Top 6 Powerful Penetration Testing Tools

Today, we are going to talk about useful penetration testing tools. To start with, we first need to understand what does “Penetration Testing” mean?


Penetration Testing, also known as “pentesting” “pen testing”, or “security testing” is mainly used for attacking servers / networks / websites of an individual with an agreement for performing penetration testing to check for security flaws and to prevent from hackers’ hands.

Penetration testing performed without the permission of the corresponding person then this practice would be “hacking”. To avoid this, you need to have formal approval from the individual to proceed for penetration testing. Penetration testing is to determine security vulnerabilities in a software application and to protect software application from being hacked.

Here are the top 6 Penetration Testing Tools:

1) Metasploit

penetration testing tools
Metasploit is a vast and open source penetrating testing tool. It is a fabulous and smart tool for developing and executing exploit code for remote machines for security measures in a software application. Among popular penetration testing tools, it provides protection from malicious threats. This tool is maintained by a company named Rapid7. The tool comes with 14 days trial period for the users and pro version is also available.
License: BSD-3-clause
Current Version: Version 4.10
Price: Paid
Testing Performed for: Web applications, Networks, Servers etc.
Platform Supported: Cross-platform (Microsoft Windows, Linux and Apple Mac OS X)
Source Code
Download Metasploit Pro

2) Wireshark

penetration testing tools
Wireshark is written in C language and is one of the popular penetration testing tools. It can trace packets flow on network, can run on multi-platforms, captures network data, decryption support for many protocols, WAN/LAN analyzer, etc. This is a great tool and can be easily used for network related vulnerabilities.
License: GNU General Public License
Current Version: Wireshark 1.12.0
Price: Free
Testing Performed for: Networks
Platform Supported: Cross-platform (Windows, Linux, OS X, Solaris, FreeBSD, etc.)
Source Code
Download Wireshark

3) Acunetix

penetration testing tools
Acunetix is an open source tool for web vulnerability scanning. Acunetix tool does security scanning for web applications on your computer plus on internet. This tool performs web security scanning by checking for SQL Injection and Cross-Site Scripting vulnerabilities. It can analyze and scan different types of websites including HTML5, SOAP and AJAX. It comes with 14 days free trial period and the pro version of tool is also available.
License: Perpetual, Subscription Licenses
Current Version: Acunetix WVS version 9.5
Price: 14-day free trial
Testing Performed for: Websites
Platform Supported: Windows, UNIX and Linux
Download as WordPress Plugin
Download Acunetix

4) Nessus

penetration testing tools
Among recognized penetration testing tools, Nessus can scan lot of vulnerabilities. Its main work is to scan for vulnerabilities. It can scan IPv4/IPv6/hybrid networks, has offline ability to check networks devices, and does intelligent reporting of vulnerabilities by XML, PDF, CSV, and HTML formats. Nessus is available as free for home use only.
License: GPL License
Current Version: Nessus 5.2.7
Price: $1,500/yr (for individuals) & $5,000/yr (for teams)
Testing Performed for: Websites, Networks, Servers, etc.
Platform Supported: Cross-platform
Download Nessus

5) Nmap

penetration testing tools
Nmap refers to Network Mapper. It is basically written in C, C++, Python, Lua language. Nmap was originally build for Linux platform but now works for all operating systems. It is used as security scanner. Nmap also achieved title name of “Security Product of the Year” by Linux Journal among various penetration testing tools. Its noteworthy features includes: network scanning, port scanning, OS detection, etc.
License: GNU General Public License
Current Version: Nmap 6.46
Price: Free
Testing Performed for: Networks, Servers
Platform Supported: Cross-platform
Download Nmap

6) Cain and Abel

penetration testing tools
Cain & Abel is an efficient tool for password recovery and is a must-have in our list of top penetration testing tools. Penetration tester can recover forgotten passwords by sniffing the networks and decrypting encrypted passwords by brute-force attacks by using this tool. Some of its impressive features include record VoIP conversations, helpful in decoding scrambled passwords; can recover wireless network keys, etc. This is a free tool for the users.
License: Freeware
Current Version: Cain and Abel 4.9.56
Price: Free
Testing Performed for: Networks
Platform Supported: Windows
Download Cain and Abel

Wrapping Up

If you are a penetration tester, you must understand how to use these tools efficiently. These tools make penetration testing job a lot easier to manage. We hope that you like our compilation of top penetration testing tools.

Which penetration testing tools do you use the most? If we miss out some important ones, let us know in the comments!

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