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Hey MUO Readers have I got a sweet suite of free tools for you network admins and regular end users. Being in the networking world for so long I have loads of tools in my admin tool box (My USB Stick). But recently a fellow tech blogger Paul Bauer introduced me to a nifty program that has more than 175 applications and features.

Did I stutter?

There are so many applications in here that I can not even begin to list all of them here. It puts A LOT of tools at my fingertips in its < 25mb install The program is aptly named Net Tools 2008 and it was written by Mohammad Ahmadi Bidakhvidi.

I used to use separate tools to do my advanced port scanning, IP poking, Tracert’ing, Packet Sniffing and Bandwidth monitoring. Not anymore…

Net Tools 2008 just as it was described to me – The Swiss army tool for network administrators everywhere. The program has even been employed by the good old American government for hard drive forensics and tracking down the bad guys. Net Tools has been used by the bad guys to sniff out passwords, create bot-nets and hide pornography within everyday files. It is very versatile stuff and just like any tool it can be used for good or evil. Some people say hackers tool, some people say research tool and I call it what I need for my day job as a Network Administrator.

Net Tools  - Network Tool and System Utilities

Most things in this world are worth what you pay for them but this free application puts almost every tool at your fingertips from a single interface. What you have here is a comprehensive set of network monitoring, packet sniffing and host availability tools. Sure you could go and find a different application for every job but why should you when Net Tools seems to have captured all of the best tools and put them into one easy to use package.


Some of the things we have been using net tools for:

    1. We use the IP address scanner to find live systems on our networks. Need to find a rogue machine not on your DHCP?

    2. Can’t find it but you know its MAC address? Use the Internet MAC Address Scanner to find it!

    3. We can then use the port scanner to see what ports are open on that machine to get a better idea what kind of a machine it is.

    4. FTP Client for quick file transfers.

    5. Use Web Mirror to copy an entire website to your hard drive.

    6. File Encryption with a handful of different tools.

    7. Monitor system up status with Monitor Host IP.

    8. If you think there is something strange going on in the background of your machine fire up Bandwidth Monitor to see how much traffic is coming and going.

    9. Or fire up their start-up process monitor to see what is happening on Windows start-up.

    10. Need to rename a whole bunch of log files use the Mass file renamed.

For the full list check out their homepage here or their direct download here.

What network tools do you use? What do you keep in your USB Admin’s Toolkit ? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. dayos
    September 4, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    thanks guy..
    i like your article, oa may be i will copas it to my blog..may i ?

  2. hamilton
    July 21, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Very nice piece of software developed here, and it's free!!!

  3. Paul Bauer
    January 31, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Hey Ezeko, I had a friend tell me about the trojan too. Don't worry, it isn't a trojan. I once Downloaded Cain and Abel, and McAfee thought it was a trojan too because it can be used for pen testing.

    Thanks for the link love Karl!

  4. AskTheAdmin
    January 31, 2008 at 8:19 am

    @EzEk0 - The password sniffers, hash crackers and key loggers will definately show a false positive as being infected. I have thourouhly scanned and tested this install before telling the MUO public about it! I would never endanger our readers!

    @MePHiTiC - Tina is right but let me elaborate... You can install this to your memory stick, network share or what have you and run the individual tools from their respective directories instead of using the pretty menu. I haven't found a tool that didn't run it!

    Keep your comments coming!

  5. gent
    January 31, 2008 at 7:32 am

    It's not uncommon for network tools that have port scanners etc to be identified as trojans, not at least by AVG...

  6. Tina
    January 31, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Looks like it's not a mobile application. However, it's an admin tool and installing it on a machine should not be a problem for an administrator, despite the necessary effort and time.
    Maybe I didn't pay enough attention, but I did not spot an option to restrict the use of the tool to one user (the one installing it). Thus, if you want to prevent other users from playing with the tool, it might be smart to install it to a USB drive. In that case the USB drive containing the program folder will be required to run the application.

  7. MePHiTiC
    January 30, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    You mentioned that this package was portable. When I downloaded it, it installs to the hard drive. Did I miss something?

    So far looks like a great package though!


    • Aibek
      January 31, 2008 at 8:51 am

      Sorry for the confusion NetTools isn't a portable application. I tried installing it on the thumbdrive and it seemed fine till the very end. But when I tried to run it and access some tools it started to give problems. Apparently it needs to write some files to system32 folder.

  8. eZek0
    January 30, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Hrm. Well, it seems too good to be true, and.. it is. When I installed it, AVG picked up a Trojan backdoor... Can anyone else confirm?

    • Aibek
      January 31, 2008 at 8:52 am

      See comment from gent

    • Encryption Software
      October 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm

      Sometimes you just have to use your better judgment on these things. Remember that security programs need full access to all aspects of your system. This can sometimes cause false alarms when running multiple security programs. It is for this reason that I never run more than one at a time. They often spend just as much time fighting each other as they do fighting viruses.