Top 10 Free Network Monitoring and Analysis Tools

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1. Microsoft Network Monitor

Microsoft Network Monitor is a packet analyser that allows you to capture and analyse network. This tool is useful for troubleshooting network troubles and applications on the network. most important features include support for over 300 public and Microsoft proprietary protocol, simultaneous capture sessions, a Wireless watch Mode and sniffing of promiscuous mode traffic.

Microsoft Network Monitor

Microsoft Network Monitor

When you launch Microsoft Network Monitor, select which adapter to bind to from the central window and then click “New Capture” to initiate a new capture tab. Within the Capture tab, click “Capture Settings” to change filter selection, adapter, or global settings accordingly and then hit “Start” to initiate the packet capture process.

Visit: Microsoft Network Monitor

2. Nagios

Nagios is a powerful network monitoring tool that helps you to ensure that your critical systems, applications and services are for all time up and running. It gives features such as alerting, event management and reporting. The Nagios Core is the mind of the application that contains the core monitoring engine and a basic web UI. On top of the Nagios Core, you are capable to implement plugins that will allow you to monitor services, request, and metrics, a chosen frontend as well as add-ons for data visualisation, graphs, load distribution.

Nagios

Nagios

Once you’ve installed and configured Nagios start the Web UI and begin to configure host groups and service groups. Once Nagios has had a few times to monitor the status of the specified hosts and services, it can start to paint a image of what the health of your systems look like.

Visit: Nagios.org

3. BandwidthD

BandwidthD monitors TCP/IP network usage and displays the data it has gathered in the form of graphs and tables over different time periods. Each protocol is color-coded for simple reading. BandwidthD runs discretely as a background service.

BandwidthD

BandwidthD

Installation is easy. Download and install Winpcap version 3.0 or above (you’ll already have this installed if you have Wireshark on the same box), unzip BandwidthD to a particular folder, edit the../etc/bandwidthd.conf file accordingly, double click on the “Install Service” batch file and then start the BandwidthD services from the services.msc console. Once the service is running, give it a few times to monitor network traffic and load the index.html page to start watching bandwidth statistics.

Visit: BandwidthD

4. EasyNetMonitor

EasyNetMonitor is a super lightweight tool for monitoring local and remote hosts to determine if they are alive or not. It is helpful for monitoring critical servers from your desktop, allowing you to get immediate notification (via a balloon popup and/or log file) if a host does not respond to a periodic ping.

EasyNetMonitor

EasyNetMonitor

Once you launch EasyNetMonitor, it will appear as an icon in the notification area on your desktop where the IP addresses / host names of the machines you want to monitor can be added. Once you’ve added the machinery you wish to monitor, be sure to configure the ping delay time and notification setting.

Visit: EasyNetMonitor

5. Capsa Free

Capsa Free is a network analyzer that allows you to monitor network traffic, troubleshoot network issues and examine packets. Features include support for over 300 network protocols (including the ability to create and customize protocols), MSN and Messenger filters, email monitor and auto-save, and customizable reports and dashboard.

Capsa Free

Capsa Free

When you launch Capsa, choose the adapter you want it to bind to and click “Start” to initiate the capture process. make use of the tabs in the main window to view the dashboard, a abstract of the traffic statistics, the TCP/UDP conversations, as well as packet study.

Visit: Capsa Free

6. Fiddler

Fiddler is a web debugging tool that captures HTTP traffic between chosen computers and the Internet. It allows you to analyze incoming and outgoing data to monitor and modify requests and responses before they hit the browser. Fiddler gives you extremely detailed information about HTTP traffic and can be used for testing the performance of your websites or security testing of your web applications.

Fiddler

Fiddler

When you launch Fiddler, HTTP traffic will start to be captured automatically. You can choose which processes you wish to capture HTTP traffic for by clicking on “All Processes” in the bottom status bar, or by dragging the “Any Process” icon from the top menu bar onto an open application.

Visit: Fiddler

7. NetworkMiner

NetworkMiner captures network packets and then parses the data to extract files and images, helping you to rebuild events that a user has taken on the network – it can also do this by parsing a pre-captured PCAP file. You can enter keywords which will be underline as network packets are being captured. NetworkMiner is classed as a Network Forensic Analysis Tool (NFAT) that can obtain information for example hostname, operating system and open ports from hosts.

NetworkMiner

NetworkMiner

In the example above, I set NetworkMiner to capture packets, opened a web browser and searched for “soccer” as a keyword on Google Images. The picture displayed in the Images tab is what I saw during my browser session. When you load NetworkMiner, select a network adapter to bind to and hit the “Start” button to initiate the packet capture process.

Visit: NetworkMiner

8. Pandora FMS

Pandora FMS is a performance monitoring, network monitoring and accessibility management tool that keeps an eye on servers, applications and connections. It has an advanced event correlation system that allows you to create alerts based on events from different sources and notify administrators before an issue escalates.

Pandora FMS

Pandora FMS

When you login to the Pandora FMS Web UI, start by going to the ‘Agent detail’ and ‘Services’ node from the left hand navigation pane. From here, you can build up monitoring agents and services.

Visit: Pandora FMS

9. Zenoss Core

Zenoss Core is a powerful open source IT monitoring platform that monitors applications, servers, storage space, networking and virtualization to give availability and performance statistics. It also has a high performance event management system and an advanced notification system.

Zenoss Core

Zenoss Core

Once you login to Zenoss Core Web UI for the first time, you are presented with a two-step wizard that asks you to create user accounts and add your first few devices / hosts to monitor. You are then taken through to the Dashboard tab. utilize the Dashboard, Events, Infrastructure, Reports and superior tabs to configure Zenoss Core and review reports and events that need attention.

Visit: Zenoss Core

10. PRTG Network Monitor Freeware

PRTG Network Monitor monitors network availability and network usage using a variety of protocols including SNMP, Netflow and WMI. It is a powerful instrument that offers an easy to use web-based interface and apps for Android. Amongst others, PRTG Network Monitor’s key features include:

PRTG Network Monitor Freeware

PRTG Network Monitor Freeware

(a) Comprehensive Network monitoring which offers more than 170 sensor types for application monitoring, virtual server monitoring, SLA monitoring.

(b) Flexible Alerting, including 9 different notification techniques, status alerts, limit alerts, threshold alerts, conditional alerts, and alert scheduling.

Visit: PRTG Network Monitor Freeware

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