Netcat is a featured networking utility which reads and writes data across network connections, using the TCP/IP protocol.
It is designed to be a reliable “back-end” tool that can be used directly or easily driven by other programs and scripts. At the same time, it is a feature-rich network debugging and exploration tool, since it can create almost any kind of connection you would need and has several interesting built-in capabilities.
It provides access to the following main features:
Outbound and inbound connections, TCP or UDP, to or from any ports.
Featured tunneling mode which allows also special tunneling such as UDP to TCP, with the possibility of specifying all network parameters (source port/interface, listening port/interface, and the remote host allowed to connect to the tunnel.
Built-in port-scanning capabilities, with randomizer.
Advanced usage options, such as buffered send-mode (one line every N seconds), and hexdump (to stderr or to a specified file) of transmitted and received data.
Optional RFC854 telnet codes parser and responder.
The GNU Netcat is distributed freely under the GNU General Public License (GPL).