Explore, troubleshoot and diagnose your network with PortScan
Freeware developer The SZ has shipped a new version of PortScan, its one-stop network toolkit for Windows XP and later.
We last checked out the program way back in 2012, so the new release seems like a good time to look at it again.
The download is a compact 387KB, and there’s no installation required. Just unzip the single program executable.
The various PortScan functions are organised across eight tabs: Scan Ports, Search Devices, Ping Devices, Traceroute, Speed Test, Whois, DNS and About.
That last tab – About – is a good place to start, because the latest release doesn’t just give you the program version. There’s also a pile of information on your network setup, including host name, workgroup, IP address, network adapters and their individual details.
The Port Scanner is smarter than you’d think. Multi-threading and an option to scan “only common ports” means it runs quickly, and you get a vast amount of information on some targets: MAC address, host name, open ports, server details, network shares and more.
“Search Devices” may give you even more information about your connected network hardware, and there’s no setup involved, no address ranges to enter – just click Start and it reports any results in a few seconds.
Ping Devices runs your choice of ping type (3 short, large ping suite, continuous) against a specified IP address or server name, and displays a report.
Traceroute also works more or less expected. Enter a target, the program repeatedly runs a traceroute, listing intermediate IP addresses, resolving their host names, listing the pings received, minimum, maximum and average response time.
Speed Test is more impressive, with options to test your speed using 6 different sites and many more servers (it list all available SpeedTest.net servers and you can choose the one you need).
Whois displays the registration details for your target domain. No surprises there.
The package is rounded off neatly with a new DNS function, which interrogates the DNS server you specify for records relating to a given domain name. (Don’t have a DNS server address to hand? No problem, Google Public DNS is used by default.)
PortScan has some issues. You can’t easily use the output of one module in another, perhaps running a continuous ping against a detected device. You’re only able to save some of the reports, and even those are strictly XML-only.
Despite that, the program remains a handy network toolkit, especially useful when scanning for network devices or running internet speed tests. Give it a try.
PortScan is a freeware application for Windows XP and later.