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The Ultimate Free Network Toolkit

Your network has slowed to a crawl, which has become more than a nuisance -- it means that you are losing business. Sure, you could pay for a consultant, technician or product, but why bother with an expensive, for-pay solution, when the answer may be as simple as downloading and using free and Open Source software?

Keep in mind that there are some downsides to free and Open Source solutions. Interfaces aren't always polished, and it may take you a bit of time to learn how to use the programs. And as for getting support from the won't get any, and so you'll be on your own. And some people worry that open source network protection programs, like Snort, don't always have up-to-date signatures.

Still, there's no need to pay through the nose when a free solution is within easy reach. To help you, we've put together the "Cleaning Dozen," a collection of twelve of the best pieces of free and Open Source software to help you get more out of your network before spending the money on consultants or new or additional technology.

Performance Tools

1. Paessler AG IP Check Server Monitor This monitors network resources for downtime, helping network administrators quickly see any points of failure. With it, you can create your own sensor types using scripting and programming languages. The software can monitor devices and servers located in the Internet, in Intranets and in VPN networks. It will also search for servers/devices in the network and automatically creates sensors for the most common protocols.

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