An IP scanner is a piece of software that scans for devices in your network and lists them on screen for the user to view. IP scanners are used to find the IP address, hostname, operating system, and MAC addresses of devices in a network. There are many reasons to use an IP scanner from scanning a network to security to troubleshooting.
We get into a lot of detail on each of the tools below. If you only have time for a quick glance, here is our list of the best IP address scanners:
- SolarWinds Port Scanner (FREE TOOL)
- Angry IP Scanner
- Spiceworks IP Scanner
- Advanced IP Scanner
- Free IP Scanner
- LanSweeper IP Scanner
- SoftPerfect Network Scanner
- LizardSystems Network Scanner
- Bopup Scanner
- Slitheris Network Discovery
IP scanners find the information of devices at a rate much faster than a human could (especially those solutions with multi-threaded searches). Once you have a list of IP addresses to refer to you can also see which devices are active or down. If an IP address isn’t listed then you can start to investigate why it is not.
Being able to automatically identify IPs provides you with much-needed context over the network infrastructure.
The best IP address scanners
Many IP address scanners allow you to search by IP range of hostnames to help you run troubleshooting on particular segments of your network. Attempting to do this manually would be impossible within larger networks.
SolarWinds Port Scanner is an IP address scanner that allows users to scan IP addresses in their network. Scans can be run through the graphical user interface (GUI) or the command line.
Scans are multithreaded to ensure that IP addresses are found quickly. When running a search you can enter hostnames, IP address ranges, and port ranges to determine what information is displayed on the screen. Once you activate the scan you are then shown a list of IP addresses on the screen.
Next to the IP addresses, you can also view the TCP and UDP points (open, closed and filtered) associated with the IP addresses. In practice, this allows you to check up on the status of these ports to verify that the network is secure.
Being able to check up on IP addresses and port status together allows you to manage your IPs while simultaneously monitoring security vulnerabilities. You can also see the host names, MAC addresses, and operating systems of connected devices.
To make it easier to run subsequent searches, you can save scan configurations. Likewise, once you’ve finished a scan, you can export the results as an XML, CSV, or Excel file. Being able to save configurations and results like this makes running scans and feeding back their results much easier.
As a port scanning solution, SolarWinds Port Scanner is suited to those organizations that need a fast and low maintenance IP scanning solution. The option to use a GUI or command line interface makes this program accessible to users no matter which they prefer. Best of all, SolarWinds Port Scanner is available as a free tool.
Angry IP Scanner is a popular open source IP address scanner that has over 29 million downloads. The program is quick to install and scan by IP range and Hostname. After entering your search configurations you can press the Start button and a list of IPs will be shown.
The completed scan also shows hostnames, MAC addresses, and ports to provide further information. Angry IP Scanner is available in the form of a GUI and a command line interface.
IP scans on Angry IP Scanner are multithreaded. Multithreaded scanning makes Angry IP Scanner one of the fastest programs on this list. To speed up future scans you can save your favorite IP address ranges. Saving IP address ranges means that you don’t have to enter them manually every time you use the program.
One of the main selling points of Angry IP Scanner is its extensibility. The user can write plugins in Java to add additional features. Adding extensions allows the user to customize the IP scanning potential of the program.
However, the default search platform has more than enough to show you connected IP addresses. Once you’ve completed the scan, the results can be saved in CSV, XML, TXT, or as IP-port list files.
Overall Angry IP Scanner is an excellent open-source IP address scanner. The cross-platform potential of the program and its extensibility make it ideal for almost any environment. Angry IP Scanner is available on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. You can download the tool for free.
Spiceworks IP Scanner offers perhaps the most polished IP scanning experience on the market. With Spiceworks IP Scanner you can scan IP address ranges. Once the scan is complete you can view the IP address, vendor, OS, Mac addresses, and Open Ports of network devices. There is a search bar that you can use to search for information on specific devices if you want to take a closer look at additional information.
Once you’ve completed a scan you can export the scan data to a CSV file. For more control it is a good idea to use Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk. Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk can be integrated with IP Scanner to create tickets for individual and groups of devices.
The IP scanning capabilities of Spiceworks IP Scanner are excellent for monitoring local area networks (LANs). Spiceworks IP Scanner is available on Windows 7, 8, 10, 2008 R2, 2012, .NET 4.5, and Mac OS. Download it for free.
Advanced IP Scanner is a free IP address scanner for Windows. Advanced IP Scanner allows you to scan IP ranges to view the status, name, IP, manufacturer, MAC address, and operating system of connected devices. The platform provides you with enough context to see which IP address belongs to which device. Once the scan has been completed you can export the results as a CSV file.
However, what sets Advanced IP Scanner apart is its remote control features. You can use RDP and Radmin to take control of computers remotely. Computers can also be switched on and off remotely. Being able to interact with computers on a remote basis is particularly useful in larger organizations when running troubleshooting.
Advanced IP Scanner is a tool designed for organizations looking fora solution that is easy to install and available for later versions of Windows like Windows 10. The GUI is user-friendly and ensures that IP address information can be found without too much searching. Advanced IP Scanner can be downloaded for free via this link.
Free IP Scanner is a fast multi-threaded IP address scanner that can scan thousands of computers a minute. On Free IP Scanner, scans reveal IP addresses, hostnames, and ports. You can also view NetBios information such as hostname, workgroup, currently logged user, and MAC address. Once the scan is complete information is available to be exported in the form of a plain text file.
While Free IP Scanner is not as sophisticated as some of the other tools on this list, it delivers a solid user experience. The tool doesn’t require any installation so it can be deployed easily.
You configure an IP range at the top of the screen, press the Start Scanning button and then IP addresses will be shown in a list format. Up and down IP addresses are denoted by a green check or a red cross.
Free IP Scanner represents an excellent choice for organizations looking for a lightweight IP scanner on Windows. Free IP Scanner is available for multiple OS’s on Windows including 9x, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7, 8, and 10. You can download the program for free.
Nmap is a network mapping tool and IP address scanner that can be used to find IP addresses within a network. While Nmap isn’t a dedicated IP address scanning platform it does offer that ability. The program works through the command line, so to find connected devices you can enter the following command:
nmap -sp 10.0.0.*
Depending on your requirements you can scan single IPs, IP ranges, or hostnames with Nmap. In addition, you can view the operating system of connected devices.
Nmap is a tool that is suitable for those looking for a command line-based IP scanner and network scanner. The tool is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. You can download Nmap for free.
LanSweeper IP Scanner is an accessible IP address scanner for Windows. LanSweeper IP Scanner offers IP scans by range automatically or on demand. Other information shown by this tool includes Mac Addresses, NetBios information, logged on users, and configured user accounts. You can also exclude certain IP addresses and device types to restrict the information shown by a scan.
One useful feature for new users is that of the Help Desk. The Help Desk is an onboard ticketing solution which allows you to create support tickets on any questions or issues you have with the platform. In practice, this means that if you’re having trouble using the program, you can contact the company and find a fix.
LanSweeper IP Scanner is free for scanning up to 100 devices. If you want to monitor more devices you’ll need to upgrade to a paid version. The price depends on how many devices you want to cover. For example, the price is $495 (£380) for 500 devices, and $995 (£764) for 1,000 devices. You can download the free trial version.
SoftPerfect Network Scanner is a network scanning tool that can detect internal and external IP addresses. The program does this by pinging connected devices and waiting for a response. Scans also show mac-addresses, response time, TCP ports, UDP ports, logged-on users, and configured user accounts. Once the scan is complete, results can be exported to HTML, XML, JSON, CSV, and TXT.
The user interface is easy to use. Simply enter the IP address range at the top of the screen and press Start Scanning. The results are then shown in a table view. You can also use additional search options such as Resolve host names, Resolve MAC addresses, Resolve IPv6 addresses, Display time to live (TTL), and Lookup network card vendor.
For smaller enterprises, SoftPerfect Network Scanner is a versatile IP scanning alternative. The tool is available on Windows and Mac OS. On Windows, the program supports Windows XP-Windows 10, and Windows Server 2003-2019. However, you will need to pay the license fee.
The license fee starts at $29.00 (£22) for home users and $49 (£37) for business users on a single device. For up to 10 devices this increases to $349 (£268) for business users. A site license costs $1,000 (£768). You can download the free trial version.
LizardSystems Network Scanner is an IP scanner that uses multi-threaded scanning to discover IP addresses within enterprise networks. Once you complete a scan you will see the name, address, latency, and a comment from connected devices.
The tool also shows NetBIOS information and shared resources. Results can be featured according to device type and access permissions. Once you’ve finished scanning you can export the result in html, txt, or xml.
To provide further detail, LizardSystems Network Scanner also tells you the access rights of read/write for the current user and other specified users. Being able to check access privileges helps to monitor usage permissions from a top-down perspective to find if there are any vulnerabilities.
The best part about LizardSystems Network Scanner is that it functions through a web-browser. However, you will need Windows and Internet Explorer in order to use the program. The program is free as a personal license but costs $79.95 (£61.40) for business users. There is a 10-day free trial.
Bopup Scanner is one of the most widely-used IP and LAN scanners for Windows. With this tool, you can scan for IP address ranges to view IP addresses, computers, NetBIOS, and Mac addresses. All of this information is shown to you in list output. There is also the option to view the shared folders on remote computers. Once the scan is complete the results can be saved as a text file.
Bopup Scanner can be used as both a GUI and a command line tool. A list of command line options can be found by searching in the scanner.exe file or by clicking More information in the About section. Being able to switch between the two gives you complete control over how you monitor IP addresses.
Bopup Scanner is easy to deploy with absolutely no installation process. The tool supports Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7, 8, 2012, and 10. You can download the 45-day free trial of Bopup Scanner.
Finally, we have Slitheris Network Discovery. Slitheris Network Discovery is an IP scanning tool for Windows users. You can scan an IP range to reveal an extensive list of information about connected devices.
For example, a scan returns the Device Name, IP Address, Device Type Hint, Operating System, Group Name, Uptime, Time of Day, Brand, SMB Security Estimated Manufacture Year, and MAC Address.
Beyond the extremely thorough information included with the scan, you can view a device count and a ping sweep matrix at the top of the screen. The visual ping sweep feature displays ping results in real-time with a light-up grid display. These features make it easy to view the status of connected devices from a glance.
In terms of security, Slitheris Network Discovery is also a standout product. The SMB Security section details vulnerabilities on devices and whether the device is infected with WannaCry ransomware. This additional feature is great for adding an extra layer of oversight over your connected devices.
Slitheris Network Discovery is free for up to 25 devices. There are a number of different versions available: Slitheris Pro (256 devices), Slitheris Pro (1000 devices), and Slitheris Pro (Unlimited devices). Slitheris Pro for 256 devices costs $149 (£114.54). Slitheris Pro for 1,000 devices costs $295 (£226) and Slitheris Pro for unlimited devices costs $395 (£303). You can download the free trial version of this product.
Best IP Address Scanners: SolarWinds Port Scanner and Angry IP Scanner
Of all the tools on this list, SolarWinds Port Scanner and Angry IP Scanner are two of the most accessible and cost-effective IP address scanning solutions. Both tools are free and provide user interfaces that are simple to come to grips with. The multi-threaded capabilities and the ability to switch from command line to GUI with SolarWinds Port Scanner enables it to function within almost any enterprise environment.
For Mac and Linux users, Angry IP Scanner represents a formidable alternative. The user interface can be navigated rapidly and the ping value attached to IP addresses helps to show how much latency there is in the network. The option to add your own extensions of help to make for a highly customizable IP scanning experience.