Windows Enterprise Desktop

Jun 6 2018   12:02PM GMT

NirSoft NetBScanner Offers Win10 LAN Insights

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Tags:
IP networking
NetBIOS
Windows 10

Nir Sofer is a prolific developer of Windows tools for all kinds of uses. His NirLauncher utility console brings over 200 tools together, at last count. After massive reporting of LAN issues for Version 1803, I re-discovered his excellent NetBScanner utility. It scans local subnets nicely, and produces readable reports on what it finds. My LAN is on a private Class C subnet 192.168.1.x. The tool quickly scanned through all 256 LAN addresses and produced a table of the occupied addresses. Because the data is nicely pruned and formatted, NirSoft NetBScanner offers Win10 LAN insights that are immediate and useful.

NirSoft NetBScanner Offers Win10 LAN Insights.nbscanoutput

Only occupied IP addresses show up, with all the useful and interesting values ready to hand.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

How NirSoft NetBScanner Offers Win10 LAN Insights

The problem with built-in command line tools is that they make it difficult to pair up NetBIOS names, IP addresses, MAC addresses, and adapter vendor info in a single glance. NetBScanner does all that in one swell foop, and provides NetBIOS Master Browser status as well. This tool came in very handy as I was trying to make my LAN nodes visible to the other Windows 10 hosts on the network after upgrading to 1803 earlier this month. I’ve also read online that numerous other regulars and members at TenForums have benefited from using this nice little tool, too.

Although NetBIOS has a deserved reputation as something of a “Zombie protocol” (the protocol that wouldn’t die), it’s still around. And it’s still the cornerstone for LAN access and use among Windows PCs. Thus, ready access to this tool will help you see and figure out what’s up on your Windows LAN, should trouble rear its ugly head. And indeed, it helped me figure out that several of my nodes had switched from private to public network status after applying the 1803 upgrade. A quick switch back, and some tweaks to the Defender Firewall, and I was able to see and interact with my entire LAN cohort, as shown in the preceding screenshot.

If it worked for me, chances are pretty good it will work for you, too. Give it a try, please!

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