Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Home Network Monitoring Tools That Are Free

Many people do not know that Windows includes free network monitoring tools as part of the operating system. This leads to either wasted money because they purchase something that Windows can already do or to bloated software because they download and try several different systems unaware that most functions are already built into the Windows programming. The process to accessing these tools is not difficult, in spite the claim they are designed for those who are geeks as apposed to those who are typical parents trying to check up on their kids or what have you.

Here is an overview of the process. From the start menu select "Run". Once the "run" dialog is open and you have a box in which to type put in "perfmon" as the program name you are wanting to start ("perfmon" is short for Performance Monitor Application). It will prompt you to accept this program running so click the offered "OK" to move to the next step. The launch of the application will create a graph. Since you want to monitor more then just the overall output, off click to bring up the context menu. From here select "Add Counters" to open a new window. This is where you will run your custom monitoring counter.

On the open blank window you can easily enable network monitoring by picking the computer connected to the network via the drop down menu. This will give you monitoring ability over that machine. Nest pick what you want to keep an eye on, like processor, browser, or even base memory being used on the machine. Once you have both the computer and the factor you want to track figured out use the add button to move this onto the main graph. You can do this for each computer on the network.

This type of home network care is important for several factors. If you use wireless LAN connections to bridge several computers to a single modem there is a real risk of passwords and sensitive data being lifted from the exposed network. While Internet providers make it easy and simple to install LAN networks, they do not often mention the risks involved either, leaving the home user unaware of the security breach. They are also unaware of the built in network monitoring tools that come with Windows. Often times by the point a secondary product is purchased, the breach in security has existed so long that most sensitive information is already floating through cyberspace. All it takes for someone to steal valuable data and bandwidth from your home is finding a good spot to tap into the unsecured LAN network and if you lack monitoring for it you will never know where that is going.

1 comment:

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