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How Do I Choose the Best Network Mapping Software?

Information Technology professionals and office managers often use network mapping software.
Article Details
  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Network mapping is the act of creating a diagram that illustrates the connectivity of servers, computers, and other related devices and components that are part of a network. In order to create clear, thorough network diagrams, many professionals such as Information Technology (IT) professionals and office managers, use network mapping software that is installed or downloaded onto a computer. To choose the best network mapping software, it can be useful to consider the size and number of networks that you need to map, the features that you would like from the software, and the amount of money you want to spend.

Varieties of network mapping software range from the simple to the complex. Those who need only to map a small number of computers and work stations, one server, and other components, such as printers, may want to consider software that includes the minimal amount of icons and modules. Professionals who choose this simpler kind of software are normally dealing with Local Area Networks (LANs) in small offices.

IT professionals and business managers who are responsible for Wide Area Networks (WANs) that span across several locations and which may contain hidden or un-discoverable components often want a more complex network mapping software. This kind of software can provide users with a number of different modules and viewpoints. The number of icons in this kind of software is often much greater.

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Different kinds of network mapping software come with varying features. One of the most common features is the ability to create your own icons and labels. This is a great choice for professionals who are mapping complex systems with ever changing functions and components. Individuals who are more interested in saving time and mapping simple networks often prefer mapping features that contain default icons and labels.

The prices of different kinds of network mapping software also vary. Some types can be downloaded for free online. These tend to be some of the more simplistic kinds of software with limited icons and modules. In general, as the price of the network mapping software increases, the complexity and number of different functions also increases. Choosing the best software is often a matter of determining the complexity and number of features you need versus the amount of money that you have on your budget.

Many professionals who must use this kind of software choose to take recommendations from colleagues who have had good experience with a certain kind of software. Others may choose software that is well established and which has served a number of high profile clients. A good way to choose the best software may be to learn which kinds are used by businesses and organizations similar to your own.

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