- 6 Network Magic Alternatives
- The troubleshooting software that protects your network from malware
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Network Magic 5. Other than Mac Add-on, which allows a Mac to be managed, the other versions reflect the comprehensiveness of the software. For example, the Basic version, which is free and included with Cisco's routers, has only basic functionality. The Pro version, on the other hand, has all the bells and whistles. However, you do need to install it on a computer before you can manage it. The installation deposits a few start-up processes onto our hard drive that run each time the computer starts, which to some extent adversely affects the computer's performance, unfortunately.
Nonetheless, this is a useful application for those who want to find out what's really going on in their networks. During the launch period, however, you can get any of them for 20 percent off. The Paessler PRTG system is available on a range of plans with pricing based on the number of sensors that you deploy. Sensor is a monitored condition. The software is free to use for up to sensors. Paessler offers a day free trial for larger implementations. Official Site: www. The software is free to try through a day free trial. This package was designed with home users in mind.
A network discovery feature will map your network automatically and keep monitoring for any added or removed equipment. A great feature of this system is that it can detect other wifi-enabled devices and connect to them directly in an ad hoc network instead of connecting through the router. The utilities of the package include a software inventory report for each device and that includes a detailed examination of the firewall installed on each device on your network.
You can rename discovered devices or eject them from the network.
6 Network Magic Alternatives
Once you have accounted for all of your network nodes, you can set the system to block any new devices, thus preventing intrusion from unwanted equipment. This is a great feature for those who live in close quarters with neighbors who might get hold of your wifi password and use your internet access for free. The HomeNet Manager includes an alert window, which reports status failures on any device on your network. You can elect to have emergency conditions notified as pop-up messages as well as having them appear in the status log.
Unfortunately, HomeNet Manager only works on Windows, but it can detect computers with other operating systems when they are connected to the same network. Spiceworks IP Scanner is a cloud-based service, but it requires a small program to be downloaded onto your computer. The system is free to use and it gives you the basic network discovery and device inventory functions that you enjoyed with Network Magic. The dashboard for the system is accessed through your regular web browser. The IP Scanner will automatically trace all of the devices connected to your network and give an inventory on each device including its IP address, MAC address, hostname, manufacturer, operating system, a description, and a list of open ports.
The little program that you download in order to get this utility gathers data about your network and uploads it to the cloud. The communications between the agent on your computer and the Spiceworks server are encrypted , both in transit and at rest on the server. You have to use a special access key in order to see the information on your network. That prevents third parties from being able to get information on your network.
The interface allows you to filter and sort the list of connected devices. You can also export the status report to a CSV file for import into a spreadsheet.
For a more in-depth tool, you could try Spiceworks Inventory , which is also a free, cloud-based system. This system is probably more appropriate for small businesses because it tracks user activities and all the software installed on devices on your network in its inventory. Spiceworks Inventory can be scheduled to run periodically, giving you a near-live network monitoring tool. Spiceworks Inventory runs on the cloud but requires a program to be downloaded on your computer.
This program will only run on the Windows operating system. However, it can track Macs and Linux machines as well. This utility does not require admin privileges to collect data, so any user connected to any network can run a scan and get a report.
The troubleshooting software that protects your network from malware
Although this might seem like a security risk, keep in mind that the user would have to have the software installed on his computer and the commands in the utility do not allow for alteration of network setup. This network management tool scans your network and discovers all devices. You get a report on the addresses and statuses of each device. The scan lists shared folders on the network so you can keep track of which computers have made files available to others.
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There is no limit to the number of IP addresses that this utility can cope with. You can narrow down the report to a range of IP addresses or just one device.
It is also possible to focus the scan on one device type. However, it can track Macs and Linux machines as well. This utility does not require admin privileges to collect data, so any user connected to any network can run a scan and get a report. Although this might seem like a security risk, keep in mind that the user would have to have the software installed on his computer and the commands in the utility do not allow for alteration of network setup.
This network management tool scans your network and discovers all devices. You get a report on the addresses and statuses of each device. The scan lists shared folders on the network so you can keep track of which computers have made files available to others. There is no limit to the number of IP addresses that this utility can cope with.
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You can narrow down the report to a range of IP addresses or just one device. It is also possible to focus the scan on one device type. The scan will check the ports on each device and assess whether it is on and whether a specified user has access privileges to it. However, the information in the scan results will let each user know whether they can connect to a specific resource, such as network attached storage. Network Scanner is specifically concerned with identifying devices and shared resources on the network , including cataloging all the shared folders on your system.
Axence has produced a package of ten network tools and they are free. The interface for this bundle is available in English, German, Polish, and Spanish. Unfortunately, these tools only run on Windows. This has an autodiscovery feature to check on all of the devices connected to your network. It will check on the services running on each device and verify that each is functioning properly.
In all the tool will examine 50 different services.
Another tool in the package that mirrors Network Magic functionality is Netstat , which gives a list of all open ports on your network-attached devices and the activity on each. Local Info lists the configuration details of each device. Netcheck tests the physical attributes of your network, such as the quality of the wiring. One more useful tool is the Bandwidth Tester. The package also includes Netwatch.