I'm struggling to understand the difference between probe and scan because they seem very similar. Does NMAP tool use probes and scans?

Could you give a practical example to make the theoretical difference more clear?

  • Its totally the same thing. Probing and scanning are the same thing in context of security. May 13, 2019 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


A scan generally means you are using the tools of a system to return precise information about it. A probe means that you are testing inputs into a system to make educated guesses about it based on it's output.

For example, if you want to know if a website is WordPress, the admin could use the server's file manager to do a scan for files commonly associated with WordPress. An end user who lacks that privilege may probe your site by testing to see if the site has a login page at ./wp-admin.

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