If you’re reading this then there’s a pretty good chance you’re connected to a network. Either directly to the public internet via an ISP, a local network at home connected to the internet, or an office network also connected to the internet.
The world has become a giant network connected by a few gazillion devices and lots of wires; lots and lots of wires, and increasingly wireless networks. What’s that network look like on a visual map? Obviously, local networks, whether home or office are easier to track and visualize and here’s the perfect Mac tool to do the job.
Mac users– home or office or both– who want to see a network and how it’s laid out need look no further than NetworkView. The name tells the tale. You get a visual, a graphic view of the local or home network, complete with connections, routers, servers, devices– whatever is connected to the network, including devices connected via Wi-Fi.
How cool is this?
That might be more representative of your home network where a single router provides Wi-Fi access to a number of personal devices.
What about a larger, office network? NetworkView can do, too.
That’s the range from simple to complicated but network topology has many different layouts. For example, the logical view of a Layer 3 network and various IP networks and their connections are shown here.
Perhaps more useful are logical endpoint and physical endpoint maps. The former displays devices logically connect to the network, while the latter displays devices connected to a switch.
NetworkView also displays connected wireless LANs– WLAN’s– as well as virtual connections for both small office and large office networks.
Each device on the network also has popup table information with details, symbol information (which can be edited), and the all important device status settings so you can see who is online, who is not.
The private school where I work as a Mac and Windows administrator uses NetworkView and other utilities to manage and monitor the various networks that connect hundreds of devices from Mac and PC to wireless devices, printers, routers, etc.
It’s like having an entire network status operation on your Mac and it displays everything you need to know with just a few clicks.
Caveats? Yes, a few. There’s a learning curve. Devices must be new enough to provide the SNMP, ICMP, MDNS, SNMP MIB-2, Bridge MIB, LLDP and CPD data required to generate such pretty visuals of a network structure.
NetworkView is also fun to use and there’s now a try-before-you-buy evaluation version.