Best free network monitoring software

The size and complexity of today's IT networks is continually growing. So, monitoring tools are now critical for the maintenance and administration of an organization's IT network systems. Routers, switches, bridges, and hubs, among other components of an IT network system, generate network traffic and performance statistics. This information is crucial for IT network admins in charge of the network's operation. Many network issues would be impossible to discover and fix without a comprehensive network monitoring system.

Network monitoring tools provide reliable insights into performance, security, and productivity for successful businesses. Most commercial network monitoring tools can be expensive, but even small businesses require network monitoring solutions. As a result, organizations that cannot afford commercial software often settle for free network monitoring software.

However, you should consider if you actually need a commercial monitoring tool or whether you can accomplish what you need with free and open-source network monitoring solutions. Free performance monitoring solutions have limited features, so you'll have to use multiple IT monitoring tools to address all your network's requirements, which might make maintenance and settings more difficult.

What can we expect from a free network monitoring tool?

Network monitoring is the process of regularly monitoring systems, devices, applications, and services to ensure they are healthy and productive. Network monitoring, in a nutshell, is the capacity to gather and analyze network availability and performance.

Here are some of the advantages of network monitoring:

Better network visibility: With networks becoming more complex everyday, it's increasingly difficult to track every network device and service. Network monitoring software gives network admins complete visibility into a complex IT environment, enabling them to easily track network data across devices and quickly resolve issues.

Identify network outages quickly: A network monitoring tool allows a network admin to track if a device is up and running, including a router, switch, server, or database. It provides network performance statistics in an easy-to-understand format, helping you to identify network outages.

Performance monitoring: Network monitoring software keeps track of key network performance metrics like bandwidth, memory, disc and CPU utilization, and service response time. It provides these metrics to network admins as reports and graphs to help them easily understand statuses.

Capacity planning: Network monitoring software predicts how your IT infrastructure will operate in the future based on historical data. This helps you figure out if your current system environment can scale to meet your business needs.

Drawbacks with free network monitoring tools

Although some free open-source tools are good and can even rival the features of proprietary tools, they have some disadvantages. Here are some of the drawbacks of free network monitoring software:
  • Requires a significant investment of time and resources: A major challenge with open source tools is that you must verify whether each feature or requirement is supported, and if not, you must look for help from a developer or the open source community to develop a remedy. This often takes a significant amount of time and commitment of resources.
  • Support: Most of the free tools do not offer any support, and those that do might be rather costly. In addition, support is often delivered at only select times, not necessarily matching your organization's requirements.
  • Road map and Bug fixes: Most free tools don't provide a clear roadmap and frequent bug fixes, both of which are essential for your network's monitoring.
  • Scalability: It's important to consider how many devices you're monitoring currently and how your environment might grow. Considering scalability is vital not only for determining whether the free tool is good enough now, but also for your network monitoring requirements in the future.

Though cost is an important consideration when selecting a network monitoring tool for your network, you should choose a solution that best meets your current and future business needs, even if it costs some money. Particularly, when it comes to something as crucial as your network, it's always best to have a single product that provides all of the necessary features.

ManageEngine OpManager: The trusted network monitoring software

ManageEngine OpManager is a network monitoring program that enables network administrators to manage routers, firewalls, servers, switches, and printers from a single dashboard. It comes with numerous prebuilt graphs and reports that offer network admins with details about the health of their networks, servers, and applications.

OpManager's out-of-the-box solution offers you...

Network Monitoring: Proactively monitor critical metrics like network health , disk utilization, CPU and memory utilization, and DB count to optimize network performance in real time.

best network monitoring

Server Monitoring: Monitor your server continuously for availability and response time. OpManager monitors important server performance metrics like CPU utilization, and partition-wise disk space and memory utilization across your Windows, Linux, and Unix OS.

best network monitoring software

Virtualization Monitoring: Monitor the performance your VMs, guest machines, as well as prevent VM sprawl, plan for capacity, and optimize resources allocation. OpManager supports VMware, Hyper-V, and Xen servers.

Intelligent Automations: With more than 70 workflow actions, you can automate routine but time-consuming tasks by defining the conditions, and selecting the devices and commands. With Discovery Rule Engine, you can speed up network discovery by associating device templates, custom monitors, and automatically classifying devices.

Alerts and Alarms: Set thresholds for critical network parameters and receive alarms once these are breached. OpManager provides intelligent web-based email and SMS alerts that result in faster issue remediation and low MTTR.

NOC View Dashboards: Monitor your entire network in a single screen with NOC View. This dashboard displays all your network data at a single point and helps you identify discrepancies in advance.

OpManager Free Edition: Your best free network monitoring software

The OpManager free edition is built specifically for small businesses and can monitor up to three network devices. It's customizable widgets enable you to create unique dashboards and reports right away.

Download our free OpManager version to stay on top of network issues. OpManager gives you free real-time monitoring of your network, servers, routers, and switches, providing you with more control over your IT infrastructure.


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