Network scanning on iOS
Before plunging in, I'll be first to admit that I don't normally associate iOS with network scanning or security tools. In the past, I've run network scanner apps primarily on Linux or Mac OS X, using tools such as nmap, nessus, even a discontinued tool known as Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks (SATAN) many moons ago. For users of Windows, Wireshark is probably one of the more popular tools used to scan networks.
So after a reader emailed me about Scany -- a network scanning app for the iPhone and iPad -- I couldn't resist the temptation to test its features. I installed Scany on an iPad 3 running the most up-to-date version of iOS (currently version 8.3).
Scanning a single network address
For those interested in scanning a single network address, Scany permits entry of either the IP address or hostname. For any given host, a variety of scan options are available to choose from such as Interesting Services, Unix Services, Port Range, and Port List.
After scan options are selected and scanning has started, Scany updates -- in real time -- scan status and a list of findings, grouped into sections when complete: IP Address, Hostname, UPNP Name, TPC Ports, UDP Ports, Status (Online, ping-able, and firewall status), Hardware (MAC address, model, and vendor information) and Ping RTT. These final scan results can be copied, exported as a file, or emailed.
Scany, provides a ton of information, so it's easy to overlook the small information buttons scattered throughout the results section. For example, tapping the information button in the Hostname section conveniently displays all available WHOIS registration data for a given domain.
Scany also sports a feature called Wake on LAN:
I enjoyed Scany's technique of showing traceroute data. This too, is continually updated and refreshed in real time. (Please note data in the screenshot below has been truncated for display purposes.)
Scan a LAN
For network admins, Scany makes life easy with its IP range scanning feature, known as Scan LAN:
Scan options are applied automatically to each host found within the range of starting and ending IP addresses.
Quick Tools and settings
Rounding out our tour of Scany, we find Quick Tools and Settings tucked away in the bottom right corner of the icon menu.
Quick Tools provides a convenient one-stop-shopping scan menu ...
... and Settings is the "go-to" place for fine-tuning scan parameters.
About the only fault I can find with Scany is that I would have preferred to see an iPad-only version supporting landscape mode. That minor issue aside, I found Scany to be a reliable app, as well as fast and responsive. Most important, Scany is a genuinely useful app, one that can be especially useful for admins or other users interested in securing local networks.
It also doesn't hurt knowing Scany is a fun and enjoyable app to use.
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