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What is network mapping software?

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Quick Answer

Network mapping software automatically scans a network to determine what devices are on the network and what they are connected to. Network mapping is useful in a variety of technical and troubleshooting areas, as the process yields a significant amount of information about the network

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Network mapping software doesn't just map out computers that are connected together; it can map out other devices on a network as well. Routers, modems, switches, printers, fax machines and similar devices can all be added to a network map if they are connected to a network. Information about these devices may also be obtained from the network mapping software, such as ink levels in printers or whether or not a computer is turned on. Some network mapping software doesn't show this level of detail, and just creates a view of the network showing how each device is connected.

Network maps are used to monitor devices, troubleshoot network connectivity issues and identify bandwidth problems in a network. If, for example, a network map reveals that the connectivity speed between two devices has dropped, a technician can quickly correct the issue before it becomes a major burden on the network. Information like this is hard to obtain without an overhead view that network mapping software provides.

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