Normally in a local area network, most of the workstation uses dynamic IP address assigned by the DHCP service. It is possible but very tedious work to check which computer is up and running in the network by using the PING command from command prompt. To make things easier, today I will be sharing with you about a network scanning tool tool which I’ve been using all along. It is a network scanner which is able to automatically scan the whole network for computers that is connected to the network.
Other than that, it comes with a lot more useful features but most of the time I only use it to scan for shared folders, defined open ports and MAC address on the network computers. I get to instantly know which computer is running any illegal service or sharing folders which contains sensitive information.
SoftPerfect Network Scanner is a free multi-threaded IP, NetBIOS and SNMP scanner with a modern interface and several advanced features. It is intended for both system administrators and general users who are interested in computer security. The program pings computers, scans for listening TCP ports and displays which types of resources are shared on the network (including system and hidden).
In addition, it allows you to mount shared folders as network drives, browse them using Windows Explorer, filter the results list and more. SoftPerfect Network Scanner can also check for a user-defined port and report back if one is open. It can also resolve host names and auto-detect your local and external IP range. It supports remote shutdown and Wake-On-LAN.
SoftPerfect Network Scanner Features:
Pings computers Does not require administrative privileges Detects hardware (MAC) addresses even across routers Detects hidden shared folders (normally invisible on the network) and write accessible shares Detects your internal and external IP addresses Scans for listening TCP ports and SNMP services Retrieves currently logged-on users You can mount and explore network resources Can launch external third party applications Exports results to HTML, XML, CSV and TXT Supports Wake-On-LAN and remote shutdown It is absolutely free, requires no installation, and does not contain any adware/spyware/malware
It is very easy to use the Network Scanner. Just enter a range of IP address, or you can use the Auto Detect IP Range and click Start Scanning. Other than able to scan local area network for shared folder, it can even search for shares over the internet. Remember this article about the danger of sharing folders?
There should be quite a few similar network scanning tool but this is my favorite because it is portable so I can bring this around with me on my USB flash drive. It’s only 700KB in size and doesn’t require any dependencies such as .NET Framework. This can be a useful network administrator tool but it can also be a “grey hat” tool. Imagine this, connect your laptop to an open hotspot and I’m sure you’ll find a lot of shared drives and also badly configured workstation that uses the login administrator and password as password with this tool.