Key Differences: WireShark vs. NMAP
WireShark and NMAP are the tools used by programmers for analysis, diagnosis, and troubleshooting. When it comes to networking and coding, you probably know that to achieve great results you need to have a certain set of tools that will enable that. However, what are the key differences between WireShark and NMAP?
Both WireShark and NMAP are considered very useful and handy tools. However, while WireShark lets you log in traffic and analyze network protocols, NMAP allows you to scan objects for listening ports and discover network services. Although both are analyzing tools, they are used in different ways.
Below, I have explained in detail the features of both WireShark and NMAP, and the key differences that exist between the two. Even though they are both used for analyzing and troubleshooting, they have different features and are used in different manners. Once you understand the differences between them, you will see that you can use both of them while programming and networking, and you will find them very handy.
What Is WireShark And How Is It Used?
WireShark is one of the most used and widely known analyzers for network protocols. This analyzer allows you to monitor all the work the happens on your network at a microscopic level. This means that you can catch every little detail that goes on the network, and diagnose the traffic that goes through it.
WireShark is a standardized analyzer, meaning that is widely used across a wide range of commercial and non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and agencies that work for the government. WireShark continuously develops, since many networking experts from all around the world constantly provide their contribution and work on improvements. The project for developing this analyzer started in 1998 by Gerald Combs.
WireShark has a rich background of features, meaning that you can use it for different purposes. You may need it for some of its features, or for all of them, but it is, without doubt, one of the handiest tools in the computer networking field. It provides you a great insight into the network traffic and simplifies your work a great deal.
Firstly, WireShark allows you a deep inspection of a great number of protocols, while providing both live and offline analysis. You can use it on many platforms, such as Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, and many more. Therefore, you do not need to worry about its compatibility with different operating systems.
Secondly, you can browse the captured network data through GUI, or TTY-mode, both of which are WireShark utilities. When it comes to the live data that has been captured, you can read it on Ethernet, IEEE 802.11, PPP/HDLC, ATM, Bluetooth, USB, Token Ring, FDDI, and many others. This usually depends on the platform you are using.
Furthermore, WireShark includes the most powerful display filters in the networking industry, and it offers rich VoIP analysis. It is also quite easy to use since it supports decryption for many protocols, including SNMPv3, SSL/TLS, WEP, WPA/WPA2, IPsec, ISAKMP, and Kerberos.
Lastly, it is a well-organized analyzer since it allows applying coloring rules to the packet list for quick and simple analysis, and enables the output to be exported to XML, PostScript®, CSV, or plain text.
What Is NMAP And How Is It Used?
NMAP, or Network Mapping, is an open-source utility for security auditing and network discovery. Network administrators consider it a useful and handy tool for monitoring host and service uptime, handling network inventory, and managing service upgrade schedules. It is specifically designed for scanning large networks, but it can do quick scans on single hosts as well.
NMAP uses revolutionary IP packets for determining available hosts on the network, the offered services of those hosts, the operating systems the hosts are running, what kind of firewalls are used, and similar network characteristics. It is used on different platforms, such as Windows, macOS, and Linux, and it consists of a lot of features that networking administrators find very handy and useful.
NMAP is characterized by flexibility since it supports a great number of advanced techniques for mapping out networks that include IP filters, routers, firewalls, and similar things that make the network difficult to approach. It is also highly powerful since it is used to scan huge networks on thousands of machines.
It is considered an easy tool because of its simple commands, therefore it is suitable for beginners as well. In addition, this open-source utility is free, so you do not have to spend a small fortune to have all of its features at your disposal.
Finally, it is quite popular worldwide and is highly acclaimed since it has received many awards over the years. Networking experts enjoy using it since it offers great features and simplifies their way of work.
As I mentioned before, NMAP is used for scanning large networks with a lot of obstacles included in them. It is very popular among networking experts and administrators, who have claimed that once you use this utility, you will never want to switch to something different.
This is due to several facts. First of all, NMAP is quite portable, meaning that is supported on many operating systems, like Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, macOS, and many more. You will not need any additional programs or tools to use this utility for scanning.
Furthermore, it offers great organization since it is well-documented. This means that you have a comprehensive organization of whitepapers, pages, tutorials, and even books about it, i.e. you can use it without any problems. Every issue that might arise while its usage, you can solve by turning to the tutorials and other pages.
Lastly, it is well-supported, meaning that there are a lot of people who use it and offer to help you if you have any difficulties with it. There is an online chat that will provide you guidelines at any time.
As you could see, both WireShark and NMAP are great and useful tools, which are quite popular in the world of networking. They can ease your work significantly with all of the features they offer, and it is important to take note that you can use both of them since they have different purposes in networking.