When it comes to network monitoring, there are countless options for both the hardware and software tools you’ll end up using. The way that you monitor your network environment comes down in large part to the unique context of your network, and the specific objectives at any given moment. For example, trying to locate the source of suspicious traffic in an emergency will likely require different tools and methods to monitoring the average flow of data over a weekly or monthly period.

Network Monitoring tools are broken down into two broad groups: Active and Passive. Even though tools within the same group can include vastly different usability, features, strengths and weaknesses, Passive and Active monitoring tools refer to two entirely different monitoring methodologies. Each group has its benefits and its limitations, and as such, each is suited to a specific type of network monitoring.

In the accompanying infographic, we summarise the differences between active and passive network monitoring, how they impact the network environment, and the pros and cons of each.



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