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Looking for a tool to run on network that will show all devices and information about them

Posted on 2008-10-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I am trying to find a free tool that will scan a network and give me information about all devices found. Maybe even give me a diagram of what is out there. I am looking for something free...
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Question by:microsymplex
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ChuckNColby earned 500 total points
ID: 22726915
This is a pretty tall order.

Assuming you're using Windows, I would start with Angry IP scanner: http://www.angryziber.com/w/Home 

It has some nmap-like features... If you want the rest of the features, or if you are not running Windows:

www.insecure.org to download nmap. There is a GUI for it called ZenMap which may do much of what you are looking for - finding and mapping devices.

The amount of data returned by NMap/ZenMap is limited mostly to security related information. In order to get more information, you will likely need to configure SNMP or WMI on the devices on your network, then use a tool that's capable of discovering SNMP or WMI devices (Such as HP's SIM - http://h18013.www1.hp.com/products/servers/management/hpsim/download.html).

Keep in mind that these are NOT simple click-through installs. You will need to do a fair amount of configuration, reading, and testing to get them to work the way you expect. This is the price of free software. :)
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by:microsymplex
ID: 22726925
yes it is a windows network
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by:ChuckNColby
ID: 22726939
All of the utilities I listed have Windows variants, but some of them come in other flavors (Unix, Mac, Linux, etc) as well. What kind of information are you trying to retrieve?
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by:microsymplex
ID: 22726953
Basicly looking for what kind of device it is, name of computer and the OS.
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by:ChuckNColby
ID: 22726995
Nmap / Zenmap uses the open ports (among other things) to try and determine OS and device type. Additionally, if a DNS name is configured, and if DNS is configured properly in your environment, it will give you the name of the device. Often times OS detection will lead directly to the type of device - An object running Cisco IOS is not going to be a printer or desktop. ;) Again, this is an extremely powerful tool, and there is a lot of documentation on it.

If you spend the time to configure this correctly and get familiar with the documentation, you will be rewarded with a tool that is useful in a multitude of scenarios.
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by:Gzzrt
ID: 22735481
I did this myself not too long ago and did some hunting for a tool that would work properly.  After trying 5+ different software packages I ended up manually checking each machine.  While this did take some time I was able to know exactly what is on my network and where.  I was also able to run a system information tool that I could then take back with me in order to build up my database of hardware.  

One of the big things that I found is that a lot of the products out there use ping, SNMP, and possibly WMI to try to get information.  Now depending on the device it may not get a response if the firewall is turned on, snmp is disabled, or if there is no guest access turned on.  

Once tool that I did use and probably liked the best from the free software was by Softperfect.  Pretty straightforward and easy to use.  http://www.softperfect.com/products/networkscanner/

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