For System Administrators: 4 Top-Notch Free Network Monitoring Tools

Administrators know that being able to spot problems before they occur is the real key to success. This means keeping a constant eye on the network, or in other words, a high level of network monitoring. Monitoring in this way is done by network monitoring software. Some software offer higher levels of features to paying customers, though there are still many viable free tools available.

Today we’re going to take a look at some of those free options. Some of this software performs differently from other monitoring tools, so take a look through the descriptions to figure out which ones you could benefit from. Although there are some differences between system administrators and network administrators, both could certainly benefit from trying out this monitoring software.

  1. PRTG Network Monitor

PRTG Network Monitor is a well-known piece of software produced by Paessler. This software is known for giving you an in depth ability to manage your system in a well-structured manner. The free version of this software allows up to 100 sensors, which can be positioned on any device, system or application within your network. The result is a clear, easy to manage hierarchal view of the entire network for administrators to work with.

PRTG uses a variety of technology to create an informative performance display. This is combined with a super user friendly interface with clear, powerful options. On top of those features, it comes with multiple alert options and mobile monitoring, while there are various reporting options available in both HTML and PDF format.

  1. Nagios

Nagios is another popular name that offers a free version of their product. It is aimed at users from individuals right up to large corporations. It is usable on the LINUX OS and its’ variants, and serves as a powerful aid to keeping your applications, services and essential systems running at all times.

The core of this application operates with a relatively simple user interface, making it easy to get to grips with. From here you can customize the system for your needs by using plug-ins.

  1. WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp Gold is another highly customizable piece of software. Available as a free trial version over at, this has been developed by Ipswitch and offers a model where you pay only for what’s needed, so there are multiple upgrade/plug-in options for the basic version, dependant on your needs.

WhatsUp Gold offers great real-time monitoring options, as well as great hybrid cloud monitoring. The user interface on this is also completely customizable, another popular feature.

  1. Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor

Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor also comes with a highly customizable interface and has seen praise for its vast display of information and statistics in various formats. While this starts out at a bit of a higher price point than some other options, it still offers a free trial and is available at different price points depending on what features you need. Being able to create custom alerts is another feature boasted by Solarwinds latest software.

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