netstat command show listening ports


Netstat is a useful tool for checking network and Internet connections. Some useful applications for the average PC user are considered, including checking for malware connections.


Syntax and switches

The command syntax isnetstat [-a] [-b] [-e] [-f] [-n] [-o] [-p proto] [-r] [-s] [-t] [-v] [interval]A brief description of the switches is given in Table I below. Some switches are only in certain Windows versions, as noted in the table..Note that switches for Netstat use the dash symbol “-” rather than the slash “/”.

Table I. Switches for Netstat command
Switch Description
-a Displays all connections and listening ports
-b Displays the executable involved in creating each connection or listening port. (Added in XP SP2.)
-e Displays Ethernet statistics
-f Displays Fully Qualified Domain Names for foreign addresses. (In Windows Vista/7 only)
-n Displays addresses and port numbers in numerical form
-o Displays the owning process ID associated with each connection
-p proto Shows connections for the protocol specified by proto; proto may be any of: TCP, UDP, TCPv6, or UDPv6.
-r Displays the routing table
-s Displays per-protocol statistics
-t Displays the current connection offload state, (Windows Vista/7)
-v When used in conjunction with -b, will display sequence of components involved in creating the connection or listening port for all executables. (Windows XP SP2, SP3)
[interval] An integer used to display results multiple times with specified number of seconds between displays. Continues until stopped by command ctrl+c. Default setting is to display once,



Checking TCP/IP connections

TCP and UDP connections and their IP and port addresses can be seen by entering a command combining two switches:  netstat -an

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