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I love coming across useful network-related tools, and SoftPerfect Network Scanner is pretty cool for both system administrators and geeky home users. With it you can scan an entire range of IP addresses and retrieve things like their host name, MAC address, response times, and much more.

When I ran this the first time I was very surprised to see that it at least recognized all of the machines active on my network, but it wasn’t able to grab some details such as the MAC address for those devices not running Windows. It was, however, able to fetch and make browsable my shared folders on both my Mac and Windows machines when using a specific user account that I was able to specify in the settings. This actually helped me find a shared folder that I was no longer using, and had thought I removed some time ago.

Here are some of the other things that the app is capable of (including Wake-On-LAN):

  • Pings computers.
  • Does not require administrative privileges.
  • Detects hardware (MAC) addresses even across routers.
  • Detects hidden shared folders (normally invisible on the network) and write accessible shares.
  • Detects your internal and external IP addresses.
  • Scans for listening TCP ports and SNMP services.
  • Retrieves currently logged-on users.
  • You can mount and explore network resources.
  • Can launch external third party applications.
  • Exports results to HTML, XML, CSV and TXT.
  • Supports Wake-On-LAN, remote shutdown and sending network messages.
  • Retrieves potentially any information via WMI.
  • Retrieves information from remote registry.

Give this free app a try if you like to know what’s happening with your network, or if you just want to pretend like you know. Sometimes pretending is half the battle. :)

SoftPerfect Network Scanner (Windows only; 32-bit/64-bit; Freeware/Portable)