The 16 Best Free and Open Source Network Monitoring Tools for 2020
Solutions Review’s listing of the best free and open-source network monitoring tools is an annual sneak peek of the solution providers included in our Buyer’s Guide and Solutions Directory. Information was gathered via online materials and reports, conversations with vendor representatives, and examinations of product demonstrations and free trials.
The editors at Solutions Review have developed this resource to assist buyers in search of the best network detection and response solutions to fit the needs of their organization. Choosing the right vendor and tool can be a complicated process — one that requires in-depth research and often comes down to more than just the tool and its technical capabilities. To make your search a little easier, we’ve profiled the best free and open-source network monitoring tools and providers all in one place. We’ve also included platform and product line names and introductory software tutorials straight from the source so you can see each solution in action.
Description: Cacti is an open source network monitoring tool based on RRDTool’s data logging and graphing system. The tool uses network polling and data collection functionality to gather information on devices on networks of any size. This includes the ability to design custom scripts for data collection alongside support for SNMP polling. It then displays this information in easy-to-understand graphs which can be arranged in whatever hierarchy your business is most comfortable with.
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Related Products: Checkmk Enterprise Free Edition, Checkmk Enterprise Standard Edition
Description: Checkmk Raw Edition is an open source infrastructure and application monitoring tool that also includes network monitoring capabilities. For network monitoring, Checkmk can discover and monitor switches and routers, wireless networks, and firewalls; the software supports integration with several network hardware vendors. The solution uses a rule-based concept for configuring network and device monitoring, allowing your company to configure an entire network to monitor for specific metrics.
Related Products: Admin Assistant, EventSentry SysAdmin Tools
Description: EventSentry Light is a free version of EventSentry’s SIEM, server monitoring, and network monitoring tool suite. The Light version still features the same event log monitoring capabilities as the full version, so your enterprise can collect and interpret data from logs on devices connected to your network. EventSentry Light also handles system health monitoring functions, including service monitoring, performance issue monitoring, and hardware failure monitoring.
Related Products: Icinga Module for vSphere, Icinga for Windows, Icingabeat
Description: Icinga is an open source network monitoring tool that measures network availability and performance. Through a web interface, your enterprise can observe hosts and applications across your entire network infrastructure. The tool is natively scalable and can easily be configured to work with every kind of device. There are also a handful of Icinga modules for specific monitoring capabilities, such as monitoring for VMWare’s vSphere cloud environment and business process modelling.
Description: LibreNMS is an open source network monitoring system that uses several network protocols to observe every device on your network. The LibreNMS API can retrieve, manage, and graph the data it collects and supports horizontal scaling to grow its monitoring capabilities alongside your network. The tool features a flexible alerting system that is tailor-made to communicate with you via the method that works best for your company. They offer native iOS and Android apps as well.
Related Products: NextGen SIEM Platform, NetworkXDR, LogRhythm Cloud
Description: LogRhythm NetMon Freemium is a free version of LogRhythm NetMon that provides the same enterprise-grade packet capturing and analysis capabilities as the full version. While there are limits on packet storage and data processing, it still allows users to perform network threat detection and response functions based on data packet analysis. It also provides the same network threat alerting system as the full version, allowing you to stay up to date on your network’s performance and security.
Related Products: Nagios XI, Nagios Log Server, Nagios Fusion
Description: Nagios Core is an open source network monitoring tool designed as the basis for other monitoring and alerting software offered by Nagios. The solution is primarily a performance check tool that schedules and executes checks for network performance across the entire infrastructure. As the event processor for performance checks used by other Nagios software, Nagios Core is also able to extend its capabilities with independent add-ons that can be downloaded via the Naigos Exchange.
Description: NetXMS is an open source infrastructure and network monitoring and management solution. The tool features flexible event processing, reporting, and visual graphing for all layers of the IT infrastructure. For network monitoring, NetXMS offers automatic Layer 2 and 3 discovery and full SMNPv3 support. The vendor’s network monitoring solution also includes both active and passive discovery, combining both scanning probes and information collection capabilities together.
Description: ntopng is an open source network traffic analysis tool that also features network monitoring capabilities. The tool is a network traffic probe that sorts network traffic into different criteria, including IP addresses and throughput. By characterizing network traffic, your enterprise can easily determine different network statistics that are affecting your network. While ntopng’s Community version is released as open source, Professional and Enterprise versions are also available.
Description: Observium Community is the free version of Observium’s network monitoring solution. With the free version, users can monitor an unlimited number of devices while also taking full advantage of Observium’s network mapping features. The Observium network monitoring platform features automatic discovery of connected devices, ensuring that the map of your network is up to date. This way, users can account for any new devices as they connect to the network.
Related Products: NMIS Professional, Virtual Appliance Package
Description: Opmantek Network Management Information System is an open source network management solution for scalable network performance and device status monitoring. NMIS has support for 10,000 vendors and classifies network events based on their business impact. NMIS is included in Opmantek’s NMIS professional bundle, which also includes opCharts for charting performance through customizable dashboards and opReports for analyzing performance data and generating reports on this data.
Description: Pandora FMS Community is an open source monitoring tool that helps companies observe their entire IT infrastructure. It not only features network monitoring capabilities, but also Windows and Unix servers and virtual interfaces. For networks, Pandora FMS contains features such as ICMP polling, SNMP support, network latency monitoring, and system overload. You can also install agents on devices to observe factors like device temperature and overheating, as well as logfile occurrences.
Description: Paessler is a network monitoring provider that offers a free version of their solution: PRTG 100. Paessler offers this tier of their monitoring program that supports 100 devices on a single network. PRTG monitoring features include tracking network traffic, applications, data packets, and bandwidth. The software functions as an all-in-one monitoring suite which is also able to monitor cloud environments, virtual machines, and hardware in addition to a company’s network.
Description: Prometheus is an open source monitoring solution focused on data collection and analysis. It allows users to set up network monitoring capabilities using the native toolset. The tool is able to collect information on devices using SNMP pings and examine network bandwidth usage from the device perspective, among other functinos. The PromQL system analyzes data and allows for the program to generate graphs, tables, and other visuals on the systems it monitors.
Description: Spiceworks Network Monitoring is a free tool offered as a part of a Spiceworks monitoring and management solution suite. Their monitoring solution offers real-time monitoring capabilities for networks and devices. You can perform ping checks to verify that your network and all connected nodes are currently functional. The tool also supports common network protocols, like HTTP and SIP, or user-defined custom protocols, as well as custom settings for alerts based on sensitivity.
Description: Zabbix is an open source monitoring tool suite that includes network monitoring. The network monitoring capabilties of Zabbix includes performance metric analysis, such as bandwidth usage, packet loss, and CPU/memory utilization. It can also detect network node and connection health problems by checking for devices in critical condition. Zabbix can alert you when hardware functions are dropping (fan speed of a network device is low) or when an SNMP check is not responded to.
Dan is a tech writer who writes about Cybersecurity for Solutions Review. He graduated from Fitchburg State University with a Bachelor's in Professional Writing. You can reach him at email@example.com