Network Mapping Tools: Simplify Network Monitoring and Troubleshooting

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Spiceworks Network Mapping Tool

The logical network is the non-tangible parts of your computer system that you can’t see or touch. Mapping this part of the network can be a more challenging task than mapping the physical network.

The system monitors a wide range of devices including routers and switches. However, it doesn’t provide real-time device monitoring such as disk space or memory usage.

Network Notepad

Network Notepad is an IT Admin tool that can be used to map networks. It also includes tools for inventorying hardware, running a help desk and tracking disk space, software installs and printer toner levels. It can be used to save money and improve IT efficiency.

The software can be downloaded for free from its website. It has no complicated setup process and does not require any special hardware. It also has cross-OS support and a simple interface. You can insert custom text, adjust canvas size and ratio, display or hide grid lines, embed horizontal or vertical backbones and drag objects to move them.

Depending on the license type, the software can be used for an unlimited number of network diagrams and maps. It can also be used to compile equipment inventories for bids, creating a network topology map as the inventory builds. The software can also track the cost of each device and display it on the network diagram.


As businesses rely increasingly on technology, the loss of even a single network device can halt productivity and cost millions. Network mapping tools can help you pinpoint the problem quickly and resolve it. However, finding the right one can be challenging. Some offer automatic discovery while others require a manual effort to plot the network’s topology.

Choosing the right network mapping tool depends on how complex your network is and what you need it to do. Spiceworks offers many utilities, including a network diagramming template, which you can use to visualize your hardware and software. Its autodiscovery feature also compiles a hardware inventory that displays device statuses on equipment icons and lists alerts in a separate window.

Spiceworks’ network mapping tool features a graphical user interface that makes it easy to navigate. Users can also create their own scripts to automate network analysis and report generation. It is also cloud-based, making it easy for teams to collaborate on projects, no matter where they are located.

Paessler PRTG

Paessler PRTG is a server and network monitoring tool that can be used to map networks. It can also help IT administrators understand utilization and identify capacity planning needs. It has been praised by many users for its ease of deployment and the ability to monitor servers and network assets from one dashboard.

Its mapping function is highly regarded as well. You can use the built-in map designer to create a custom visualization format for network monitoring data that is specific to your needs. Maps can show device status icons, data tables, graphs and more. They can be displayed as an HTML web page and shared publicly or privately through a URL.

In our tests, setup was straightforward though adding devices manually is a bit painful. Sensor allocation could be better – our 24-port TP-Link gigabit switch received 47 sensors while a VMware ESXi host and Windows Server 2019 Hyper-V cluster slurped up 48 each. However, unused sensors can be returned to the pool if necessary.

Network Inventory

When a network has numerous devices, it’s difficult to keep track of them all. Using a network mapping system allows you to keep track of all your devices and their connections. This can be useful for troubleshooting issues that may arise.

A good network mapping tool will allow you to view a visual topology map of your entire network. It will also update automatically based on periodic scans. This will save time and prevent the need to manually update your network map.

LANTopoLog is a free network mapping tool that lets you create a hierarchical map of your devices. It is very easy to use and provides a clear layout of the networks you’re managing. It will help you identify which devices are affected by outages, and will enable you to allocate capacity accordingly. It will also help you locate stranded resources and reduce unnecessary capital expenditures. The software can also be used to create service impact analysis reports.

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