Netcat for Windows

Running Netcat in Windows is easier than I tough, the entire process consists of downloading a single .zip file named from here or from the local mirror here.

Wikipedia has a nice entry with examples on Netcat.

How To

Unzip the file and move the resulting folder to a location where you can access it, for example.


Open a command line window and move to the location where nc111nt is located by using the command cd.

cd C:Windowsnc111nt

To run Netcat you need to type.

C:Windowsnc111ntnc.exe [parameter]

To view a list of available parameters type.

C:UsersLuisDownloadsnc111nt>nc.exe -help
[v1.11 NT]
connect to somewhere:   nc [-options] hostname port[s] [ports] ...
listen for inbound:     nc -l -p port [options] [hostname] [port]
        -d              detach from console, background mode

        -e prog         inbound program to exec [dangerous!!]
        -g gateway      source-routing hop point[s], up to 8
        -G num          source-routing pointer: 4, 8, 12, ...
        -h              this cruft
        -i secs         delay interval for lines sent, ports scanned
        -l              listen mode, for inbound connects
        -L              listen harder, re-listen on socket close
        -n              numeric-only IP addresses, no DNS
        -o file         hex dump of traffic
        -p port         local port number
        -r              randomize local and remote ports
        -s addr         local source address
        -t              answer TELNET negotiation
        -u              UDP mode
        -v              verbose [use twice to be more verbose]
        -w secs         timeout for connects and final net reads
        -z              zero-I/O mode [used for scanning]
port numbers can be individual or ranges: m-n [inclusive]

Real Worl Example:

Netcat is possible of many things, but my favorite use is to transfer disk images created with dd over the network. As an example I am going to image a 4GB CF card over a gigabit network(no compression). The concept of sender and receiver will be used.

System where the image will be stored:

nc –l –p 7000 | dd of=/dev/hda

Source system:

dd if=/dev/hda | nc 4000

Not many things are this easy to run and use, but the nice thing about Netcat is that it works regardless of the operating system being used. Like said I mostly use it to transfer the images I create with the help of dd (Parted Magic) over to my Windows server.


  • sphinx

    The virus scanner is reporting that this is infected

    • Using Symantec maybe?, don’t worry the file itself is not malware. Netcat is a network security tool that can be used for good like this post suggest or to permit authorized access.

    • ImaDex

      Look up what that “infection” is, it will in fact just be warning the user that this is a security analysis tool that should only be in the hands of the right users not average system users on say a corporate network, and placed on your network against your will or knowledge and/or in the wrong hands it IS dangerous (see the “-e” argument for example)

      I assure you netcat is a brilliant piece of clean code and if you were running anything but windows or a slightly better virus scanner you’d be having a great time with it 😛