6 Unbelievable Free Network Diagram Tools
At some point, every
administrator will need to diagram a network. For some, it's their primary duty
-- and they tend to rely on powerful, expensive tools like Microsoft Visio. But
for those who need to use a diagramming tool only occasionally, a cheaper solution
is best. Luckily, there are several free apps that handle the task well.
Here are five tools that can help
you diagram your network without breaking your budget. Some are Windows-only,
while others are cross platform.
developed primarily as a CAD tool, but it also serves as a handy network
diagramming tool. It's a 2D vector editor for Windows. Although it doesn't have
all the bells and whistles of some costlier tools, it can handle the task of
diagramming your network with ease.
Dia is an
open source, GTK+ diagramming tool that has a shallow learning curve and can
help you create basic network diagrams. Like CADE, Dia was inspired by Visio —
but with a much more casual approach and feel. Dia loads and saves XML
formatted documents that are gziped by default to save space. Dia is also
available for Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Diagram Designer is another freeware tool that suffers (like Dia) from looking a bit on the
outdated side. But Diagram Designer’s ease of use should certainly make up for
the old-school feel of the application. DD features include customizable
template objects, a spell checker, import/export (WMF, EMF, BMP, JPEG, PNG,
MNG, ICO, GIF, and PCX), a slide show viewer, a graph plotter, a calculator,
MeeSoft Image Analyzer integration, and compressed file format.
Gliffy is the only Web-based tool on this
list. It’s easy to use and it works on any platform. With the ability to drag
and drop shapes from numerous object libraries, you can have your network
diagram ready in no time. You can use Gliffy for free, but if you really want
to get into creating some diagrams, you may want to pony up the $4.95/month fee
for 200 diagrams, 200 MB of storage, public and private diagrams, and unlimited
yEd is a Java-based tool that’s available for Windows and Linux. It has a great
user interface and features diagram creation, auto-layout, data import
(GraphML, Excel XLS, GEDCOM, GML, XML), and data export (PDF, SWF, JPG, GIF,
BMP, and HTML image maps). The auto-layout feature is particularly cool. It
uses a wide range of sophisticated layout algorithms to automatically arrange
your diagrams, saving you time and effort.
Office Visio Professional 2007 is
helping IT and business professionals worldwide visualize, analyze, and
communicate complex information, systems, and processes. Extend Office Visio
2007 programmatically or integrate it with other applications to fit your
industry-specific scenarios. Develop your own custom solutions and shapes, or
use those from Visio Solution Providers. Embed and program the Visio drawing
environment to include the power of Visio in any smart client application.
The all above tools are free for
use, Use these tools and describe you network diagram and each network point,
full feature and support on Windows and Mac OS.