5 Network Monitoring Tools and Techniques

by Sarah Harvey / May 18th, 2020

Network monitoring is an important piece of information security that every organization should be implementing. Using helpful network monitoring tools, you can track performance issues and security problems to mitigate potential issues quickly. But, with such a saturated market, it can be overwhelming to choose a network monitoring tool that best fits your organization. To help you better track and monitor the security of your network continuously, we’ve pulled together five network monitoring tools to consider using.

5 Network Monitoring Tools

These network monitoring tools monitor various aspects of your network and include features such as SNMP, alerts, bandwidth monitoring, uptime/downtime, baseline threshold calculation, network mapping, network health, customizable reports, wireless infrastructure monitoring, and network performance. In no particular order, these five tools were discovered to aid in some of the top network security needs.

ManageEngine OpManager

ManageEngine OpManager is a network monitoring tool that continuously monitors devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, wireless LAN controllers, servers, VMs, printers, and storage devices. Manage Engine OpManager must be installed on-site, but it comes with pre-configured network monitor device templates for increased ease-of-use.

Key features include:

  • Real-time network monitoring
  • Physical and virtual server monitoring
  • Multi-level thresholds
  • Customizable dashboards
  • WAN Link monitoring
  • SNMP monitoring
  • Email and SMS alerts
  • Automatic discovery

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor allows organizations to monitor all their systems, devices, traffic, and applications in their IT infrastructure without additional plugins. You can choose between a number of sensors that will monitor areas of your network, such as bandwidth monitoring sensors, hardware parameters sensors, SNMP sensors, VOIP and QoS sensors, and others.

Key features include:

  • Integrated Technologies (SNMP, WMI, SSH, HTTP requests, SQL, and more)
  • Live-status dashboards
  • Email, push, or HTTP request alerts
  • Threshold-based alert system
  • Reports system
  • Scan for devices by IP segment

Solarwinds NPM

While Solarwinds Network Performance Manager has performance in the name, it is still a valuable network security monitoring tool because of the tracking of network elements such as servers, switches, and applications. Solarwinds NPM can jump from SNMP monitoring to packet analysis to give your organization greater control over the segmentation monitoring of your network and increase network security.

Key features include:

  • Critical path visualization
  • Intelligent mapping
  • WiFi monitoring and heat maps
  • Advanced alerting
  • SNMP monitoring
  • Discovers connected devices automatically


Nagios is a monitoring and alerting engine designed to run natively on Linux systems. The open-source model of Nagios provides the opportunity for organizations to customize and adapt the system to meet their needs. The tool breaks down statuses into three categories – Current Network Status, Host Status Totals, and Service Status Totals. Through the use of APIs, you can integrate other services for true flexibility.

Key features include:

  • Performance dashboard
  • API integration
  • Availability reports
  • Alerting
  • Extended add-ons
  • Upgrade capabilities for Nagios XI

WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp Gold is a tool that pulls infrastructure management, application performance management, and network monitoring all into one tool. It’s a user-friendly tool based on features with customizable pricing packages to fit your organization’s exact structure and network security needs.

Key features include:

  • Hybrid cloud monitoring
  • Real-time performance monitoring
  • Automatic report generation
  • Network mapping
  • Easy-to-use monitoring dashboard

Things to Consider When Choosing a Network Monitoring Tool

Scalability – Depending on the size of your organization and corresponding network size, you need to look for a tool that is able to accommodate that scale. Choose a network monitoring tool that grows in capability as your network grows in size.

Security vs. Performance Tracking – Network monitoring tools vary in the type of monitoring they perform. Network performance tracking tools focus on performance issues and data such as network traffic analysis and network delays. If your goal is to decrease security threats by early detection and prevention tactics, you should consider network security tracking tools.

Cost – The good news about the number of network monitoring tools out in the world is that there is an option for every organization. Whether you’re looking for a free tool to start with or ready to invest funds into a quality networking monitoring tool, there are plenty of options for you.

If you want to learn more about the various tools and techniques you can use to properly secure your network, contact KirkpatrickPrice today. As a firm, we do not partner with any of these tools, but we are passionate about consulting on which solution could benefit your network monitoring techniques.

More Resources

What is Network Penetration Testing?

Think Like a Hacker: Common Vulnerabilities Found in Networks

Know Your Options: Levels of Service for External Network Penetration Tests