Ever wonder what the best free network monitoring software is? Want to learn how to network monitor your home network? You’re in the right place. Here is a list of the top free and affordable home network monitoring software that will help you with your homework and benefit you for years to come.
Over a year ago I was dealing with a connectivity issue on my home network and decided it would be wise if I check out some network monitoring software. After a few detailed searches I decided that there wasn’t much out there. So this led me to dig deeper and invest time into researching and comparing all of the available network monitoring software options.
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor is a comprehensive network performance monitoring tool that can monitor the status of devices with SNMP. It can automatically discover network devices connected to your network. Use the dashboard to monitor the availability and performance of connected network devices from a holistic perspective.
- SNMP monitoring
- Automatically discovers connected network devices
- Network packet analysis
- Intelligent network maps with NetPath
- Create WiFi heat maps
- Alerts system
- Reports system
Any devices, applications, or services that have been discovered can also be viewed on a network topology map where you can see how your infrastructure links together. The NetPath feature allows you to trace packet transfers hop-by-hop, which can help to diagnose the origin of performance network issues more effectively.
The custom alerts system enables you to set trigger conditions for alerts. Once the trigger conditions are met the software will send you a notification by email or SMS to let you know that an event has taken place. The user can view a comprehensive list of alerts according to severity by going to the All Active Alerts page.
- Designed with large and enterprise networks in mind
- Supports auto-discovery that builds network topology maps and inventory lists in real-time based on devices that enter the network
- Has some of the best alerting features that balance effectiveness with ease of use
- Supports both SNMP monitoring as well as packet analysis, giving you more control over monitoring than similar tools
- Uses drag and drop widgets to customize the look and feel of the dashboard
- Robust reporting system with pre-configured compliance templates
- This is a feature-rich enterprise tool, small LANs and operations may find it overwhelming
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor is a top network monitoring system because of its diverse feature set. It can rotate between SNMP monitoring to packet analysis with ease, giving you control over what segments of your network you monitor. The price of SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor starts at $2,995 (£2,304). You can download the 30-day free trial.
Datadog Network Performance Monitoring is a cloud-based SaaS infrastructure monitoring service that examines network traffic flows. It is partnered by a Network Device Monitoring service, which focuses on the statuses of each device on the network, such as switches, routers, and appliances.
- Live network mapping and protocol analysis
- Alerts on performance thresholds that are adjusted through machine learning
- Correlation with data from SNMP and other sources
The Network Performance Monitor is able to blend together the network monitoring effort for many sites and also include cloud resources. As a SaaS package, the service includes the processor to run the monitoring software and storage space for gathered statistics. As well as displaying live statuses, this network monitoring service offers packet capture and analysis utilities.
The Datadog Network Performance Monitoring service begins its work by exploring your network and identifying each device. This autodiscovery service means all of the setup of the monitoring system is performed for you. The network discovery routine creates a device inventory, which forms an index for the entire monitoring service.
Once all devices and links have been identified, you can get an overview of all network activity from the Datadog dashboard. The service also draws up a network topology map and that can be used to get quick insights into each node or link. The map is clickable, creating a link through to device statistics and performance details. That information also extends to Internet connections out to other sites and cloud resources.
The network exploration services of Datadog are recursive, so they automatically spot any changes you make to your network. This adjusts the network inventory and the network topology map without any human intervention.
Traffic flow analysis features in the Datadog tool enable you to examine each device and link to discover total capacity and utilization. You can check on traffic volumes from one point on the network to another and also identify the activity on each link. Traffic statistics can be filtered by protocol, endpoint, or conversation because the Datadog system examines the headers of each packet, enabling even live data to be analyzed as at passes through your routers and switches.
You can opt to store traffic for historical analysis, examining the volumes of traffic caused by specific conversations. The analysis features let you see which applications or endpoints generate the most traffic on your network.
Specialist network service monitoring in the package adds supervision of DNS server activities. This takes care of DNS statuses and ensures that your traffic isn’t being misdirected or blocked because of DNS errors.
- Has one of the most intuitive interfaces among other network monitoring tools
- Cloud-based SaaS product allows monitoring with no server deployments or onboarding costs
- Can monitor both internally and externally giving network admins a holistic view of network performance and accessibility
- Supports auto-discovery that builds network topology maps on the fly
- Changes made to the network are reflected in near real-time
- Allows businesses to scale their monitoring efforts reliably through flexible pricing options
- Would like to see a longer trial period for more advanced testing
As well as providing one centralized view of all of your networks, the Datadog Network Performance Monitoring service will integrate with other Datadog monitoring services, such as the Network Device Monitoring system or the Datadog APM. Combining monitoring packages adds functionality to the network monitoring service. You can get a 14-day free trial of the network monitoring system.
ManageEngine OpManager is a network monitoring solution that can monitor the performance of network devices, servers, routers, switches, and virtual machines in real-time. Customizable dashboards provide over 200 widgets for you to create a unique monitoring experience.
- Automatic discovery
- Network mapping
- SNMP monitoring
- Email and SMS alerts
- Customizable dashboards
SNMP monitoring keeps you updated on the performance of devices within your network. For increased visibility, you can use the network mapping feature to automatically discover and map new devices. You can schedule network discovery to find new devices once they’re added to your network.
The alerts system helps you to respond to performance changes quickly. ManageEngine OpManager correlates network events and only presents relevant alerts to the user while minimizing false positives. The program sends alerts by email and SMS to keep you updated on any emerging problems.
ManageEngine OpManager is an all-in-one network monitor that is recommended for users that want a simple infrastructure monitoring tool.
- Designed to work right away, features over 200 customizable widgets to build unique dashboards and reports
- Leverages autodiscover to find, inventory, and map new devices
- Uses intelligent alerting to reduce false positives and eliminate alert fatigue across larger networks
- Supports email, SMS, and webhook for numerous alerting channels
- Integrates well in the ManageEngine ecosystem with their other products
- Is a feature-rich tool that will require a time investment to properly learn
ManageEngine OpManager is an all-in-one network monitor that is recommended for users that want a simple infrastructure monitoring tool. Paid versions start at $245 (£188.55) for 10-1,000 devices up to $11,545 (£8,885 for 250-10,000 devices. You can download the 30-day free trial.
Network Bandwidth Analyzer is a tool that enables you to monitor the performance of the network. It helps you to track response time, availability, switches, and more.
- You can find which network application uses the most bandwidth.
- Provides visual analysis for a device with a delivery path
- This application can monitor the fault of your network
- You can see changes along the path and fin service provider issue
- The tool allows you to drag and drop performance metrics on a timeline
- Monitor the logical component of the SDN (Software Defined Networking) environment.
Auvik is easy to use cloud-based network monitoring and management software. This backup software helps you to automate network visibility and documentation.
- Simplify network performance monitoring and troubleshooting.
- Automate configuration backup and recovery.
- Real-time network mapping
- Provide network traffic analysis.
- It offers secure remote access.
ManageEngine OpManager is an integrated network management solution that facilitates efficient and hassle-free network management. It empowers network/IT admins to simultaneously perform multiple operations such as network performance monitoring, server and VM monitoring, switch monitoring, router monitoring, WLC monitoring, hardware monitoring, reporting, violation alerting, and more.
- Highly custom, intuitive dashboards, heat maps, business views, network device grouping, for better network overview.
- Workflows to automate Level-1 IT tasks
- Intelligent device discovery and monitoring using 9000+ device templates
- Realtime threshold violation alerts via push notifications, SMS, e-mail, Slack, gateway SMSes, and more
- Contextual integrations for all-in-one network infrastructure monitoring
W e’ve all been there. You find yourself sitting at home with the internet turned off, still trying to figure out how it has been out for four days in a row. Or maybe your trying to diagnose why Google is being slow today. The bottom line is, if you don’t know how to check up on your home network – whether you have one computer or a thousand – you’re going to be at its mercy.