This program creates a map of part of the internet by pinging random IP addresses and recording the routes that the packets take to get to them. There are two parts to it: 'NetMap.exe' will create an MS-DOS box which will start pinging and recording the results to a data file and 'NetView.exe' will start a graphical application to display the network three-dimensionally. Programming info...
Both of these may be run at once, and NetView will periodically check the data file (about once per second) for new nodes being added. Help in NetView is available by pressing F1. The program 'tracert.exe' is included for compatibility reasons. The file 'prefs.txt' allows you to set the resolution at which the graphical version runs and also to set the path where your copy of Internet Explorer (iexplore.exe) is located, which allows the program to display the web content of nodes that are also webservers.
Another useful feature of this program is that the pinger part of it can be used to keep a connection active on a dialup (or other) system where being idle for a certain length of time causes disconnection.
Update (2002-Nov-27). NetMap can now be configured to only search a particular subnet, and NetView has been fixed so that the S and T keys actually work. Also packaged is a new program called NetView2 that shows the IP space as a zoomable 2-dimensional chart.
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Computer networking is a fairly complex field and to be honest I know virtually nothing about it, I just plugged Tracert into a cool-looking graphics display, and then later on replaced the Tracert by a more efficient algorithm where the program sends its own UDP packets and receives the internet control messages (ICMP packets) returned. ICMP, also used by the Ping protocol, is often used by hackers or in DoS-type attacks, although it was intended to be used as a diagnostic tool (e.g. in programs like this one).
This means for one thing, if you're running this program on an academic or corporate network where they are especially concerned about that sort of security risk, it might be wise to check with your system administrator before covering the place with regular Ping packets using this program (I once triggered an alert at OUCS by running a souped-up multithread version of Netmap on the college network!).
Another problem that arises is that if you've used one of these "stealthing" programs to close all non-essential ports, that program may well have disabled "raw sockets", which this program requires in order to work. That will cause this program to either crash ungracefully, or just do nothing, so if netmap.exe is not working, check that.