Sometimes you need to ping sweep a network. I have a batch file for that, but what if your list isn’t continuous? In that case, there’s a better tool for you. Here’s my favorite free Windows ping sweep tool. It’s easy to use, small, and standalone, requiring no installation.
Introducing Pinginfoview: the best free Windows ping sweep tool
My ping sweep tool of choice is Pinginfoview. It’s a small, standalone program, about 60K in size, with no installer.If you’re not allowed to install software, that loophole might save you. If you’re not allowed to use “shareware,” well, use my command-line tricks instead.
You just paste your list of IP addresses into it, click OK, and it pings them and gives you the results. It can ping hostnames too.
Nirsoft has a lot of useful small utilities, so anyone interested in Windows security would do well to get familiar with them. Pinginfoview is my favorite, but by no means the only one I use.
The UI is nice. If you have an Excel file with IP addresses a vulnerability analyst like me has been bugging you about, paste it into the UI to ping sweep them from your Windows box find out which of them is still live. If you’re troubleshooting a Qualys or Tenable scan, paste the IP list straight out of your asset group or target group into the UI. It can handle it.
You can click on selected items from the results (or hit ctrl-a) then go to File > Save Selected Items, click the floppy disk icon in the toolbar, or hit ctrl-s to save the results to a text file. This is useful for sending evidence to security analysts or auditors.
If you need to do more than one batch, click the Ping Options icon on the far left of the program’s toolbar. That takes you back to the initial screen.
How I use Pinginfoview
Security analysts can use Pinginfoview too. When decommissioning hosts from Qualys or Tenable, I always run Pinginfoview on the list of allegedly dead systems first. If it’s still live in Pinginfoview, I don’t purge it. That’s my personal rule, and it’s what I recommend others follow too. I’ve seen decommissioned systems get plugged back in and recommissioned, intentionally or unintentionally, far too many times in my career. Including the first really expensive crisis of my IT career.
I also use it when scanning new server builds. If I’m in a hurry and have a list of systems to scan, I run it through this first to make sure they’re actually live before trying a Qualys or Tenable scan against an unresponsive host. It can cut 10 minutes off the scan time, which is valuable when the person making the request is impatient.
I also use Pinginfoview to screenshot and celebrate when the worst host on the network finally gets decommissioned. I call it the victory ping.