Favorite cheap network tools

Network World bloggers love to dish about their favorite free or low-cost network tools.

We asked our bloggers to give us a list of the free or nearly free network tools they love. They had tons of them, ranging from ways to track network device configurations to ways to keep data synched between multiple devices.

The list is more or less organized by the blogger who recommended them, although in some cases (Wireshark, iPerf) more than one blogger recommends the tool. We hope you find, and try, some goodies on the list.

Scott Hogg

Scott Hogg loves:

Really Awesome New Cisco confIg Differ RANCID

Not everyone can afford Solarwinds Orion Network Configuration Management (NCM) or CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution (LMS) to manage changes to their network device configurations. That is why Really Awesome New Cisco confIg Differ (RANCID) continues to be a favorite tool among network engineers. RANCID is easy to install and configure on a variety of operating systems. RANCID's real benefit to network administrators is its ability to back up network device configurations and help you investigate changes to your environment. Since most network issues are attributable to human error, it is valuable to have that historical record of what changed. Configuration management is one of the best practices that typically go by the wayside for organizations on a limited IT budget. Oftentimes the root cause of a problem can be easily found within that list of differences between yesterday'ss and today's configuration.

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