How to Use Fing for Network Scanning and Mapping

Fing is an app that has a number of different purposes. It can scan for devices that are connected to a specific wifi network, ping devices or sites, find open ports, and perform other functions as well.

In some ways, it’s similar to nmap, though it’s a bit simpler to learn and use. Can you already hear the experts saying, “It’s for noobs”?

nmap on Kali Linux

Nmap will be covered in a future post. Anyhow, when you scan a network with Fing, it will display all of the internet of things (IoT) devices that it picks up on that particular network:

These may include smartphones, routers, laptops, fitness trackers, etc. Part of why this is useful is that it can help you identify unauthorized devices on your network. From this menu, you can select a specific device and perform several different actions: ping, traceroute, find open ports, or wake on LAN.

Ping, as on the Linux terminal, is intended to determine the reachability of another device from the host device (yours). Hit the “Start” button, and Fing will send data packets to the specified device. Afterward, it will display the round-trip time on a graph:

Traceroute (which can also be performed on the Linux terminal) maps the trip that a data packet takes when going from its source to a destination. For example, moving from your smartphone to a router, or to your smart TV. On Fing, when you perform this command, it will display the IP address of the targeted host, how many hops the data packet took on the route, and the average time it took for it to reach its destination.

Likewise, the “find open ports” option searches for open TCP ports, both to search for available services and to seek vulnerabilities.

As you can see, in this instance, open ports on the specified device are 53 (DNS), 80 (http), 443 (https), and 8080 (http-proxy). A similar test can be performed in Linux using the cat command.

While all of these commands can be used via the Linux terminal as well, Fing combines them into a simple interface which is also easy to learn. Overall, it’s an extremely helpful tool which, as a side benefit, can help you learn computer networking.

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