Spiceworks Network Monitor is a free tool designed to provide real-time monitoring and statistics for your servers and SNMP-capable network devices. Although it's free, it's not open source and it shows adverts in a small frame at the top right of its main web interface. Spiceworks Network Monitor can be used alongside Spiceworks' IT Help Desk and Inventory Management tools, but we've reviewed it as a stand-alone product.
The network monitor runs on any version of Windows from Windows Server 2008 R2 onwards - we installed it on a Windows 2012 R2 server which wasn't running any other services. Installation and setup aren't very involved: just download the software from Spiceworks' website and run the installer. Once completed, a desktop shortcut takes you to a web interface where you can complete the initial setup process.
You'll need a Spiceworks account before you can log into the monitoring system - you'll have to go to spiceworks.com to set one up. It’ll require your name, email address and a password. Once logged in, we were presented with the default dashboard screen. Below the horizontal menu and alert bars at the top of the screen, there are boxes for server and network watchlists. Below that are spaces to add 3 devices for closer monitoring, which will display more detailed information about each of those devices.
The first time any user logs in, a help panel automatically opens up across the left-hand third of the page, annoyingly obscuring the dashboard items below it. The basic help information it displays isn’t terribly useful, but once closed, it remains shut on future logins unless deliberately re-opened.