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The three port scanner applications I tried were SolarWinds Port Scanner, Nmap, and Netcat.
SolarWinds Port Scanner:
I thought it was interesting to see a free port scanning tool provided by a major security company. The tool seems to work pretty well. I liked that it can generate various types of reports. It also includes performance monitoring. After looking into the tool, I found that it can sometimes not function properly or may have some bugs, and does not have good third-party support.
Nmap is definitely the port scanner that I am the most familiar with. It is open source and has a lot of good options and specific scans for TCP and UDP ports. Nmap provides a large amount of advanced network scanning features. Cons I have found with Nmap is that scans can take a long time depending on the verbosity that you select, especially if you don’t specify the verbosity, and it defaults to a more intensive scan.
Netcat is open source, also scans TCP and UDP ports, with special features such as tunneling mode and filtering network parameters. Its main purpose is actually sending TCP packets, although it still includes good features for port scanning. One of the cons of netcat is that making additional specifications can affect the performance and function of the scans.
In my opinion, I would choose Nmap as the main port scanner for both enterprise and personal use. I think that the tool is one of the most popular, widely used, and longstanding for a good reason. It is open source and includes a large amount of features and types of scans. Even though it is free, it is still used in enterprise environments.
The three port scanners I chose were Nmap, SolarWinds, and Angry IP Scanner.
1. Can be tailored to needs
2. Operating System is detected when performing port scan
3. Scans both TCP and UDP ports
4. Open source
5. Lightweight program
6. Extensive enterprise use
1. Install NPCAP that adds a filter to existing driver stacks
2. Can be blocked with local firewalls on the scanning device and device being scanned.
3. Can be confusing to use because a lack of GUI
4. Scans can take a long time if the range is not set specifically
5. Cannot perform the same full range of functions on Windows
1. Multithreading utilization increases speed
2. Filtering options to reduce visual clutter of results to specific parameters
3. Exports scans results to file formats like XLSX and XML
4. GUI to perform scans and functions
5. Endpoint tracking
1. High price
2. Free trial then paid network manager cost
Angry IP Scanner
2. Can export results to multiple formats XML, csv, and txt
4. Does not need to be installed because it uses java plugin
1. Not lightweight because it is a java program
2. Very basic IP ranges given on a table
3. Bundled with bloatware applications
For all three questions related to use I would choose NMAP. It is already widely used and has a low performance impact. I have used it for years and the learning curve for it having no GUI but Zenmap exists for this complaint. I enjoyed how configurable it is and I can see why it is the gold standard for port scanning use. I enjoy being able to perform scans undetected as well.
After some research, I narrowed down my Port Scanners to three:
Angry IP Scanner-This was a very user-friendly scanner. Angry IP Scanner (or simply ipscan) is an open-source and cross-platform network scanner designed to be fast and simple to use. It is widely used by network administrators and just curious users around the world, including large and small enterprises, banks, and government agencies. It runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, possibly supporting other platforms as well.
MiTeC Network Scanner-It is a free multi-threaded ICMP, Port, IP, NetBIOS, ActiveDirectory, and SNMP scanner with many advanced features. It is intended for both system administrators and general users interested in computer security. The program performs ping sweep scans for opened TCP and UDP ports, resource shares, and services. It can also resolve hostnames and auto-detect your local IP range.
Nmap- Was able to identify the ports, service, and other computers on that network. It can also find which operating systems are used by the computers that are on our network. the option to save the scan result of Nmap to a text file is really helpful. Nmap is available for windows and Linux. The most common users of Nmap are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees) and the Information Technology & Services industry.
I think having something is better than nothing. I reviewed free open-source options that are just as good as some of the paid options like Solar Winds. Platforms like Solar Winds have more features than just port scanning but can look at traffic patterns over minutes, days, or months so you can drill down to the moment when something happened and investigate the source of issues like excessive bandwidth utilization or unexpected application traffic.