IP scanners check computer ports to see which ones are live and which ones are potentially vulnerable. The law here is simple: If you don’t fix your system’s weak points, then a hacker might exploit it.
Ports enable communication between two or more computers, so they are important. But the different applications that run these services often have bugs that anyone can exploit.
By using network analysis tools, you can keep your home or company computers safe, so they can continue to serve you well.
Here is a list of the top 10 and best IP scanners out there. Knowing them is important because good computer security can save you a fortune.
Best IP Scanners
|Angry IP Scanner||Open source, easy to use||Free||angryip.org|
|Advanced IP Scanner||Simple, fast, 60 million users||Free||advanced-ip-scanner.com|
|Network IP Scanner||Mobile app, clean interface, easy to use||Free, $5||play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.goodidea.network.ipscanner|
|Acunetix||Detects 7,000+ web issues||$4,500||acunetix.com|
|OpUtils||Extensive features, 2 versions||Free, $295||manageengine.com|
|SolarWinds IP Tracker||Easy IP management||Free||solarwinds.com|
|Intruder||10,000+ online vulnerabilities||$95, $161||intruder.io|
|Nmap||Linux, powerful, open source||Free||nmap.org|
|Wireshark||Sniffer, extensive features||Free||wireshark.org|
|Metasploit||Powerful pen testing||Freemium||metasploit.com|
1. Angry IP Scanner
As one of the earliest and widely used IP scanning software, Angry IP Scanner is a simple, fast, and easy to use system that makes it perfect for beginners.
It is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux systems and is an entirely free and open-source project. It can scan both your local network, as well as the Internet. All you need is to enter an IP range and hit go, then wait for it.
The software provides information on all available IP addresses in the range. And these include open ports, listening services, domain names, and ping times.
You can also use it to scan specific hosts or to gather NetBIOS information. Plus it is extensible with plugins. So, any Java coder can improve on the source code.
Being a Java program also means that the scanner needs no installation to run. Angry IP Scanner has seen over 29 million worldwide downloads.
Highlights: Free, open-source, fast
Cons: Limited analytical features
2. Advanced IP Scanner
For a simple LAN management tool, check out Advanced IP Scanner. It is a free program to scan any network and use its available resources with ease.
It returns a list of available devices, including their IP address, manufacturer, and MAC addresses. You can then drill down on each device to discover available features, such as shared folders.
You can also connect to the other computers using Radmin and this allows you more interaction with the machine, including switching it off remotely.
For downsides, Advanced IP Scanner does not offer port scanning or other network analysis features. But it is a great tool if you just want to keep an eye on a simple network. And it counts over 60 million downloads.
Highlights: Simple, fast, 60 million users
Cons: Only for Windows, no port scans
3. Network IP Scanner
You can also perform network scans from an Android device using the Network IP Scanner from Good Idea, a Taiwanese software developer.
This scanner app will list everything on the network, such as routers, computers, webcams, smart TVs, and other IoT devices. Its interface is simple and it lets you export your scan results.
It will also list unknown devices, which have no assigned nicknames. This way, you will decide if it is one of yours or if you have an intruder. Further features include port scanning to list the listening servers and their services.
The app is free to use but it comes with ads. For $5 however, you can turn off these ads for good, if you like. Network IP Scanner has a 4.3-star rating on the app store, with over 4,000 reviews and 500,000 installs.
Highlights: Mobile app, free to use, simple design
Cons: Comes with ads
Web developers who want the best protection for their web assets should consider what Acunetix offers – complete security and pen-testing solution for enterprises.
This scanner can detect over 7,000 web vulnerabilities, so you can fix them and save yourself or your company some headaches. These vulnerabilities range from simple stuff like weak passwords to exposed databases, SQL injections, and cross-site scripting.
Acunetix is also fast, easy to use, and offers automation functions to make your life easier. It additionally includes a vulnerability management system. Plus integration with more popular trackers like GitHub and Bugzilla for easier workflows.
The offer comes in three packages – Standard, Premium, and Acunetix 360. Standard starts at $4,500 for up to 5 websites and goes down to $7,200 for 10 sites. While Premium starts at $7,000 for up to 5 websites and goes down to $10,900 for 10 sites.
Highlights: Detects 7,000+ web vulnerabilities
Network admins who need to monitor their network can check out OpUtils from ManageEngine. It comes in two versions: free and pro.
The free version includes 13 tools, while the pro version features 27 tools. You can also download the pro version and try it out for 30 days, after which it turns into a free version until you buy a license.
Its features include pinging and proxy pinging, network scanning, port scanning, address resolving, bandwidth monitoring, and rogue-user detection.
OpUtils is good for trouble-shooting networks in times of crises and for managing IP addresses and network switches in real-time. It helps to protect the system from intruders while maintaining a reliable and free-flowing network.
Highlights: Free version, complete management suite
Cons: Pro version is costly
6. SolarWinds IP Tracker
Small to medium-sized companies can benefit a lot from this software, designed to simplify the IP management process.
The company offers two versions of the software – free and paid. The free version, called IP Tracker, handles up to 254 IP addresses. While the paid version, called IP Address Manager, handles millions. It also comes with a 30-day free trial.
You can use it to detect IP conflicts, get detailed information on any particular address, including event logs and complete history. Plus, you can monitor your subnets easily.
If you choose the paid version, then you also get automated tracking, alerts, trouble-shooting, 3rd party integrations, DNS, and DHCP support.
SolarWinds is an impressive company. But a 2020 – 2021 hack involving suspected elite Russian government hackers has put their reputation as a security company in question. They used SolarWinds’ products to penetrate top US government and business servers.
Highlights: Clean interface, easy IP management
Cons: Mega Russian hack
Similar to Acunetix, Intruder is an online vulnerability scanner, which lets you find potential weaknesses in your infrastructure before hackers do.
It comes with over 10,000 security checks and works well for different users, including small businesses, developers, and enterprise security teams.
Intruder makes it easy to monitor your cloud systems and received detailed reports. Plus, you can automate a lot of its processes, which includes immediately scanning for emerging threats.
The Intruder app is available in 3 plans – Essential for $97 per month, Pro for $161 per month, and Verified for $1,195 per month. There is no free plan here but you can try the Pro free for 30 days.
Highlights: Online scanner, 10,000+ vulnerabilities
Cons: No free plan
Created by Gordon Lyon, Nmap is an impressive free and open-source network scanner. It started life on Linux systems but has also become available on Windows and macOS systems.
Nmap scans ports, identifies the hosts on a network, plus DNS and MAC addresses. It also identifies the versions of running services, as well as their operating systems and even the hardware.
You can use it for practically any network application, from auditing to network inventory, mapping, management, finding vulnerabilities to exploit, sub-domain search, and DNS queries. It can handle enterprise-scale networks, as well as smaller ones.
The original Nmap is a command-line tool, so it might not be for everyone. But Zenmap provides a graphical user interface, which makes it easier for beginners to use. Other interfaces include NmapFE and the IVRE web interface.
If you plan on administering a network for the long term, then Nmap is one tool you should know. The other two are listed below.
Highlights: Linux, powerful, open-source, flexible
Cons: For experts
After Nmap, Wireshark is another package that comes pre-installed in Kali Linux, the hacker’s OS of choice. It is an impressive packet sniffer and can be quite helpful for investigations.
While hackers use Wireshark to spy, a network admin can use it to analyze problems or conduct security checks. You can even use it to identify malware and to find out who it is communicating with.
Wireshark works by capturing data packets from Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth communications. It then analyzes the data and provides relevant information, such as the number of packets, time, source, destination, protocol, length, and extras.
You can use Wireshark for much more stuff when you get to know its features, filters, and capability to sniff data from larger networks. Downloads are available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
Highlights: Powerful software
Cons: Not a typical IP scanner
The best way to prevent hackers from exploiting your system is to try hacking yourself first. And Metasploit is the perfect tool for that.
After you have identified basic information about a network, including OS and server versions, hardware, and so on. The next step is to consider available exploits for that configuration, and that’s what the platform helps you to achieve.
Metasploit is an open-source project, but there is also a paid Metasploit Pro version with a free trial. It comes pre-installed in Kali Linux and is available for Windows and macOS systems as well. Its free version also includes Zenmap, the GUI-based Nmap application.
The package includes hundreds of exploits and payloads for you to try out. But you are still free to create custom code if you know what you are doing.
Highlights: Popular pen-testing solution, simplifies hacking
Cons: Learning curve
We have reached the end of this top IP scanners list and you have seen the best applications out there to monitor and manage your company’s network infrastructure.
The final decision, however, remains completely yours to make. As it is your unique requirements that will determine which program will work best.