Check network connection and open TCP port via netcat

Sometimes network connections are blocked by various network devices. In the verification of the connection over TCP, we can use, for example, telnet. After all, before we start a server-side service like jboss, we can use a simple utility like netcat to open the port.

In this example we will be using two machines. However, one of them is “host-soban-pl” with the IP address: 10.10.14.100:

The second is “soban-pl” with the IP address: 10.10.11.105:

Below, for example, I will show you how to check an already open tcp connection and one that is closed. On the other side, on port 80, I have an open port with nginx:

Nmap below confirms port opening, additionally identified the service as http:

The conclusion is that the service has network transitions and you can correctly connect over TCP. Now it will try to open a connection that does not exist, e.g. on port 81.

As you can see, the connection is not possible because the port is closed. The assumption is that the port may be open, but for example the firewall blocks it. Then you need to set the appropriate rules on it.

After all, in this case I know that the firewall does not block anything, so it will try to open the port with netcat. First we need to install netcat in debian, it is done like this:

Now let’s move on to running netcat on port 81:

In this case, I specially gave the command ‘&’ at the end to leave the netcat process in the background. At this point, netcat is listening on port 81.

Now we can proceed to checking the correctness of the connection with the use of telnet:

In the meantime, on the server machine, we can use the netstat tool to verify the connection and check from which machine the traffic is coming:

As you can see, a correct connection from the 10.10.14.100 host has been established with the server on 10.10.11.105 on port 81.

To end the call, hit ‘^]‘ (ctrl +]), then type quit and enter.

In this way, we can verify the correctness of the network connection and whether any firewall or other network problem is an obstacle to its correct establishment. Netcat is a very powerful and useful tool, you can use it to transfer files etc. Netstat is also very useful in situations where network congestion occurs and one of the hosts is attacked. It is then easy to notice that a large number of network connections are made.