For many years, IT professionals have relied on tools that require a PC or a laptop to run; smaller, more portable devices just weren’t available. Now, with the advent of nearly-ubiquitous smart phones and the proliferation of tablets, IT professionals can use these types of devices to test their networks and systems to ensure that things are running properly – and without lugging around a full laptop or heading back to the office to use a desktop.

This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

In this edition of Five Apps, I take a look at five free IT tools in the Apple App Store which can be used by IT professionals to diagnose problems with their networks and systems. All of these apps are “universal” apps, meaning that the same version can be used on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.

Five Apps

1: IP Network Scanner by 10base-t Interactive

IP Network Scanner quickly scans the local subnet (by default) returning a list of the systems detected and what their IP and MAC addresses are. Additionally, you can view the manufacturer, give the device a custom name and icon, and use several network tools and additional apps on the device all from the right-side pane. The free version is limited to the first five devices found, but you can adjust the scanning range to catch the group of devices you’re interested in. The full version is $9.99 and gives you unlimited devices.

2: Speedtest X HD by VeeApps

A speed test app is another must for IT professionals, and Speedtest X HD does an excellent and beautiful job. Free users get access to a limited number of servers to test against while users upgrading to the full version get access to many more. The gauge is simple and easy to read and the app gives you the typical ping, download, and upload results. VeeApps also offers a non-HD version of their app. Both paid versions cost $0.99.

3: NSLookup by Dayana Networks Ltd.

NSLookup does only one thing, but it does that thing well. Simply enter the domain name and it will return a list of name servers and hosts with IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. The few options available allow you to reduce the number of different types of results and make other minor tweaks. The paid version is $1.99 and appears to just remove the ads.

4: Netstat by James Devenish

Another essential IT app is Netstat. The free version will list all currently-open sockets on the device and give several details about those sockets. The paid version ($3.99) goes a little bit further in allowing you to monitor another device’s sockets. You can also buy the connection details module for $0.99. One additional stand-out feature of this app is that it exports the results to CSV which you can then sync to iTunes, open with another app, or send as an e-mail attachment.

5: Remote Desktop Lite – RDP by MochaSoft

Finally, no Windows IT professional would be complete without an RDP app. Remote Desktop – RDP is an easy-to-use Remote Desktop client with many options available for advanced configuration; however, basic configuration is as simple as entering the IP address or hostname. Once you connect to a remote Windows system, you can see, zoom, and pan the screen around as needed and use the built-in iOS keyboard or an external one when you need to type. The paid version ($5.99) gives you additional hotkeys on the screen, better mouse support, and removes the ads.

Your picks

What IT Tools have you used from the Apple App Store? Share your recommendations with fellow TechRepublic members in the discussion forum.

Also read: