Use Network Data to Quickly Create a Network Map


I’ve alluded to network mapping tools and techniques over and over but without diving into details. This may have led readers to believe that it is a difficult process. But nothing could be further from the truth.


Not all network mapping tools are created equally. Free or nearly-free tools often fulfill network mapping requirements without introducing unnecessary complexity. They get right at the data you want to gather in a network map without going to elaborate lengths to completely analyze all hosts or provide a well-drawn interface. But at the same time these tools aren’t mutually exclusive – you can always supplement or replace a basic network map with a more complex one when the situation demands it.


In this article I explore the simple and fast network mapping approach using a tool you already have. I illustrate the data that can be simply and quickly gathered from a network if you know how to use it and some of the tool’s limitations. I also explain how the data can be used, what questions it answers, and how to select a more comprehensive tool when required.


You can also watch this video, where I show you how to create a network map using native Windows tools.


Have you been stuck with this problem? How do you create a network map?