How to Use the Netstat Command
Netstat, or Network Statistics, is a command-line tool used to display information about network connections, routing tables, and network protocol statistics. It is available on most operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS, and can be used to troubleshoot network issues, monitor network activity, and diagnose security threats.
In this article, we will guide you through how to use the netstat command to diagnose common network problems, monitor network activity, and enhance network security.
Diagnosing Network Problems with Netstat
The most common use of the netstat command is to diagnose network problems. When you run the netstat command, it displays a list of active network connections, showing the local and remote addresses, the protocol, and the state of each connection. By analyzing this information, you can identify problems such as network bottlenecks, traffic congestion, or network latency.
To view active network connections, use the following command:
This command displays a list of all active TCP and UDP connections, listening ports, and the process IDs (PIDs) of the applications running on your system.
If your system is experiencing connectivity issues, you can use the netstat command to check whether the connection is established or not. If the connection is not established, it could be due to network issues, firewall settings, or incorrect IP addresses.
To view only established connections, use the following command:
netstat -a | find “ESTABLISHED”
This command filters the output of the netstat command, showing only active connections that are currently in the “ESTABLISHED” state.
Monitoring Network Activity with Netstat
Another use of the netstat command is to monitor network activity. By using the netstat command with the -n flag, you can display network connection statistics without resolving hostnames or port numbers, which can save system resources.
To view network activity, use the following command:
This command displays a list of all active TCP and UDP connections, including the source and destination IP addresses, port numbers, and the state of each connection.
By analyzing this information, you can identify unusual network activity, such as large amounts of data transfer or unusual network behavior. This can help you identify security threats, such as malware, botnets, or network attacks.
Enhancing Network Security with Netstat
Netstat can also be used to enhance network security by identifying security threats and vulnerabilities. One of the most common security threats on a network is a port-scanning attack, which is an attempt to identify open ports on a system to exploit them and gain unauthorized access.
To detect port-scanning attacks, use the following command:
netstat -an | grep “SYN_RECV”
This command filters the output of the netstat command, showing only active TCP connections in the “SYN_RECV” state, which indicate that the remote host is attempting to establish a connection with your system. If you see a large number of connections in this state from the same IP address, it could be an indication of a port-scanning attack.
You can also use the netstat command to identify open ports on your system, which could be potential vulnerabilities. To view open ports, use the following command:
netstat -an | grep LISTEN
This command filters the output of the netstat command, showing only active TCP and UDP connections in the “LISTEN” state, indicating that your system is waiting for incoming connections on these ports. By reviewing this information, you can identify open ports that could be potential security vulnerabilities and take appropriate measures to secure them.
The netstat command is an essential tool for diagnosing network problems, monitoring network activity, and enhancing network security. By analyzing network connections, port numbers, and IP addresses, you can identify security threats, troubleshoot connectivity issues, and optimize network performance. With netstat, you have a powerful tool for ensuring network reliability and security.