IP addresses are a means of identifying and locating network hosts and monitoring them forms an integral part in the job of a system/network administrator. Every device or application that connects to a network must be assigned an IP address. Keeping track of these addresses, therefore, helps you know who is connected to your network, when they connected, their location, how long they have been connected. This is invaluable information that can help you identify network abuse and trace network breaches in the event they occur. IP address tracking is also critical in preventing network conflicts that may occur when more than one device uses the same IP address. This is more common than you might imagine.
IP Address Tracking Options
So how exactly do you ensure effective IPAT in your network? You could adopt the use of excel spreadsheets but this is an outdated approach that may not be very practical to execute on a medium to large network that utilizes a dynamic IP address system. Also, when you factor in the increased need for IP addresses brought about by VoIP, RFID and other technologies like mobile networks then you begin to see why it will be hard keeping up with the tracking process. But even on a small network, why go into the trouble of tracking the addresses manually when there are tools that could automate the process.
And thus forms the basis of our article. The best software to track IP addresses in your network. The reason many organizations opt for excel spreadsheets is that it does not require any investment in form of hardware or software. But the good news is that our selected product, SolarWinds IP Address tracking software, is completely free. Which is more than I can say for other similar products.
Oh, another reason you might want to consider IP address tracking is for compliance purpose. Some regulations may require that you produce logs outlining the devices and applications that were assigned a certain IP address over a certain period. A proper tracking software will make it easy to retrieve this kind of information.
SolarWinds IP Address Tracker
SolarWinds IP Address tracker is a derivative of their IP Management Software (IPAM) with some features scrapped off to make it a dedicated IP Address Tracker. The reduced functionality is a good thing because now you have an excellent free product from arguably the best developer of Network Management Tools to track your IP addresses.
The software allows you to manage up to 254 IP addresses which is quite impressive for a free software. It performs automatic scans of your network and can easily detect IP address conflicts after which it notifies you. Also by keeping tabs on the available addresses, you will be able to tell when you have exhausted IP addresses.
Since this software keeps a history of all IP addresses and event logs it makes it easy for you to go through past records to better understand a present problem. It will also help in complying with certain regulations that require log data on the allocation of IP addresses in your network.
Also worth noting is this software’s ability to track IP addresses in subnets. Its installation process is also quite easy and features a help wizard to guide you through various configuration processes like adding a subnet. For better tracking, this IP address tracker allows you to add comments to any selected address.
SolarWinds IP Address Tracker
With that said, this software is ideal for you if you are monitoring a scale-able network and should the network expand, you can switch to the SolarWinds IP Management Software which can monitor up to 2 million IP addresses and comes with numerous other functionalities like management of DNS and DHCP servers.