It automatically discovers and monitors layer 2 and layer 3 switches, and it constantly watches ports and switches, gauging response time, packet loss, CPU load, and memory utilization. It sends alerts as switches approach their capacity. UDT serves a pragmatic function in this way through network visualization and performance monitoring. In addition, it provides enhanced visibility into network users and strengthens network security—an increasingly crucial consideration as networks grow more complex and organizational members each bring a bevy of devices, presenting more opportunities for breaches.
With SolarWinds UDT, admins can not only customize their own reports—vital for compliance—but they can also drill into device connection history and user login history. Most importantly, they can cut through the noise to identify any unauthorized users siphoning resources from their network or, worse, carrying out cyberattacks.
The UDT whitelisting feature empowers admins to designate safe, known devices so it can push alerts when new and potentially dangerous devices come online. Now that you have the best tool in place to scan, monitor, and manage IP addresses on your network, having a baseline understanding of how IP addresses work—including the differences between the addressing systems of IPv4 and IPv6—can also help protect the performance and integrity of networks.
The IP address exists to identify devices connecting via the internet, which is itself a network of other networks communicating via the standards delineated by the Transfer Control Protocol TCP and Internet Protocol IP.
To achieve internet access, then, every device must have a way of identifying itself. Identification serves two primary purposes:. A user who wishes to reach a site on a computer or other device inputs the domain name like www. Once the device has the IP address, it can connect to the site and interact however it wants.
All IP addresses have both binary and dot-decimal notations for an address. The binary representation of an IP address is used to communicate with devices, while the translated dotted decimal format helps make it easier for users to understand and remember IP addresses. Currently, there are two coexisting standards also called versions for formulating IP addresses:.
With more data allocated for each address, the IPv6 protocol creates many more IP address variations than IPv4, eliminating the need to assign public and private addresses, which can result in collisions. Since it allows for variations, the new protocol provides a good deal of room for IoT to grow. Because IPv6 is an evolutionary upgrade, it can coexist with IPv4 and will do so until the earlier version is eventually phased out.
By transitioning to IPv6 over time, the internet should be able to allocate more individual addresses to devices, increasing both the number of hosts and the volume of data traffic it can accommodate. Each IPv4 address contains two crucial components: a network identifier and a host identifier. In an IPv4 address, the network identifier contains the network number, which, per its name, identifies the specific network to which the device belongs. The host identifier, or node identifier, is the collection of bits unique to the device in use on the network, differentiating it from other machines on the network and on the internet.
The number of nodes a network will need to support determines the exact structure of the IPv4 address, which is further classified into different address classes.
Because of fears that the classful IPv4 addressing system was too quickly using up available address variations, the Internet Engineering Task Force developed the Classless Inter-Domain Routing CIDR system to allow for network prefixes sized between the 8-bit intervals instituted by classful networking. The size of this prefix determines the number of variations available to each network or subnetwork.
Put simply, the subnet mask expresses in dot-decimal IP form how many bits in the IPv4 address belong to the prefix. For example, a CIDR with a prefix length of 4 meaning the network number is only 4 bits, as opposed to a typical Class A length of 8 is, in binary, According to CIDR notation, the length of the subnet mask the number of bits used by the prefix is expressed by a suffix composed of a slash and a number. So, given the IP address IPv6 addresses work in a similar fashion to IPv4 addresses, though they contain more data. Each hexadecimal number requires 4 bits, and each block consists of 4 hexadecimals.
Each IPv6 address contains 8 blocks— bits total, which are, like IPv4, divided into network and node components. The first 64 bits correspond to the network component, laying out the global unicast address 48 bits followed by the subnet ID 16 bits. Essentially, this means that the first 3 bytes identify the network address used by internet routing to reach the proper network, and the fourth byte configured by network administrators themselves routes any communications to the correct internal subnet within the broader local network.
The last 64 bits make up the interface ID, which identifies the node within the network that internal network or external internet communications must reach. The interface ID is generated from the media access control MAC address, given by network interface card manufacturers and stored in the device hardware. Ultimately, IPv6 incurs some inconveniences. Namely, infrastructure will have to transition between the protocol versions, and the addresses are significantly longer. But the protocol solves the most notable dilemma networking faces: a shortage of IP addresses.
The number is practically inconceivable in human terms. As one computer hobbyist puts it, that value ,,,,,,,,,,,, is equal to over undecillion. Put another way, that amounts to 50 octillion IP addresses per human being, given a global population of 7. There are two basic forms of IP address: static and dynamic. This understandably has its pros and cons. A static IP address can be relied upon to stay the same regardless of other infrastructure developments, meaning IT admins will never encounter a surprise when scanning for IP addresses.
However, depending on the size of the network, the manual allocation of all host IP addresses can require a massive amount of time, tracking, and structuring. Especially given that static addresses can become incompatible with a system in various ways, choosing to exclusively use static addresses is largely inefficient and inflexible.
Nevertheless, there are several good reasons to opt for the static IP address system. The process of assigning a static IP address is lengthy and complicated, so it typically requires a professional. This constraint makes static IP addresses more suitable to a business environment, though they can add benefits to home networks as well.
Static IP addresses are helpful when:. Most IP address scanners just add a front end to that arp command you tried yourself. An alternative method uses a utility called Ping and runs the command repeatedly to see which addresses respond. This category of software is called a Ping sweep tool. If a tool just sweeps the network and lists current addresses, strictly speaking, that is an address scanner. If you have a small network with static IP addresses, then a list of IP addresses currently in use on the network may be all the address tracking you need.
The basic task of scanning for the addresses currently in use is a necessary network management responsibility because it enables you to check for unauthorized connections. However, just to be sure, periodic scans of the network should be performed. If you operate a system that allows anyone to connect, such as a BYOD wifi router for the private use of employees, then it is advisable to check on the addresses of the devices connected to the network and keep a log of them.
To give you an idea of the type of information you can get from an IP address scanner or a Ping sweep tool, take a look at these two tools:.
The output of a scan shows the IP Address of each device on the network , together with the hostname and the contact response time. To get a look at how a Ping sweep tool operates you could try out the SolarWinds Ping Sweep function. The tool works on Windows and it has a graphical interface. You need to enter an address range before starting the sweep. The results of a sweep show each IP address in use, the host name of that device and the response time for that node.
Unfortunately, this tool is not free. The toolset is a bit pricey, but it is packed with all of the network administration tools that you are going to need. You can try out the package in a day free trial. Scans can be run through the graphical user interface GUI or the command line. Scans are multithreaded to ensure that IP addresses are found quickly. When running a search you can enter hostnames , IP address ranges , and port ranges to determine what information is displayed on the screen.
Once you activate the scan you are then shown a list of IP addresses on the screen. In practice, this allows you to check up on the status of these ports to verify that the network is secure. Being able to check up on IP addresses and port status together allows you to manage your IPs while simultaneously monitoring security vulnerabilities.
The Command Prompt tool also offers other means of finding IP addresses, including looking up the server IP address that hosts your business website or listing. Windows 8 - Finding the IP Number and MAC Address of a Network Card Type ipconfig /all at the command prompt to check the network card.
You can also see the host names , MAC addresses , and operating systems of connected devices. To make it easier to run subsequent searches, you can save scan configurations. Being able to save configurations and results like this makes running scans and feeding back their results much easier. As a port scanning solution, SolarWinds Port Scanner is suited to those organizations that need a fast and low maintenance IP scanning solution.
The option to use a GUI or command line interface makes this program accessible to users no matter which they prefer. Best of all, SolarWinds Port Scanner is available as a free tool. One level up from scanning is tracking. An IP tracker will spot when an allocated IP address gets dropped or becomes unresponsive. This situation is very rare on a small network, but once you install a separate DHCP server , dropped or changed IP addresses start to become a big issue.
If you try allocating your IP addresses yourself without a server, you are going to end up with duplicate addresses and DNS errors , so things can really get out of hand very quickly without a tracker. When you think of all of your tasks to administrate your network, the allocation of IP addresses is pretty close to the top of the list. However, few administrators think to keep checking on IP addresses.
The lack of tracking capabilities on most networks can spell disaster. You will end up firefighting and trying to work out how two devices ended up with the same IP Address and you will wonder why it is that one part of the network keeps blocking up.
These are address tracking issues that you need to get ahead of. Avoiding network address issues is the first stage of a smarter way to work.
Make contention prevention and subnet right-sizing priorities for your network and many of your regular problems will disappear. SolarWinds gives a much better deal with its IP Tracker than it does with its Ping Sweep tool, because this standalone utility is completely free of charge. This can result from a pending migration, the use of proxy services like CloudFlare, or other reasons. We provided your IP address in the Welcome Email you received when first enlisting our services.
If you cannot locate this email, then consider one of the other options below or contact our support team. We host a global DNS checker on our website. If you know how to access your command line or terminal emulator, you can use the ping command to identify your IP address. For hour assistance any day of the year, contact our support team by email or through your Client Portal.