40 Best and Free Network Monitoring Tools & Software (2021)

In every organization, a network is an integral part of the infrastructure to help facilitate flexibility, convenience, and ease for the inflow and outflow of data.

Also, your clients might be depending on your network traffic monitoring skills for their network monitoring needs. If your network falters for even a second, it will face huge losses.

Thus, every organization must use an application performance management tool that can protect them from potential issues such as unwanted downtime, network failure, etc., in the future.

What is Network Monitoring Software?

A network monitoring solution is a tool designed specifically to manage the network traffic flow in the network to ensure uptime, response time, and availability of the network and connected devices.

Network monitoring can be used for LAN, WAN, or both, depending on the IT infrastructure. This software can also monitor suspicious network traffic or activities on the network.

They review the network regularly and send out alerts for any issues that are detected. They provide information related to IT addressing and active devices.

Why Use Network Monitoring Software?

Network Monitoring tools offer a myriad of benefits for your organization. Here are some reasons to get it for your organization ASAP:

  1. Identify pending outages – This software can quickly identify whether the network devices connected to the network are working or not.
  2. Enhanced visibility of network components – This software allows the network administrators to keep track of all the network elements using a shared dashboard.
  3. Enhanced productivity – Network monitoring tools help the IT team save time to invest in other crucial business requirements.
  4. Performance boost – With the ever-changing user needs, it is difficult for the network admins to keep track of future resource consumption. The network admins use network monitoring solutions to understand users’ needs and predict future capacity.
  5. Insight into infrastructure planning – The network monitoring software provides historical data with future predictions, which the IT team can use to improve the network’s infrastructure.

Kinds of Network Monitoring Software

There are numerous monitoring software available in the market offering multiple features and functionalities. However, generally, they can be classified into three types: SNMP-based, network traffic flow-based, and active network monitoring.

  1. SNMP-based network monitoring – Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is used by many network monitoring tools to interact with hardware and generate status and usage of resources.
  2. Traffic-flow-based network monitoring – Tools based on traffic flow of the network can process and capture real-time network usage data. They use it to generate statistics about protocols, user consumption, and packet sequence to identify network performance issues.
  3. Active network monitoring – By injecting actual packets in the network, the monitoring tools can measure round-trip time, link utilization, end-to-end reachability, packet loss, bandwidth, etc.

Network Monitoring Software Features

While looking for the best network monitoring tools, you must understand the needs of your IT infrastructure and your budget.

Here are some of the features that must be available in your performance monitoring tool:

  1. With the changes in the network infrastructure, the tool must be able to automatically discover new network devices and map them into network topology.
  2. The tool must efficiently perform network diagnostics to identify network performance issues and identify the root cause behind those issues.
  3. Since everyone in the team uses the dashboard, the dashboard must be customizable to restrict views to different levels of members.
  4. The monitoring tools must resolve minor, non-critical network performance issues automatically without manual intervention.
  5. The best network monitoring software must provide real-time insights into the device’s performance.

40 Best Network Monitoring Tools & Software

1. WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp Gold Network Monitoring Tool

Link: WhatsUp Gold

Shortly known as WUG, WhatsUp Gold offers proactive monitoring for traffic using user-friendly dashboards. It also can automatically identify and map your entire network.

The customizable dashboards of WhatsUp Gold provide intelligent alerts via SMS, website, or email to facilitate continuous monitoring of the IT infrastructure’s health.

It provides complete visibility of devices’ up and down status regardless of being in the cloud services or on-premises.

2. SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer

SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Network Monitoring Tool

Link: SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor offers NetFlow Traffic Analyzer by identifying the cause behind high bandwidth.

NetFlow by SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor captures data from continuous streams of traffic and converts that into easy-to-interpret charts and tables to show the usage of the network, who is using it, and why.

NetFlow by SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor provides full and seamless integration with the Orion platform and offers clear visibility for performance, traffic patterns, and bandwidth. The network performance monitor comes with a performance analysis dashboard.

3. AppNeta

AppNeta Network Monitoring Tool

Link: AppNeta

AppNeta provides end-user experience performance monitoring using the software as a Service (SaaS) based for cloud, businesses, and remote locations.

It provides critical network data to the IT and network operations teams to monitor the performance of data and mobile, cloud, and website environments.

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AppNeta allows automatic application performance monitoring. It also helps the users to cut down the downtime and reduce costs.

4. ThousandEyes

ThousandEyes Network Monitoring Tool

Link: ThousandEyes

The cloud-based networking tool ThousandEyes is a simple network monitoring solution that allows administrators to identify the cause of network problems and respond to the issues before the problems reach your customers and damage your services and revenue.

The tool provides unique insight into the network with the help of intelligent agents and visualized multiple layers of network data to check apps, services, and infrastructure.

5. Wireshark

Wireshark Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Wireshark

Popular as a protocol analyzer, Wireshark allows remote monitoring by capturing data and performing read/write operations on them.

It allows deep inspection of multiple protocols and a rich analysis for VoIP. It supports Solaris, macOS, Windows, Linux, and many other operating systems.

Wireshark can quickly access pcap files, identify applications running on the network, monitor virtual machine traffic, and use advanced alerts and triggers.

6. SignalFx

SignalFx Network Monitoring Tool

Link: SignalFx

Acquired by Splunk, SignalFx is a remote monitoring and infrastructure monitoring software that provides a unified view to gain visibility of the application layers ranging from infrastructure to business processes and generate intelligent alerts for the complex cloud environments.

SignalFx curates the operational intelligence of the network and shares the best methodologies the team can use to manage the network.

It provides flexibility, high-definition charts, interactive tools, service-wide alerts, and support for the entire network lifecycle.

7. Syslink Xandria

Syslink Xandria Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Syslink Xandria

Xandria is a reliable and intelligent SAP analysis, monitoring, and management solution to facilitate proactive, automated, and predictive monitoring for SAP landscape management.

Syslink Xandria allows real-time monitoring that can save at least 20% of the time. It also provides complete control of the SAP environments irrespective of whether they are cloud-based, HANA-based, or on-premises.

It prevents SAP failures and generates notifications using a threshold. It also provides configuration change tracking for security and audit.

8. OpenNMS

OpenNMS Network Monitoring Tool

Link: OpenNMS

OpenNMS is an open-source network monitoring solution that contains a discovery engine. The engine does not require any human intervention and can automatically manage and configure devices.

The open-source tool is designed for building network monitoring solutions by collecting performance metrics from XMP, JMX, SNMP, WMI, and NRPE agents.

OpenNMS has a flexible and extensible architecture that helps discover applications and networks through RestAPI driven interfaces, detected interfaces, and manual interfaces.

9. SolarWinds Enterprise Operations

SolarWinds Enterprise Console Network Monitoring Tool

Link: SolarWinds Enterprise Operations

The Enterprise Operations Console (EOC) provided by SolarWinds allows users to view a geographically distributed network by a single command.

It collects performance data from SolarWinds servers and then summarizes it into a centralized and composite view.

SolarWinds Enterprise Operations Console contains a built-in asset explorer to search and filter monitoring devices.

10. StatusCake

StatusCake Network Monitoring Tool

Link: StatusCake

This global network monitoring solution has monitoring centers located worldwide featuring rich monitoring and advanced features. It comes with PUSH monitoring to monitor unavailable systems.

StatusCake allows more uptime at lower costs and sends alerts in real-time. It also has a page speed monitoring feature to analyze the speed of loading for the Link.

You can set up a contact group to enable alerts. It also contains a Basic auth tool to allow you to set up basic authentication for access to restricted pages while testing.

11. Datadog

Datadog Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Datadog

Designed to help IT professionals, app developers, and other application specialists, Datadog helps gather data from scattered sources, turn them into reliable insights, and monitor the performance of services, apps, and tools.

The tool comes with pre-integrated third-party business applications and integrations to enable seamless workflow across all languages, platforms, and geographical positions.

Datadog uses Graphing editor to visualize data. It sends alerts using PagerDuty, and email.

12. Azure Service Health

Azure Health Service Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Azure Service Health

This remote monitoring and management software monitors network devices and sends notifications to users to help them understand the issues, their impact, and their solution.

Azure Service health integrates into Azure monitor to send out alerts. It allows users to plan maintenance for resource availability and provides a personalized dashboard.

Azure Service Health allows users to download a PDF summary of the issue to share with organization members with no access to the Azure portal.

13. OP5 Monitor

OP5 Monitor Network Monitoring Tool

Link: OP5 Monitor

The monitoring tool provided by OP5 is an excellent server monitoring and application monitoring tool based on SNMP.

It is based on the Open Source network monitoring project Nagios that can display the IT infrastructure’s status, performance, and health and generate alerts using SNMP traps.

OP5 Monitor provides log server monitoring, completely customizable and interactive dashboards, excellent scalability in distributed environments, and automatic self-healing.

14. Micro Focus Network Automation

Micro Focus Network Automation Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Micro Focus Network Automation

Network automation software offered by Micro Focus is a remote monitoring and management software that enables users to perform automated configuration, security compliance, and changes across the network.

Admins have an excellent opportunity to improve network security and fix vulnerabilities. The Micro Focus tool can automate the manual compliance and configuration tasks which are time-consuming.

It allows users to rapidly monitor the inventory of devices to ensure accuracy in network topology. The tool provides network health and performance monitoring with high scalability.

15. AppviewX

AppViewX Network Monitoring Tool

Link: AppviewX

This network monitoring software allows faster movement of network operations by enforcing compliance, reducing management costs, and enforcing compliance.

AppviewX can adapt to technology demands such as IoT, cloud, Agile, software-defined infrastructure, and DevOps.

AppviewX creates a virtual server for users to ensure the quick loading time of applications. It includes security policy management and automation, certificate management, ADC management and automation, and critical management.

16. Zenoss

Zenoss Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Zenoss

This hybrid IT monitoring tool allows administrators to perform software analytics and gain total visibility for the real, virtual, and cloud IT environments using the website.

Zenoss is a cross-platform website performance availability monitoring system for devices that comes with customizable dashboards and website consoles.

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Zenoss provides Open Source Core, SaaS, and enterprise solutions and an open SDK and API that help in performance monitoring, scalability, rapid customization, and management of the network device.

17. Logic Monitor

Logic Monitor Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Logic Monitor

This is one of the best network monitoring tools with automated SaaS that offers customizable reports, alerts, and dashboards to identify incoming issues using trend analysis and predictive alerts.

Logic Monitor can discover all network devices and interfaces, including memory, fan, monitors, CPU, temperature, etc.

It monitors power over the ethernet loads and sends alerts. It can track OSPF adjacencies and BGP sessions and perform wireless access-point monitoring.

18. Pandora FMS

Pandora FMS Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Pandora FMS

This enterprise-ready monitoring solution offers excellent flexibility to address unanticipated and immediate operational issues.

Pandora FMS supports networks and WMI monitoring and uses SLA and KPI metrics to report infrastructure management and IT processes.

The tool uses GIS tracking and viewing, provides several layers of access control, and comes equipped with WYSIWYG visual console screens and dashboards.

19. Spectrum

Spectrum Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Spectrum

Built on the Amazon CloudWatch platform, Spectrum is a monitoring service provided by AWS with similar functionalities to Amazon CloudWatch.

Spectrum allows multiple AWS on a single color-coded dashboard with a user-friendly interface to show real-time metrics.

The tool tracks metrics and monitoring logs to set alarms and notify users of any changes made in the AWS resources, customized as per preference.

20. Nagios XI and Nagios Core

Nagios Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Nagios

Nagios Core is a monitoring tool that allows organizations to identify and resolve It infrastructure problems proactively before they can become critical to business and affect the users.

It is a free network monitoring software that comes with a comprehensive dashboard that allows you to keep track of subsets of the information flow in networks.

Nagios XI is the paid version of Nagios Core with some advanced features. Nagios allows advanced users to enable multiple IT teams to work together efficiently and gain complete insights on network health.

21. NinjaRMM Remote Monitoring

NinjaRMM Network Monitoring Tool

Link: NinjaRMM Remote Monitoring

This 360-degree monitoring tool offers dashboards, window patching, IT automation, third-party patching, network management, and advanced reporting.

These features are ideal in an IT marketplace and offer tight integrations with products used by IT professionals and MSPs.

NinjaRMM provides users with an ideal platform to generate notifications for all system-level events, devices, captures, audit changes, and traces to the network infrastructure.

22. NetXMS

NetXMS Network Monitoring Tool

Link: NetXMS

This open-source network monitoring tool allows enterprises to monitor the network health using SNMP-capable hardware and applications on servers.

NetXMS open-source tool is designed for maximum scalability and performance for distributed network monitoring systems using SNMP.

It can help the admins detect the networks and map them automatically. The software allows quick deployment with minimal configuration changes and supports various native platforms and operating systems.

23. ConnectWise Automate

ConnectWise Automate Network Monitoring Tool

Link: ConnectWise Automate

Formerly known as LabTech, Connectwise Automate is an excellent tool to resolve IT problems quickly and eliminate any blind spots in the supported environments proactively, thereby not allowing it to become critical.

The tool removes delivery roadblocks and allows better visibility and insight into the IT infrastructure to better identify the root of the problems.

Connectwise Automate provides better services at a low cost and can resolve issues quickly.

24. Cacti

Cacti Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Cacti

Harnessing RRDTool’s data storage and graphing power, Cacti is a complete graphing solution for networks that can store all necessary information to create graphs using data from the MySQL database.

Cacti features include templates, user management, graph display, data sources, user management, graphs, and data gathering.

The tool provides auto-padding support to allow the texts in graph legend to line up. It can retrieve data using a script with an index or SNMP.

25. Domotz Pro

Domotz Pro Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Domotz Pro

This top network monitoring system can synchronize all connected devices for technical troubleshooting. Domotz Pro allows remote interference and management of devices, thus helping the IT professionals and system integrators save time.

Domotz offers Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality that allows the IT teams to shut down power for individual ports in a managed network switch.

The tool can generate monthly reports that can be downloaded, emailed, and shared with the customers.

26. Indeni

Indeni Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Indeni

This tool allows IT teams to automate security tasks and repetitive network tasks, which helps the organizations in saving time spent on downtime.

Indeni dashboard comes with pre-built integration to devices, reporting of trends and analysis, actionable remediation steps, and proactive notification of issues.

Indeni provides the organization with validation steps for high availability, best practices, and ongoing maintenance. It also provides a cloud-based analytics service that uses production data collected from Indeni’s users.

27. Cisco Data Center Network Manager

Cisco Data Center Network Manager Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Cisco Data Center Network Manager

Cisco’s Data Center Network Manager allows LAN, SAN, and multi-tenant fabric management and automation that helps deploy substantial scale fabrics and skills.

Cisco Data Center Network Manager comes with Power-On Auto-Provisioning (POAP) equipped with VXLAN templates for Nexus 5000 to 9000 switches.

The tool allows multiple site visibility, data synchronization and search, performance and storage zoning management, image management, and a built-in database for high-availability enterprise deployments.

28. ManageEngine OpManager

ManageEngine OpManager Network Monitoring Tool

Link: ManageEngine OpManager

OpManager from ManageEngine is a network monitoring system that allows hassle-free and efficient performance monitoring.

ManageEngine OpManager empowers the IT admins to simultaneously perform multiple networking operations such as server monitoring, network performance monitoring, etc. The tool offers a free trial for new users.

The tool comes with customizable and intuitive dashboards, intelligent network discovery of devices, network device grouping, 9000+ templates for devices, network infrastructure monitoring, and heat maps.

29. NetCrunch

NetCrunch Network Monitoring Tools

Link: NetCrunch

Provided by AdRem software, NetCrunch is a comprehensive and free network monitoring software that allows agent-less extensive application monitoring, alerting, policy-based configuration, and flexible visualization.

NetCrunch contains over 330 sensors, monitoring packs, and services that create baseline thresholds and triggers that learn your network and generate alerts for any unexpected changes.

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The tool offers a 30 days free trial. It allows the IT admins to identify, configure, and begin monitoring using its nine feature modules suited to specific infrastructure needs.

30. Obkio

Obkio Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Obkio

This easy-to-use and effective SaaS-based network performance monitoring tool empowers organizations to monitor network performance continuously and continuously improve the end-user experience.

Obkio allows continuous monitoring using the monitoring agents, measure performance by exchanging synthetic traffic, troubleshoot performance issues, and monitor the network from the end-user perspective.

Obkio can be deployed in minutes and can perform decentralized monitoring between agents in different locations. The tool offers a 14-day free trial.

31. Paessler PRTG

Paessler PRTG Network Monitoring Tools

Link: Paessler PRTG

Paessler PRTG network monitor is a software known for its advanced monitoring capabilities that use SQL, SNMP, REST, Sniffing, WMI, APIS, etc.

PRTG network monitor pings defined IP ranges to scan the network segments and helps the organization to create website pages containing up-to-date monitoring data.

Paessler PRTG comes with multiple user interfaces and an easy-to-use and flexible alerting technology that generates alerts when it suspects something unusual in the network metrics.

32. Fiddler

Fiddler Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Fiddler

This website debugging and network management tool allows its users to capture HTTP traffic between the user’s computer and the internet.

Fiddler allows website session manipulation and HTTP/HTTPS traffic recording. It can be used to debug traffic on mobile devices, Linux systems, PCs, and Mac.

Fiddler enables its users to analyze incoming and outgoing data through the organization’s network. It then explores and evaluates requests and responses before sending them to the browser.

33. Icinga

Icinga Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Icinga

Icinga is one of the best free and open-source service monitoring software that reports the health of the IT environment and generates alerts for the same.

Icinga allows monitoring of services, clustering, and zone monitoring and supports both SNMP monitoring and direct monitoring.

The tool displays all alert dependencies on the dashboard and sends out alerts via email, SMS, and messaging apps.

34. Splunk

Splunk Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Splunk

This monitoring tool allows organizations to modernize and simplify IT infrastructure to increase network uptime and provide Splunk a competitive edge.

Splunk is one of the best network monitoring tools that allow seamless monitoring and troubleshooting, prevent business outages, and resolve issues quickly.

It allows its users to gain real-time and predictive insights into the network and make informed decisions by providing visibility for business and IT.

35. Capsa Free

Capsa Free Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Capsa Free

Developed by Colasoft, Capsa Free is a free network monitoring tool that is used for monitoring network performance, troubleshooting, analysis, and ethernet monitoring.

Capsa Free comes with improved efficiency for evaluating occasional and periodic network issues. It allows the users to store network data for weeks or months, which they can browse.

The tool helps users learn how to find network issues, enhance network security, and monitor network devices.

36. NetworkMiner

NetworkMiner Network Monitoring Tool

Link: NetworkMiner

This network forensic analysis tool allows open ports, OS, and hostname detection host systems in the network by packet sniffing or parsing a PCAP file.

NetworkMiner is excellent for performing network forensics & sniffing. The sniffed or stored data can then be searched for keywords.

The tool contains a credentials tab form in which the user credentials for supported protocols can be extracted.  The professional version of NetworkMiner comes with a specially designed USB flash drive.

37. VMware vCenter

VMWare vCenter Server Network Monitoring Tools

Link: VMware vCenter

vCenter Server by VMware provides centralized management for the vSphere virtual infrastructure, such as virtual machines and virtualized hosts from a single console.

Using the vCenter Server monitoring tool, the IT administrators simplify day-to-day tasks, reduce management complexity for virtual infrastructure, and ensure security and availability by providing them deep visibility into the critical network components of the virtual infrastructure from one place.

The tool generates virtual machine-specific alarms, alerts, and notifications.

38. Nmap

Nmap Network Monitoring Tool

Link: Nmap

One of the best network management software for security auditing and network discovery, Nmap allows the network admins to perform tasks such as maintaining service upgrade schedules and network inventory.

The tool is free and comes with a complete source code. Nmap supports dozens of advanced mapping techniques using routers, firewalls, IP filters, and others.

Nmap offers extensive community support consisting of users and developers.

39. Pulseway

Pulseway Network Monitoring Tools

Link: Pulseway

Pulseway is an RMM software that can remotely control, monitor, and manage Linux, Mac, applications, and Windows from a single console.

The tool offers remote desktop control, advanced automation, white labeling and reporting, and patch management.

40. Observium

Network Monitoring Tools - Observium

Link: Observium

This network device monitoring tool offers auto-discovery of networks and supports a wide range of devices, operating systems, and platforms.

Observium comes with traffic accounting features that help the users in billing and tracking the bandwidth usage.

It offers an easy-to-use intuitive user interface, threshold alerting systems, and support for third-party applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best network monitoring tool?

Zabbix, Spiceworks Network Monitor, PRTG network monitor, Lansweeper SNMP, and many others are some of the best free network monitoring tools in the market.

What are the eight famously used network management tools?

The most famous network management tools are SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer, Datadog network monitoring tool, Paessler PRTG network monitor, WhatsUp Gold, Nagios, Zabbix, Icinga, Site24x7 Network monitoring, and ManageEngine OpManager.

Which are the three basic tools for monitoring?

The three basic network monitors are SolarWinds NPM, Icinga, and Progress WhatsUp Gold.

How do I choose network monitoring tools?

The top network monitoring tool best suited for your organization depends on your network infrastructure and budget. Some of the top features that you must look for while choosing an application monitoring tool are:
Customizable dashboard
Automatic network device discovery and mapping
Alerts and notifications
Root cause analysis
Performance issue diagnostics
Scalability
Automatic performance issue remediation
Real-time network monitoring and visualization

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