With all of the data breaches lately, understanding the security of your information is essential to prevent becoming the next hacking headline. This includes understanding your external IP address and whether there are any open ports available.
The good news is that you can use an external port checker to make sure that your data is protected. Let’s take a look at what an external port checker is, how it works, and which tools may work best to protect your security.
What Is an External Port Checker?
Open ports provide an easy access point for malicious software. Without protection, viruses can sneak through your internet connection and infect the software on your computer.
While firewalls usually do a decent job of filtering out any malicious software, you shouldn’t expect it to filter out 100% of the security threats.
An external port checker is a tool that can be used to detect your external IP address. It also identifies if there are any open ports on your connection. If if it identifies an open port, you can address it before a virus gets the chance to sneak in.
How Does Port Checker Work?
But how exactly does an external port checker work?
An external port checker scans devices on a specified network. Depending on which type of port checker you use, there are a variety of scans available to run.
Simple port scanners typically use TCP scanning. This type of scan identifies open ports on a network and works to close them.
Some external port checkers may use more complicated methods of scanning. This includes SYN, UDP, ACK, or FIN scanning. Each scan type has a unique scan method that works in certain types of situations.
Which Port Checker is the best?
To understand which external port checker will work best for you, you need to understand which kind of scan you will need for the devices on your network.
Nmap is one of the most popular external port checkers available. The application is free and compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux OS.
Unicornscan is another free, external port scanner. Its ability to asynchronously run TCP and UDP scans is one of the reasons that it is a popular choice for an external port checker.
Angry IP scan is also a popular option for an external port scanner. Unlike some other, more clunky scanning programs, it has a lightning fast scanning speed. Like other popular options, it is free and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.
Other external port scanner to consider:
If you’re looking for a tried-and-true external port scanner, Netcat is a great option. Created in the mid-’90s, Netcat is useful for a wide variety of purposes. Netcat can run a variety of tests to check whether malicious attackers can penetrate your network.
If you’re concerned that you’re not tech-savvy enough to run an external port checker, Zenmap may be a good option for you. If you aren’t familiar with digging around in the command prompts, Zenmap provides a more user-friendly approach. Not only will Zenmap scan your network for threats, but it also saves the results in a database so that users can search and compare historical results.
This is not a comprehensive list of external port checkers available for your use.
Find a tool that fits the needs of your network. Ultimately, any one of these options will work.
The key isn’t so much about which scanner you use; instead, you should focus more on ensuring that you perform scans regularly.
Failing to scan your network and devices can only lead to one thing – being the next victim of a data breach.