Network Monitoring is the use of a system that constantly monitors a computer network for slow or failing components and that notifies the network administrator (via email, SMS or other alarms) in case of outages. It is part of network management.

Commonly measured metrics are response time, availability and uptime.

Following are the components of networks that are considered critical:
  • WAN Infrastructure: Routers, WAN Switches, Firewall, etc.
  • LAN Infrastructure: Switches, Hubs, and Printers
  • Servers, Services and Applications: Application Servers, Database servers, Mail servers, CRM Applications, etc
  • Host Resources: CPU, Memory, and Disk Utilization of critical devices.
  • Critical Desktops and Workstations.

Some applications are used to monitor traffic on your network, such as VoIP monitoring, video stream monitoring, mail server (POP3 server) monitoring, and others.


Network Monitoring Software Tools

At the most basic level, ping is a type of network monitoring tool. Ping is a software tool available on most computers that sends Internet Protocol (IP) test messages between two hosts. Anyone on the network can run these basic ping tests to verify the connection between two computers is working and also measure the current connection performance.

1. Microsoft Network Monitor

Microsoft Network Monitor is a packet analyzer that lets you capture, view and review network traffic. This particular tool can be useful for troubleshooting network issues and applications on the network.

2. Nagios

Nagios is highly effective network monitoring tool which allows you to keep your essential systems, applications and services usually works. It provides features like alerting, event handling and reporting.

3. OpenNMS

OpenNMS is an open source business grade network monitoring application which provides automated discovery, event and notification management, performance measurement, and service assurance features.

4. Advanced IP Scanner

Advanced IP Scanner is a fast and easy to use network scanner that detects any network devices on your network. Allowing you to connect to normal services such as HTTP, FTP and shared folders as long as they are allowed on the remote device. You are also able to start and turn off remote PCs.

5. Capsa Free

Capsa is a network analyzer which enables you to observe network traffic, troubleshoot network troubles and review packets.

6. Fiddler

Fiddler is a web debugging tool which records HTTP traffic between selected PCs and the Net. Enabling you to evaluate inbound as well as outgoing data to keep track of requests and responses before they hit the web browser.

7. PRTG Network Monitor Freeware

PRTG Network Monitor keeps track of network access and also network consumption utilizing a range of of protocols including SNMP, Netflow and WMI. It’s a highly effective tool which provides a user friendly web-based UI and apps for iOS and Android.

8. The Dude

The Dude is a network monitoring tool that keeps track of devices and notifies you if there’s an issue. It can also automatically search within all devices on a provided subnet and then draws the layout map of your network.

9. Splunk

Splunk is a information gathering and evaluation program which enables you to check, accumulate and assess info coming from various resources on your network (e.g. event logs, devices, services, TCP/UDP traffic, etc).

10. Angry IP Scanner

Angry IP Scanner is stand alone program which facilitates IP address and port scanning. It’s accustomed to scan numerous IP addresses to locate hosts which might be alive and acquire details about them (including MAC address, open ports, hostname, ping time, NetBios information, etc).