Nmap Basics: What Is Nmap & How Is It Used?>

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2 – 3 min read 18 02/28/2022

Nmap, short for “Network Mapper”, is an open-sourced tool for network discovery and auditing. It is now one of the most widely used tools for network mapping by system administrators. Nmap searches for hosts and services on a network.

There are a variety of free network monitoring tools and vulnerability scanners that are available to security professionals, however, Nmap stands out. Nmap is not only free, but it is also incredibly flexible, portable, well-documented, and simple to use.

Nmap has the advantage of combining a variety of capabilities into a single package, rather than forcing you to switch between other network monitoring programs. To use it, you should be familiar with command line interfaces.

This tutorial will demonstrate how to perform a ping scan, a host scan and an OS and services scan with Nmap.

Scanning with Nmap Ping Scan

The most basic function of Nmap is to identify hosts on your network. To identify the IP addresses that are currently on the network, Nmap uses a ping scan. This scan returns a list of hosts on your network as well as the total number of IP addresses. These scans are done without sending packets to the hosts. You can run more commands on the found hosts to examine them more thoroughly.

Run the following command to execute a ping scan:

# nmap -sp

Host Scan

Using Nmap to run a host scan

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