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.
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.
What network tools do you use? What do you keep in your USB Admin’s Toolkit ? Let us know in the comments!
(By) Karl L. Gechlik is a certified Microsoft Engineer and Mac Technical Coordinator with a decade of experience under his belt. To follow more of his humorously geeky antics visit his blog AskTheAdmin.com.
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