Best free Network Scanning Tools for Network Security!

The term most pivotal to our online experience these days is ‘Network Security.’

Network security can be defined as the set of policies and rules implemented by the network administrator to avoid unauthorized personnel from gaining access to the network and blocking viruses and malware that may put the system at risk.

Among the many procedures taken by network administrators, one of the critical parts of network security revolves around ‘Network Scanning.’

14 Best Network IP Scanning Tools 2019

A Network Scanning Tool is any software tool that is used for diagnostic purposes or to run security tests on a network system.

Among the arsenal of tools available for network scanning, the best network scanners that will help you protect your network to their potential are as follows:


Acunetix is a network scanner that detects, and reports of about 50,000 know vulnerabilities.

It’s key features include:

  • Does a security test for routers, firewalls, switches, load balancers, as well as other components of a network.
  • Acunetix discovers open ports and running services.
  • Acunetix searches for problems such as poorly configured Proxy servers, weak passwords, weak SNMP community strings, TLS/SSL ciphers through a detailed analysis of the system.
  • It provides a comprehensive perimeter network audit.
  • Acunetix is free for one year of its use, which makes it pretty affordable too.


Wireshark is a popular network scanner which has the following features:

  • Wireshark is an open source network scanner.
  • It can work on an active or live network, between the client and the server.
  • Users can view the network traffic and follow the stream.
  • Wireshark shows the users the stream of traffic construction of the TCP session.
  • Wireshark can run on multiple Operating systems including Linux, Windows, etc.
  • The only drawback of using Wireshark is that in the past, it has suffered from Remote Security Exploitation.

3- OpenVAS:

According to its website, OpenVAS is a full-featured vulnerability scanner. It’s key features are:

  • OpenVAS is completely free to use.
  • OpenVAS can be integrated with Open Vulnerability Assessment Language (OVAL) to write new security tests.
  • OpenVAS provides a vast range of scan options, including Full Scan, WordPress Scan and Web server scan.
  • Perhaps the only flaw in the design of Open VAS is that its Security Scanner only runs on Linux.

4- Angry IP Scanner:

Angry IP Scanner is a fast and open source network scanning tool, with the following features:

  • Angry IP Scanner scans the IP address, as well as performing a port scan.
  • It provides thorough reports on the flaws in the network in various formats, such as XML, CSV, Txt, etc.
  • The report provided by Angry IP Scanner is precise and includes information on many things such as the hostname, computer name, NetBIOS, MAC address, workgroup information, etc.
  •  Unlike other networking tools, Angry IP Scanner provides a separate thread for each individual IP address.


Nikto is an open source web server scanner, with the following features:

  • Nikto provides rapid testing to identify any suspicious activity in the network.
  • It provides Full HTTP proxy support.
  • It provides reports in various formats such as XML, HTML, and CSV.
  • Scanning features of Nikto are updated regularly.
  • Nikto scans HTTP servers, as well as web server configurations.

6-Advanced IP Scanner:

Advanced IP scanner is an advanced network scanner, with the following features:

  • Advanced IP Scanner is an open source network scanning tool that runs on Windows.
  • It is free for use.
  • It can scan devices, connected to a network- including wireless devices.
  • Advanced IP Scanner performs many functions such as remote access, remote wake-on-LAN, and quick shut down, etc.
  • It allows services such as Viz. HTTPS, RDP, etc. and FTP services.

7-Qualys FreeScan:

Qualys is a free and open source network scanning tool that detects flaws in the network system. It’s key features are:

  • Qualys scans URLs, IPs and local servers to detect any loophole in the security of a network.
  • Qualys offers three types of scans for multiple vulnerabilities, such as vulnerability checks, OWASP, and SCAP tests.
  • Qualys detects and helps users get rid of security patches.
  • Perhaps the only drawback of using Qualys is that it only allows ten free tests, and cannot be used for free in the long run.


Nmap is an advanced network scanning tool that enables users to scan ports with great intricacy. It has the following features:

  • Nmap maps the network, and it ports numerically, which is why it is also known as ‘The Port Scanning Tool.’
  • Nmap integrates NSE-Nmap Scripting Engine which detects network security issues.
  • Nmap checks for the availability of hosts by analyzing the IP packets.
  • It includes many additional utilities such as Zenmap with advanced GUI, Ndiff for computer scan and NPing for Response Analysis.
  • It is free and available for use.

9- Retina Network Security Scanner:

Retina Network Security Scanner, by beyond trust, is a network scanner that works across multiple platforms. It has the following key features:

  • Along with network scanning, Retina provides security fixes to Microsoft, Adobe and Firefox applications.
  • It provides risk assessment based on optimal network performance, applications and Operating System, etc.
  • It is free to use and provides security patches for up to 256 IPs.
  • Retina allows the user to select the type of report delivery, that is, the format.

10- SoftPerfect:

SoftPerfect Network Scanner offers its users advanced features, including a multi-thread approach to scanning. Other features include:

  • SoftPerfect Network Scanner provides detailed information such as hostname, MAC address and details regarding the LAN connection.
  • It collects information regarding the local and external IP address.
  • SoftPerfect analyses the working of a network and identifies any problems with the devices associated.
  • It also checks for the availability of a network.
  • SoftPerfect flourishes in a multi-protocol environment.


Nessus is a commercial vulnerability scanner that performs a multitude of functions such as:

  • It is available in three versions, Nessus Home, Nessus Professional, and Nessus Manager/Nessus Cloud, to fulfill different requirements for different users.
  • Although Nessus is mainly a commercial software, a free version is available for download.
  • Nessus provides a timely vulnerability assessment to its users.
  • It has built-in plugins which allow it to detect over 50,000 vulnerabilities.
  • Nessus has a web-based interface which allows it to perform local and external checks.


Snort is an open source network scanning tool with the following features:

  • Snort is free for use.
  • It analyses the IP address, along with the traffic passing through the network.
  • Snort quickly detects vulnerabilities such as worm, port scan via content searching and protocol analysis.
  • Snort utilizes Modular Detection Engine and Basic Analysis along with Security Engine (BASE) to define and describe network traffic.


Just like Nessus, Nexpose is a commercial network scanner tool, with the following available functions:

  • A free version of Nexpose is available in the form of its Community Edition.
  • Nexpose scans network, operating systems, application database, etc.
  • It can be installed onto Windows and Linux, as well as Virtual Machines.

14- OpenSSH:

OpenSSH (Secure Shell) is a network scanner with the following functions:

  • OpenSSH creates a secure connection over an unsafe network link, by encrypting it.
  • OpenSSH is fully dedicated to the UNIX environment.
  • OpenSSH utilizes the Premier Connectivity Tool, which encrypts all the network traffic and increases the security of the network.
  • It provides SSH tunneling, server authentication, and secure network configuration.

What is Network Scanning?

Network Scanning refers to many processes, all of which are designed to point out the flaws in a network system.

Network scanning is also sometimes referred to as port scanning, in which data packets are sent to a particular port number.

The processes covered by Network Scanning are:

  • Identifying the filtering systems in place between two active networks.
  • Running TCP and UDP network services.
  • Detecting the TCP sequence number of both of the hosts involved.

The procedures are mainly utilized in network maintenance; however, hackers can corrupt the network, and use network scanning for their benefit.

Parting Words:

Now that you know all about networks and how easy it is to corrupt a system, you need to make sure that you have a robust network scanning tool to rely on.

All you need to do is to pick one from the arsenal of choices provided above!

Leave a Comment