9 Tools for Creating Professional Network Maps
Originally published on March 02, 2018 by Sascha Neumeier
Last updated on February 10, 2020 • 4 minute read
Network mapping tools play a crucial role in all network environments, since they help administrators stay on top of things. For instance, they provide basic information on which devices are on the network, what their addresses are, which components they directly communicate with, which communication methods they use and much more. Consequently, an up-to-date and detailed network map is indispensable for most IT managers.
Create Network Maps Yourself
Essentially, there are two distinct types of tools for creating network maps. Drawing programs are the starting point; they provide icons for network devices and therefore offer the option of drawing a network map. An IT employee completes this task by hand; furthermore, this IT employee must have the network structure fully memorized or painstakingly request detailed information from involved IT co-workers.
Scannable solutions are convenient and less erroneous. Asset scanners can independently search through the company’s networks, find existing components and subsequently query them in detail. The information obtained in this procedure is automatically converted into network maps in the next step. Thanks to regularly recurring, time-controlled scans, the system environment image can automatically be kept up to date. The disadvantage of automated systems is the lack of exhaustiveness – there is no way to ensure that the scan tool will truly find all the devices on the network and correctly connect them to each other.
9 Network Mapping Tools Reviewed
We have taken a detailed look at 9 different network mapping tools. They range from free drawing programs to powerful asset scanners for enterprise environments. Each of the tools focuses on a target market. We have excluded tools that do not run on Windows and products based in the cloud. We also omitted solutions, which, although are capable of creating maps, their actual focus lies in completely different fields.
Functional Overview of the Individual Products
The product reviews were conducted in collaboration with an independent institute that analyzes IT components, and the results culminate into a comprehensive market overview that, in addition to test results, also provides a comprehensive function matrix. The matrix offers a quick but detailed overview of the individual products’ range of functions.
Download Market Overview
Would you like to read the market overview for network mapping tools now? Simply click on the button below to download the document in PDF format.