ip scanner

One of the challenging tasks for network administrators is to manage the IP address. It becomes complex when you are working in a large organization where hundreds of networks are connected.

Managing IP addresses with a spreadsheet is easy when managing a small number but extremely hard and messy when you have to manage thousands of IPs.

Thankfully we have some other tools which can help you scan IP, port, manage IP, and do so much more.

You may be interested in taking this fundamental online course if you’re new to network administration.

Let’s explore the following tools which will help you be more effective in network administration.

The 10 Best IP Scanner Tools for Network Management

1) IP Address Manager 

IP scanner & managerThis is an extremely advanced IP manager by SolarWinds and is packed with tons of useful features. Managing DNS, DHCP and IP with this software is simple.

Features of this software:

  • Tracking IP detail and history 
  • Track IP address automatically
  • Schedule a scan to ensure up-to-date data
  • It’s capable of managing addresses like IPv4 and IPv6 
  • You will be alerted when IP conflicts or mismatched DNS entries
  • Monitor multi-vendor devices such as Microsoft, ISC DHCP, Cisco, BIND and Microsoft DNS servers all from one single platform
  • To automate VM IP management you get vRealize Orchestrator plugin
  • Discover and track associated blocks and subnet 
  • Find IP address
  • Delegate IP administration
  • Integration with 3rd party software is made easy with the API that is offered.

2) PRTG Network Monitor 

PRTG Network Monitor With PRTG Network Monitor you can scan IP addresses and multiple devices on WLAN or LAN and monitor your network easily. It will alert you if there are any disruptions in your network and you can take action based on the alarm emails that you will receive. On top of the network devices, you can monitor network traffic with ease.

PRTG allows you to view the number of devices available in your network. It comes in handy to scan the open ports to mitigate any possibilities of an online attack.

The software includes dashboards like Sunburst that you can access on your tablet, laptop or smartphone and customize according to your priorities and network requirements. You can customize your monitoring as the software offers real-time reporting and sensors. Additionally, it provides a REST API sensor to monitor XML and JSON files.

You can also set up remote probes with PRTG to regulate your decentralized network.


Considered to be the Swiss Army Knife of hackers and pen-testers, Nmap stands for Network Mapper and is considered to be one of the most popular port scanners. The software is an open-source tool that is extremely flexible and powerful when it comes to performing any kind of active network reconnaissance against a target. Nmap allows you to craft packets and send them to a specific target and let the software analyze its response.

Key Features:

  • Nmap is also known as the Port Scanning Tool as it maps your network and its ports numerically.
  • Equipped with NSE (Nmap Scripting Engine) scripts to detect network security issues and misconfiguration. 
  • This is a free tool that checks for host availability by examining the IP packets. 
  • It’s a complete suite available in the CLI (Command Line Interface) and GUI version.
  • It includes the following utilities-, Ndiff for computer scan results NPing for Response Analysis and Zenmap with advanced GUI.

4) Nessus

NessusAn open-source network vulnerability scanner that utilises the Common Vulnerabilities and exposure architecture for easy cross-linking between compliant security tools. It employs the Nessus Attack Scripting Language (NASL), a simple language that can describe individual threats and potential attacks. Equipped with a modular architecture that consists of centralized servers that conduct scanning, and remote clients that allow for administrator interaction. Administrators have the option of including NASL descriptions of all suspected vulnerabilities to develop customized scans. 

Key Features:

  • It is a widely used network security scanner that works with the UNIX system.
  • Web-based interface
  • Client-Server architecture
  • Remote and local security checks
  • Nessus today is available with 70,000+ plug-ins and functionalities/services such as web application scanning, malware detection, system configuration check, etc.
  • Multi-network scanning, automated scanning, and asset discovery.

5) Metasploit Framework

Metasploit FrameworkMetasploit Framework is a collaboration between the Rapid7 and open-source community, Not only it helps security teams improve security awareness, verify vulnerabilities, and manage security assessments; it also arms and empowers defenders to stay ahead of the game. This tool was primarily a Penetration Testing Tool but now it is being used as a Network Scanning Tool that detects network exploit. 

Key Features:

  • It offers wide-ranging capabilities for the development of reconnaissance, payload encoders, exploitation, post-exploitation, and other security purposes. 
  • It allows you to work creatively with identified weaknesses by providing you with the right tools. 
  • Identify weaknesses and fix those weaknesses to increase your network’s overall security.
  • Metasploit can be used to exploit the vulnerabilities in your organization’s network.

6) Angry IP Scanner

Angry IP ScannerAngry IP Scanner is an open-source and free network scanner. It’s compatible with many popular OSs, like MAC OS, Windows and Linux. Designed with simplicity and ease of operation in mind, the tool doesn’t require installation and is highly portable.

Angry IP Scanner will ping the target device/network to confirm that it is alive. It can also resolve hostnames, scan ports and find the MAC address. It supports many plugins with which you can extend the amount of information received about each target.

Key features:

  • It can scan private or a public range of IP addresses. 
  • It is able to get the NetBIOS information of a device, detect web servers and customize openers.
  • It can export the results in different formats such as XML, TXT, CSV or IP-Port list files.
  • For faster scanning, the tool uses the multi-threading approach.
  • By default, the tool comes with common fetchers like Ping, Host-name.
  • The tool runs on the GUI, but you can use the CLI to call up different options on the software.

7) Snort

SnortSnort is an Open Source Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), using a series of rules that help define malicious network activity and utilizing those rules to find packets that match against them and generates alerts for users.

Snort analyses network traffic with IP address passing through it. It’s able to detect worm, port scan and other network exploits through content searching and protocol analysis.

Snort has three primary uses:

  • As a packet sniffer like tcpdump, 
  • As a packet logger
  • Snort can be used as a full-blown network intrusion prevention system. 

8) NetCat

An extremely flexible and versatile tool preferred by many like NMAP mentioned before. NetCat is not restricted to be used just as an IP Scanner, it can be used for much more than that. It is also a tiny Unix networking analyzer utility used by hackers against us and by us against hackers.

Key features:

  • Scan, listen and forward open ports.
  • Create tunnels with specific network parameters, like source port/interface, listening port/interface and the remote host.
  • Connect to a remote system through any service or port.
  • Uses Banner Grabbing to identify the software that the target is using.
  • Create back-doors for easy access to the target.
  • Transfer files from the target

9) LanSweeper IP Scanner

LanSweeper IP ScannerLanSweeper IP Scanner is a free and powerful IT management tool that is able to scan networks and find your assets. With the scanner, you can target a specific IP or range of IPs and get a full inventory of all computers, servers, virtual servers, routers, switches, printers, VoIP phones, etc. The results can be easily exported and created into a report. 

The software goes beyond scanning. . The scanner grabs network information through SNMP, WMI, FTP, HTTP, SSH and other protocols.

Key features

  • It has the ability to automatically deploy scripts and commands to many devices at the same time.
  • Apart from scanning, it will find issues and proactively fix them
  • Inventorying
  • Scan IP addresses automatically or on-demand
  • Import the results via a CSV file.
  • Find MAC address, logged-on users, user accounts, device up-times, etc.

10) Slitheris Network Discovery

slitheris From the Komodo Laboratories, Slitheris Network Discovery is a Windows-based premium IP scanner. The free version of the network scanner allows you to find up to 50 network devices, it can be extended with the premium licence. 

Able to find the information most scanners aren’t able to. It’s fast and gathers information from target network devices without credentials or agents. It uses multi-threaded technology to quickly find all pingable devices and uses ARP pings to discover hidden devices.

Key features:

  • It shows what the ping sweep is doing with a visual matrix.
  • It can identify different Windows OS versions without the need for authentication and credentials.
  • Able to identify different type of devices like if it’s a Virtual Machine, Printer, Workstation, smartphone, etc.
  • Age determination. Uses MAC address to determine the age of the device.
  • It alarms you when SMB (Server Message Block) is enabled or disabled on a device.
  • Find Web GUI access devices. The tool uses port scanning on HTTPS and HTTP to see whether a device can be accessed through Web GUI.

Wrapping it up

So, that sums up our list of the top 10 IP scanner tools for network management. Do let us know in the comments, about the IP scanner tools used by you.


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