Microsoft Visio is one of the most well known Network Diagramming software packages on the market, due to Microsoft’s dominance in the Software world, its the Software that comes to mind for most people when considering a Topology Editor.
One of the main disadvantages of this software package is that it doesn’t really have the ability to Scan your network for Nodes (Computers, Servers, Laptop, Wifi, Routers, Switches, etc) natively, like many other software packages we’ve reviewed. In order to actually scan your network with Visio, you’ll have to use a Connector for Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA), that will in turn create a diagram in Visio of your Network.
The price of this Software package if you buy it as a Digital Download is around $230 (Visio 2013 Standard Version), at the time of this writing.
Very easy to use and has great GUI that really makes it quick to learn. Its a Drag-n-Drop interface that allows you to Bring over objects from a Icon menu on the left side and then use Lines/Connectors to interlink all devices per your network configuration.
Visio isn’t only good for just network diagramming, it has the ability to make great Business oriented charts, graphs and diagrams out-of-the-box, along with great integration features. Some of those integration features include linking multiple sources of data from other Microsoft products, including Microsoft Excel, Active Directory, SQL Server, Sharepoint and more.
Adding on to its additional functionality, Visio comes with 1000’s of templates, icons, shapes, themes and more to give you very professional looking presentations.
If your looking for a Program to Draw your network Diagram manually, then this is the right software, unless you don’t mind pairing it with Connector for Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) in order to automatically map your network out for you. Standalone, it Does Not have the feature to Automatically crawl your network and create a Network diagram for you, this can only be done using Connector for Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA).
Price is a little steep at $230 for Visio 2013 due to the lack of features stated above. This may or may not be a deal breaker, due to its multi-business functionality. This software can be used for other presentations outside of Network topology drawings.
System Requirements –
Minimum Processor: 1 GHz processor with SSE2 support
Memory/Ram: 2 GB RAM
Hard disk Space: 3 GB available disk space
Screen Display: 1280 x 800 screen resolution
Graphics: Graphics hardware acceleration requires a DirectX 10 graphics card.
Recommended Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 to Windows 10, 32-bit or 64-bit OS only