aNewDomain.net – As smartphone screens have gotten bigger, I’ve spent less time on my laptop. Most of my work involves being on site with clients, consulting with them or resolving technical issues. I spend ninety percent of my time with my laptop these days in Notepad, writing up what I’ve been doing. I used to spend a fair amount of time running network scans, too. But that all changed when I found Fing.
Fing is an Android app from Overlook that handles a good deal of my network scanning needs. It offers standard discovery options but it’ll also drill down to the level of port scans, pings, traceroute and more.
Now that I have Fing, I’m able to identify network devices without even connecting my laptop to the client network. The ability to run a network discovery while I roam around a physical location is wonderful. If you’ve ever balanced a laptop on one hand while craning your head behind a network rack to compare MAC addresses, you know how handy it is to have this information on something more portable than that.
One nice Fing feature is that the app is also available on Linux, Mac OS, Windows, Apple iOS, Amazon Kindle Fire and even the Cisco Cius. I haven’t spent time with the software on all of these platforms, but I have used it a bit on iOS. While the visuals are a bit different, the program functions are the same.
I know many people with old Android devices who have no idea how to use them. Using them as semi-disposable, portable networking monitoring devices is one way. Using a program like Fing is another way to make that old phone more useful.
Sharing is integrated, making it easy to send a report to someone else by email. For those interested in greater functionality, Overlook offers Fingbox, which is tightly integrated with Fing. Fingbox takes a stab at the managed services category, and lets you integrate your Fing mobile app with some powerful tools and monitoring. That looks promising. I’ll be taking a closer look at that feature soon.