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Editorial Review of Advanced LAN Scanner

September 2009
Preston Gralla

If you're a techie and have more than one PC at work or home on a network sharing a single Internet connection, you'll welcome this freebie, which offers surprisingly powerful scanning capabilities. Use it for everything from troubleshooting Internet connections, to network configuration, to making sure your PCs are as safe as possible when they're on the Internet.

When you first run the program, you may encounter an error message, saying that a default configuration is being used. You can safely ignore that message. Simply click the scan button, and it goes to work. It looks across your network, finds all PCs on it, then gives you quite a bit of detail about each. In addition to the local IP address of each PC, you'll also find what ports are open and what ports are closed on each PC. Armed with that information, you can use a firewall to close them down.

In addition to open and closed ports, you'll also be shown other information, such as what services are running on each PC, the NetBIOS names (if any) associated with each PC, and even a list of users and groups on each PC. If any PCs have shared folders, you'll see those as well. All this information is immensely useful to those who want to keep their PCs secure, or need to troubleshoot networks or Internet connections.

Making the software all the more remarkable is that it's free.

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