Networking Utilities and Tools

Just like out article on Network Management Tools (you can read/view that list here), I wanted to compile a list of Networking Utilities and Tools in this article. 

Frankly, this is a bit of challenge as what tools are available depends on operating system, version and such.  Much also depends on what point of view you have, like security or troubleshooting, as to what tools will be helpful. 

I have tried to categorize the tools without rating them or reviewing them.  Instead, the focus here is to create a reference list. 

If you feel we have missed something, or know some missing information, please comment below.

Packet Capture/Packet Sniffing/Packet Analysis

I like to start here, as this is a crucial part of troubleshooting networks.  Being able to capture the data networking packets and then analyze conversations is a crucial capability.

Tool Name  Web Site (if avail) Operating System Cost (if avail)

Our articles on Tshark can be found here.
Our classes on Wireshark can be found here.
Check out all our stuff on Wireshark here.

ALL Free
Brim ALL Free
Solarwinds Deep Packet Inspection Tool   ALL Free to $1500 
Fiddler (HTTP focus)   ALL Free – $12  
TCPDump ALL   Free
Check out our “how to” at the Online School (requires free user account): here
Linux Free
Paessler Packet-Capture-Tool PRTG Windows/Cloud Free to try
WinDump (old)  Windows Free 
Kismet (wireless) Linux, OSX   Free
ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer Linux, Windows Free to try
Network Miner  Windows   Free
Ntop  ???  Free 
Capsa Free   Windows  Free – $995
Net Stumbler (wireless) Windows  Free
Omnipeek Network Protocol Analyzer Windows Free to try
EtherApe  Linux Free
Microsoft Network Monitor (old, archived)  Windows Free 
KisMAC (wireless)  OSX  Free
Ngrep   ALL Free


Custom Packet/Traffic Creation Tools

An interesting capability that the following tools have is to create/craft customized packets and play them into the network.  This is done for several purposes such as testing access policies or even trying to break into a network.

Tool Name  Web Site (if avail) Operating System Cost (if avail)
Check out our “how to” at the Online School (requires free user account): here
 Linux  Free
Hping   ALL Free
Ostinato   ALL Free
$29 – $149
Netcat (old)  Linux, OSX Free
packETH   Linux Free


Network Emulation and Simulation

Most people call these simulators, but they may be technically incorrect.  Simulation is when the program/tool attempts to run like a network device or set of devices.  Emulation is when you use a tool that actually runs the same software or operating system in switches/routers/network devices and creates a virtual environment to connect, test, and learn how these devices interoperate.  Generally speaking, as compute power has gone up we have moved toward emulation.  These tools can create virtual copies and topologies of existing networks allowing you to test and implement changes prior to rolling these changes out into the production network environment.  They are also a great way to learn networking protocols which is why we have used tools like this in our hands on classes since we could first get our hands on them.

Tool Name  Simulator or Emulator Web Site (if avail) Operating System Cost (if avail)
GNS3 Emulator
Check out our “how to” at the Online School (requires free user account): here
 ALL  Free
VIRL Emulator   Requires VMware $199 Yearly License
Eve-NG Emulator  ALL Free
Packet Tracer Simulator  ALL Free with Course 
Huawei eNSP  Simulator  ??? Free


Network/Device Security Audit Programs, Penetration Testing

Network Security Audit Programs are used to check/verify network devices for security vulnerabilities. The programs listed perform these verification tasks but they may be limited.  We urge you to try these tools against your network, and in some cases you may need to use multiple tools.

Tool Name  Web Site (if avail)  Operating System  Cost (if avail) 
My article on getting started with nmap: click here
Deeper scanning with nmap: click here
nmap scripting engine usage: click here
Zenmap – the nmap GUI: click here
 ALL Free
Nessus  ALL Free – Subscription
Netsparker   ??? $$ 
Nipper  Windows, Linux Free Trial, $$
OpenVAS Requires VirtualBox, runs as an appliance  Free Trial
Core Impact Pro   ??? ???
Check out our “how to” at the Online School (requires free user account): here
Windows only Free
SoftPerfect Network Scanner  Windows, OSX Free Trial 
Retina (old)  ???  ???
Qualys FreeScan  Web Based Free Trial


Intrution Detection Systems

Intrusion Detection System software is used to detect an ongoing attack attempt on your network or network devices and provide logging and/or alarms as well as blocking capabilities.

 Tool Name  Web Site (if avail)  Operating System  Cost (if avail) 
IPCop  Linux Free
Check out our “how to” at the Online School (requires free user account): here
 Linux $29.99 and up 
Security Onion Linux   Free
Check out our “how to” at the Online School (requires free user account): here
Linux and Windows Free

Web Security Tools

So many applications are really web based applications today.  These applications run on servers, and Web Security Tools will test these applications to ensure they are secure preventing would be attackers/hackers from gaining unauthorized access to your systems and database.  Further we need to test and verify TCP and UDP.

Tool Name   Web Site (if avail)   Operating System Cost (if avail) 
My article on iPerf: here
ALL Free
Burp Suite  ??? Free Trial
Zeek Network Security Monitor Linux Free 
Nikto2  Linux  Free
Ratproxy (old)  ??? ???
Samurai Web Testing Framework   Linux ???
Websecurify  ??? ???


We hope this list is useful and helpful.  If you think something is missing, or you can answer some of the ??? unknowns, please let me know in the comments below. 

Be sure to come back often as we intend to update this page.  Thanks in advance for your support and help. 

I hope you find this article and its content helpful.  Comments are welcomed below.  If you would like to see more articles like this, please support us by clicking the patron link where you will receive free bonus access to courses and more, or simply buying us a cup of coffee!, and all comments are welcome!

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