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Many advanced users often need to find and list all hosts on a network, often for IP discovery, connecting to a remote machine, or other purpose for system management or network management. One of the easiest ways to find all hosts and the host IP addresses on a network is to use the nmap command line tool.
Nmap is compatible with every major operating system, including Mac OS, Windows and Linux, and while it isn’t preinstalled by default in MacOS, you can install Homebrew and then install nmap (brew install nmap), or you can install nmap on a Mac directly without a package manager . So we’re going to focus on using nmap to find and list all hosts on a network, and we’re going to assume you already have nmap on your particular Mac. If for some reason you cannot use nmap, it may be useful to look at IP addresses of LAN devices with arp as an alternative solution.
How to Find all hosts on network with nmap
Ready to list all IP addresses of hosts on a network with nmap? It’s easy, here’s everything you need to do:
- Start the Terminal if you haven’t already
- Enter the following command string, replacing your network IP and range:
- Hit return and wait a moment or two to see the detected hosts on the network
nmap -sn 192.168.1.0/24
Command output from nmap might look something like this, detecting and displaying host IP addresses of found devices and hardware on the network:
% nmap -sP 192.168.1.0/20 Start nmap (https://nmap.org) at 06/15/2022 4:24 PM PDTNmap scan report for 192.168.1.1 Host is up (0.0063s latency). Nmap scan report for 192.168.1.2Host is up (0.019s latency). Nmap scan report for 192.168.1.9Host is up (0.0051s latency). Nmap scan report for 192.168.1.11Host is up (0.021s latency). Nmap scan report for 192.168.1.12Host is up (0.0211s latency). Nmap scan report for 192.168.1.15Host is up (0.022s latency). Nmap scan report for 192.168.1.25Host is up (0.024 sec latency) Nmap ready: 4096 IP addresses (7 hosts up) scanned in 43.67 seconds
Essentially how this works is that nmap tries to ping the host IP range on the network to see if they exist, if they do and respond they will be returned in the nmap results, and if they don’t or not respond, they will not be returned. mention. That leads to the obvious question: how do you detect hosts on the network that don’t respond to ping and ICMP requests (as some users intentionally disable ICMP request response on Mac, Windows, or Linux computers), but to doing that will probably have to have a port scan on the network rather than relying on ping.
You can also use the -sP flag, which may work on older versions of nmap if -sn fails. The result should be the same regardless of:
nmap -sP 192.168.1.0/24
nmap is one of the best Homebrew packages out there, so if this article interests you but you don’t have it yet, this is a good reason to fire up Homebrew and install nmap. And of course if you don’t know how to install homebrew but you can learn it how to do that too.
Do you know of any other method to discover and find all hosts on a network? Share your tricks in the comments below!
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