Are you looking for the best port scanner to use for port scanning? Then you are on the right page as we will be discussing some of the best port scanners in the market.
As a network admin or engineer, having the right tool for your job does not only make your work faster but also makes you more efficient and effective. Port scanning is one of the jobs you will be doing to discover ports that are open and the kind of communication allowed via those ports.
While there are manual methods of finding out if certain ports are open or not for devices in your network, manual methods are time-wasting and error-prone. For this reason, it is best one make use of specialized tools for scanning ports to and port scanners are the tools that have been developed for scanning ports in a device to determine open ports and type of communication allowed.
How a port scanner works is simple. All it does is that it sends a network request to connect to a TCP or UDP port on a device and records its response. Usually, if the connection request goes through, it means it is open; else, it is close. There is a third status known as filtered too.
One thing you will need to know about many network devices is that many of their ports are closed for security reasons – or because they are too specialized that leaving some ports open is not needed. In this article, I will be providing you recommendations on some of the best port scanners you can use to find out open ports on devices. Some of the devices are specialized, while others have support for other forms of network scanning.
Best port scanner tools for scanning open ports
The Open Port Scanner application provided by Solarwinds is the tool you need to have a complete picture of your network devices and configuration. Solarwinds provides a good number of network scanners, with the port scanner as one of the popular tools it offers. With this tool, you can find out if your devices are properly configured by analyzing SNMP queries and viewing MIB attributes.
Using the open port checker, you can see a list of port status across the IP addresses in your network or even any other network you specify. You can also provide it a list of IP addresses to check. The tool is also useful for testing port visibility for the sake of security and usability. This port scanner is not free, but you can have access to it as a new user for 14 days.
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The above tool is a paid tool and comes with some pretty advanced features that make it worth the money labeled on it. If all you need is a basic port scanner to find out whether a port on a certain IP address is open or not, then you would not need to pay with the help of this TCP Port Scanner developed by MyLanViewer.
The TCP Port Scanner application has been developed only for the Windows Operating System, and as such, without a Windows OS, you can’t run it. The tool is multithreaded and powerful, having the capability to scan up to 10K ports per second. It has support for saving the list of open ports in text files.
It might interest you to know that for you to scan ports associated with an IP address, you do not even need to install an application, and online port scanners like the IPVoid TCP Port Scanner are one of such applications that made this possible. Just like the TCP Port Scanner above, this one is also free, with no registration required.
All you need to do is to access it using a browser, provide the IP address, and then the port. If you do not provide a port number, then all of the ports will be scanned. One thing you will need to know about this online port scanner is that it can only scan the ports of one IP at a time which might be less convenient for you if you have many devices you will need to scan their ports at once.
Unlike the other port scanners discussed above, the Netcat tool is not a highly specialized tool for port scanning. The tool is a general utility tool for network scanning which reads and writes data across network connections using the TCP/IP protocol. However, it does have support for a built-in port scanner which makes it possible for you to know which port is open on which device and the type of communication allowed.
One thing you will find interesting about this application is that it is available on a good number of OS, including Linux, macOS x, FreeBSD, and NetBSD. However, it does not have support for Windows, except you can tweak it since it is written using the GNU coding standards.
TCP Port Scanner with Nmap would help you detect open TCP ports and running services on an IP address. With this tool, you can check firewall rules and verify if your services are reachable from the Internet. This tool is based on the Nmap Online, which performance an effective port scanning operation to help in the discovery and detection of port status.
Finding out open ports is quite important if you want to carry out penetration testing. Using this tool, you can tell which port is open and which is know so that you know if any of the open ports need to be closed since client software with malicious intent can exploit and have access to your system via this.
From the above, you might have the thought that you must be on your PC to scan ports. However, a look into the port scanning market is that there are many port scanners that are available on mobile. The Port Authority application is one of those port scanners. It is a LAN host discovery and port scanner that you can use to scan ports to determine whether they are open or not.
This tool has support for LAN host discovery, custom port range scans, and LAN/WAN host TCP port scanning, and even DNS record lookups, among others. On mobile, the Port Authority is one of the fastest in the market.
The Advanced Port Scanner app is a downloadable application that you can use to scan devices to discover port status. Using this tool, you can scan network devices, identify programs running on the open ports, and even remotely access computers. The tool is a free tool that requires no payment.
However, its requirement for installation is quite unfriendly. The Advanced Port Scanner is available only on Windows 10. Even though it is a free tool, it does have support for fast multithreaded port scanning and even allows you to pause the scan along the way if you have many ports to be scanned.
From the name of this tool, you can tell that it is not a port scanning specific tool – it is an all-encompassing network scanning tool that you can use for network scanning. Just like many of the port scanners discussed above, the tool is meant for both system administrators and general users. This tool allows you to be able to edit results, and you can even save them as a CSV file.
The tool has support for a good number of advanced featured. One thing you need to know is that if you need this tool for private, educational, or non-commercial purposes, you can use it for free. For commercial purposes, you will need to pay €30. You can only use this tool on Windows OS.
If you are using a Windows OS and all you need is a simple and basic port scanner, then Microsoft has something for you, and that is the Portqry.exe application. This is a Command-Line Interface (CLI) application that has been developed for troubleshooting TCP/IP connectivity issues.
All this tool simply does is that it reports the status of TCP and UDP ports on any computer you select. The report status for any port is either listening, not listening and then filtered, with the listening meaning open while not listening means closed. This tool is free and easy to use if you know how to use CLI applications.
FAQs About Port Scanners
What is a Port Scanner?
Port scanners are network scanning tools that have been developed to query TCP/IP ports on network devices to determine whether the status of the port. Usually, the status of a port can be open-closed and filtered. This tool is very important as it helps network admins in diagnoses and troubleshooting.
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Is Port Scanning Illegal?
Port scanning from the definition sounds like a good task. But in reality, bad actors have also turned the process into one of the tools which they can use to detect vulnerabilities and exploit systems.
However, this does not make it illegal. While there is no law that makes port scanning illegal, it does not mean you should go about scanning any device for open ports, as owners of such devices can still sue you.
Looking at the list above, you can see that there are many options available to you as far as port scanning is concerned. While some of them are paid, some are free, which means. The platform support differs, and likewise, some of the added features. So, the port scanner you end up with would be determined by the specific feature you want and the port scanner that meets the requirement you want.