Likelihood to Recommend
If you're a sysadmin, or anyone who's had to deploy network services, you've almost certainly had to use Nmap at some point or other. Need to see what devices are on your LAN? Nmap can tell you that. Want to check which ports your web server has open to the internet? Nmap is your friend.
Nmap is a powerful command-line tool and has many options that require some reading of documentation to get the best out of (although generally straightforward). If the thought of working at the command-line scares you (presumably not if you're reading this review), then you may want a much simpler tool, or at least check out Zenmap GUI.
Employee in Information TechnologyInformation Technology & Services Company, 1-10 employees
Feature Rating Comparison
Automated network device discovery
Baseline threshold calculation
Network capacity planning
Packet capture analysis
Wireless infrastructure monitoring
Hardware health monitoring
- NMap provides a very fast and a very thorough network "sweep" that allows you to quickly map out exactly what's on your network.
- NMap is highly configurable. The "canned" choices are very good in most instances, but using various switches and options, you can create a very specific scan and get exactly the results you're looking for.
- NMap is easy to use. Even a new administrator will be able to use the graphical version (Zenmap) with efficiency right away.
- exporting, There's a serious lack of ability to export the information in a readable format to present to VPs and such. I always find myself doing a lot of data massaging to get it in a pretty format
- some scans can trigger sensitive IDS/IPS
- SYN scans can be particularly aggressive and cause problems on remote systems.
Based on 18 answers
There is a very large support community and a robust selection of add-ons and scripts. Once you get the use down this is one of the most powerful tools and you can find anything you are looking for as far as examples on the web. While not having official support its not lacking by any means.
Alternatives to Nmap (other IP scanners) are often much more limited in what they can do; They often only allow you to scan a specific subset of ports or a limited number of IP addresses in one command. Nmap is unrestricted in that regard. What makes Nmap stand out above the rest, is the complete network analysis package you get with it. It allows IP scanner, network deep-dives, hardware analysis, vulnerability analysis, encryption detailing, and so much more, in one free application
Return on Investment
- Positive return as it's open-source (free) on all OS's.
- If a person is not used of the command line there are a ton of front ends that make it point-and-click so the learning curve is good. That cuts down on time and manpower.
Technician in Information TechnologyOil & Energy Company, 11-50 employees
Premium Consulting/Integration Services—
Entry-level set up fee?