Network Discovery Software

What Does Network Discovery Software Mean?

Network discovery software is a type of network software that enables users and network administrators to find network devices and/or nodes over a computer network.


It automates the process of network discovery and gathers network infrastructure data on a local network.

Network discovery software is also known as network detection software.

Techopedia Explains Network Discovery Software

Network discovery software is typically used in Wi-Fi networks to enable a Wi-Fi-enabled device to search for an access point (AP) to connect to. Such software either actively scans for an access point or passively listens for network SSID or data.

Network discovery software for businesses, besides helping in finding an active AP, also:

  • Searches for all devices on the network
  • Creates a visual network map/architecture/infrastructure
  • Gathers and creates network and hardware inventory
  • Provides network data for network management, monitoring or audit need

Some of the protocols and services used by such software to discover network nodes and gather data include TCP/IP, NetBIOS, SNMP and DNS.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.