02-01-10 | Blog Post
Troubleshooting is often a long road filled with many turns that could lead you down the wrong path, further away from a resolution. It is quite frustrating to spend several hours on a single issue that in the end turns out to have a simpler solution that could have been discovered earlier if the proper tools had been utilized.
The support team at Online Tech is always searching for an effective tool to assist in troubleshooting the myriad of issues that we come upon on any given day. In my personal experience I have found that often networking issues can be the most frustrating because of the many points between you and your server.
In an attempt to gain better visibility into these complex issues I have come across a very useful program that I would recommend to anyone that is attempting to troubleshoot their network, firewall, or a simple connectivity issue. Nmap is a small but powerful tool that is often used as a network troubleshooting device since it can detect open ports, the OS type and Version, the routes between you and your server, and many other things making it extremely flexible. Nmap was created by insecure.org and its sole developer Gordon “Fyodor” Lyon for multiple purposes such as security auditing, online host discovery, and network troubleshooting. According to the website Nmap was given the title “Security Product of the Year” by multiple technical journals as well as being featured in movies such as The Matrix Reloaded and Die Hard 4.
This piece of software is invaluable to me since it is very flexible in the function that it provides allowing a user to map out entire networks of hundreds of thousands of machines. It has a very simplistic interface that allows you to enter the host name, adjust the type of scan that you want (you can even specify which ports you want scanned), and with a simple click of the scan button it will begin mapping your destination. Nmap scans a server and provides me with easy to read diagrams as well as lists of ports, Server IP addresses, Operating systems, routers, firewalls, and many other things. Some of the greatest perks of this piece of software is that it is completely free and supported by a fanatical community of developers who are eager to help you resolve issues with the program. Alongside the development community is a plethora of comprehensive and easy to use documentation for the many features.
Nmap is an essential tool used in my troubleshooting process and I have enjoyed great success when using it. For more information on this networking tool please visit nmap.org.