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Best IP address tools of 2020

Best IP Address Tools
(Image credit: Shutterstock / carlos castilla)
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

If you manage a large network of computers and other devices, you probably have many IP addresses to keep track of, which makes it essential to have a reliable IP address tool.

With an IP address tool, you can keep track of all the addresses on your network, ensure that all your devices can connect to each other successfully, and troubleshoot any conflicts. 

There is a variety of different types of IP address tools. IP address managers, at their most basic, provide a database of your IPs. IP address trackers tell you which IPs are actually configured for specific devices, as opposed to which ones are in existence on the network, which is what the address manager tells you. There are also IP address scanners that let you scan a range of IPs to see which ones are responding. 

In this article, we’ll look at five of the best IP address tools available, to make the task of administering your network more manageable.

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Despite its name, Advanced IP Scanner is simple to use. (Image credit: Famatech)

1. Advanced IP Scanner

Easy to use IP scanner for Windows

Free
Easy to use
Fast network scanning
Used to be cross-platform compatible, but now is Windows only
Not as many features as some others in this list

Advanced IP Scanner is a free tool from Famatech Corp. It’s designed for Windows operating systems, including Windows 10. Despite its name, the software is actually simple to use. 

To get started, enter the range of IP addresses that you want to scan. This can either be done manually or with a text file. Once the scan is completed, you’ll receive a report that contains the responses from each device, along with other information, like the hostname, MAC address, and network interface vendor. This report can then be exported to CSV.

Advanced IP Scanner also allows you to remotely control devices—including switching them on and off—via remote desktop protocol (RDP) and Radmin, another software product developed by Famatech.

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 Angry IP Scanner can scan your local network as well as the internet. (Image credit: angryziber)

2. Angry IP Scanner

Open source and cross-platform IP scanning

Angry IP Scanner is a free IP scanning tool that is open source and cross-platform compatible (the only requirement is that Java must also be installed).

It can scan your local network, as well as the internet. If scanning locally, you can choose to scan the whole network or specific subnets or IP ranges. Information captured will include hostnames, MAC addresses, ports, and NetBIOS information, like the computer and workgroup name and the currently logged-in user. If you need more information, the data captured can be extended with plugins. Anyone who is able to code in Java will be able to write their own plugins.

 Although Angry IP Scanner is a GUI tool, it also has a command-line version that will enable system admins to integrate its capabilities into custom scripts. The results of scans can then be saved to a variety of file formats, including CSV, TXT, and XML. 

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BlueCat Address Manager

Bluecat Address Manager provides a web-based interface for managing IP addresses.  (Image credit: BlueCat)

3. BlueCat Address Manager

Manage your DDI data

Full IPv6 support
Automated DDI management
Accessible and scalable
Support for Microsoft Hyper-V
Provides less information out of the box than other options

BlueCat Address Manager is a tool for managing your DDI data. DDI stands for domain name system, dynamic host configuration protocol, and IP address management. 

BlueCat gives you a web-based interface for managing all the IP addresses on your network, displaying them in a table with a wide range of information, including hostname, MAC address, IP range, and the device. 

The software aims to simplify network management by including built-in IP modeling tools and network templates. With these, network admins can bring together data for both their on-premises and cloud-based devices.

BlueCat is a paid product, and you’ll need to contact the company to get a customized quote based on your company’s requirements.

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Nmap is a tool designed for network discovery and security auditing. (Image credit: Nmap)

4. Nmap

Designed for network discovery and security

Free
Well-supported
Accurate results
Can be difficult to learn
GUI user interface could be better

Nmap, short for Network Mapper, is a free, open-source tool designed for network discovery and security auditing. It can also be used for network inventory management and uptime monitoring. This popular tool has been used to scan networks consisting of hundreds of thousands of devices.

Nmap runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux and is available as a command-line executable and GUI. It comes with a suite of tools, including a results viewer, a debugging tool, a utility to compare scan results, and a tool to analyze packets and responses.

With Nmap, it is easy to scan hosts for important information about things like open ports and operating system versions, but it can also be used to discover all the servers on a network.

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Solarwinds IP Control Bundle

Solarwinds IP Control Bundle enables admins to detect IP conflicts. (Image credit: Solarwinds)

5. Solarwinds IP Control Bundle

Enables admins to detect IP conflicts

Easy to use
30-day free trial
Feature packed
Windows Server 2016 and 2019 only
Limited languages support
May not be compatible with other IP management software

The primary purpose of the IP Control Bundle software from Solarwinds is to enable network admins to detect IP conflicts and the systems affected, and then reconfigure IP settings to solve the issues. 

Not only will you get detailed information on IPs and associated devices and users, but you’ll also be able to edit the status, type, hostname, and MAC address.

The program has a comprehensive reporting system that will alert you if there are any IP conflicts or if any subnets are getting close to reaching their capacity. Alerts can be received in several ways, so you can be notified even when you’re not at your workstation.