The de facto standard to scan networks has been nmap. But even with the graphical front-end, Zenmap, I still find myself willing to try other tools to perform port scans if they can do a good job and bring additional functionality to the task.Recently, I came across Yet Another Port Scanner, or YAPS. YAPS does effectively all of the same nmap functionality except it is designed to scan all ports. Nmap does a good job of presuming the primary ports in use or allowing a range of ports to be scanned. I frequently scan all ports, and YAPS takes that approach in allowing a single fixed range of ports in the interactive scan. Figure A below shows YAPS scanning a Windows server running VMware vCenter Server with the expected ports open:
Click to enlarge thumbnail.YAPS offers additional options such as the continuous scan and the option to scan an entire range of IP addresses. These can be useful for scanning an entire network and continuously monitoring for presence changes. Figure B below shows this functionality for scanning my entire home lab:
Click to enlarge thumbnail.
I don't see this as a full replacement of nmap, but YAPS does offer a lightweight (132 KB) alternative to scanning within Windows in a graphical front end. Zenmap does provide a graphical interface, but I've never liked the interface as it is too busy. I would frequently go the scripted route if I want a complicated nmap run. Further, I've never liked the additional installation components either with Zenmap (such as winpcap). YAPS installs with no additional Windows components required.
YAPS version 188.8.131.52 was released in October 2010 and is a free download from the SteelBytes website. Have you used YAPS? Do you use other port scanning tools besides nmap or Zenmap? Share your comments below.
Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.