Finding a Suitable Metasploit Alternative for Penetration Testing

Finding a Suitable Metasploit Alternative for Penetration Testing


3 min read

Penetration testing is an important process for evaluating the security of a network or application. Metasploit is a popular penetration testing framework used by cybersecurity professionals. However, there may be situations where an alternative to Metasploit is needed. When considering a Metasploit alternative, there are several key factors to evaluate.

Why Consider Alternatives to Metasploit for Pen Testing?

There are a few reasons why you may want to use an alternative to Metasploit:

  • Open source preferred - Some organizations prefer open source options over commercial solutions. Metasploit started out as open source but is now developed by Rapid7 as a commercial product.

  • Evasion capabilities - Since Metasploit is so well known, advanced cyber defenses may have rules to detect and block Metasploit specifically. Using a lesser-known tool can sometimes be more effective.

  • Cost - While free community editions of Metasploit are available, advanced features require purchasing a commercial license which can get expensive for larger teams.

  • User expertise - Metasploit is very powerful but this can also make it complex for inexperienced testers. Alternatives with simpler interfaces may be easier to use effectively.

Key Features to Look for in a Metasploit Alternative

When researching options to replace or augment Metasploit, keep an eye out for these key capabilities:

  • Exploits - The alternative should have an extensive library of exploits for testing common vulnerabilities. Frequent updates and additions are important as well.

  • Custom exploit development - For advanced penetration testers, the ability to craft custom exploits is required to mimic advanced real-world attacks.

  • Payloads - Payloads execute on successful exploitation to carry out tasks like information gathering, access control, or opening remote shells. Variety is important.

  • Evasion modules - Modules focused specifically on avoiding detection and defeating cyber defenses are a keyareasa where Metasploit alternatives can differentiate themselves.

  • Community support - An engaged community that contributes modules, guides, and support can greatly enhance the platform and keep it viable for the long term.

Top Metasploit Alternative Options

Taking into consideration the key decision points and features covered above, here are some of the top alternatives to consider instead of Metasploit:

Core Impact

Core Impact is a commercial penetration testing tool that predates Metasploit. It offers over 150 exploits, extensive reporting, and mobile testing capabilities. It also integrates with other commercial offerings like Cobalt Strike.

Immunity Canvas

Immunity Canvas is focused specifically on exploit development for penetration testers. It offers a GUI environment for developing custom exploits and payloads tailored to bypass advanced defenses.


PowerSploit is an open-source project focused on penetration testing for Windows environments. It integrates with the popular PowerShell scripting language allowing the development of stealthy scripts and fileless attacks.


As the name implies, RouterSploit focuses specifically on network devices often ignored in testing like routers, switches, firewalls, and IoT devices. It features a library of modules tailored to testing these pivotal network components.


Metasploit pioneered the penetration testing framework space. However, in some cases choosing an alternative can prove beneficial for cost, customizability, simplicity, or improved evasion capabilities. Options like Core Impact, Canvas, PowerSploit, and RouterSploit warrant consideration depending on the goals of your next penetration test.