Are you putting off investing in a network monitoring tool because of financial concerns? This list of free and open source software can help you.
Network monitoring is essential for any company’s IT management and security strategies. Recent research by Capterra showed, however, that many small and medium-sized Brazilian companies are failing in information security.
The costs associated with network monitoring tools can be a deterrent for many businesses. In the most extreme cases, these systems can cost up to US$10,000 (about R$54,000) in the first year of use, and small businesses pay an average of US$1,400 (about R$7,500) annually. for this type of solution.
Freemium versions (free options of paid programs that offer limited functionality, limited users, or both) can serve as a first step for you to understand the value of these systems and be able to exploit them for the best return on investment (ROI). ).
Capterra reviewed nearly 80 free network monitoring tools listed in its software directory and identified the top five to help you make the best purchase decision.
Each of the options mentioned in this article has a minimum score of 4 and at least ten user reviews posted on the site in the last year. The complete methodology for choosing and selecting tools is available at the end of the text. Products are listed in alphabetical order.
5 free and open source network monitoring tools
Checkmk is a free and open source application, server and network monitoring tool. It uses smart plug-ins to collect data from different types of hardware and software and supports both agent-based and agentless monitoring via SNMP and HTTP protocols or APIs.
Checkmk offers log and event monitoring, time series graphing and reporting, and data log analysis. Additionally, it includes alerts and notifications, auto detection, rule-based configuration, and inventory tracking.
Checkmk is suitable for companies of all sizes and is available in either remotely or locally hosted versions.
Pros: According to Capterra reviews , the software is simple and easy to use. Users highlight the software’s auto-detection and monitoring features and customization options.
Cons: Some users feel that the software documentation should be updated and more detailed. Some also claim that the tool’s interface could be more modern.
Upgrade value: Checkmk Raw is completely free and open source. The Enterprise version costs €714 (about R$4,000) per year to monitor up to three devices.
Most frequent reviewers: In 2018 and 2019, 35% of Checkmk user reviews on Capterra came from small businesses (less than 100 employees), 18% from medium businesses (101-1,000 employees), and 47% from large companies (more than 1,000 employees).
Most of the evaluators were from the automotive and IT services sectors.
CloudStats is a website and server monitoring tool for Linux and Windows operating systems. It helps to identify processes that consume large volumes of network bandwidth.
The program is configured to monitor resources in the cloud as well as on local servers. It also allows you to back up data to Amazon S3 or local disks. It is an agent-based monitoring system and uses its unique agent to collect and send network data to user accounts.
CloudStats is suitable for companies of all sizes and is available as a cloud-based solution.
Pros: According to Capterra reviews , the software is easy to use and has an uncomplicated interface. Users also say that it is easy to configure and that it provides everything they need to track their IT resources.
Cons: Some users feel that the software documentation could be improved. Others would like to see it more customizable.
Upgrade Value: The free version of CloudStats includes basic alerts, 24-hour data retention, and single-user support. The paid version costs $5 per server, per month, and offers 30-day data retention, advanced alerts, and profile-based permissions for multiple users.
Most Frequent Reviewers: Between 2018 and 2019, 90% of CloudStats user reviews on Capterra came from small businesses (less than 100 employees), 5% from midsize businesses (101 to 1,000 employees), and 5% from large companies (more than 1,000 employees).
Most evaluators were from IT services, software and internet companies.
Spiceworks is a free IT asset management software that offers network monitoring and help desk tools. The network monitoring tool lets you track critical IT infrastructure such as servers, IP devices and switches, while the help desk tool includes features for ticket management, reporting, ticket rule automation and integration with active directories.
The program is primarily suitable for small and medium-sized businesses and is available in both on-premises and cloud versions.
Pros: According to Capterra reviews , Spiceworks is simple and easy to use. Users say that the Spiceworks community responds to questions quickly and many mention that the program is different from other free tools due to the large volume of features offered.
Cons: Users complain that the app is sometimes slow. Some also complain about its a little complicated setup and many complain about the excess of advertising.
Upgrade Fee: All plans offered by Spiceworks are free.
Most Frequent Reviewers: In 2018 and 2019, 67% of Spiceworks user reviews on Capterra came from small businesses (less than 100 employees), 20% from medium-sized businesses (101-1,000 employees), and 13% from large companies (more than 1,000 employees).
Most evaluators were from the IT services, educational management, financial services and NGO sectors.
Splunk Enterprise is an IT infrastructure monitoring tool that helps you collect and analyze data from different devices. It offers application, server and network monitoring, event analytics, container and virtualization monitoring.
The program measures the latency, volume and state of all HTTP connections, helping to track the response and query times of web servers. The software also helps in monitoring cloud infrastructure and managing security compliance.
It is mainly suitable for medium and large companies. Splunk Enterprise is the on-premises version, while Splunk Cloud is the hosted version of the software.
Pros: According to Capterra reviews , the software’s ability to handle large datasets and analyze log data is a highlight. Many users also approve of Splunk’s dashboard and reporting options, which allow you to combine data from multiple sources.
Cons: Some users find it difficult to learn how to use the software and also claim that the program is slow when saving large queries.
Upgrade price: The free version of Splunk Enterprise supports only one user and 500MB of data per day. The paid plan for the Enterprise version starts at US$1,800 (about R$9,000) a year and allows unlimited users.
Most Frequent Reviewers: In 2018 and 2019, 15% of Splunk user reviews on Capterra came from small businesses (less than 100 employees), 30% from midsize businesses (101-1,000 employees), and 55% from large companies (more than 1,000 employees).
Most of the evaluators were from the software, IT services and banking sectors.
It is a free open source network monitoring software that includes server, application and cloud infrastructure monitoring. In addition, the program uses advanced problem detection techniques to predict trends and detect anomalies.
Zabbix also features automatic detection of devices on a network, alerts, event correlation and remote command execution. The software has an active community that regularly updates the tool and adds features.
The program is used by companies of all sizes across a variety of industries, including financial services, retail, IT and telecommunications. Zabbix is available as a hosted solution (Zabbix Cloud) and also as on-premises software.
Pros: According to Capterra reviews , the highlights are the integration options available, as well as the alerts and notifications features and the tool’s dashboard. Users like the software’s ability to generate graphs from network data.
Cons: Some users find the tool difficult to configure and claim that its documentation and training options are limited. Some users also mention that the learning curve is difficult.
Upgrade price: Zabbix is a free tool, with no paid plans.
Most Frequent Reviewers: During 2018 and 2019, 43% of Zabbix user reviews on Capterra came from small businesses (less than 100 employees), 38% from medium businesses (101 to 1,000 employees), and 19% from large companies (more than 1,000 employees).
Most evaluators were from the software, IT and IT services sectors.
Mobile Apps: Third-party top Android rats and iOS apps.
Next steps to choose the right tool for your business
Choosing the most suitable tool for your organization is always a challenging task.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right network monitoring tool for your business:
- Try the top alternatives: From your initial research, select two or three tools and try them out to see if they fit your needs.
- Compare data and user limits on different free plans: check how many users are supported by the free plan. Also note other parameters such as storage limits and data retention time.
- Read User Reviews: See what other users have to say about their own experience with the software. Review the pros and cons of each tool before making the final decision.
If you are currently using a free or open source network monitoring tool, or if you have used one in the past, let us know your experience in the comments section below.
Looking for network monitoring tools? Check out our directory!
The products considered for this article meet the following criteria:
- They offer a free, standalone version of the software.
- They are not a trial version where you must purchase a paid version after a limited period of time.
are open source
To be considered for this article, open source software should make its source code open to everyone for inspection, modification and improvement. The source code should also have been updated (its full version or a minor fix) within the last 12 months and should work on one of the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, or Linux.
Products that met the above criteria were then evaluated against our definition of network monitoring software: programs that track and monitor computer network systems for faulty or outdated components and notify network administrators of any network problems.
This exam verified basic network monitoring capabilities and suitability for the category. Furthermore, the programs should contain all the main features of this type of software: bandwidth monitoring, server monitoring and control panels.