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Discover Network Devices

Network device management is a manual and bulky process without an automated tool. Apart from scanning Linux, Mac and Windows computers, Lansweeper is also capable of scanning network devices. This includes cameras, firewalls, mail servers, music systems, NAS devices, printers, routers, switches, UPS devices, VOIP phones and web servers.

Lansweeper sorts scanned devices into categories based on their device type, which is extremely helpful in large and dynamic networks. Locating devices and checking configuration is quite straightforward through a filtered search in the web console.

Scanned Network Device Information

The exact data returned depends on the protocols enabled on the device, as well as the device type. As a rule, SNMP provides Lansweeper with the most detailed device information. Many network devices have SNMP enabled by default. Each device has its own webpage listing device details such as name, MAC, IP address, vendor, model and serial number. Device specific information includes a complete network interface for switches and routers or toner information for printers. When IP address changes occur, your device entries are simply updated. Annoying duplicates will not clutter your database!

Make Manual Changes

While Lansweeper scans most of the information by itself, editing and adding entries is possible as well. Edit a single asset or change the information for many devices at a time. You can surf to any device’s webpage to edit its scan results or submit extra device information such as purchase and warranty date. On top of that, there are up to 20 custom fields that can hold information specific to your organization.

How to Scan Network Devices

 

Custom OID Scanning

Why Network Device Discovery Is So Important 

Understanding the benefits of network device discovery is key to keeping your cybersecurity strong and managing your network smoothly. With network device discovery, you can automatically find and list all the devices connected to your network, giving you a full picture of your IT infrastructure. This visibility is crucial for spotting unauthorized devices, finding potential weak spots, and making sure everything complies with security policies.

A proactive approach to network discovery offers the following benefits: 

  • Enhanced Network Security: Network discovery boosts security by providing full visibility into connected devices, identifying unauthorized devices, and ensuring only approved ones access the network. Continuous monitoring detects anomalies like rogue devices and helps update vulnerable software and hardware.
  • Improved Network Management and Troubleshooting: Network discovery automates device identification and cataloging, simplifying asset management and keeping inventories current. It helps IT teams manage resources, track device statuses, and ensure compliance, while supporting fast troubleshooting with the ability to pinpoint misconfigurations or connectivity problems.
  • Optimized Network Performance: Network discovery optimizes performance by providing detailed insights into device interactions, helping to identify bottlenecks and improve configurations. Regular monitoring and analysis enable teams to make proactive adjustments to prevent performance issues before they happen, while helping with capacity planning for efficient resource allocation as the network grows.

How to Perform Network Device Discovery 

Network scanning tools employ various methods for device discovery, such as ping sweeps, Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) scans, and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) queries. 

Ping sweeps send ICMP echo requests to IP addresses to identify active devices, while ARP scans identify devices on the same subnet. These methods provide a quick device inventory but may miss devices behind firewalls or those not responding to ICMP requests.

SNMP enables detailed querying and monitoring of network devices. SNMP agents respond to manager queries, providing information about device status, configuration and performance. This allows for in-depth data collection, such as interface statistics and software versions, helping to create a comprehensive and accurate network inventory.

Network mapping techniques use these discovery methods to visualize the network and show device interconnections. Tools like Lansweeper combine scanning techniques to discover devices and their relationships, and generate maps that help administrators understand network topology. These maps are invaluable for troubleshooting issues and optimizing performance. 

Best Practices for Network Device Discovery 

Here are some important best practices to follow when implementing network discovery:

  1. Create an Accurate Inventory: Building a network device inventory is crucial for managing networks effectively. This inventory should list all connected devices like routers, switches, servers, and end-user devices with details such as IP addresses, MAC addresses, and configurations. Accurate inventories help track assets, spot unauthorized devices, and ensure proper configurations. Regular updates maintain security and efficiency.
  2. Automate the Process: Automating device discovery simplifies identifying and cataloging network devices. Tools that continuously scan the network detect new devices and update the inventory in real time, reducing manual effort. Methods like SNMP queries and ARP scans gather detailed device info, improving accuracy and responsiveness.
  3. Maintain Accurate and Up-to-Date Data: Keeping device info current is vital for network management and security. Regular updates ensure any changes are recorded. Automated tools monitor the network and update the inventory as needed. Current data helps admins quickly address vulnerabilities and manage device lifecycles.
  4. Integrate with Network Monitoring: Combining device discovery with network monitoring provides a complete view of network health. Monitoring tools use discovery data to track each device’s status and performance in real time, helping admins troubleshoot issues, optimize performance, and manage problems proactively, enhancing network reliability.

Choosing the Right Network Device Discovery Tool 

When choosing a network discovery tool, key factors to consider include comprehensive device coverage to identify a wide range of devices, including those with different operating systems and configurations. Accuracy and detail are crucial, as the tool should provide precise information about each device. Real-time monitoring and updates ensure the inventory remains current, while scalability allows the tool to grow with your network. Integration with other network management and security tools is essential for streamlined workflows. Additionally, ease of use reduces the learning curve, and cost-effectiveness ensures a good return on investment. Strong vendor support and an active user community are also valuable for troubleshooting and best practices.

In comparison to many other network device discovery tools, Lansweeper delivers detailed device information and seamless integrations with other network management solutions. It offers automated discovery and real-time updates, making it suitable for large and complex networks. Plus, Lansweeper has strong vendor support and community engagement.

Let’s take a closer look at Lansweeper’s unique value proposition.

Network Discovery Can Be Challenging, without Lansweeper!

Network device management is a manual and bulky process without an automated tool. Apart from scanning Linux, Mac and Windows computers, Lansweeper is also capable of scanning network devices. This includes cameras, firewalls, mail servers, music systems, NAS devices, printers, routers, switches, UPS devices, VOIP phones and web servers. 

Lansweeper sorts scanned devices into categories based on their device type, which is extremely helpful in large and dynamic networks. Locating devices and checking configuration is quite straightforward through a filtered search in the web console.

While Lansweeper scans most information automatically, you can also edit and add entries. Modify a single asset or multiple devices at once. Each device has a dedicated web page where you can edit scan results or add extra details like purchase and warranty dates, with up to 20 custom fields for organization-specific information.

Lansweeper provides network device data based on the enabled protocols and device type, with SNMP offering the most detailed information. Devices with SNMP enabled by default will show details like name, MAC and IP address, vendor, model, and serial number. Specific data includes network interfaces for switches and routers or toner levels for printers. IP address changes update device entries, preventing duplicate clutter in your database.

Discover Your Network in Minutes

Lansweeper’s automated discovery and continuous updates keep your network inventory up-to-date, so IT teams can quickly spot and fix vulnerabilities before they become a problem. The platform’s intuitive interface and strong support system make it easy for network admins to manage, as well. For businesses who want to boost their network management and security, Lansweeper offers the perfect mix of advanced features, scalability, and affordability.

Learn more about Lansweeper for IT discovery, or start a free trial today.

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