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You Get What You Pay For: Downfalls of Free Network Monitoring Tools

March 9, 2020

Let's say you're working in your business one day, typing up financial reports or what have you. Suddenly your computer shuts down of its own accord. You boot it back up in a panic only to realize a bunch of critical files you had are gone!

In the hours to follow you find that your company's finances are gone and your hardware has fried. Even your mobile devices have fallen to hackers.

Ok, so that's a little much. But every company needs network monitoring tools to protect them in the age of the Internet, and free tools don't cost your company a cent. But what drawbacks do these free tools have?

If you are asking yourself this question, you're in luck. We're here to tell you all about the drawback of free network monitoring tools! So sit back, relax, and let's get started.

Drawback #1: Priced Network Monitoring Tools Tend To Be Stronger

It's easy to get seduced by the low price tag of zero dollars, but an hour of technology downtime can cost your business a rough average of $100,000. And with network monitoring software, the more money you pay, the stronger a product you tend to get. 

For example, only about two to three of the network management softwares PC Magazine listed as its ten best management software of 2019. This model will likely change as technology continues to grow, but it's a good rule of thumb to keep in mind.

In addition to decreased efficiency, free programs also rarely have support options. So if it crashes or you're having some trouble with it, it's internet forums or bust.

Drawback #2: Open Source Software Is Not Your Savior

Some free network management software may try to advertise itself as an "open source", which means that the code for the program is made publicly available. However, this comes with its own list of drawbacks.

For starters, open source software comes with specific licenses that state how they can be legally used. So, if you're planning on mixing the code with your own and the license says no, you could get in legal trouble if you decide to do so anyway.

Open source software also does not have the support of it's paid, closed source brethren or the rigorous pre-release testing regimen. This can mean it's more susceptible to bugs or glitches.

Drawback #3: There's Only So Much To Go Around

Finally, a drawback of free network management software is that they tend to not serve as many devices as a paid version of the software would. As a result, you could end up having half or more of your devices unprotected if you decide to opt for free software.

For example, the free service Intermapper will give you ten devices protected, while the paid service Alura will help as many devices as your company needs.

The Journey Forward

Congratulations! You are now knowledgable in all the potential drawbacks of free network monitoring tools!

If you need network monitoring tools for your business and would like to see if these tools are right for you, contact us for more information.

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