The world of network monitoring tools is diverse and usually people don’t try and find Free network monitoring tools for their use. But if you have a small operation running it might not be wise or suitable for you to buy any software in particular and you want to work with some free software options. In this article we try and provide some network monitoring tools that can be acquired for free or have limited free features that you can use to better monitor your network and internet connections. We try to remain unbiased through this process and offer you the best network monitoring tools that have extra functionality options without you having to spend a single dime on them ( at least for the first month or so).
PRTG Network Monitor
Well what does PRTG do here, wasn’t it a paid software? That is true to some extent but PRTG offers a free program too with limited options. Although you have access to the full platform for 30 days at first so you can try out the many options this network monitoring tool offers, but if you think there are too many options or you are not looking to pay for them, you can use the free version indefinitely. With the free version you get 100 sensors that don’t expire, which is not that many considering you might need up to 10 sensors per device but if you are looking to monitor light activity like SNMP sensors for 20 devices and then you can divide the rest of the sensors for your other uses. If you are looking to monitor your home network freely this software is the one for you because you won’t need much more than 100 sensors for your home environment.
With Icinga 2 , the use of the Internet in the network can be monitored as well as the monitoring of server requests in the network. The tool can be installed on Linux and Windows. Chocolatey has the possiblity to be installed on Windows, for example, in Power Shell . The installation is carried out via choco install icinga2 in the Power Shell. An update can be carried out with choco upgrade icinga2 these are commands used on the power shell to install or update the package.
Networks can also be monitored with Nagios. Nagios is normally operated via a virtual server, for example with Nagios XI . Nagios is managed via a web interface. Nagios Core is available free of charge, extended solutions like Nagios XI sometimes cost license fees. Nagios Core can centrally monitor system metrics, network protocols, applications, services, servers and network infrastructure. You can also create notifications via email, SMS or custom script.
Networks can be monitored with the open source solution Observium Community , including network devices from Cisco, HP and Juniper. Monitoring of Windows servers and Linux computers is also possible with Observium. Another advantage of Observium is that the software can automatically identify many end devices and name them accordingly. Dell, FreeBSD, Brocade, Netscaler, NetApp and other systems and manufacturers are also recognized. Which make this one of the go to free network monitoring tools on the market.
Spiceworks Network Monitor
With the freeware Spiceworks Network Monitoring Tool, networks can be easily monitored with a graphical user interface. There is generally no restriction for monitored devices. In addition, unlimited administrators can access the interface. The tool for monitoring servers, switches, SNMP devices and services and for connecting to other free Spiceworks tools such as the Connectivity Dashboard, Blacklist Checker and IP Lookup offers extensive monitoring options. Spiceworks only runs on Windows servers. A computer with at least two CPUs is required for use. Spiceworks Network Monitor can also use server services, such as Microsoft Exchangemonitor. Other areas such as printers or available storage space on servers can also be checked. The network monitoring tool is managed using a web interface. The server part of Spiceworks Network Monitor can only be installed on Windows servers, but Linux servers and other network devices based on SNMP can also be connected for monitoring.
Another option is the Zabbix open source monitoring solution. The monitoring solution can be downloaded as a live CD, as an installation package and as an appliance for VMWare, VirtualBox, Hyper-V, Azure and many other hypervisors. This network monitoring tool is also suitable for monitoring virtual infrastructures. After the Linux virtual machine starts, administrators log on to the console. To connect new hosts for monitoring, click on Configuration / Hosts. The configuration of Zabbix is a bit more complicated than with simple solutions like VMTurbo / Turbonomic. In return, companies are given more monitoring options and can monitor individual areas in a more targeted manner. In general, the two Linux appliances are also not mutually exclusive when it comes to monitoring. The advantage of Zabbix is that notifications can also be sent here if a monitored server or a monitored item of a monitored server causes problems.
Zenoss builds on the Python- based Zope application server. Zenoss Core is managed via a web interface. The network monitoring tool is developed with the support of Zenoss, which also offers a commercial version. Monitoring takes place primarily via SNMP messages; agents on the systems are not absolutely necessary to monitor the devices with Zenoss. In addition to SNMP, Zenoss can also use WMI for monitoring on Windows servers . As soon as the software is installed or the appliance is started, Zenoss is set up via the web interface. Devices can also be integrated using the wizard. After setup, the dashboard is Zenoss' central management tool. Various web parts, can be found on the homepage. These can be adapted to your own requirements. The Events menu area plays an important role in monitoring. The individual events and errors that cause the monitored devices can be found here. The messages can also be exported to CSV files. Reports and inventory lists can be created via the Reports area in the dashboard.
When it comes to network monitoring tools there is no shortage of applications but using them might be the tricky part because of the sheer number of settings they might have, using network monitoring tools in home or SOHO environments can be done via a firewall application too so when you want to look for options you can take that into consideration also. The options here are listed as an aid for network admins for bigger networks and also use in start up environments that have not that much budget to go on. With keeping you options in mind we wish you all the best on finding the best free network monitoring tool on the market, don’t forget the best is always subjective.