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From iA wiki
Quote from the Web site:
- Netcat has been dubbed the network swiss army knife. It is a simple Unix utility which reads and writes data across network connections, using TCP or UDP 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. Netcat is now part of the Red Hat Power Tools collection and comes standard on SuSE Linux, Debian Linux, NetBSD and OpenBSD distributions.
Available as <code>nc</code> on many *nix based systems.
There is also socat, which is netcat on steroids.