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The Best Network Device Monitoring Tools

Best Network Device Monitoring Tools

John Cirelly UPDATED: September 14, 2023

The process of routinely checking on systems, applications, services, and devices (or having them check in) to ensure that they are in good health, productive, and free of errors is referred to as network monitoring.

Techniques and technologies for quality network monitoring can not only inform you when systems or resources have failed or are in a partial state of failure, but they may also foresee and warn against impending IT disasters.

We have combed through as many tools as we were able to locate, selected the most useful ones, compiled them into an easy-to-read manner, and described their primary benefits for you.

Here is our list of the best network device monitoring tools:

  1. Auvik – EDITOR'S CHOICE This SaaS platform provides network monitoring with both SNMP-based device status tracking and traffic analysis with flow protocols, so you get to track every aspect of your network’s activity. Get a 14-day free trial.
  2. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor – FREE TRIAL The most popular network monitoring system, checks the state of network devices by using the SNMP protocol. Moreover, it may also alert you to any potential security threats. Utilizes the Windows Server platform. Start your 30-day free trial.
  3. ManageEngine OpManager – FREE TRIAL This system provides network device monitoring and server monitoring. It is able to track physical and virtual systems and also wireless networks. Runs on Windows Server, Linux, AWS, and Azure. Start a 30-day free trial.
  4. Site24x7 Network Monitoring – FREE TRIAL This is a monitoring solution that is cloud-based and is used for monitoring networks, servers, and applications. This monitoring tool keeps an eye on both actual and virtual resources. Start a 30-day free trial.
  5. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor – FREE TRIAL A set of monitoring tools, the majority of which are network monitors. It is a network monitoring tool. Utilizes the Windows Server platform. Start your 30-day free trial.
  6. Atera A collection of remote monitoring and management tools that are hosted in the cloud and include automated network monitoring as well as an application for network mapping.
  7. Datadog Network Monitoring Gives you good visibility over each of the components of your network and the connections between them, regardless of whether your environment is in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid combination of the two.
  8. Nagios An infrastructure monitor that may be extended and is based on the open-source and free Nagios Core software. It also has thousands of free plugins available. Runs on Linux.

The Best Network Device Monitoring Tools

Our methodology for selecting network monitoring tools 

We reviewed the market for network device monitoring tools and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:

  • An autodiscovery that compiles a network inventory
  • An automated network topology mapper
  • Constantly updated network documentation
  • Device status tracking with SNMP
  • A facility to process performance problem notifications into alerts
  • A free trial period or a demo for no-risk assessment opportunity
  • A fair price that reflects value for money when compared to the functions offered

1. Auvik – FREE TRIAL

Tested on: Cloud/SaaS

Auvik Dashboard

Auvik is a network monitoring solution that is hosted in the cloud and comes with a variety of tools for managing systems. The package can be accessed using a web browser, and the installation process for the collectors on your machine begins when you create an account with the provider. The Auvik package enables monitoring of various locations while also centralizing control over those locations. Because of this, the package is perfect for monitoring a wide area network (WAN).

Key Features:

  • A subscription to a cloud-based service that provides processing power.
  • Allows for the centralized monitoring of networks across many locations.
  • Maintains vigilance over the operational states of network devices.
  • Choose between two different pricing tiers: Essential and Performance.
  • Analysis of network traffic is included in the more expensive package.

The process of discovering networks is where the service provided by Auvik gets started. This causes the monitor to immediately generate all of the fundamental data that is required for it to function properly. Since the discovery service is always running, it is always able to detect when new devices are connected to the network.

When the monitoring service is put into operation, the system will sound an alarm whenever any of the predetermined limits are exceeded. Because of this technique, technicians can go on to other activities, secure in the knowledge that the thresholds provide them enough time to prevent problems with system performance that would be obvious to users.

The processing power that is used by Auvik comes from the cloud servers that are part of the service. However, for the system to function properly, each monitored location must have collectors installed. Both Windows Server and Ubuntu Linux are supported by this software. Additionally, it is doable to operate the collector within a virtual machine.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based but with a local agent
  • Acts as the SNMP Manager
  • Creates an inventory and a network diagram
  • Constant device status monitoring
  • Option for traffic monitoring as well

Cons:

  • No on-premises option

Auvik is available on a 14-day free trial.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Auvik is our top pick for a network device monitoring service because it adds traffic monitoring to its device monitoring service.s Buyers who just want that SNMP-based device monitoring service should look at the Essentials edition. The Performance edition provides network traffic monitoring services as well as device monitoring. This cloud-based service allows network managers to monitor multiple sites from one dashboard and the console is accessed through a Web page, so it is accessible from anywhere.

Official Site: https://www.auvik.com/#trial

OS: Cloud-based

2. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor – FREE TRIAL

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor requires little effort to install and can be up and running in almost no time at all. The device deploys itself within an hour of autonomously discovering network devices and doing so. Because of the straightforward manner in which it monitors and controls a complete network, it has one of the most user-friendly and instinctive interfaces possible.

Key Features:

  • Handles the discovery and scanning of wired and wireless networks automatically.
  • Support for a vast selection of Original Equipment Manufacturers.
  • Prediction and organizational capacity planning.
  • Identifies problems with the performance of your network.
  • Utilizes the Dashboard to take control.

The product has a wide range of available customization options, and its user interface is simple to administer and adapt in a short amount of time. You can personalize the performance dashboards, charts, and views that are hosted on the web. You can devise a custom topology for the entirety of your network's physical architecture. You also can generate individualized dependency-aware intelligent warnings, in addition to a great deal of other functionality.

Pros:

  • Live SNMP monitoring
  • SNMP Traps processed into alerts
  • Alerts can be forwarded by email or SMS
  • Autodiscovery, inventory, and network map

Cons:

  • Only available for Windows Server

The program is sold as distinct modules, each of which corresponds to a certain function. The SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, which comes with a 30-day free trial, has a starting price of $1,995 and is sold as a one-time license that also includes the first year of maintenance.

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor Start 30-day FREE Trial

3. ManageEngine OpManager – FREE TRIAL

ManageEngine OpManager Overview

ManageEngine OpManager provides monitoring for networks, servers, and virtualizations. It is based on the Simple Network Management Protocol, so it is able to send out broadcast requests for reports from SNMP device agents. Each device agent responds to the request with a report called a Management Information Base (MIB). By compiling MIB data, OpManager is able to create a network inventory and draw up a topology map.

Key Features:

  • Discovers and maps all network devices
  • Creates a network inventory
  • Provides continuous device monitoring
  • Gathers port activity reports
  • Covers wireless networks
  • Includes troubleshooting tools, such as Ping

The OpManager system repeats its MIB requests continuously and this provides live network device monitoring. Details in the MIB also let OpManager know if devices have been added, moved, or removed. The system updates the network inventory and redraws the topology map automatically in response. This system also sees when rogue devices connect to the network.

Other functions in OpManager provide monitoring for Hyper-V, VMware, Citrix, Xen, and Nutanix HCI virtualizations. The system can keep track of internet connections between sites and out to cloud platforms.

The software for OpManager runs on Windows or Linux. It is also available as a service on AWS and Azure. The system can also be supplemented by the linked NetFlow Analyzer, which monitors network traffic.

Pros:

  • Network and server monitoring
  • SNMP tracking and alerts
  • Autodiscovery, network inventory, and topology mapping

Cons:

  • No SaaS version

Price:

  • Standard Edition (10 devices) – from $245 per year
  • Professional Edition (10 devices) – from $345 per year
  • Enterprise Edition (250 devices) – from $11,545 per year

ManageEngine offers OpManager for a 30-day free trial.

ManageEngine OpManager Get a 30-day FREE Trial

4. Site24x7 – FREE TRIAL

Site24x7 Home View on Devices

The monitoring services provided by Site24x7 include coverage for networks, servers, and applications. The network monitoring service included in this package initiates the process by first searching the network for devices that are linked to it. The information technology department creates a network topology map and reports its results in a network inventory.

Key Features:

  • A hosted cloud-based service that comprises CPU time and performance data storage space.
  • Can unify the monitoring of networks on-site all around the world.
  • Uses SNMP to check on device health statuses.
  • Gives alerts on resource limitations, performance concerns, and device problems.
  • Generates notifications to forward alerts by email or SMS.
  • Root cause analysis characteristics.

The Network Monitor will poll the devices once per minute to obtain status data, and it will do so using the processes from the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). The inventory and topology map will be updated to reflect any changes in the network infrastructure that are brought to light by the responses to these questions.

The dashboard of the monitor displays live data that has been interpreted based on the results of the device responses. The user can personalize the dashboard's panels and can access it with any browser that is considered to be standard.

If the SNMP system identifies a problem with the device that it is monitoring, it grants the device agents the authority to immediately issue a warning rather than waiting for a request to do so. These messages, also known as Traps, are detected by Site24x7 Infrastructure, which then causes an alert to be produced. This warning can be communicated to technicians via text message (SMS), email (email), phone call (voice call), or instant messaging post (IM post).

Pros:

  • Cloud-based package
  • Full stack monitoring
  • Network discovery, inventory, and mapping

Cons:

  • No on-premises version

Start with a 30-day free trial.

Site24x7 Start a 30-day FREE Trial

5. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor – FREE TRIAL

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor

The Paessler PRTG Network Monitor software has gained a lot of popularity due to the extensive infrastructure management capabilities it offers. A hierarchical view that highlights performance and warnings may be readily shown to include all of the devices, systems, traffic, and applications that are part of your network. PRTG utilizes a wide variety of different technologies to monitor the complete IT infrastructure, including SNMP, WMI, SSH, Flows/Packet Sniffing, HTTP requests, REST APIs, Pings, and SQL, among many more.

Key Features:

  • A variety of live network topology maps can be found in their respective forms.
  • Monitoring of wired and wireless local area networks in addition to local area networks.
  • Multi-site monitoring capabilities.
  • SNMP sensors collect information on the state of the device.
  • Send a ping to the device to determine its availability.
  • Extra sensors are available as an option to monitor servers and applications.

It is one of the better options available to companies that have relatively little experience in the field of network monitoring software. The user interface is quite strong while still maintaining a very simple and straightforward design.

The ability of PRTG to monitor equipment in a data center using a mobile app is a feature that sets it apart from other similar products. The physical hardware receives a printed-out QR code that matches the sensor, which is then affixed to the hardware. The code is scanned using the mobile app, and a brief description of the product is presented on the screen of the mobile device.

Pros:

  • A flexible package
  • Network discovery, inventory creation, and topology mapping
  • SaaS and on-premises versions

Cons:

  • On-premises package won’t run on Linux

 Paessler PRTG Network Monitor comes with a 30-day free trial.

Paessler PRTG Start a 30-day FREE Trial

6. Atera

Atera Screenshot

Atera is a software package that was developed specifically with managed service providers in mind. It is a platform that is delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS), and it incorporates technologies for Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) as well as Professional Service Automation (PSA).

Key Features:

  • Remotely automating the finding of networks.
  • Using SNMP for monitoring the performance of the network.
  • Additionally provides tools for remote system management.
  • Pricing that is scalable, with three different plan levels.
  • Free trial for the first 30 days.

The remote operation of the network monitoring system is accomplished using an agent that is installed on Windows Server. The agent gives the service the ability to search the network and discover all of the devices in the network that is running it. This is accomplished with the help of SNMP, with the agent serving in the role of the SNMP Manager.

The SNMP protocol gives the agent the ability to recognize these messages. These are then forwarded to the dashboard that Atera uses to monitor the network, where they are displayed as alerts. Although Atera does provide an automatic topology mapping service, it is only available as an additional purchase in addition to the primary subscription packages.

Pros:

  • Versions for IT departments and managed service providers
  • SNMP network device monitoring
  • Includes a Help Desk ticketing system

Cons:

  • Network discovery costs extra

You have the option of signing up for a flexible monthly membership or an annual subscription at a discounted rate. You will have three different licensing kinds from which to choose, and you will have the opportunity to test out Atera's full feature capabilities for FREE for thirty days.

7. Datadog

Datadog Database Query Metrics

Datadog is responsible for monitoring how well network devices perform. The service is a cloud-based system that can investigate a network and identify all of the devices that are linked to the network. The information gleaned from this research will be used by the network monitor to compile an asset inventory and produce a topology map of the network. When this method is carried out, it indicates that the system will carry out its setup routines.

Key Features:

  • Consists of the monitoring of DNS servers.
  • Collects reports from SNMP devices.
  • Combines results obtained from a wide variety of information sources.
  • Including monitoring the flow of data.
  • Includes facilities for tag-based packet analysis within the dashboard.
  • Incorporates many types of protocol analyzers.
  • Establishment of a baseline for performance standards using machine learning.

Because the autodiscovery process is always running, it can detect any alterations that you may have made to your network and immediately bring both the inventory and the topology map up to the current. In addition to recognizing virtual systems, the service can extend the monitoring of links out to cloud resources.

The end-to-end visibility of all connections is provided by Datadog Network Monitoring. These connections are also connected with performance concerns that are indicated in log messages. The system's dashboard is hosted in the cloud and may be viewed using any browser that is considered the industry standard. This brings together information about the performance of the network from a wide variety of sources and encompasses the complete network, both link by link and end to end.

Datadog Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) employs a one-of-a-kind, tag-based tracking method to monitor the performance of on-premise and cloud-based networks. This method gives you the ability to segment network traffic between hosts, containers, services, or any other Datadog tag.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based modules for network device monitoring and traffic monitoring
  • Network discovery, inventory creation, and network mapping
  • Alerts for performance problems

Cons:

  • Need to get the Infrastructure Monitoring unit as well for autodiscovery

8. Nagios

Nagios

Nagios is designed to serve a diverse group of users, ranging from sole proprietors and SMBs (small to medium businesses) to huge enterprises. Because of this, the price plan for Nagios is considered to be one of the most flexible. They provide a free version, an open-source alternative, a one-time license option, and a subscription service. It is one of the few tools that, despite its modest price, enables an extremely flexible monitoring and alerting system (thanks to its adaptability to plug-ins), making it one of the few tools of its kind.

Key Features:

  • Open-source transparency tool.
  • User interface that is straightforward while also providing relevant information.
  • Flexible notification options support both email and text messages.
  • It is an excellent choice for programmers that want to incorporate their own customized apps.

Monitoring is the primary function of Nagios. Network, Infrastructure, and Database are some of the most important aspects of an IT system that are monitored by Nagios. The software is simple to install, but it will take some effort to configure it to meet your specific needs when you first start using it.

It provides solutions such as Network Traffic Monitoring Software, Network Analyzer, and Network Monitoring Software respectively. A comprehensive dashboard, complex visualizations, bespoke application monitoring, automated alarms, specialized views, and advanced user management are some of the features that come standard with the Nagios Network Analyzer software.

Pros:

  • Full stack monitoring
  • Network device monitoring
  • Network discovery inventory creation and mapping

Cons:

  • Network traffic monitoring is in a separate package

Top Choice

Out of all, our first choice is the Auvik. The application will keep you apprised of any developing issues by notifying you of them via email and text message.

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