App Review: Net Scan (Ports and Networks Scanner) by Pavel Ahafonau
I’m a fan of port scanners as much as the next geek, so when I saw Net Scan (Ports and Networks Scanner) in the iTunes App Store this week I had to give it a try. Network or port scanners are typically used by network admins, system admins and security professionals. They are typically used in larger environments as a means to discover what services are running and hence, what possible vulnerabilities would be exploitable.
Net Scan is a simple to use network scanner that allows this same type of discovery to occur by anyone, on their own or home network. Knowing just what is running on your network and what services are being hosted can be enlightening, especially if you have multiple hosts (computers/devices) on your network.
First, let me just quote the developer on features, since he can say it better than I can:
- Scan any IP address or network range
- Country of origin detection of the network owner
- Network range and AS number lookup
- MAC address and hardware vendor lookup
- Wake on LAN for hosts with MAC addresses
- WHOIS hostnames, IP addresses, ASNs
- Group results into multiple histories
- Predefined services for your convenience
- Possibility to add custom services
- Checks ICMP, TCP and UDP
- Faster asynchronous network I/O
- Works with Wi-Fi, 3G, EDGE and GPRS
- Eye-pleasing interface design
Displays host information (when available):
- IP address
- IP network range
- Autonomous system (AS) number
- Reverse hostname (PTR DNS record)
- Bonjour hostname
- Country of the network owner
- Services host runs (TCP and UDP open ports)
- Firewall detection results
- Ping test results
- MAC address and vendor
I have run Net Scan on a couple of networks so far and what I can tell you is that it works, and works well. It is highly configurable, allowing you to scan an individual host or an IP range. You can also configure it to scan known ports (interesting services), Unix services or a port range. There’s also a switch to turn on “scan pingable (hosts) only,” however I’d suggest turning that off since any respectable admin has icmp disabled on either their hosts or firewalls.
When I ran Net Scan on my local network if found pretty much everything I had attached to the network. These items included my iPhone 3GS, Macbook, Compaq notebook, Dell desktop, HP notebook, mythtv (htpc), hdhomerun and an airport express. On each of those, it did discover the services when I figured were running (and in a couple of cases services I had forgotten about).
I already mentioned that Net Scan works well. What can I say? it’s a network scanner that works! So if you’re looking for on the go network scanning from your mobile device then look no further. Just know, that you will need to have WiFi access to the network in order for the app to function.