to different ports on a device to determine which ones are open and which are closed. OS fingerprinting involves sending packets that probe the target device’s behavior to identify its operating system. Vulnerability scanning involves scanning for known vulnerabilities and weaknesses in a device or service.

Once the scanning process is complete, network scanning tools generate a report that summarizes the information collected during the scan. The report can be used to identify potential security issues and vulnerabilities in the network and develop a plan to address them.

Some best network scanning tools

There are many network scanning tools available, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Here are some of the best network scanning tools:

  1. Nmap – Nmap is a powerful and popular network scanning tool that can be used for both active and passive scanning. It can be used to discover hosts and services, scan for open ports, and identify vulnerabilities.
  2. Angry IP Scanner – Angry IP Scanner is a fast and easy-to-use network scanner that can scan both local and remote networks. It can be used to scan for open ports, identify active hosts, and perform hostname resolution.
  3. Zenmap – Zenmap is a GUI-based front end for Nmap that provides a more user-friendly interface for running scans. It can be used to perform basic and advanced scans, and it can generate detailed reports.
  4. Advanced IP Scanner – Advanced IP Scanner is a free and easy-to-use network scanner that can scan both local and remote networks. It can be used to discover active hosts, scan for open ports, and retrieve information about connected devices.
  5. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor – SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor is a comprehensive network monitoring tool that includes network scanning capabilities. It can be used to discover devices on the network, map network topology, and monitor network performance in real-time.
  6. SoftPerfect Network Scanner: is a free multi-threaded IP, SNMP and NetBIOS scanner that can quickly scan a network and provide detailed information about connected devices. It is a useful tool for network administrators,
  7. OpenVAS – OpenVAS is an open-source vulnerability scanner that can be used to scan for known vulnerabilities in devices and services on a network. It can perform both local and remote scans and generate detailed reports.

These are just a few of the many network scanning tools available. The choice of tool will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the network administrator or security professional.

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