Listener freeware that listens on multiple / a range of ports

Posted on 2013-12-07
Last Modified: 2013-12-12
I have plenty of firewall rules to test.

I'm currently using WinSSHD & Udp Test tool to listen on
destination Win 2012 servers & from the source servers,
used MS Portquery to test.

Portquery is fine in that it allows me to specify a range
of Tcp+Udp ports.

However, at destination end, WinSSHD & Udp Test tool
can only bind or listen to one port at a time so this is not
productive if I have thousands of ports to test.

Is there a tool that could verify that firewall rules have been
permitted correctly without the need to set up a listener at
the destination (as currently the Apps team haven't got the
time to install their actual apps yet) & I need to test in

Alternatively, suggest a couple of freeware that could be set
to listen on a range of ports (or  can be selected number of
ports separated by say, commas) for Windows 2008/2012
Question by:sunhux
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 7
  • 4
LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 100 total points
ID: 39703213
For packet sniffing (which is what you want here), Wireshark ( is free and it works. CommView ( is a commercial packet sniffer and not free. I use the latter, but both will work.

.... Thinkpads_User

Author Comment

ID: 39703379
What's needed is something simple/easy-to-use  for testing
 the firewall rules.

Portqry & nmap are rather easy & not resource intensive.
I can't possibly install wireshark on a server that's going
to be production in 2 months' time & Wireshark is rather
not easy to use to test firewall rules.  Portqry doesn't
need installation & it could just run directly from disk
(without altering registry).  So can nmap but these are
tools that I'll run from the Source IP.  What I need are
tools that run on the Destination IP that listen on the
required ports : Udptest tool & WinSshd (which allows
me to specify the port to listen on) helps in my case
if it's just a small handful of ports but if there's a big
range of ports, then Udptest & WinSshd becomes
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

edster9999 earned 400 total points
ID: 39703479
You need netCat.
It is a unix took but people have ported it to work under windows.

It listens on port(s) and dumps what it receives to the screen or a file.
Complete VMware vSphere® ESX(i) & Hyper-V Backup

Capture your entire system, including the host, with patented disk imaging integrated with VMware VADP / Microsoft VSS and RCT. RTOs is as low as 15 seconds with Acronis Active Restore™. You can enjoy unlimited P2V/V2V migrations from any source (even from a different hypervisor)


Author Comment

ID: 39703989
Does netCat has a version that runs on the 64bit Win2012?

Author Comment

ID: 39704164

Author Comment

ID: 39704171
Unfortunately one of them only listen on Tcp port (& one
port at a time) while the other does not run on Win2008
or Win2012
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

edster9999 earned 400 total points
ID: 39704702
Netcat just needs to be compiled to run on whatever platform you want.
There are a few people who have done it in 64Bit code compilers :

It has not seen much testing in the platform - but it is very stable tested platform so it shouldn't cause much of an issue.
I wouldn't run it on a live production server.... not one taking production traffic anyway.
Take a server offline and test it on that.

Author Comment

ID: 39707611
Ok I've seen a copy of nc64.exe that works in the zip.

Lastly, this netcat only listen on one port at a time only.
Can I run it multiple times to listen on multiple ports?
(I guess if I have hundreds of ports, I'll need to write
 a script to do this?)
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

edster9999 earned 400 total points
ID: 39709688
I use the linux version - so you'll have to look it up to see if the windows one is the same (but it probably is, as they are built off the same code base)

ed:$ nc /?

This is nc from the netcat-openbsd package. An alternative nc is available
in the netcat-traditional package.
usage: nc [-46DdhklnrStUuvzC] [-i interval] [-P proxy_username] [-p source_port]
        [-s source_ip_address] [-T ToS] [-w timeout] [-X proxy_protocol]
        [-x proxy_address[:port]] [hostname] [port[s]]


     port[s] can be single integers or ranges.  Ranges are in the form nn-mm.
     In general, a destination port must be specified, unless the -U option is
     given (in which case a socket must be specified).

Author Comment

ID: 39711685
Can't quite get the syntax to listen/bind on multiple ports to
work on Windows version:

D:\ncatWin7\netcat-1.11>nc -l -p 333-335 -e cmd.exe
D:\ncatWin7\netcat-1.11>nc -l -p 333,335 -e cmd.exe

while netstat below only shows it listens on 1 port ie Tcp333:
D:\>netstat -an | find ":33"
  TCP                LISTENING
  TCP               LISTENING

D:\>netstat -an | find ":33"
  TCP                LISTENING
  TCP               LISTENING

Author Comment

ID: 39711713
It appears that it's only in client mode that nc can be
made to specify a range of source ports;  in server/
listening mode, it doesn't appear to let me specify
a range of ports to listen on.

Can you verify if this is also the case for the Linux/UNIX
version of nc?
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

edster9999 earned 400 total points
ID: 39712495
Ok looks like I was wrong on that (sorry).  Here is another snip from the help page :

-l      Used to specify that nc should listen for an incoming connection
             rather than initiate a connection to a remote host.  It is an
             error to use this option in conjunction with the -p, -s, or -z
             options.  Additionally, any timeouts specified with the -w option
             are ignored.

So you cannot listen on multiple ports with a single instance.
The only thing you could do would be to spawn off a different one for each port and dump the output into a separate file for each

Featured Post

Free NetCrunch network monitor licenses!

Only on Experts-Exchange: Sign-up for a free-trial and we'll send you your permanent license!

Here is what you get: 30 Nodes | Unlimited Sensors | No Time Restrictions | Absolutely FREE!

Act now. This offer ends July 14, 2017.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Many admins will agree: WSUS is is a nice invention but using it on the client side when updating a newly installed computer is still time consuming as you have to do several reboots and furthermore, the procedure of installing updates, rebooting an…
Introduction People like FTP.  It's a solid, stable, robust protocol for quickly transferring files between two hosts using TCP/IP.  In most cases it's much faster than SMB or CIFS, and certainly much easier to set up between organizations.  This…
This video Micro Tutorial explains how to clone a hard drive using a commercial software product for Windows systems called Casper from Future Systems Solutions (FSS). Cloning makes an exact, complete copy of one hard disk drive (HDD) onto another d…
Windows 8 came with a dramatically different user interface known as Metro. Notably missing from that interface was a Start button and Start Menu. Microsoft responded to negative user feedback of the Metro interface, bringing back the Start button a…

705 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question