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NEVER scan a computer you do not own or have the owner's permission to scan.

- Last Review: September 7, 2013

Home > NetScanTools Pro > Technical Details > ARP Ping Tool

ARP Ping Tool - Ping a MAC Address with ARP Packets.

Use the ARP Ping Tool to 'ping' an IP and MAC address pair with ARP packets. This tool is part of NetScanTools Pro.

About the ARP Ping Tool

The ARP Ping Tool gives you a way to 'Ping' a MAC address on your LAN using ARP packets. This tool is functionally equivalent to the arping open source command line utility.

Why use ARP? Simple - IPv4 devices must respond to ARP packets even if the targeted device uses firewalls or other stealthy methods to hide from ICMP or UDP packet based ping tools like our Ping - Enhanced Tool and Ping Scanner (NetScanner). ARP operates at OSI Layer 2 which is lower level than ICMP or UDP which operate at layer 3.

Since ARP is a non-routable protocol, the device must be on your LAN (local subnet or network segment) and you must know the IPv4 address of the device.

Just like regular Ping, this tool shows the latency timing of ARP responses from the device and unlike regular Ping, it can also tell you if more than one device is sharing the same IP address.

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Version 11 ARP Ping Tool Slideshow

Important Notes:

  • ARP packets are not routable (the packets will not go beyond your router), so this tool is limited to target IPv4 addresses on the same network segment or subnet as your computer is currently on.

  • The ARP Protocol requires you to know the IPv4 address of the target. You cannot 'ping' a MAC address and get an IP address back in return -- the ARP protocol does not work that way.

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Purpose of this tool:

  • It can tell you if a device is actually at an IPv4 address on your LAN.
  • Shows the response time (latency) of a device to an ARP Packet.
  • Shows the MAC address of the network interface on the device.
  • Shows the MAC addresses of all devices sharing the same IPv4 address on your LAN. A rare occurrence, but it can happen. See this video for a real world example of duplicate IP detection.

Tool Capabilities

Sends ARP in Broadcast, then Unicast Mode:

ARP Ping first pings an IP address on your LAN with a broadcast MAC address in the ARP packet. If an ARP response packet is received from the device, it continues to ping using the unicast ARP packet (by unicast we mean the target MAC address came from the first response to our broadcast).

Sends ARP in Broadcast Only Mode

ARP Ping pings an IPv4 address on your LAN with a broadcast MAC address ARP packet and continue to ping the IP Address with a broadcast targetted ARP packet.

Duplicate IP Address Detection:

ARP Ping can search your LAN for duplicate IPv4 addresses using ARP packets sent to a specific IPv4 address. All responding MAC addresses are shown. Version 11.50 introduced a dedicated Duplicate IPv4 Scanning Tool.

Latency Timing in Response to ARP Packets

Response time is shown for each responding ARP ping.

A video of the ARP Ping Tool in action.

What is ARP?

ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) is a protocol which associates an IPv4 address with a MAC (Media Access Control) address (xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx) over an ethernet network segment. ARP is not routed beyond a network segment. This tool uses WinPcap to generate ARP packets. See also the ARP Cache tool for ARP cache manipulation and the ARP Scan (also called MAC Scan or ARP Sweep) for finding hidden IPv4 devices. The ARP Protocol is not used in IPv6, please refer to the Network Neighbors Tool to see IPv6 information.


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