Cybersecurity Tenable Nmap Tenable vs Nmap

Tenable vs Nmap

Pallavi Vishwakarma

Member of Technical Staff

May 10 2023

3 min reading

Tenable vs Nmap
Figure 1

Tenable and Nmap are two of the most widely used tools by security experts for network scanning. While both tools are capable of scanning networks for security flaws and threats, there are differences between them in terms of their functionality, features, and cost. In this blog post, we will compare Tenable and Nmap to help you choose the tool that best fits your needs.




Tenable is one of the industry's most comprehensive risk-based vulnerability management (RBVM) platforms, enabling you to:

  • See all assets and vulnerabilities across your entire attack surface—including cloud, OT, and container environments
  • Predict what matters by understanding vulnerabilities in the context of business risk, as well as the criticality of affected assets
  • Act on each high-priority vulnerability to effectively manage risk, and measure KPIs to effectively communicate the effectiveness.

Based on the verified Tenable reviews on platforms like G2 and Capterra, people tend to use them as penetration scanners. Does Tenable do a good job? Depends on who you ask.


While some reviews (especially older ones) are positive, some Tenable customers say they have to deal with a large number of False/negative positives rate and lack of a good, enriched API integration and API features/capabilities. While not necessarily a deal breaker for some, these issues may become annoying or disruptive to you in the long run.


What about Nmap then?


Nmap, short for "Network Mapper", is a popular open-source tool for network scanning and port discovery. Nmap is highly versatile and can be used for a wide range of purposes, including network exploration, vulnerability scanning, and penetration testing.


Nmap provides a wide range of scanning options, including TCP and UDP ports scanning, version detection, and OS fingerprinting. The tool can also be used for service and application discovery, It can even be used to map out an entire network topology.


Based on the verified Nmap reviews on platforms like G2 and Capterra, Network Mapper (Nmap) is the best scanning tool used for reconnaissance and network scanning purposes, it will help to identify open/closed ports, OS detection, fingerprinting, and many other things useful for exploitation. 


But some Nmap users say that as it is an open source tool, nmap is easily blocked by other security devices like firewalls, WAF, IPS, etc. If you scan your target multiple times then sometimes it will show different results.


Tenable or Nmap? Which is better?


Tenable and Nmap are two popular network scanning tools used by organizations for vulnerability assessment and network discovery. While they share some similarities in their capabilities, there are key differences that make one tool more suitable than the other depending on the needs of your organization.


One factor to consider when choosing between Tenable and Nmap is cost. Tenable is a commercial product that requires a subscription, while Nmap is open-source and free to use. While Tenable provides a wide range of features and capabilities, it may not be the most cost-effective solution for smaller organizations or individual users.


Another factor to consider is the ease of use. The Tenable platform provides a user-friendly interface and requires minimal technical expertise to use. Nmap, on the other hand, is a command-line tool that may require more technical expertise to use effectively.


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