When we decided to review network-monitoring applications for our first regular Affordable IT feature, we were nervous. These network-management bad boys can be expensive, and we weren't at all sure whether the products that met our $1,000 price cap would be worthy. We dared to dream but kept our hopes in check, so we wouldn't be crushed if we found limited availability and products that offer response monitoring for just a few devices.
Silly us. We were blown away by the quantity and quality of the responses. We expected these tools to perform simple monitoring using ping and traceroute, and we got that for less than $100. We also found advanced features for less than $500.
We began with 10 entries: AdRem Software's NetCruch 3, Breakout Technologies' MonitorIT 6.0, Castle Rock Computing's SNMPc, ipMonitor Corp.'s eponymous product, Ipswitch's WhatsUp Small Business 2004, Neon Software's CyberGauge 6.0 and LANsurveyor 8.5, Nessoft's MultiPing 1.0 and PingPlotter 2.5 bundle, Quest Software's Big Brother and SolarWinds.Net's Engineer's Edition Toolset 7. But at the last minute, Castle Rock had to withdraw SNMPc when it raised the product's price to just above our $1,000 cap.