The realm of Network Monitoring Tools, Software, and Vendors is Huge, to say the least. New software, tools, and utilities are being launched almost every year to compete in an ever-changing marketplace of IT monitoring, server monitoring, and system monitoring software.
We've gone through as many tools as we could find and rounded up the best ones in an easy-to-read format and highlighted their main strengths and why we think they are in the top class of tools to use in your IT infrastructure and business.
Some of the features we are looking for are device discovery, uptime/downtime indicators, along with robust and thorough alerting systems (via email/SMS), NetFlow and SNMP Integration as well as considerations that are important with any software purchase such as ease of use and value for money.
The features from above were all major points of interest when evaluating software suites for this article and we'll try to keep this article as updated as possible with new feature sets and improvements as they are released, as newer versions of the tools below will likely be released throughout the years.
Here is our list of the top network monitoring tools:
- Auvik – EDITOR'S CHOICE This cloud platform provides modules for LAN monitoring, Wi-Fi monitoring, and SaaS system monitoring. The network monitoring package discovers all devices, maps the network, and then implements automated performance tracking. Get a 14-day free trial.
- SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor – FREE TRIAL The leading network monitoring system that uses SNMP to check on network device statuses. This monitoring tool includes autodiscovery that compiles an asset inventory and automatically draws up a network topology map. Runs on Windows Server. Start 30-day free trial.
- Checkmk – FREE TRIAL This hybrid IT infrastructure monitoring package includes a comprehensive network monitor that provides device status tracking and traffic analysis functions via the integration with ntop. Available as a Linux install package, Docker package, appliance and cloud application available in cloud marketplaces. Get a 30-day free trial.
- Datadog Network Monitoring – FREE TRIAL Provides good visibility over each of the components of your network and the connections between them – be it cloud, on-premises or hybrid environment. Troubleshoot infrastructure, apps and DNS issues effortlessly.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor – FREE TRIAL A collection of monitoring tools and many of those are network monitors. Runs on Windows Server. Start a 30-day free trial.
- ManageEngine OpManager – FREE TRIAL An SNMP-based network monitor that has great network topology layout options, all based on an autodiscovery process. Installs on Windows Server and Linux.
- NinjaOne RMM – FREE TRIAL This cloud-based system provides remote monitoring and management for managed service providers covering the systems of their clients.
- Site24x7 Network Monitoring – FREE TRIAL A cloud-based monitoring system for networks, servers, and applications. This tool monitors both physical and virtual resources.
- Atera – FREE TRIAL A cloud-based package of remote monitoring and management tools that include automated network monitoring and a network mapping utility.
- ManageEngine RMM Central – FREE TRIAL A powerful asset and network management that includes patching, remote access, and automated remediation.
- Domotz A cloud-based package of network monitoring and management tools that also offers a multi-tenant architecture that is suitable for use by managed service providers.
- Nagios XI An extensible infrastructure monitor, based on the free Nagios Core, that has thousands of free plugins available. Runs on Linux.
- Zabbix A free monitoring system that covers networks, servers, and applications. Available for Linux, macOS, and Unix.
- Incinga 2 Developed from a fork of Nagios Core, this free infrastructure monitor will also take plugins written for Nagios. Installs on Linux.
- Progress WhatsUp Gold An SNMP-based network monitor that can be expanded by buying add-ons to monitor other infrastructure. Installs on Windows Server.
- ConnectWise Automate A competent infrastructure monitoring system that includes many task automation tools. Installs on Windows Server.
- LogicMonitor A cloud-based infrastructure monitor that can supervise on-premises networks and cloud resources.
- Op5 Monitor Very scalable and free to use for up to 20 devices.
The Top Network Monitoring Tools and Software
Below you'll find an updated list of the Latest Tools & Software to ensure your network is continuously tracked and monitored at all times of the day to ensure the highest up-times possible. Most of them have free Downloads or Trials to get you started for 15 to 30 days to ensure it meets your requirements.
What should you look for in network monitoring tools?
We reviewed the market for network monitoring software and analyzed the tools based on the following criteria:
- An automated service that can perform network monitoring unattended
- A device discovery routine that automatically creates an asset inventory
- A network mapping service that shows live statuses of all devices
- Alerts for when problems arise
- The ability to communicate with network devices through SNMP
- A free trial or a demo for a no-cost assessment
- Value for money in a package that provides monitoring for all network devices at a reasonable price
With these selection criteria in mind, we have defined a shortlist of suitable network monitoring tools for all operating systems.
Auvik is a SaaS platform that offers a network discovery and mapping system that automates enrolment and then continues to operate in order to spot changes in network infrastructure. This system is able to centralize and unify the monitoring of multiple sites.
- A SaaS package that includes processing power and storage space for system logs as well as the monitoring software
- Centralizes the monitoring of networks on multiple sites
- Watches over network device statuses
- Offers two plans: Essential and Performance
- Network traffic analysis included in the higher plan
- Monitors virtual LANs as well as physical networks
- Autodiscovery service
- Network mapping
- Alerts for automated monitoring
- Integrations with third-party complimentary systems
Why do we recommend it?
Auvik is a cloud-based network monitoring system. It reaches into your network, identifies all connected devices, and then creates a map. While SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor also performs those tasks, Auvik is a much lighter tool that you don’t have to host yourself and you don’t need deep technical knowledge to watch over a network with this automated system.
Auvik’s network monitoring system is automated, thanks to its system of thresholds. The service includes out-of-the-box thresholds that are placed on most of the metrics that the network monitor tracks. It is also possible to create custom thresholds.
Once the monitoring service is operating, if any of the thresholds are crossed, the system raises an alert. This mechanism allows technicians to get on with other tasks, knowing that the thresholds give them time to avert system performance problems that would be noticeable to users.
Network management tools that are included in the Auvik package include configuration management to standardize the settings of network devices and prevent unauthorized changes.
The processing power for Auvik is provided by the service’s cloud servers. However, the system requires collectors to be installed on each monitored site. This software runs on Windows Server and Ubuntu Linux. It is also possible to run the collector on a VM. Wherever the collector is located, the system manager still accesses the service’s console, which is based on the Auvik server, through any standard Web browser.
Who is it recommended for?
Smaller businesses that don’t have a team to support IT would benefit from Auvik. It needs no software maintenance and the system provides automated alerts when issues arise, so your few IT staff can get on with supporting other resources while Auvik looks after the network.
- A specialized network monitoring tool
- Additional network management utilities
- Configuration management included
- A cloud-based service that is accessible from anywhere through any standard Web browser
- Data collectors for Windows Server and Ubuntu Linux
- The system isn’t expandable with any other Auvik modules
Auvik doesn’t publish its prices by you can access a 14-day free trial.
Auvik is our top pick for a network monitoring tool because it is a hosted SaaS package that provides all of your network monitoring needs without you needing to maintain the software. The Auvik platform installs an agent on your site and then sets itself up by scanning the network and identifying all devices. The inventory that this system generates gives you details of all of your equipment and provides a basis for network topology maps. Repeated checks on the network gather performance statistics and if any metric crosses a threshold, the tool will generate an alert. You can centralize the monitoring of multiple sites with this service.
Official Site: https://www.auvik.com/#trial