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13 Free Network and DNS Tools

By Eric Geier (Send Email)
Posted March 5, 2012


You can never have enough tools in your arsenal when it comes to networking. These 13 tools will help you administer, troubleshoot, manage, and secure your network. A few you may have heard of it, but most likely at least a few of these free network and DNS tools will be new to you and worth checking out.

eToolz

This portable Windows application includes all the common network utilities for diagnosis and troubleshooting, such as NS-Lookup, tracing, whois and ping. It also offers tools for Google PageRank checking, email address verification, retrieving HTTP header info and connecting to Internet time servers.

Fing

This network discovery and scanning tool is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux computers, as well as Android and iOSmobile devices. The computer versions don't currently have a GUI and must be used via an interactive command-line interface, but the mobile versions do have a GUI and are great for scanning Wi-Fi networks.

Advanced IP Scanner

This network discovery and scanning tool features a Windows GUI. It offers shortcuts to the resources (HTTP, HTTPS, FTP or shared folders) of detected computers and clients. It also supports remote wake up and shut down of remote groups of Windows machines. If you use the Radmin remote access solution, you can also connect to any detect machine with Radmin Server.

SpiceWorks

The SpiceWorks solution combines network monitoring, help desk ticketing, UPS power management, RFQ, and PC inventory tools. It also features an online community for interacting with other IT professionals.

DNSCrypt

This service from OpenDNSallows you to fully secure your DNS traffic from eavesdropping and attacks like DNS cache poisoning. Download the client program to your computer, and it encrypts all the DNS traffic to and from its servers to prevent snooping and tampering. DNSCrypt is currently in its Preview Release phase with clients for Mac OS X (Snow Leopard and later) and Linux.

DNS Benchmark Tool

This Windows utility can help you measure the performance, reliability and security of your current DNS infrastructure. It performs a detailed analysis and comparison of up to 200 DNS nameservers of your local or remote DNS. In addition to listing and graphing the nameservers, it provides details such as response times, caching and DNSSEC support. It also supports CVS logging that can be used for long-term analysis.

NS Spoofability Test

This web-based utility performs automated tests to see if your current DNS is vulnerable to spoofing where hackers could potentially perform DNS cache poisoning to redirect you to malicious sites. The tests can take anywhere from seconds to several minutes. Once completed, it reports the anti-spoofing safety score among other details and ample explanation.

Firesheep

This Firefox add-on is available for Windows and Mac OS X. It performs HTTP session hijacking, also called sidejacking. You can use it to demonstrate to yourself or others the security risks of unencrypted web connections.

Droidsheep

Similar to Firesheep, this mobile app for Android-based devices performs HTTP session hijacking. Use it to demonstrate HTTP security vulnerabilities as well.

Colasoft Packet Builder

With Colasoft, you can craft and send custom network packets for troubleshooting and security testing. You can also define the common HEX raw data or use templates for Ethernet, ARP, IP, TCP and UDP packets.

NetSetMan

This useful utility is handy for an administrator or user to help manage and switch network settings. You can configure profiles, each with its own IP address setting (dynamic or static), DNS addresses, Workgroup and other settings. Then, you can easily switch between your profiles, and NetSetMan will automatically apply your desired settings.

SU1X 802.1X Configuration Deployment Tool

This is a set of programs that helps you create a customized installation wizard to deploy 802.1X or EAP settings on Windows clients. You can capture the desired network settings on an already configured client and configure additional settings in a text file, and then you can generate the installation wizard. You can then distribute this wizard to end users to configure their client for 802.1X.

Vistumbler

This Wi-Fi stumbler displays the basic access point (AP) details, including the SSID, security type and channel. It can even speak the SSID and RSSI of APs. You can also view graphs of the AP signals in addition to viewing text readouts. It's highly customizable and offers flexible configuration options. In addition to basic GPS support to record AP locations, Vistumbler supports live tracking within the application using Google Earth.

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