Best Networking Tools & Software
Networking has changed the world, with advancements in the current technologies has been made; we are compelled to be more connected to each other by the use of mobile devices.
The technology professionals who are maintaining and managing these complicated resources need to be on their toes about the changes in maintenance and upgrades of the technology. Hence every network engineer needs to up their game using the latest tools available at hand to work smartly. Software products are also made to fulfill these increasing needs, compelling the administrations to save time and effort of manual upgrades and management of resources.
Natural performance monitoring of a network by a professional is very tiresome owing to the presence of multiple websites, Internet Servers, and other aspects of the network’s metrics like response time, availability & uptime, etc. Below listed is an extensive list of software tools and products used by industry professionals to tackle day to day issue and manage their networks more efficiently and intelligently.
Cisco Packet Tracer
Cisco Packet Tracer is very popular among the network & security professionals. The tool is used extensively for visualizing new networks and topology test. Coming from the biggest networking giant Cisco, packet tracer has been playing a pivotal role in understanding and practicing networking concepts in a home environment. The visual interface with the ease of drag & drop of components while creating the infrastructure makes it a better choice for professionals undergoing networking certification courses.
GNS3 walks on the similar lines of that of packet tracer. Despite being vendor neutral, Graphic Network Simulator (GNS3) allows the user to combine virtual and real devices to simulate and understand complex computer networks. It’s of great use for professionals undergoing certification courses to exhibit the learning process.
Primarily used the most effective SSH & telnet client, PuTTy enables the user to fast pace connection to a remote server while working in a speedy environment. It supports multiple protocols like SSH, SCP, Telnet, rlogin & raw socket connection. PuTTY can also be used to connect the serial port.
Bitvise is used to encrypt data during transfer, primarily providing a secure remote access software for Windows, making it an ideal choice for remote administrators. The tool can also be used to perform other tasks like IP tunneling & securing advanced applications.
WhatsUp Gold is a network monitoring tool primarily used to discover and to map the entire network infrastructure. It allows the administrators to keep updated with the current whereabouts of the network status with the help of customizable alerts. The sleek design of the dashboard provides complete perceive ability of the entire monitoring operation, along with the reporting functionalities that include features like schedule run, etc.
PRTG is another popular network monitoring tool working on similar lines of WhatsUp Gold but without an agent. It is capable of monitoring vast parameters of your IT infrastructure like packers, traffic, servers, IoT devices, IPs, hardware security, etc. is the most suitable and apt for every available platform. The entire network status can be monitored on the go even while sipping your cup of favorite coffee in the morning.
Emulated Virtual Environment or EVE-ng as it is popularly abbreviated as, is used by DevOps, Networking & Security Professionals to learn, create, test, and understand networks even before implementing them in real life. It can also be used to connect to physical and virtual devices and understand their working with ease. EVE can also be used along with multiple vendors like Cisco, Juniper, Palo Alto, etc. making it extremely useful for the consultants and service providers in the IT domain.
Primarily designed for Network Administrators, Solar Winds equips the user with an array of tools designed to handle the monitoring & diagnostics of networks. Tools like NetFlow Analyzer etc. can be easily used to identify users, applications & devices in the network. Another few key components of this network suite are tools like SolarWinds TFTP Server & SFTP SCP Server. TFTP Server helps to transfer configuration file to the router making the process easier, while SCP Server has the capabilities of secure protocols for a trusted file transfer process, which is used commonly for reliable server operation.
EventSentry is a SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) and primarily used as a premise network monitoring solution allowing the business to deduce the performance of their IP based devices in the infrastructure. The Windows-based application allows system admin with early detection of issues avoiding unnecessary downtime that occurs due to failure of hardware and software components.
EventSentry provides a complete picture of the network and is much more than just an event and log files management system.
With the increasing use of cloud bases applications, it becomes necessary to be alert and updated of the status of the servers and databases installed on their environment. Datadog is one such monitoring tool that is primarily used for cloud-scale applications, enabling the users to keep an eye on the components in real time with the use of fully customizable interactive dashboards.
The SaaS-based application allows integration with multiple vendors of cloud, enterprise & software keeping the entire workflow uninterrupted.
Wireshark, originally called Ethereal, is an opensource packet analyzer software, primarily used for network troubleshooting & analysis.
The tool is cross-platform and captures packets using the pcap files, to understand the traffic on multiple interfaces of the network. It recognizes the structure of the multiple networking protocols and can parse and display the fields.
Nmap (Network Mapper) is a free & opensource network scanner made to discover the multiple hosts, operating systems and running services on a computer network and to audit the security of the same. It’s a prevalent tool among cybersecurity professional and natively used from a command line. A GUI version of the same is also available under the name Zenmap.
Network administrators have been using Nmap for chores like network inventory, managing service upgrade schedules, and monitoring uptime of the system. Nmap makes use of raw IP to pinpoint the multiple hosts available, along with the packet filters/firewalls in place, even though the software was designed for various network and broad networks, Nmap works fine with single hosts as well.
Multiple tools are at the fingertip availability of a professional, but what makes them more useful is expertise the professional has over, even a single mechanism of his choice.