9 Best Cisco Network Magic Alternatives
Cisco's Network Magic was a handy and easy-to-use program for individuals and organizations. It helped to diagnose problems in their respective networks and address them at the earliest. Its DIY tools eliminated the need for expensive technical consultants and, at the same time, came with advanced security features such as robust intrusion prevention and comprehensive monitoring.
However, Cisco stopped providing updates to this tool as it turned its focus towards intelligent Wi-Fi routers. As a result, though you can still use Network Magic, it's outdated, and Cisco provides no support whatsoever. So, if you run into problems, there's no help.
For this reason, many Network Magic users have moved to its alternatives, and we'll take a look at some of them in this article.
Here’s our list of the best alternatives for Cisco Network Μagic:
- SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor- FREE TRIAL A comprehensive monitoring tool that works across multiple vendors and scales well with your network and business needs. It comes with a host of features to give you the flexibility required to run your business.
- SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager – FREE TRIAL Another comprehensive tool from SolarWinds that gives insights into the performance of your network infrastructure. It comes with many easy-to-use features that help you stay on top of your network's performance and availability.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor A comprehensive solution for monitoring your network infrastructure and all e devices and components in it. This sensor-based tool uses various sensors to monitor different aspects of your network infrastructure.
- Atera Remote Monitoring and Management Software Specializes in providing remote monitoring and management, along with a powerful ticketing and CRM system to give complete control over different aspects of your IT system.
- Spiceworks IP Scanner Automatically scans devices within an IP range and provides detailed hardware and software information about them. It also sends alerts in case of vulnerabilities or potential problems.
- Advanced IP Scanner A free and reliable network scanning tool that analyzes the LAN and provides detailed information on the health and performance of devices on the network.
- HomeNet Manager A simple tool used to scan home networks that typically have about two to three devices connected to them.
- SentinelAgent An ultralight cloud-based monitoring solution designed primarily for Windows platforms.
- Axence NetTools A set of ten tools for network scanning and monitoring. It includes NetWatch, Network Port and Service Scanner, WinTools, TCP/IP Workshop, and SNMP Browser, Traceroute, NetStat, Local info, Lookup, Bandwidth, and NetCheck.
The Best Cisco Network Magic Alternatives
Let's take a detailed look into the features, pricing, and free trials that each product may offer.
1. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor – FREE TRIAL
Network Performance Monitor from SolarWinds is a comprehensive monitoring tool that works across multiple vendors and scales well with your network and business needs. In addition, it comes with a host of features to give you the flexibility required to run your business.
Here's a look at what this tool offers.
- Monitors and analyzes the availability of all Cisco devices, thereby making it a good alternative for Cisco Network Magic
- Visualizes the network path from source to destination with NetPath
- Provides deep packet inspection to give you a better idea of the reasons for network slowdown
- Monitors and analyzes the availability and performance of Huawei NetStream
- Comes with a multi-vendor LAN monitor to monitors networks of any size
- The Link Analysis tool helps you to view the entire path of the packets, from source to destination
- Monitors router traffic for many vendors
- Gives a snapshot of all the monitoring metrics in a single dashboard
- Measures the effectiveness of WAN optimization tools
- Monitors the Cisco ACI Environment to track down problems
- Analyzes all network issues and gives you the insights to understand the root-cause
- Checks for network availability and performance issues, and accordingly sends notifications through many channels
- Comes with a network browser to automatically monitor your network from anywhere
- Keeps track of your equipment usage
- Automatically discovers, scans, and maps your network devices
- Diagnoses and troubleshoots network issues
- Creates graphs, tables, and views to give you in-depth information
- Monitors and manages your firewall infrastructure
- Provides network insights for Cisco Nexus, including the critical data center switches
- Stays on top of the health and performance of F5 BIG-IP
- Identifies the source of network latency problems
- Enables you to create custom heat maps and visual packet paths
- Helps you to get to the root cause of a problem with intelligent alerts and insights
- Generate network performance reports at pre-configured schedules
- Its reports give an overview and, at the same time, drills down to the specifics
- Provides complete visibility to the entire network
- Optimizes critical processes for improved network performance
- Gives the root cause of poor end-user experience so that you can fix it right away
- Uses network sniffer to automatically monitors networks and applications
Pricing: Starts at $1,638
Download: Click here for a fully functional 30-day free trial.
2. SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager – FREE TRIAL
Network Configuration Manager is another comprehensive tool from SolarWinds that gives insights into the performance of your network infrastructure. It comes with many easy-to-use features that help you stay on top of your network's performance and availability.
The salient features of SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager are:
- Ensures high levels of network availability and reliability
- Automatically backs up, monitors finds, and restores router and switch configurations
- Simplifies device configuration management
- Manages switch configuration tasks to increase productivity
- Continuously monitors changes and ensures that your system quickly recovers from misconfigurations
- Identifies and resolves configuration drifts
- Compares configurations for routers and switches
- Helps device configuration changes
- Maintains the up-to-date inventory of all network devices
- Eliminates the need for manual device inventory
- Saves time by using an automated network configuration
- Reduces the time and effort needed for handling network configuration changes
- Improves reliability in handling network issues
- Optimizes the performance of your network infrastructure
- Fixes network vulnerabilities
- Provides real-time alerting
- Handles VLAN configuration and troubleshooting
Pricing: Starts at $1,687
Download:Click here for a fully functional 30-day free trial.
3. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a comprehensive solution for monitoring your network infrastructure and all e devices and components in it. This sensor-based tool uses various sensors to monitor different aspects of your network infrastructure.
Here's a look at the features of PRTG.
- Identifies weak spots and sends a report so that you can fix them at the earliest
- Handles Windows event log monitoring
- Calculates server workload and performance of SharePoint
- Monitors SQL, Exchange, and server software
- Stays on top of the health and performance of every standard application, including cloud and virtualized environments
- Checks backups and notifies of incorrect ones
- Optimizes the use of resources for Citrix XenServer and other virtual machines
- Monitors the availability, performance, and delivery of email servers
- Displays the critical status values of Hyper-V host
- Monitors every aspect of IIS servers
- Keeps a constant eye on Linux-based networks
- Supports protocols such as POP3, IMAP, and SMTP
- Detects loopholes and informs your right away
- Uses WMI, performance counters, and SNMP to monitor Windows servers
- Works well on Windows, Linux, and macOS
- Supports nine languages, including Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Spanish, German, French, English, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese
Pricing: The cost depends on the number of sensors you use. Typically, one sensor monitors one aspect of a device, such as CPU load, memory usage, etc.
The first 100 sensors are free.
Download:Click here for an unlimited free trial for 30 days. At the end of this period, you can upgrade to the paid version or go for the free plan.
4. Atera Remote Monitoring and Management
Atera's Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tool specializes in providing remote monitoring and management, along with a powerful ticketing and CRM system to give complete control over different aspects of your IT system.
Some of the critical features of this tool are:
- Offers complete visibility and control to multiple networks of any size and complexity
- Sends notifications in real-time about potential problems so that they can be fixed at the earliest
- Comes with pre-configured administrative and maintenance tasks that can be applied to both servers and workstations
- Quick and easy to configure
- Automates patch management
- Provides a suite of remote maintenance tools
- Integrates with Splashtop to help you provide instant remote support
- Gathers network and asset information
- Tracks health and performance of networks and devices and generates intuitive reports to gain excellent visibility
- Provides complete log activity
- Works well for the Mac environment as well
- Offers automatic OID monitoring on Linux-based devices
Pricing: Atera offers three plans, and they are:
- Pro ($79/month/technician) – Supports up to two concurrent Splashtop remote access, five support addresses, 400 RPM API, and file viewer
- Growth ($119/month/technician) – Supports unlimited concurrent Splashtop remote access, ten support addresses, 600 RPM API, and file transfer up to 15 GB
- Power ($149/month/technician) – Supports unlimited concurrent Splashtop remote access, ten support addresses, 600 RPM API, and file transfer up to 15 GB
Download: Click here for a free trial of the Growth plan.
5. Spiceworks IP Scanner
As the name suggests, Spiceworks IP Scanner automatically scans devices within an IP range and provides detailed hardware and software information about them. It also sends alerts in case of vulnerabilities or potential problems.
Some of the salient features of this tool are:
- Automatically discovers devices on your network
- Provides detailed hardware and software metrics of all devices on your network
- Lists information such as host's name, IP address, open ports, vendor, and other pertinent details on each device
- Documents your IT services
- Scans your network to identify unknown devices
- Finds and fixes security loopholes
- Quick to set up and easy to use
- Troubleshoots user issues and quickly creates a ticket to address the root cause
- Works well on both Windows and Mac
Pricing: Spiceworks IP Scanner offers four plans, namely,
Contact the sales team for more details and prices.
Download:Click here to get started
6. Advanced IP Scanner
Advanced IP Scanner is a free and reliable network scanning tool that analyzes the LAN and provides detailed information on the health and performance of devices on the network.
Below are some essential features of the Advanced IP Scanner.
- Displays all network devices
- Gives access to shared folders
- Provides remote control of computers through RDP and Radmin
- Allows you to remotely switch off computers
- Easy to use
- Runs as a portable edition
- Detects MAC addresses
- No installation is required
- Exports the scan results to a CSV for quick comparison
- Compatible with Windows 10
- Scans a network quickly
- Works with Radmin VPN to connect computers located behind firewalls
Pricing: 100% FREE
Download:Click here to download this tool and start scanning.
7. HomeNet Manager
HomeNet Manager is a simple tool used to scan home networks that typically have about two to three connected devices. This tool is for everyday users who don't have much expertise in scanning devices on their networks, watching for security vulnerabilities, and optimizing them for the best performance. Hence, this tool is easy to use and is primarily a choice for home networks or small businesses with a handful of devices on their network.
Here's a look at some of the features of HomeNet Manager.
- Manages and configures home and other small networks
- Helps to design your home network from scratch
- When you tun it the first time, it thoroughly analyzes the network and creates a map of different devices ha are easy for you to understand
- Detects vulnerabilities at the earliest
- Generates clear and graphical reports
- Configures the shared folders across your computers
- Allows you to view the IP address of each device
- Keeps you informed of changes in your router's configuration page
- Helps you to stay on top of all shared folders and resources across your network
- Comes with an “Intruder Detection” program that acts as a firewall for your network
- Detects and stops any intruder attack on your network
- Displays the best position for each device graphically, and this can come in handy while setting up your home or office network
- Displays the IP address and name of each device on the network
Pricing: 100% FREE
Download:Click here for a free download.
SentinelAgent is an ultralight cloud-based monitoring solution designed primarily for Windows platforms. It captures, analyzes, and stores logs, performance metrics, and other pertinent information to provide deep insights into the performance of devices on your network.
Some of the essential features of this tool are:
- Provides real-time event log monitoring
- It is a 100% cloud-based architecture
- Retains data for seven days
- Makes it easy to monitor all machines from a single account
- There are absolutely no ads or bloat
- Comes with pre-configured notifications for CPU/disk errors and event ID errors
- Provides real-time performance and system inventory monitoring
- Comes ready for installation
- Minimum requirements are a System memory of 512 MB, disk space of 15 MB, and Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 2008, 2008 R2, and 2012
- Requires no additional hardware or software
- Auto throttles bandwidth usage
- Comes with SSL encryption
- Uses only minimal system resources
Pricing:Click here to request a quote.
Download:Click here for a trial version.
9. Axence netTools
Axence netTools is a set of ten tools for network scanning and monitoring. It includes NetWatch, Network Port and Service Scanner, WinTools, TCP/IP Workshop, SNMP Browser, Traceroute, NetStat, Local info, Lookup, Bandwidth, and NetCheck.
Here's a look at some of the features of Axence netTools.
- Displays the availability of multiple hosts and their response times
- Sends notifications via email, messages, and sounds
- Shows the current and historical charts for response times and lost packet percentage
- Exports data to XML, HTML, and TXT files
- Monitors 50 services such as TCP/IP, HTTP, POP3, SMTP, FTP, and more
- Discovers machines connected to a network
- Detects open ports
- Identifies services on discovered devices
- Provides detailed information on the processes
- Sends custom queries based on WMI protocol
- Detects suspicious connections
- Creates a list of inbound and outbound connections
- Looks up DNS and WHOIS records
- Checks LAN hardware and wiring
- It is designed for both commercial and home use
- Provides HDD, RAM, and CPU details of every device so that you can stay on top of their health and performance at all times
Pricing: The cost depends on the number of tools, users, and devices. Contact the sales team for a custom quote.
Download:Click here to download netTools.
To conclude, there are many alternatives to Cisco's Network Magic, and the choice depends on your requirements, budget, size of your network, complexity, and other pertinent factors. We hope the above tools give you all the information you need to choose the tool that best fits your needs.
6 Best Cisco Network Magic Alternatives
Network Magic by Cisco Systems is no longer available. This useful tool was ideal for home networks and the networks of small business users. The version of the system for home users was called Network Magic Essentials and was available for free. The small business edition was called Network Magic Pro and cost just $50.
If you are looking for an alternative to Cisco Network Magic, you may struggle, because this useful tool had some unique features. These were:
- Map network automatically
- Report on the IP address of each device
- Report on the hardware and software versions of each device
- Can communicate with both Windows and Mac OS
- Maintenance utilities for troubleshooting and network performance improvements
- Bandwidth usage history per computer
The Pro version of the system had a couple of extra features:
- Enhanced wifi security
- Status alerts
- Control access to the internet
- Get screenshots of activity on a computer
Although many of these features are available in other packages, most of the alternative systems are aimed at businesses. Home users may find them a little complicated for their requirements.
Here is our list of the best Cisco Network Magic alternatives:
- SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset EDITOR’S CHOICE A bundle of more than 60 network monitoring and management tools that install on Windows Server.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL) A customizable infrastructure monitoring bundle that will give live statuses on device performance and traffic volumes.
- Atera A remote monitoring and management system for managed service providers that includes a network discovery feature.
- Spiceworks IP Scanner Free, cloud-based service that scans a network and reports all the devices connected to it.
- Network Scanner Free for home use, cheap for businesses. This tool discovers all devices connected to the same network as its host.
- Axence NetTools A free pack of tools that scans the network for connected devices and also checks open ports on a computer.
Many top quality corporate network management systems offer a free version for small networks. So, getting a very comprehensive system for your home network is not a problem. However, there are very few network management systems written for Macs, so you have a lot less choice of Cisco Network Magic alternatives if you are a Mac user.
The best Cisco Network Magic alternatives:
Here is a list of five alternatives to Cisco Network Magic. These are not exact matches for the functionality of the Cisco program. However, many of these options include features that Network Magic did not have, so you may end up liking them more than your trusty old network management software.
What should you look for in an alternative to Cisco Network Magic?
We reviewed the market for lightweight network monitoring software like Network Magic and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:
- Constant live monitoring for networks
- Graphs and charts that make network performance data easy to read
- A system that presents all important network data in one screen with supplementary screens for details
- The ability to identify all devices connected to the network
- A tool to reclaim abandoned IP addresses
- A free tool or a paid system that has a free trial for assessment
- Value for money in paid tools or free tools that are worth investing time in
1. SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset (FREE TRIAL)
The SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset is a bundle of tools that collectively exceed the functionality of the Pro version of Network Magic. Within the package, you will find a group of tools that discover your network and log all of its equipment. These are the Port Scanner, Switch Port Mapper, the SNMP sweep tool, an IP Network Browser, a MAC Address Discovery tool, and a Ping Sweep utility.
- More than 60 system management tools
- Unified access through a single dashboard
- Monitor networks and servers
- Manage network addressing
- Live monitoring plus historical analysis features
You can use modules from the Toolset to monitor your network. You get real-time performance data from the Toolset’s Response Time Monitor, Memory Monitor, CPU Monitor, Interface Monitor, and TraceRoute facility.
If you were hoping to use Network Magic for troubleshooting and performance improvement analysis, you will be interested in the Toolset’s WAN Killer. This tool generates traffic so you can stress test your network and check for bottlenecks before you add extra real demand.
The toolset has many features that help you enhance your networks’ security. These include a Router Password Decryption tool, the SNMP Brute Force Attack tester, and a SNMP Dictionary Attack utility. You can also tighten up intruder detection through better configuration and log file management.
These tools are a Subnet Calculator, the DHCP Scope Monitor, a DNS Structure Analyzer, a DNS Audit tool, and an IP Address Manager. You can download the Engineer’s Toolset on a 14-day free trial.
SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset is our top choice. The package includes more than 60 tools and creates a comprehensive network management system. Some extra features that you wouldn’t have got with Network Management include IP address, DHCP, and DNS management.
Start 14-day Free Trial:solarwinds.com/engineers-toolset
OS: Windows Server
2. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIL)
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is an infrastructure monitoring package. It tracks activities on network devices, network links, and servers. The performance of websites, applications, and virtualizations are covered by this software and it can even reach out to cloud services and remote sites.
- Monitors networks, servers, and applications
- Alerts when system problems arise
- Customizable package
- Network discovery and mapping
You can choose to install the PRTG Network Monitor software on premises or access it as a cloud service. If you choose the online version, you still have to install a collector on your in-house system. The software installs on Windows systems.
When you first start up the installed PRTG software it will map all of your infrastructure. This initial baseline establishes an inventory of all of your equipment. It also creates a log of all of your software. You can see the layout of your system on a network map. The monitor then runs continuously and keeps track of network activity and the health of all of the devices connected to the system. The monitoring process includes three methods.
The device monitor uses SNMP, which uses an industry standard messaging system to check on all equipment connected to the network. A packet sniffer captures the real-time traffic on the network to enhance the accuracy of activity monitoring. This only copies the headers of packets traveling across the network to preserve data privacy. Network traffic messaging systems are also employed by PRTG to get deeper insights into the network’s performance. These systems include NetFlow, IPFIX, jFlow, and sFlow, which are used by routers and switches to report on statuses and activities.
The constant checks performed by PRTG generate alerts that arise from status problems, unusual activity, and critical conditions. You will be notified if any new equipment connects to the network and you will also be able to see unusual activity, so the monitor can be used to detect intrusion. Network activity can be filtered by IP address, by MAC address, by port number, or by application. All of this detection extends to remote sites and also includes wireless networks.
Although the monitoring software installs on Windows, it can interact with equipment running other operating systems. The Paessler PRTG system is available on a range of plans with pricing based on the number of sensors that you deploy. Sensor is a monitored condition. The software is free to use for up to 100 sensors. Paessler offers a 30-day free trial for larger implementations.
Paessler PRTG Network MonitorDownload 30-day FREE Trial
Atera is a software package that was designed to assist managed service providers (MSPs). The online platform includes all of the tools that an MSP needs including technician utilities to access the networks and servers on client sites and the systems that MSP managers need to run the business. The technician tools are known as a “remote monitoring and management” (RMM) system. The package has much more functionality than Network Magic and it can monitor multiple networks simultaneously.
- Designed for managed service providers
- Simultaneously monitors multiple sites
- Includes management processes, such as patching
The cloud-based format of Atera bundles all of the server processing time and storage space needed to operate an MSP together with the software. The MSP using this service doesn’t need to install any software on its site and, by using Atera, could start-up a business without investing in any infrastructure at all. For this reason, Atera is a very good package that appeals to small MSPs, independent freelance technicians, and startups.
The cost of the software is not charged directly to the client upfront. Instead, businesses using the platform just pay a monthly subscription fee for each technician. The subscription model makes Atera very scalable. As the MSP gains new clients and takes on more technicians, it just needs to increase its number of subscriptions.
The Atera package includes many functions that Network Magic could perform. It automatically scans a network and discovers all attached devices. It uses the information gleaned from this process to compile an equipment inventory, detailing the make and model of each device and the versions of its firmware or operating system. The network discovery process is continuous and will spot any changes to the hardware inventory on the client site.
Beyond those Network Magic-equivalent functions, Atera can take a software inventory and also roll out patches and updates automatically. Atera gives remote technicians the ability to manage servers and networks by monitoring all activity, checking on performance and equipment statuses and intervening when problems arise. The best way to assess Atera is to access the 30-day free trial.
4. Spiceworks IP Scanner
Spiceworks IP Scanner is a cloud-based service, but it requires a small program to be downloaded onto your computer. The system is free to use and it gives you the basic network discovery and device inventory functions that you enjoyed with Cisco Network Magic. This system will work with Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu and Debian Linux. The dashboard for the system is accessed through your regular web browser.
- Free forever
- Lists basic information about each device
- Will scan a range of addresses or all the network
The IP Scanner will automatically trace all of the devices connected to your network and give an inventory on each device including its IP address, MAC address, hostname, manufacturer, operating system, a description, and a list of open ports.
The little program that you download in order to get this utility gathers data about your network and uploads it to the cloud. The communications between the agent on your computer and the Spiceworks server are encrypted, both in transit and at rest on the server. You have to use a special access key to see the information on your network. That prevents third parties from being able to get information on your network. This program doesn’t run all the time, but instead, will document your network on demand.
The interface allows you to filter and sort the list of connected devices. You can also export the status report to a CSV file for import into a spreadsheet.
For a more in-depth tool, you could try Spiceworks Inventory, which is also a free, cloud-based system. This system is probably more appropriate for small businesses because it tracks user activities and all the software installed on devices on your network in its inventory. Spiceworks Inventory can be scheduled to run periodically, giving you a near-live network monitoring tool.
Spiceworks Inventory runs on the cloud but requires a program to be downloaded on your computer. This program will only run on the Windows operating system. However, it can track Macs and Linux machines as well.
5. Network Scanner
Network Scanner by LizardSystems is very similar to Network Magic. Home users can have the software for free and businesses can get a license for $79.95. This utility does not require admin privileges to collect data, so any user connected to any network can run a scan and get a report. Although this might seem like a security risk, keep in mind that the user would have to have the software installed on his computer and the commands in the utility do not allow for alteration of network setup. This tool only gives information — it doesn’t control network settings.
- Network discovery
- Checks access rights
- Identifies shared resources
This network management tool scans your network and discovers all devices. You get a report on the addresses and statuses of each device. The scan lists shared folders on the network so you can keep track of which computers have made files available to others. There is no limit to the number of IP addresses that this utility can cope with. You can narrow down the report to a range of IP addresses or just one device. It is also possible to focus the scan on one device type.
The scan will check the ports on each device and assess whether it is on and whether a specified user has access privileges to it. You can’t alter those access rights through the interface. However, the information in the scan results will let each user know whether they can connect to a specific resource, such as network attached storage.
Report results can be filtered and sorted and you can export data to HTML, TXT, or XML formats. Network Scanner is specifically concerned with identifying devices and shared resources on the network, including cataloging all the shared folders on your system. It won’t give you any alerts on hardware statuses and you don’t get a software inventory out of it.
The software is only available for Windows.
6. Axence NetTools
Axence has produced a package of ten network tools and they are free. The interface for this bundle is available in English, German, Polish, and Spanish. Unfortunately, these tools only run on Windows.
The tool most like Network Magic is the Network, Port, and Service Scanner. This has an autodiscovery feature to check on all of the devices connected to your network. It will check on the services running on each device and verify that each is functioning properly. Examples of the services that the system looks for are HTTP, POP3, and SQL services. In all the tool will examine 50 different services.
- A package of utilities for network management
- Free forever
- Port monitoring
Another tool in the package that mirrors Network Magic functionality is Netstat, which gives a list of all open ports on your network-attached devices and the activity on each. Local Info lists the configuration details of each device. Netcheck tests the physical attributes of your network, such as the quality of the wiring. One more useful tool is the Bandwidth Tester.
The package also includes Netwatch. This will check on any servers that you have on your network including mail servers. The report generated by this tool lists activities on a range of ports and the packet loss rate. The utility will also check on the DNS entries for your host servers every ten minutes.
A Wintools utility will check on the event logs of each Windows device on the network, reporting back on performance issues related to CPU, disk, page swapping, and memory usage.
There is an SNMP Browser, which queries the statuses of each device, following the SNMP network monitoring standard.
Traceroute is a great tool that is available in many operating systems and Axence created its own version. This utility will trace the location of any given IP address and report on the performance of the internet connection between you and that address. A Lookup function allows you to query DNS and WHOIS information for any given address.
The five network monitoring systems listed in this review match or exceed the network management functions of Network Magic. However, if you specifically chose Network Magic in order to get screenshots of computer activity on your network to check what your children were doing on the internet, then these new options won’t help you.
Simply getting broadband usage reports and taking screenshots of computers on your home network is probably the wrong method for controlling the internet access of children. There are better systems for imposing parental controls. It is better to block your children from accessing certain types of sites than to use a system that allows them access but reports on their activities. In this respect, Network Magic provided too little too late.
Parental control software is a fairer method to control the activities of children on the internet. It is much better to prevent rather than to blame or shame. If you are specifically looking for a Network Magic replacement that will let you know what your children are up to on the internet, these preventative systems provide better solutions than your current strategy.
Parental control software has really come a long way since the screen capture facility of Network Magic was thought of. These five options provide you with much better security for your children on the internet and include features such as contact logs, social media controls, and cyberbullying protection.
Farewell, Network Magic
If you have been using Network Magic for years, you will probably be reluctant to let it go. Admit it, you’ve been having problems with Network Magic for years. Even before the software was deprecated by Cisco Systems, it stopped working as well as it should have done. It is great to find free software from a trusted provider that does everything you want. However, the networking industry, including Cisco Systems, has moved on and you should, too.
Whichever feature of Cisco Network Magic you liked the most, chances are you can get that facility from one of our five alternatives, and that service will actually be better than your experience with Network Magic.
It is time to uninstall Cisco Network Magic and replace it. The five alternatives in our list are even better. Whichever one you choose, you will soon love it more than Network Magic.
Cisco Network Magic FAQs
What is the latest version number of Cisco Network Magic?
The last full version of Network Magic was 5.5. Incremental updates brought the release number up to 5.5.9195.
Can I still upgrade Network Magic?
If you have Network Magic Basic, you would upgrade by installing Network Magic Pro. However, this is no longer available.
Is it legal to still use Cisco Network Magic?
Yes. It is legal to use Network Magic. The system doesn’t include any password crackers or hacker tools that could get you in trouble.
Cisco System’s Network Magic used to be a popular product with home users and small businesses. It helped monitor and diagnose network issues and allowed for tracking and controlling computer usage. You could also use it to help with configuring and managing any Cisco/Linksys home network devices, verify if your computer needed updates for its antivirus and anti-spyware software or if there were critical Windows updates available. Unfortunately, the tool is no longer available from Cisco, leaving many users looking for an alternative. This can prove to be a complicated task, though. The tool offered a strange mix of functionalities which are hard to find in other tools.
We’ve tried to find some direct, feature-for-feature Network Magic alternatives but were not very successful. Instead, we’ve found many products, each offering some of its functionality. But considering that not that many users were using all the features of the toolkit, perhaps one of the products we’ve found will meet your specific needs.
Before we begin, we’ll have a look at what Network Magic was. That will help us identify what to look for in alternatives. Without going too deep in the details of the product, we’ll do our best to provide an overview of its primary features. And then, we’ll jump right in and review some of the best “alternatives” we could find. We’ll do our best to highlight the best features of each of our selections, insisting on what common features each shares with the defunct Network Magic but also presenting exclusive features. Our goal is to allow you to pick the tool that best matches your specific needs.
About Network Magic
Before we can evaluate potential replacements, let’s have a look at the main features of Network Magic. Some were quite unique others were more standard. At its core, Network Magic was a network scanner. It scanned networks and reported on IP address usage as well as the hardware and software (operating system) behind each IP address. The tool could also map networks automatically. It had the possibility to communicate with both Windows and Mac OS and to perform remote tasks. It could, for instance, automatically take a screenshot of a remote computer at regular intervals.
Network Magic was also a useful debugging tool and it features maintenance utilities and troubleshooting tools to assist with issues and help improve the performance of networks. It also gave you the possibility to capture bandwidth usage history for each computer. Other advanced features of the product included enhanced WiFi security, status alerts as well as Internet access control.
Although Network Magic was marketed as a home tool as much as one targeting small businesses, we’ve concentrated our efforts into finding business-grade replacements. Many tools, however, are also available for home users. Some are even free for personal use but require payment to use them in a professional context. Likewise, there were two versions of Network Magic. The Essentials version was destined to home users, had a reduced feature set, and was free whereas the Pro version was aimed at small businesses at a cost of $50. Since Cisco Systems discontinued the product a while back, many users have kept on using it but it is getting more and more outdated and is no longer receiving bug fixes which has prompted many users to seek alternatives.
The Best Network Magic Alternatives
As we hinted in our introduction, finding an exact, feature-for-feature replacement for Network Magic is an impossible task. We’ve tried, however, to find tools that offered at least some of the functionality of the ex-Cisco tool. Some of our suggestions are tools with multiple features while others are more limited. Picking the best tool for your needs is, more than anything, a matter of finding one that has the features you need.
1- SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset (FREE Trial)
First on our list is a tool from SolarWinds, a company that makes some of the best network administration tools. Its flagship product, the Network Performance Monitor is known to be one of the very best network bandwidth monitors and, as such, it could be considered as an alternative to Network Magic. SolarWinds is also famous for its free tools such as the Advanced Subnet Calculator or the SolarWinds TFTP server.
But the product that provides the best match for many of Network Magic’s features is the SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset, a bundle of more than 60 useful, Windows-based network management and troubleshooting utilities. The bundle includes many dedicated troubleshooting tools. Tools like DNS Analyzer and Traceroute can be used to perform network diagnostics and help resolve complex network issues quickly. For security-oriented administrators, some of the included tools can be used to simulate attacks and help identify vulnerabilities.
The SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset also features some excellent monitoring and alerting capabilities. It includes several tools to monitor your devices and raise alerts for availability or health issues. In addition, you can use some of the included tools for configuration management and log consolidation. There are simply too many tools included with this product to review them all. Here are some of the most important and useful:
- Port Scanner
- Switch Port Mapper
- SNMP sweep
- Ping sweep
- IP Network Browser
- MAC Address Discovery
- Response Time Monitor
- CPU Monitor
- Memory Monitor
- Interface Monitor
- WAN Killer Network Traffic Generator
- Router Password Decryption
- SNMP Brute Force Attack
- SNMP Dictionary Attack
- Config Compare, Downloader, Uploader, and Editor
- SNMP trap editor and SNMP trap receiver
- Subnet Calculator
- DHCP Scope Monitor
- DNS Structure Analyzer
- DNS Audit
- IP Address Management
With so many included tools, this is the Swiss Army knife of network administrators. It covers most of the functionalities of Network Magic and then some. This is not a tool for home users, though. It is really meant for bigger networks and its got a price that matches its target audience.
Prices for the SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset start at $1 495. This is a per-named-user price so you’ll need one license for each user. Considering the amazing plethora of tools that are part of the bundle, it is certainly well worth the investment. And since a 30-day free trial is available, your best bet might be to give it a test run and see for yourself all it can do for you.
2- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor
The PRTG Network Monitor from Paessler AG, is an all-in-one infrastructure monitoring tool. It can be used to monitor usage and performance of network devices, network circuits, servers and much more. The capabilities of this tool are expandable by using PRTG sensors which can be thought of as extensions or add-ons except that they are supplied with the tool. There are some 200 sensors available covering various things such as DNS name resolution or Microsoft Exchange email delivery, just to name a few.
The PRTG Network Monitor installs easily and quickly. Paessler claims you could be running within a couple of minutes. Part of this is due to its auto-discovery feature which will discover and map all of your infrastructures. This initial scan creates a baseline against which future measurements obtained through monitoring can be compared. The tool uses several monitoring methods.
First, the device monitor uses SNMP to read operational metrics from your equipment. For a deeper insight into the network’s performance, other technologies such as NetFlow, IPFIX, jFlow, and sFlow can be used, as long as the monitored devices support it.
The PRTG Network Monitor also includes alerts which can be triggered when some monitored element is out if its normal operating range. You could also be notified whenever new equipment connects to the network as you would be able to see unusual activity, giving the tool some crude intrusion detection capabilities.
This product is available in two versions. The free version is full-featured but it is limited to 100 sensors with each monitored parameter counting as one sensor. For example, if you monitor two interfaces on a router, it will count as two sensors. Any extra sensor, as described above counts as well. For more than 100 sensors, you need to purchase a license. Their prices start at $ 600 for 500 sensors. You can also get a free, sensor-unlimited and full-featured 30-day trial version.
3- Spiceworks IP Scanner
The Spiceworks IP Scanner is a cloud-based service. As such, it is quite different from Network Magic and the differences don’t stop there, as we’re about to see. The system requires a local agent to be downloaded and run onto your computer. This tool will give you the basic network discovery and device inventory functions that were available in Network Magic. It will work with Windows, macOS, as well as Ubuntu and Debian/GNU Linux. The tool’s dashboard is web-based and, therefore, platform agnostic. It allows any user to filter and sort the list of connected devices or to optionally export the status report to a CSV file for easy analysis using external tools.
The Spiceworks IP Scanner can automatically trace all the devices that are connected to a network and take the inventory of each device’s parameters including its IP address, MAC address, hostname, manufacturer, operating system, description, and a list of open ports.
The locally installed agent handles the gathering of your system’s operational data about your network and uploads it to the cloud. For obvious security reasons, the communication between the agent running locally and the Spiceworks server is encrypted and so is the operational data kept on the server. A special access key is required from anyone in order to see the information on your network. This can prevent unauthorized third parties from being able to glean information about your network. This is not the type of tool that is left running permanently. This tool is not typically left running at all times and it is instead run in specific situations to document your network on demand.
For those looking for a tool which goes deeper, Spiceworks Inventory might be better suited. It is also a free, cloud-based product. This is a product which is likely more appropriate for small businesses as it tracks user activity as well as any software installed on devices on your network in its inventory. Contrary to the Spiceworks IP scanner, the Spiceworks Inventory can be scheduled to run periodically, giving you a near-live network monitoring tool.
4- Lizard Systems Network Scanner
Of all the tools on this list, the Lizard System Network Scanner is likely the one closest to Network Magic in terms of functionality. The software is available for free for personal use while businesses need to purchase a license for $79.95. The tool does not require admin privileges to collect data. Any user connected to any network can run a scan and get a report. While this might seem like a security risk, keep in mind that a malicious user would have to have the software installed on his computer. For extra protection, none of the included modules will authorize the modification of the network setup. This tool only gives information.
This very potent tool initially scans your network to discovers all devices. It will give you a report on the addresses and statuses of each device. There is no limit to the number of IP addresses that this utility can handle. For larger networks, you can narrow down the report to a range of IP addresses or just one device. You also have the possibility of limiting the scan to a specific device type.
The tool’s scan feature can validate network ports on each device and assess whether it is on and whether a specified user has access privileges to it. While access rights can’t be modified using the system, the information from the scan results lets each user know whether they can connect to a specific resource, such as network attached storage.
Report results can be both filtered and sorted and you can export their data to HTML, TXT, or XML formats. The Lizard System Network Scanner is specifically made for identifying devices and shared resources on the network, which also includes cataloging all the shared folders on your systems.
5. Axence Net Tools
Axence Net Tools is a free toolset which includes ten different tools. The toolset’s user interface is available in several languages besides English such as German, Polish, and Spanish. These tools will exclusively run on Windows operating systems.
The toolset’s Network, Port, and Service Scanner is the tool that is most like Network Magic. It’s got an auto-discovery feature to find all the devices connected to your network. It will then check which services are running on each device and verify that each one is operating properly. The system will, for example, specifically looks for HTTP, POP3, and SQL services. These are just a few examples, though. In all the tool will check 50 different services.
The Netstat tool—which gives a list of all open ports on your network-attached devices as well as each port’s activity—is another tool that closely mirrors some Network Magic functionality. Another tool called Local Info lists the configuration details of each device while Netcheck tests the physical attributes of your network, such as the quality of the wiring. The toolkit also includes a very useful Bandwidth Tester.
Another included tool is Netwatch which can monitor any servers on your network including mail servers. This tool has the ability to generate a report that lists the activity on a range of ports as well as the packet loss rate. The utility can also be configured to monitor the DNS entries for your host servers every ten minutes.
A Wintools utility will monitor the event logs of each Windows host on your network, reporting back on a handful of performance issues such as CPU, disk, page swapping, and memory usage. There is even an SNMP Browser which can query the status of any SNMP-enabled device.
While traceroute—or tracert on Windows—is an excellent tool that is available in most—if not all—operating systems, Axence has created its own advanced version. It can trace the location of any specified IP address and report on the performance of the network connection between you and that address. Finally, a Lookup function will let you query DNS and WHOIS information for any given address.
If your environment is mostly made of Macintosh computers you will most likely be annoyed that so many of the products on this list are only available for Windows. There is, however, an excellent network monitoring package just for Macs called NetAdmin. While it is not free, its price is very reasonable. This is not a cloud-based service but rather locally installed a software package which runs entirely on your Mac under Mac OS X. There is also a version for iOS tablets and smartphones.
NetAdmin is meant to be left continuously running to collect live traffic data on your network. You can, of course, use it in a stop-and-go fashion if you prefer. One advantage of this monitoring tool is that it can handle both wired and wireless networks. Furthermore, the tool was written with both home and small businesses in mind, making it a close match for the Network Magic audience.
The tool’s user interface boasts attractive and easy to understand graphs depicting the evolution of network performance over a user-specified time span that can range from 90 minutes to one year. Reports are also available in addition to the live dashboard and they can be exported to .pdf or .csv files for further processing. NetAdmin can be used to monitor several of your network’s operational parameters such as port usage, online or offline device status, address allocation history and network response times of each monitored device.
Being a Mac tool, NetAdmin can display Bonjour information as well as data gathered through the use of SNMP technologies. Despite the fact that this tool will on run on Macintosh computers, it can monitor other network-connected computers and devices running Windows, Linux, Unix, and mobile operating systems. It will also monitor printers, scanners, and VoIP devices.
NetAdmin, like many similar tools, is available in two versions. The basic version, which is available from the app store for $38.99, is limited to monitoring only one subnet. While this might be enough for home networks or small businesses, it might not be sufficient for larger organizations. For those, you’ll need to pick the NetAdmin Pro version. It too can be found on the app store and it will cost you $49.99.
Monitoring and managing computers are integral for IT administration and security, but it can be time-consuming and outright even overwhelming for a team of IT admins to handle an entire organization’s devices.
This is why many automation tools were developed and one of the most widely-used among them is Cisco’s Network Magic. While it was an effective way to stay on top of computers and devices, it is no longer supported because, in 2012, Linksys (owned by Cisco then) introduced its Smart Wi-Fi routers that included a lot of Network Magic’s functionality. Since then no new updates have been made to Network Magic and this has made it obsolete in today’s world.
This lack of updates to Network Magic led to the development of many alternatives. We’ll review these choices in this article to help you pick the right one that best suits your needs.
Related Post:Best Cisco Monitoring Software
Here is our list of the best Network Magic Alternatives:
- SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset – FREE TRIAL A comprehensive toolset that comes with 60 different tools to monitor different metrics for easy troubleshooting. It also automatically discovers network devices as they are added.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor – FREE TRIAL A complete solution that can be customized to meet your preferences and at the same time, helps to stay on top of your infrastructure’s performance and issues.
- Spiceworks IP Scanner This is a cloud-based tool that scans the local network to discover devices and gather information about each of them.
- HomeNet Manager Ideal for configuring and managing home and small corporate networks.
- Atera A remote monitoring and management tool for managed service providers
- Axence NetTools A set of ten tools to scan and monitor networks and provide diagnostic information about the devices.
- LizardSystems Network Scanner A handy tool for scanning networks of all sizes
- NetAdmin Pro A network monitoring tool designed for macOS, though it also works on Windows and Linux.
- Advanced IP Scanner A free and reliable tool for analyzing LAN devices.
- AdRem Mynet Toolset A reliable network diagnostic and troubleshooting tool
- Network Assistant A real-time communication utility for monitoring devices in a network
- SentinelAgent A cloud-based Windows monitoring solution that provides detailed metrics.
The Best Cisco Network Magic Alternatives
Let’s look at each of these alternatives in-depth to help you make an informed choice.
1. SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset – FREE TRIAL
SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset is a network monitoring tool that comes with more than 60 tools to handle the different functionalities offered by Network Magic and more. This comprehensive tool from SolarWinds is undoubtedly a popular choice for Network magic lovers.
Some of the important things you can do with this tool are:
- Monitor bandwidth usage in real-time
- Troubleshoot network issues
- Access configuration management tools for your router or switch
- Understand the current CPU load
- Monitors CPU temperature
- Locate DNS errors in the database
- Analyze memory utilization in real-time
- Do network diagnostics
- Understand the status of ports
- Perform network stress tests, DNS-based Blackhole List checks, and more.
- Automatically discover network devices
Starts at $1,585.
Click here for a fully functional 14-day free trial.
2. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor – FREE TRIAL
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a complete solution to stay on top of your infrastructure issues. It is ideal for businesses of all sizes and is cost-effective as well.
Here’s a look at the salient features.
- Monitors the entire infrastructure including network, devices, switches, and more.
- Supports all the popular technologies like SNMP, WMI, SSH, HTTP, Ping, SQL, etc
- Visualizes network using real-time maps
- Creates a dashboard of all your devices using a map designer that uses more than 300 map objects to represent different devices.
- Integrates all network components
- Sends alerts in the event of unusual metrics
- Allows you to customize notifications with its PRTG API
- Works well on many devices such as laptops and mobile devices (both iOS and Android)
- Includes an automatic single failover in every PRTG on-prem license
- Supports distributed monitoring
- Generates in-depth reports
- Monitors everything including IoT, cloud services, packet loss, application monitoring, and more.
PRTG is a sensor-based product, so the cost depends on the number of sensors you use. A sensor is a single aspect that you monitor on a single device. For example, if you monitor the CPU load and bandwidth consumption on a device, then it counts as two sensors.
The available packages are:
- PRTG 500 – Costs $1,750 and supports 500 sensors and one server installation
- PRTG 1000 – Costs $3,200 and supports 1000 sensors and one server installation
- PRTG 2500 – Costs $6,500 and supports 2500 sensors and one server installation
- PRTG 5000 – Costs $11,500 and supports 5000 sensors and one server installation
- PRTG XL1 – Costs $15,500 and supports unlimited sensors and one server installation
- PRTG Enterprise – Custom pricing based on your needs
There is a 30-day free trial of the unlimited version. After 30 days, it reverts to the free version that comes with 100 sensors. You have to upgrade to a paid package to use more sensors.
3. Spiceworks IP Scanner
Spiceworks IP Scanner is a cloud-based tool that scans the local network, discovers all the devices with an IP range, and provides detailed hardware and software info about each.
Below is the list of the features of this tool.
- Discovers the devices on your network automatically
- Provides detailed hardware and software information on every device including CPU, storage, memory, etc.
- Allows you to sort through the list of devices, customize the IP range, and deploy agents in your network
- You can also add agents to your devices to get in-depth information
- Makes it easy to document your IT devices
- Scans your network for unknown devices and reports the same
- Identifies security loopholes quickly
There are four plans to choose from and they are:
The price for each of these plans depends on the number of devices and users.
Click here to try the Spiceworks IP Scanner.
4. HomeNet Manager
As the name suggests, HomeNet Manager is a tool that helps to configure and manage your home network, especially when you want to optimize your bandwidth usage. This is also a neat tool to design your home network from scratch.
The important features of this tool are as follows.
- Analyzes the devices on your network and displays them graphically for a better understanding of their status
- You can configure the shared folders for your computer, view the IP address for each device, alter the router configuration, and more.
- Displays the shared resources and files
- Comes with a feature called Intruder Protection that detects and stops any hacker from entering your network and hacking your devices
- Displays the name and IP address of your ISP.
- Designs an optimal home or office network for you, depending on your needs
- Works well on all Windows devices and versions
Though it was developed by SingleClick Systems, you can download it from CNET or FindMySoft.
Atera is a remote monitoring and management tool that’s more suited for managed service providers to help them meet the service level agreements with their clients.
The features of this tool are:
- Provides complete visibility and control for any-sized network
- Comes with built-in remote monitoring software to address issues right away
- Supports real-time monitoring and sends alerts accordingly
- Monitors many aspects such as system resources, Windows updates, SQL server, SNMP-enabled devices, network, IP monitoring, and more.
- Includes preconfigured maintenance tasks that can be applied quickly to devices
- Automates patch management
- Comes with a set of remote management tools that helps you to run scripts, uninstall software, install updates, and run any command.
- Has an integrated Splashtop to provide instant support to customers
Atera offers three pricing plans, namely,
- Pro priced at $79 per technician
- Growth priced at $119 per technician
- Power priced at $149 per technician
Besides the plans, you can also include add-ons at any time. The Network Discovery add-on is priced at $29 per technician and the Work from Home via Splashtop integration costs $5/month per computer with remote access.
Click here to download a free trial of the Growth plan.
6. Axence NetTools
Axence NetTools is a set of ten tools that scans and monitors networks and provides the associated diagnostics. It works well for both home and commercial use. The ten tools are Axence NetWatch, Portscan, WinTools, SNMP, Traceroute, NetStat, Local Info, Lookup, Bandwidth, and NetCheck.
Axence NetTools comes with the following features.
- Monitors the response time and availability of multiple hosts
- Sends notifications through email, message, or sound
- Tracks the percentage of lost packets for HTTP, POP3, SMTP, FTP, SFTP, and other protocols
- Generates current and historical charts to help you understand the percentage of lost packets
- You can export data to XML, HTML, and TXT formats
- Supports TLS/SSL protocols as well
- Scans networks, ports, and services to identify open ports and the services running on each discovered device.
100% FREE network diagnostic tool.
Click here to download Axence NetTools.
7. LizardSystems Network Scanner
LizardSystems Network Scanner is a handy tool for scanning both large networks with thousands of devices and home networks with just a couple of computers. This scanner discovers devices and shared and web resources, besides checking access rights for each of them.
Here’s a look at some of the important features of this tool.
- The interface is simple and easy to use
- It uses a multithreaded scanning process, so it can scan thousands of computers every minute
- This tool can be used to scaled up or down to meet your needs
- You can filter the results using many parameters
- Checks the status and availability of a device using ping or with connection to the ports
- Scans FTP and web servers as well
- No admin privileges are needed for scanning
- Exports results to different file formats such as HTML, XML, or txt.
The personal license is free while the business license costs a one-time amount of $79.95. This includes support and maintenance for the first year.
Click here to get the free personal license.
8. NetAdmin Pro
Most tools that we’ve seen in our list are specifically geared for Windows, though some work on other platforms as well. But NetAdmin Pro is one of those rare tools built for scanning macOS computers, though it also works on Windows and Linux systems.
Let’s look at some salient features of this tool.
- It’s a fully automated monitoring tool
- Provides continuous information on the devices connected to the network
- There’s a separate version for iOS, so it can scan iPads and iPhones as well
- Supports many connected network interfaces
- Gathers SNMP information
- Provides detailed information about the network’s structure and devices
- Generates visually-appealing reports that contain all the information you want in a single place
- Automatic IP allocation to monitor hosts
- Exports data easily to PDF and other formats
- Comes with additional features such as MIB browsers
- Has a wake-on LAN
- The number of hosts in a subnet is limited to 1022, though you can change it in the preferences
A perpetual license costs $49.99.
There are no free versions or free trials. Click here to download the version from the Mac App Store.
9. Advanced IP Scanner
Advanced IP Scanner is a free and reliable scanning tool for analyzing LAN devices. The manufacturer claims that it’s being used by more than 50 million people worldwide.
Some of the things you can do with this tool are:
- Displays all the devices in a network
- Gives access to shared folders and resources to the authorized people
- Provides remote control through Radmin and RDP
- Easy to use as it has an intuitive UI
- Runs as a portable edition
- Detects MAC addresses
- Exports the scan results through CSV files
- Compatible with Windows 10
- Scans all the 65,536 ports in less than a minute
Click here to download the Advanced IP Scanner.
10. AdRem MyNet Toolset
AdRem MyNet Toolset is a network diagnostic and troubleshooting tool that scans the entire network and gathers the necessary information to make it easy for you to troubleshoot issues.
Here’s a look at the features of this tool.
- Creates a network map to give you a precise idea of the devices in your network
- You can right-click the icon of each node to understand its problem for quick troubleshooting
- Detects all the nodes
- Looks for popular network services running on each node
- Enables the personalization of the pop-up menu
- Provides easy access to common network tools
- Works well on devices that run Windows XP or higher and on servers that run Windows Server 2003 or higher.
Click here to download AdRem MyNet Toolset.
11. Network Assistant
Network Assistant, also called Nassi, is a real-time communication utility developed by a company called Grace Byte Software. This tool is well-suited for a small corporate network.
The salient features of this tool are:
- Comes with a channel-based chat, whiteboard, message board, and instant messenger for quick communication. FOur types of channels are available: general, announcer, password-protected, and private.
- Does not need an Internet connection or a dedicated server
- Provides detailed information such as the names of users who access a device, file transfers, activity tracking, remote screenshots, and more.
- Simple and efficient, and UI is easy to use as well
- Uses IP Multicast technology and serverless technology
- Provides multilingual support
- You can use graphical emoticons and the whiteboards can be shared with co-workers
- Supports file transfers
- You can create or terminate processes in the remote computer
- Allows you to define alerts for remote events
It costs $25 per license, and there’s also a free version available with limited features.
Click here to download the free version.
SentinelAgent is a cloud-based Windows monitoring solution that captures, stores, and analyzes event logs to help improve the overall health of your Windows systems and environment. It works well in home and business environments.
Below are the important features of this tool.
- Delivers real-time event logs and performance metrics from any Windows machine
- Works on all Windows versions
- Based on a SaaS design
- Comes with a sleek web interface
- Has preconfigured notifications for CPU or disk errors
The free version allows you to monitor 10 devices and keep seven days worth of data while the paid version allows you to monitor any number of devices and you can keep this data for three years.
Click here to download the free edition and click here for a 30-day free trial of the paid version.
To conclude, Cisco’s Network Magic was a great option to monitor network and device performance, but its lack of support and updates made it necessary to look at alternative solutions. The good news is that there are a ton of free and paid options with varying features, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
Our editors’ top choices are SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset and Paessler PRTG Monitor.
Magic alternatives network
- Join millions of IT professionals and download Spiceworks, a free network monitoring software with network management tools, help desk ticketing app, network mapper and more.
Spiceworks vs Network Magic opinions
- An advanced network monitoring solution to monitor network up/downtime, traffic and usage. Features include availability, performance, and bandwidth monitoring (SNMP, WMI, packet sniffing, NetFlow), instant alerts, reporting, failover clustering.
- Datapath.io is a network performance management tool which automates the process of performance optimization.It scans global internet infrastructure to find the fastest,least expensive network path with the least packet loss and optimized bandwidth.
- Axence NetTools Pro is a free and comprehensive set of host monitoring, network scanning, security and administration tools, all with a highly intuitive user interface.
- Network Performance Monitor - Easy-to-use software that delivers real-time monitoring, alerting, and reporting for routers, switches, and other SNMP-enabled devices.
- This tool is an easy way to find the MAC address of a local or remote computer on the network. Select the target and method and find the MAC address of a remote computer on the network.
- Advanced LAN Scanner 1.0 (Free) - Fast, Small, easy-to-use and highly configurable network scanner for Win32 which uses multithreading so you can scan more than 1000 elements per second!
- Network diagnostic and troubleshooting tool organizer with GRAPHICAL network map:
- Network Assistant is a multiple-mode user-friendly network communication utility, including real-time chat, shared whiteboard, message board and instant messaging. It is intended to be used in small office or home office (SOHO) local networks.
- Join SentinelAgent and the evolution of Windows monitoring.
Showing 10 of 11 alternatives
6 Cisco Network Magic Pro Alternatives
Almost a decade ago, Cisco discontinued support for Cisco Network Magic Pro. The tool was one that many network administrators used to manage device connections.
Since then, a new generation of network monitoring tools have become available that can autodiscover devices on the network and monitor them in real-time, provide network maps, reports and alerts, monitor TCP/IP connections and more. We explore the most viable Network Magic Pro alternatives.
Here is our list of the six best Cisco Network Magic Pro alternatives:
- SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset (FREE TRIAL)– Network monitoring tool designed for monitoring devices in real-time.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor – Network monitoring software with autodiscovery, network maps, and a threshold-based alerts system.
- Atera – RMM tool with network discovery, automation, patch management, and reporting.
- Spiceworks – Network monitor with an autodiscovery feature
- Network Scanner – IP scanning tool that can scan an unlimited number of devices
- Axence NetTools – Bundle of 10 network monitoring tools combining TCP/IP monitoring.
The best Cisco Network Magic Pro alternatives
1. SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset (FREE TRIAL)
SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset is a set of network monitoring tools that let you monitor performance in real-time. You can monitor include response time, memory, CPU, interfaces, and more. It automatically discovers new devices so you can monitor them. Once the devices have been located you can view them on a topology map.
The software is available with a desktop or web-based console. You use the tool to run stress tests on your network WAN which is a killer feature. A stress test generates traffic on your network to see how your resources cope under the burden of high use. You can select the Packet Size of the transmission and determine the percentage of bandwidth you want to use.
When it comes to diagnosing performance issues, you have a range of tools at your disposal in including Ping Sweep, DNS Analyzer and TraceRoute. You can use these tools to see where performance problems originate from. You also have alerts, which notify you about changing performance conditions.
SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset is worth looking at if you’re looking for modern Cisco Network Magic Pro Alternatives. Prices start at $1,495 (£1,132). You can download the 14-day free trial.
SolarWinds Engineer's ToolsetDownload 14-day FREE Trial
2. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is an SNMP-based network monitoring platform that can automatically discover and monitor devices in real-time. The program is easy to use, and you select the sensors that match the elements you want to monitor. There are sensors for everything from on-premises hardware to cloud services and applications.
For example, if you want to monitor Cisco devices then you can choose between the Cisco IP SLA Sensor, SNMP Cisco ADSL Sensor, SNMP Cisco CBQoS Sensor, and more.
Threshold-based alerts keep you notified when metrics change on these sensors. You configure alert thresholds and then the software notifies you through a range of options including email, SMS, and push notification to let you know there’s a problem. These notifications can be customized according to your needs.
A reports system gives you the option to refer back on your findings. You can create daily, weekly, monthly or annual reports for sensors to check up on how performance changes over time. Reports can be scheduled ahead of time to make sure that you always have a periodic update to check upon.
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is ideal for enterprises looking for a unified network monitoring solution. It’s also free for users who require less than 100 sensors. There are paid versions that support additional sensors starting at $1,600 (£1,211) for 500 that scale up to an unlimited number. You can download the 30-day free trial.
Paessler PRTG Network MonitorDownload 30-day FREE Trial
Atera is an RMM solution that allows you to remotely monitor devices in your client’s network. It uses network discovery to scan your network and discover SNMP devices. The user can launch automated maintenance tasks to manage remote devices including Create System Restore Point, Delete Temp Files, Delete Internet History, Reboot, Shutdown, Defragment, Check for New Updates, and more.
Similarly, there is a patch management feature that lets the user push out upgrades to devices remotely. With patch management, you can run Windows updates, install Microsoft office updates, drive updates, java updates, Adobe updates, and reboot remotely.
To enhance the monitoring experience, Atera comes with reporting and analytics. With reports, you can monitor the health and performance of devices. There is a range of different reports you have to choose from including System Health at a glance, Specific customer health, Agent health, System Inventory Audit, and more.
Atera uses a per technician pricing model, that includes unlimited devices and agents. Prices start at $79 (£59.84) per month for the Pro version with ticket management and automation features. You can start the30-day free trial.
4. Spiceworks IP Scanner
Spiceworks IP Scanner is a network monitoring tool that automatically discovers devices in your network by scanning IP ranges. When using the program, discovered devices are listed in the All Devices section which details the name, IP address, vendor, OS, MAC address, and Open Ports associated with the entity.
Once the devices have been listed, you can then use the search and filter features to find the devices you want. Performance data allows you to monitor the CPU, storage, and memory of devices. You can use Spiceworks IP Scanner in a troubleshooting context to diagnose why a computer is performing slowly or failing.
The software also has excellent support for teams. For example, you can create tickets detailing performance issues for other members of your team to respond to. Tickets help to make sure that the issues that you find actually get remedied efficiently.
Spiceworks IP Scanner is ideal if you’re looking for a network inventory tool to manage lots of devices. It’s also available for free.
5. Network Scanner
Network Scanner is an IP scanning tool that can scan a network of computers and generate a list of IP addresses. The software supports an unlimited number of devices, making it suitable for larger enterprises. Devices can be viewed in the main table view alongside a Name, Address, Latency, and a Comment. You can ping devices to verify that they’re available.
The tool is intuitive, with filters that help you navigate your scanned devices. For example, you can filter for Inactive computers to look for devices that aren’t up as they should be. You can also filter for Resources by type, and access rights, which enables you to find the information you need promptly.
You can also use the tool to check access rights to resources. Checking read/write access rights allows you to see who is permitted to access which systems. However, you don’t need any administrator privileges to run scans.
Network Scanner is recommended if you desire an IP scanning tool that’s simple. The software is free as a personal license or can be purchased for $79.95 (£60.56) as a business license. It’s available for Windows 7, 2008 R2, 8, 8.1, 2012, 2012 R2, 10, and 2016. You can download the 10-day free trial.
6. Axence NetTools
Axence NetTools is a set of ten free network monitoring tools that can monitor the availability and response time of network devices. It can monitor HTTP, POP3, SMTP, FTP, and 50 other technologies. Run network scans to discover devices throughout the network and then view the services running on those devices. The scanning feature can also detect open ports that leave you vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
The range of tools included with Axence NetTools gives you a range of different functions to work with. For example, with the TCP/IP Workshop and SNMP Browser you can view a list of processes and services, alongside HDD, RAM and CPU data. On the other hand, you can use the Netwatch feature to view present and historic performance charts on response times and lost packets.
An onboard Traceroute tool helps you to diagnostic the cause of connection problems. You can view a map of hosts and the route those packets traverse. To measure performance you can view response time to check for issues like latency. For added security, the program detects suspicious connections to Russia or China that could indicate a threat.
Axence NetTools is a reliable network performance and availability monitoring solution. As a free tool, it’s well-suited to smaller enterprises looking for monitoring tools on a budget. You can download the program for free.
Choosing a Cisco Network Magic Pro alternative
While Cisco Network Magic Pro may be a thing of the past there are plenty of modern alternatives to choose from. The network monitoring space is packed with tools that offer everything from SNMP monitoring to traceroute. In other words, there’s something suitable for your environment no matter what your needs are.
Our editor’s pick for this article is SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset on account of its real-time monitoring capabilities and reliable autodiscovery feature. The user interface is clear enough to support the management of lots of devices. Other excellent alternatives include Paessler PRTG Network Monitor and Atera.
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5 Best Cisco Network Magic Alternatives
Since the depreciation of Network Magic by Cisco, many readers have been seeking similar solutions for remote PC management, patching, or hardware setup. This can be a difficult task since Network Magic had many unique features bundled into a single program.
In this article, we’ll dive into some of the best Cisco Network Magic alternatives that are still being supported today.
Here’s our list of the best Cisco Network Magic alternatives:
- SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset – FREE TRIAL Features over 60 different networking and monitoring tools that are compatible with Windows Server.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor Extremely flexible platform with dozens of different monitors that cover infrastructure, software, application, and security monitoring.
- Spiceworks IP Scanner A free cloud service that simply scans a new network and reports back the different devices it discovered.
- Atera A remote monitoring and inventory management system that uses network discovery to automatically pull new devices into its repository.
- Axence NetTools A free bundle of tools that can perform device discovery, as well as check open ports and identify services. It is ideal for smaller networks.
What features did Network Magic have?
Before Cisco stopped supporting the software, Network Magic was an incredibly flexible tool that offered a host of monitoring capabilities along with network discovery, and alerting features.
Network Magic supported:
- Auto device discovery
- Bandwidth usage monitor per PC
- Hardware and software identification for each PC
- Cross-platform communication with PC and macOS
- Basic network troubleshooting tools
- Customized alerts
- Desktop screenshot capture
- Internet access controls
Remote Management: Network Magic featured a host of remote management tools which allowed you to manage files and data and even share them to remote PCs. This also allowed you access to a remote machine's file structure, which proved useful for troubleshooting and fixing simple problems like replacing a broken shortcut on a desktop.
Troubleshooting: The troubleshooting tools included in Network Magic were intuitive and covered many different aspects of IT infrastructure. The platform could automatically fix network connectivity issues as well as give you a detailed insight into bandwidth usage, resource consumption, and network connectivity.
Many of these tools supported an easy Wizard format which walked you through troubleshooting step by step or simply performed the tasks automatically in the background. This made a tech’s job a lot simpler, but also helped non-technical users fix problems on their own.
Parental Controls: Content blocking could be established on a per PC basis, allowing you to restrict websites or content for your children. The program could also show you exactly how many times a certain site was accessed, giving you additional context into the user session.
Total internet connectivity and usage were also reported, which could help parents get an idea of the total screen time their child was using. Having the option to restrict internet access and browsing activity without impacting the local area network was an impressive feature at the time.
Topology Mapping: Another core feature with Network Magic was the ability to map out your local area network via an autodiscovery feature. This feature is now built into many different solutions and offers a map to view a live and accurate representation of your network. From a troubleshooting standpoint, this can help determine if a device is causing issues on the network, has the wrong network configuration, or doesn’t belong there in the first place.
Alerts & Reporting: In both the free and paid versions of Network Magic came with their own alert templates and reporting features. They could export and record the IP address, MAC address, and resource utilization of each device and export it in CSV format.
In the newer programs listed below, data exports are a common feature, and many of the enterprise and business-focused tools offer in-depth integrations that allow organizations to export data to other systems for archiving, or port information directly into a ticketing system to queue in the help desk.
Nowadays many tools with similar features are geared towards enterprise use, so if you’re simply a home user looking to monitor your family network a bit better, some of these tools might be more complicated than you’re used to.
With that in mind, we’ll include some smaller home-based network monitoring tools as well.
You’ll also notice that not every tool has the exact features included in Network Magic. That is because most software tools now focus solely on either network monitoring or parental controls.
The best Cisco Network Magic alternatives
1. SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset – FREE TRIAL
SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset is truly a network technician’s best friend. This bundle of over 60 networking and troubleshooting tools vastly outperforms the features found in both the paid and free versions of Network Magic.
IT professionals will appreciate the thoroughness of each tool, and can simply take this wherever they are without having to wonder if they forgot to download or include a testing tool on their own USB flash drive.
These tools can perform a range of tasks including MAC address discovery, SNMP sweeps, port scanning, configuration management, network discovery, and a host of hardware testing tools. For stress testing, there are numerous tools such as WAN Killer, which sends mock traffic over the network to test its ability to handle capacity before being put into production.
On the hardware side CPU Monitor, Memory Monitor, and Interface Monitor offer thorough testing for each component and the ability to monitor each piece of hardware overtime with full logging capabilities. Some other handy tools for techs include a subnet calculator, DHCP, DNS auditing tool, and DHCP scope monitor, which can help quickly identify under or overutilized IP ranges.
SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset is at number one due to its vast number of helpful resources that are specifically geared towards IT professionals. With that said, even some tech-savvy home users who relied on Network Magic will be able to utilize these same tools with a little practice and research.
You can download the entire Engineer’s Toolset completely free through a 14-day free trial.
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2. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor
PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler is a staple among the IT community, and for good reason. PRTG isn’t just software, it’s an entire management platform that can be configured to monitor everything from SQL servers to PC endpoints, and everything in between.
This is achieved by PRTG’s flexible monitor agents, which all install simply but are customized to monitor that specific device. The sensor collects that data and then displays valuable information back to your centralized dashboard.
With that said, PRTG is geared towards medium to enterprise-level networks with many features that are designed to be able to scale as organizations experience growth. Small home networks could use PRTG, but will likely find it to be more complex than what they need.
On the other hand, IT professionals will enjoy the platform’s auto-discovery features and easy implementation across large networks. As the agent discovers new devices, technicians can view a real-time live map that populates devices as they enter and leave the network.
Virtually all communication is captured through SNMP monitoring alongside a packet sniffer that works live on the network to pull in data on a per-packet level. Privacy is maintained by reading only the headers of the packets.
The PRTG platform performs routine checks across the network and can alert when problems are detected, conditional rules are broken, or unusual activity is found. The alerting features are robust and have features built in to help reduce alert fatigue and remove duplicate or incessant notifications. For organizations using an on-premises help desk, alerts can be routed directly to your ticketing platform through one of many PRTG integrations.
PRTG is available as both a cloud service or on-premises solution and is free to use up to 100 sensors. You can trial PRTG yourself free for 30-days.
3. Spiceworks IP Scanner
Spiceworks IP Scanner is a free lightweight tool that installs on your network and reports network conditions back to its cloud-based service. The simple install immediately begins to scan the network and find new devices and inventory them.
For Network Magic users who use the devices feature, you’ll be happy to know that Spiceworks IP Scanner works in a similar manner, and maintains that same ease of use that Network Magic once had.
Upon scanning, details such as IP address, MAC address, operating system, manufacturer, and hostname are all presented for each device that is detected. The tool also gives a brief overview of open ports on the devices, which is useful in understanding what services may be running on an endpoint.
All communications between the network discovery agent and the backend cloud are encrypted between you, and the Spiceworks server. A separate encryption key is provided that allows you to view your network information, ensuring that no one else can view that information.
These results can be exported for additional reporting or recordkeeping in CSV format. This tool is admittedly simple, however, for those who are keen on simply keeping track of devices on their network, this does an excellent job doing just that for small and medium-sized networks.
Atera is a networking monitoring and inventory management system that is designed to serve large enterprise networks, and service resellers such as MSPs. The cloud platform includes numerous tools for tech support that are geared towards simplifying the troubleshooting session and getting issues resolved quickly.
The remote monitoring and management tools included in Atera are considerably more detailed and robust than what was once in Network Magic. From network discovery to equipment and inventory management, all changes are reflected in real-time and show the most up-to-date version of online devices.
In addition, Atera can also act as a patch management tool and allow technicians to RDP or remote into managed servers and workstations. Each device’s network status, hardware resources, and operating system details are easily accessible for review. For MSPs that are looking to start up their business or run without setting up their own hosted infrastructure, Atera is a great option, and considerably better than Network Magic in many areas.
You can test out Atera free through a 30-day trial.
5. Axence NetTools
Axence NetTools is a packaged bundle of 10 different network tools that are completely free to use in a Windows environment. While the interface may seem a bit outdated, the power behind Axence free tools is on par with many similar Network Magic alternatives for smaller networks.
Just like Network Magic, Axence features a port scanner, device discovery, and service detection for new devices. Overall the tool can detect up to 50 different services, which makes it a great fit for smaller networks, but a bit restricted for larger enterprises.
Simple tools like a built-in netstat can run and detect a device's port status, as well as list the configuration information of each device. The built-in bandwidth tool can measure usage across the network as well as narrow down bandwidth hogs based on which device traffic is coming from.
The Netwatch feature is a form of continuous monitoring that consistently checks for packet loss, ICMP drops, and the DNS resolution of the targeted hostname. A traceroute function is also included, which closely mirrors the built-in Windows traceroute command. This measures the route and performance of the test packet along the way between you and the targeted machine.
Lastly, the Wintools feature scans the Windows Event Viewer logs and pulls relevant alerts to disk usage, memory errors, CPU performance, and page filing problems. This is a great timesaver, especially for help desk technicians who know just how slow and clunky a massive log repository can be in Event Viewer.
While some of these tools and tests can be performed manually through a command prompt, it’s a great alternative to save time and offers these troubleshooting techniques to a less technical audience.
Related Post: Best Bandwidth Monitoring Software and Tools
Looking for Parental Controls?
One of the core features behind Network Magic was its ability to monitor PC activity simply, and restrict websites and internet traffic with relative ease. While the options listed above match or exceed the network monitoring capabilities of Network Magic, they lack the session-based monitoring you may be looking for.
Attempting to restrict certain sites manually, and decipher internet traffic manually is a futile task when it comes to controlling what your kids view online, and who they interact with. Using specialized parental control software makes this job easy, as they leverage artificial intelligence and known lists of “bad” sites that make blocking and restricting types of content simple.
Traditionally, network monitoring and user monitoring are separate activities that require separate software. If your focus is more centered around keeping your kids safe online, rather than monitoring the technical aspects of your network, the tools below can help.
Which Network Magic alternative is right for you?
As the years pass by, Network Magic just seemed to experience more problems, with no support or solution in sight. Switching to a tool that is supported and updated will not only help you monitor your network more efficiently but also ensure that you’re protected through security updates and patches.
If you were using Network Magic to monitor network infrastructure for a business, then switching to SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset is your best bet. With over 60 tools tailored to virtually any technician’s needs, you’ll find that the bundle far exceeds what Network Magic alone could accomplish.
Enterprise-sized organizations will benefit greatly from the PRTG platform. Its ability to scale across thousands of endpoints and offer additional monitoring through the same dashboard simplifies the monitoring and device management process as a whole.
MSPs will find that Atera suits them the best. Its lightweight installer and cloud-based structure makes adding and managing new clients easy and offers additional inventory management and per client organizational features that were not available through Network Magic.
Lastly, families who just need to monitor their children's internet activity can use tools such as NetNanny or Qustodio to protect their kids from harmful content and restrict app usage or screen time.
Related Post:Cisco Commands Cheat Sheet
Network Magic FAQ
Can I still buy Network Magic?
No, Network Magic Pro is no longer available officially through Cisco.
Is using Cisco Network Magic illegal now?
No, using the tool is not illegal. However downloading the paid version for free from unofficial sources is illegal, and considered pirating.
Why was Cisco Network Magic discontinued?
The program was discounted when Cisco came out with their Smart Wi-Fi routers. These routers were able to automatically configure themselves and join the network. This new technology made Network Magic unnecessary.
Is Network Magic broken?
While it can still be used in some cases, many find that the tool does not work as well as it did in the past. This is because there is no longer a technical team supporting the product with updates, patches, or fixes. If you run into an issue with Network Magic, Cisco will not support fixing the problem anymore.