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

- Last Review: May 4, 2016

Home > NetScanTools Pro > Technical Details > Ping Scanner Tool

Ping Scanner (NetScanner) Tool Description - Ping a Set of IP Addresses with ICMP and Report the Active Devices.

What is a Ping Scanner (NetScanner)?

The Ping Scanner Tool sends ICMP ping packets to every IP address in any range of IPv4 addresses you specify. It looks for ICMP responses from active devices. This tool operates across any range of IPv4 addresses whether on your subnet or across the internet. It can also ping a list of IPv4 addresses that you need to ping. That list need not be contiguous, it can be random.

Use Ping Scanner to locate active devices and gather other information about those computers. Use this utility in conjunction with the Port Scanner tool for a full accounting of each IP address. This tool is also known as NetScanner (tm) or Ping Sweep.

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Ping Scanner slideshow

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Purpose of the Ping Scanner Tool

  • The purpose of this tool is to locate active IPv4 devices connected to your local network or the internet. It does not support IPv6 but will do so in the near future.

Capabilities and Features

  • FAST! Typical time to ping every IP address in the local 254 IP address class C subnet is 3.2 seconds - a faster platform, network and set of targets will give you different results. (Test platform: 3Ghz 2 processor XEON dual core XP SP 3 system with 3.12GB ram and a 100mb wired ethernet interface. Test Conditions: local subnet, ping timeout 2 seconds, ping scan only, no IP/hostname resolution, ARP scan, subnet mask or SMB/CIFS/NetBIOS queries)
  • Ping Scanner. Each target IP address is sent ICMP echo request ping packets. Responding device IPs are shown along with the response round-trip-time and the source IP address of the responding ICMP echo reply packet.
  • Hostname resolution. Responding IPv4 addresses in the IP range or imported IP list can be optionally resolved to a hostname. This feature is dependent on DNS for accurate results. If you use the 'default System DNS' setting, SMB/CIFS/NetBIOS queries may also obtain the 'windows computer name'.
  • Do Local ARP Scan. Following completion of a sweep, NetScanner can make additional ARP requests to responding IPs and add any new MAC address information into the results if MAC addresses were not recorded during the initial scan. This option is only useful for devices on the local subnet since ARP is not routed.
  • Do SMB/NBNS Scan - getting a MAC address from SMB/CIFS/NetBIOS Name Server. SMB queries will obtain a MAC address if the target is a Microsoft Windows machine or Linux that responds to SMB queries. If the target responds, you can also get the Remote Machine Name table for viewing in the reports. This feature is optional and will work locally or across the internet if the target is not protected from SMB queries.
  • Do Subnet Mask Scan. This option sends a ICMP address mask request and displays any responding information. Whether the target responds or not is a function of the target operating system, ie. Windows 98 machines will respond, but Windows XP and later machines do not respond.
  • Reports are available once the sweep is completed showing the scan statistics, report on an individual IP address or a combined results report. The reports are shown in your web browser (searchable, printable, can be saved to disk).
  • Import Target IP List from File. This allows you to import a non-contiguous list of IP addresses, ie. random that can be any combination of local or internet IP addresses.

Hosts File Editor. This has been moved to DNS Tools - Core.

Ping Scanner (NetScanner) Video Tutorial (v11.02 shown)

Results Summary Pie Chart

Results Analysis of the Ping Scanner IP Responses

This chart shows a pie chart summary analysis of the responding device IP addresses over the range scanned with Ping Packets.

About Ping Scanning

Whatever you want to call it, NetScanner, Ping Scanning or Ping Sweep is a well known technique used to find live devices in a range IP addresses. Historically it has been used with IPv4 and for IPv6 the ranges of IP addresses are so large that it may not make sense to use a tool like this. In an IPv4 environment where systems are allowed to respond to ICMP Echo Request packets, this tool can be used to quickly find the active hosts. However, so-called 'personal firewalls' and other operating system firewalls can be set to prevent the response by the system to ICMP packets giving the appearance that there is nothing at that IP address. If you are on the same subnet, our ARP Scan tool will show those 'hidden' addresses even if they are protected by a firewall on the system itself.

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