IP scanners, tools like Advanced IP Scanner, Angry IP Scanner and Fing, can be useful for setting up and managing video surveillance systems. In this tutorial, we explain their uses, limitations, comparisons to vendor specific ones and conclude with videos showing operation of Advanced IP Scanner and Fing.
IP Scanner Basics
While exact features vary, IP scanners have three common functions:
Up/down status: The scanner sends a ping to each IP address in the specified range to see if it is up or down, the most basic indication of whether or not a device is available.
Basic port scanning: Common ports are scanned to see if services are running, such as web servers, FTP, RTSP, SSH, etc. Note that this scanning is generally not configurable, nor is it as detailed as a dedicated port scanner, such as NMAP.
Hostname/MAC lookup: Basic identification of devices is performed by checking the hostname of each if available, and looking up the MAC OUI to identify manufacturer. In many cases, this will identify the camera/server/NVR name and the brand.
Using these three functions, users gain three key benefits: