Though the words “network monitoring” bring up images of figures crowded inside unmarked black vans working with staggering arrays of electronics equipment, the truth is much simpler. It is very useful for anyone working with technology to know some of the types of network monitoring that are practical and available to today’s business person.
Of all types of network monitoring, the simplest by far is a program called “ping.” The Ping program can be accessed from the windows command prompt (Start Menu > Run > cmd), and can be used to test an IP address on your network. To use Ping, open the command prompt and type “ping [IP address].” If the IP address is active, you’ll receive a reply.
Of course, most types of network monitoring are far more complex and most types of network monitoring require someone willing to foot the bill. The standard types of network monitoring do several things to assist a business in the upkeep of its network. Professional network monitoring software checks the Internet connection periodically, as well as tests e-mail systems and checks for overall network connectivity.
Though a network monitoring program will list connected hardware (such as printers, laptops, and desktop computers), it does not function as a firewall or virus blocker. For something like that, one would have to work closely with one of the firewall companies such as Symantec or AVG. In general, types of network monitoring vary in the number of tools contained in each package, and realistically, one gets what one pays for.