Network vulnerability testing is a critical aspect of maintaining a secure IT environment. In this tutorial, we’ll explore the top 10 essential tools for network vulnerability testing, their features, and how to use them effectively.

1. Nessus

Nessus is one of the most popular vulnerability scanners in the market. It’s known for its comprehensive database of vulnerabilities and user-friendly interface.

Key Features:

  • Wide range of vulnerability checks
  • Easy to use interface
  • Regular updates

2. Wireshark

Wireshark is a free and open-source packet analyzer. It’s used for network troubleshooting, analysis, software and communication protocol development.

Key Features:

  • Live capture and offline analysis
  • Rich VoIP analysis
  • Read/write many different capture file formats

3. OpenVAS

OpenVAS is a full-featured vulnerability scanner. Its capabilities include unauthenticated testing, authenticated testing, various high-level and low-level internet and industrial protocols, performance tuning for large-scale scans and a powerful internal programming language to implement any type of vulnerability test.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive and continuously updated vulnerability database
  • Flexible and scalable architecture
  • Powerful scripting language for custom tests

4. Nexpose

Nexpose, developed by Rapid7, is a vulnerability management scanner which aims to support the entire vulnerability management lifecycle, including discovery, detection, verification, risk classification, impact analysis, reporting and mitigation.

Key Features:

  • Dynamic asset discovery
  • Integrated threat feeds
  • Automated actions for low-risk issues

5. QualysGuard

QualysGuard is a web-based vulnerability management tool provided by Qualys, Inc, which was the first company to deliver vulnerability management services as a SaaS-based web service.

Key Features:

  • Continuous monitoring and protection
  • Automated web application scanning
  • Integrated IT asset discovery and mapping

6. Retina CS

Retina CS is a vulnerability management software from BeyondTrust. It offers built-in patch management, compliance reporting and brings security and IT teams together to fix vulnerabilities faster.

Key Features:

  • Integrated patch management
  • Compliance reporting
  • Support for cloud, mobile, virtual and desktop assets


SAINT is a commercial vulnerability scanner by SAINT Corporation. It can be used to assess network vulnerabilities, as well as for penetration testing and security policy compliance.

Key Features:

  • Integrated vulnerability scanning and penetration testing
  • Compliance reporting
  • Web application scanning

8. IBM Security AppScan

IBM Security AppScan enhances web application security and mobile application security, improves application security program management and strengthens regulatory compliance.

Key Features:

  • Automated dynamic security testing
  • Static application security testing
  • Mobile application security testing

9. Tripwire IP360

Tripwire IP360 is an enterprise-class vulnerability and risk management solution that enables cost-effective reduction of cyberthreat risk by focusing your remediation efforts on the highest risks and most critical assets.

Key Features:

  • Asset discovery and profiling
  • Automated vulnerability assessment
  • Advanced threat intelligence

10. Acunetix

Acunetix is a fully automated ethical hacking solution that mimics a hacker to keep one step ahead of malicious intruders. The web application security scanner accurately scans HTML5, JavaScript and Single-page applications.

Key Features:

  • DeepScan technology for accurate testing
  • SDLC integration
  • Comprehensive reporting


There you have it, the top 10 essential tools for network vulnerability testing. Remember, the key to effective network security is regular and thorough testing. So, choose the tools that best fit your needs and start securing your network today!