Nmap (Network Mapper) is a free and open source utility for network discovery and security auditing. It is designed to rapidly scan large networks, although it works fine against single hosts.

Nmap uses raw IP packets in novel ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems (and OS versions) they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are being used, and dozens of other characteristics.

Nmap is highly flexible, powerful, and suitable for network administrators to monitor and manage their networks, as well as security practitioners to assess network security.

Key Features of Nmap

  • Flexibility: Can be used to scan large networks or individual hosts.

  • Powerful Scanning Techniques: Utilizes raw IP packets in novel ways to gather detailed information about network hosts.

  • Versatility: Useful for both network administrators for monitoring and managing networks, and for security practitioners conducting security audits.

  • Portability: Runs on all major operating systems.

  • Free and Open Source: Available for free, with source code accessible for modification or enhancement.

  • Rich Output Formats: Supports several types of output formats for analysis and reporting.

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