Whether you’re buying the latest smartphone or deciding which show to binge on Netflix, you probably rely on reviews to help make your decision.
Especially for high-cost products, reviews are an important part of the purchasing process. They let you know what other people think of the item, whether it was worth the amount of money they spent on it, and even how they felt about working with a company’s sales or customer service team during their purchase.
Business software purchases fall under this umbrella. In particular, if you’re a first-time buyer of a certain type of software, you will lean heavily on reviews to find out if a system works well, if it’s worth the price, and if their support team can help you in times of technical difficulty.
Network monitoring software is no exception to this rule.
Capterra’s network monitoring software directory is a great place to find hundreds of useful and informative reviews on over 200 systems.
However, to save you some time, below I’ve outlined the five network monitoring solutions with the most reviews. I also took into account each system’s overall reviews rating to help with ranking. For example, Pulseway (#3) is listed above Atera (#4) because, although Atera had more reviews, Pulseway’s higher rating allowed it to pull ahead in this list. In order to be considered for this post, systems must be listed in Capterra’s network monitoring software directory.
In addition to looking at the hard numbers, I read the reviews for each system and distill the pros and cons for each, and I provide information about system costs.
Spiceworks dashboard (Image credit: Spiceworks)
If you’re in IT, you’ve probably heard of Spiceworks products. For many small businesses, their free products can constitute a cost-effective starter pack to get your tech team up and running.
People love free stuff, so it’s no surprise that one of the pros reviewers mention most frequently is the fact that Spiceworks doesn’t cost anything. It offers a lot of bang for none of your bucks. Many reviewers also say that Spiceworks is easy to use and set up. Especially since its Network Monitor app will migrate to the cloud in the near future, setup and maintenance for this program should get even easier.
Spiceworks is free because it’s ad-supported. Many users cite these ads as somewhat annoying while also recognizing their necessity in supporting Spiceworks’ freeware model. Some reviewers also caution that Spiceworks is optimal only for small and midsize businesses, stating that larger businesses might find its functionality lacking.
2. SysAid (64 reviews)
SysAid’s event manager window and CPU usage report (Image credit: SysAid)
SysAid Monitoring helps your team proactively identify network events that might cause issues and alert you to them before they can become wide-scale problems. You can configure these alerts to fit the needs of your organization, keeping your eye on what matters most to your team.
Many reviewers cite the customizable nature of SysAid as one of the system’s biggest pros. While the interface leaves something to be desired for admins (discussed below), most reviewers find the system to be easy to use, while still providing lots of flexibility and functionality.
Quite a few reviews mention that SysAid’s interface can be clunky or buggy and could generally use an update or a UX facelift. Reviewers also found that, when they contacted technical support for help with issues they encountered, communication and resolutions was often fairly slow.
SysAid customizes prices for each client, but they do offer a 30-day free trial, so you can try the system out before you reach out for a price quote.
3. Pulseway (54 reviews)
You can access Pulseway on multiple devices (Image credit: Pulseway)
Pulseway claims that its technology allows you to “automate everything.” Using customizable scripts, you can make sure maintenance, backup, and security tasks get done on time, with little to no effort on your part.
Reviewers describe Pulseway as a feature-rich system that allows its users to manage systems remotely with ease. Users also cite Pulseway’s quick setup time and prompt and efficient tech support as huge pros.
With an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, Pulseway is the highest-rated network monitoring solution on this list. Users’ cons are few and far between. However, some reviewers note that, due to the high volume of features, some of the more basic ones are more difficult to find or use than expected.
Pulseway offers a free edition of their system for personal use to monitor up to two systems. It offers both SaaS and on-premise versions of its “Team” solution, which are priced at $1.15 per workstation and $3.35 per server per month, respectively.
4. Atera (56 reviews)
Atera’s device overview (Image source: Atera)
Atera is an all-in-one solution for managed service providers. Its remote monitoring and management platform allows your team to track hundreds of networks and offers customizable alerts to meet your techs’ and your clients’ needs.
Users mention Atera’s cost-effective pricing model (discussed below) as one of its main pros. Many reviews also say that Atera’s clean UI makes the system easy to use and navigate.
User frustrations come into play with the lack of third-party integrations. However, most of these same reviewers also state that Atera has a lot of potential and think more third-party partnerships will appear as the system develops. When problems do arise, several reviewers say that it can be difficult to get tech to fix issues in a timely manner.
Atera starts at $59 per technician per month and goes up to $149 per tech per month as you add more advanced features to the system package such as database snapshots and QuickBooks integrations.
5. Panopta (54 reviews)
Panopta’s dashboard (Image source: Panopta)
You can use Panopta to monitor cloud, on-premise, and hybrid environments. Alerts are customizable, as are real-time report metrics.
Like Atera, users are enthusiastic about Panopta’s reasonable pricing model (discussed below). Reviewers also like Panopta’s “intuitive interface.” And when they can’t figure something out, tech support is described as responsive, friendly, and prompt.
Reviewers state that some aspects of setup can be tricky. Otherwise, users seem to be very satisfied with Panopta, which explains its high rating of 4.5 stars.
Panopta’s pricing model charges by node. Their “Standard” package starts at $4 per node per month, while their “Advanced” package is $6 per node per month. If you have more than 250 nodes, you should inquire about their custom pricing package.
Go leave your review!
Different network monitoring solutions work for different companies and different situations. If you have something to say about your system, be sure to leave a review on Capterra’s site to help other software buyers in the market for network monitoring software.
If you’re in the market for a network monitoring solution, you can find out more about typical cost and pricing models here. And if budgets are tight right now, you can find information on free and open source systems here.
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