Easy Use Network Monitoring Software

As a consumer that is not heavily computer literate, I am always looking for things that can help me when I start having connectivity issues with my computer. For a long time, I thought even a mild problem meant that I would need to bring my tower to the shop to have it looked at and fixed up. This is something that is very costly to do!

Lately, I have been growing a bit more computer literate with online work, through online gaming, and from talking to the computer repair people at the local repair shop. Using what I had learned, I recently got into looking for a network monitoring software for the house because I had noticed serious lag issues.

Using the software for network monitoring, I could see things I couldn’t observe before without using alt-ctrl-delete. The program tracked my information flow for me, as well as operations on my computer, while I was using high-end software that challenged my computer’s capacity, such as online games. This helped me to track just how much I am losing, or if I was pushing my computer too hard and the fault was there.

For a person that is not strong with computer technology, it is a nice software to have, especially since it isn’t a memory hog like Task Manager. It also helped that I could set it to run at intervals I selected, and I could set it to and record its pass/fail rates, as well as dead rates (if any). This allows you to inspect many aspects of your network all at once. 

While using the software, I was happy to find that my desktop computer tower’s health was fine, and I was not pushing it to its limits -- it had not failed a single test cycle. On the other hand, though, I saw that the Internet connectivity was hurting more than I thought. It was losing 100% of the packets sent about 1/3rd of the time.

By using the program’s monitoring system, I could still see the other computers on the LAN network without difficulty. The observation of other house computers connected to the router revealed that they had not dropped their connection, either.

This gave me a good idea where the issue is located -- and it was someplace I would not have rushed to look at right away. I would start with the tower’s hardware and software looking for issues instead of the broadband box and the lines leading to the exterior WAN connection, which is where the difficulty proved to be located. 

I was quite pleased with the tool and could see its application in areas where there are many computers working all at once. It could be used to pinpoint which computer might be having issues.

Though the software revealed the issues and recorded them for me to look at, so I can see the rates, I did find it lacking something. That something was a fix for any problem it had found. If it was a software issue, it would not say what it was or how to fix it. It offered no suggestions about how you can go about fixing your router if it was not fully working properly. This was by far my biggest negative criticism for the software. It is also the main problem I found with the free trial of the whole program, which I was using. Still, it had pointed me to the problem in our house network.

Having something that can keep an eye on the health of a network is something that is usually an issue for companies or organizations. As families acquire more computers, this troubleshooting and tracking activity can become important at home, as well. It works for small home networks as well as large ones.

It can pinpoint a problem at the source, without requiring a great deal of time and money. It can show if the fault is at the network hub, on a single computer, or if the outbound information is slow or congested. It doesn’t matter if it is for writing and uploading work to your office or playing games, sudden connectivity drops can be a productivity killer for anyone.

Adam Edmond is a technology writer, and previously a software developer. He is a Masters graduate of the National Technical University of Ukraine in Applied Mathematics (department of system programming and specialized computer systems) and having worked as a software developer for Ciklum, he is now based in the USA as a contractor, and loves writing and sharing his experiences.

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