Doug Vitale Tech Blog

Nscan

According to Nscan’s creator, Nscan “is a port scanner, which uses the connect() method to find a list of a host’s open ports. The difference from most of other ports canners is it’s flexibility and speed.” The current version is 0.9.1, seemingly last updated in 2008. In order to install the program, I had to right-click the .exe file and choose ‘Run as Administrator’.

Currently, the main Nscan website, nscan.org, is offline but appears to be mirrored here. This creates a problem because Nscan is distributed as shareware ($19.95), but when you try to register your copy during installation, it attempts to forward you to http://www.nscan.org/?index=register to obtain a serial key. However, since nscan.org is down you cannot obtain the key.

Nscan product registration interface

The Nscan product registration interface

Nscan registration prompt

The Nscan registration prompt. Attempts to register result in failed HTTP forwards to nscan.org (site down).

The Nscan graphical user interface (GUI) lets you specify the scanning range type (single host, host range, host list in text file, socket list in text file, and random IPs in a text file) as well as the ports to target. Nscan comes with its own whois, traceroute, and dig utilities.

You can configure Nscan to log its activities (by default in C:\localhost.log). The level of detail in the logs can be adjusted based on your preference (options are Normal info, Network Unreachable Errors, Timeouts, Both Timeout and Unreachable, Explicit, and Absolute).

Main Nscan user interface

The main Nscan user interface

The Nscan interface for configuration options is shown below.

Nscan configuration options

I do not see any reason to use Nscan when there are simply better freeware tools available, such as Nmap, Angry IP Scanner, and SuperScan.

Recommended reading

If you found the content of this article helpful and want to expand your knowledge further, please consider buying a relevant book or two using the links below. Thanks!

Network Security Assessment on Amazon Network Security Assessment Network Security Bible on Amazon Network Security Bible

Network Security Auditing on Amazon Network Security Auditing Security Warrior on Amazon Security Warrior

Written by Doug Vitale

November 8, 2011 at 2:43 PM

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