Networking and Hardware Blog

Free Tool(s) of the Week: More NetWrix!

netwrix I wrote about NetWrix’s Inactive Users Tracker last week, but there are quite a few free tools at NetWrix that are worth your time. Ranging from such tasks as auditing Active Directory (AD) and file servers, blocking USB devices, and managing passwords, NetWrix’s freeware tools provide essential functionality after one simple download. All NetWrix freeware is good for time-unlimited business usage at no cost. Here are 10 of the company’s best free tools:

1) Active Directory Change Reporter: This is a simple auditing tool that keeps tabs on what's going on inside AD. The tool tracks changes to users, groups, OUs, and all other types of AD objects, sending daily summary reports with full lists of specific changes.

2) USB Blocker: The increasing mobility of flash drives, MP3 players, cell phones, and iPods makes the threat of data theft greater than ever, and with a couple clicks of the mouse, this aptly named tool blocks unauthorized usage of removable media via USB ports. USB Blocker hardens endpoint security by preventing the spread of harmful malware and restricting the removal of confidential information.

3) Password Expiration Notifier: This tool automatically reminds  users to change their passwords before they expire, helping keep busy Help desk administrators safe from password reset calls. It works nicely for users who don't log on interactively and, thus, never receive standard password-change reminders at logon time (e.g., VPN and OWA users).

4) Inactive Users Tracker: Last week’s free tool tracks down inactive user accounts (e.g., terminated employees, graduated students) so you can easily disable or remove them to eliminate potential security holes. The tool sends reports on a regular schedule, showing what accounts have been inactive for a configurable period of time (e.g., 2 months).

5) File Server Change Reporter: File Server Change Reporter detects changes made to files, folders, and permissions, and tracks newly created and deleted files. Automated daily reports highlight each change with all "who, what, when, and where" information of every modification. The tool is useful for detecting mistakenly deleted files and it allows quick backup recovery in case of accidental changes to important files.

6) Active Directory Object Restore Wizard: Active Directory Object Restore Wizard provides granular object-level and attribute-level restore capabilities that allow administrators to roll back unwanted changes (e.g., mistakenly deleted users, modified group memberships).

7) VMware Change Reporter: VMware Change Reporter tracks and reports configuration changes in VMware Virtual Center settings and permissions.

8) Windows Service Monitor: This simple monitoring tool alerts administrators when one or more Windows services suddenly stop working on a given server. The tool also detects services that fail to start at boot time, which sometimes happens, for example, with Exchange Server.

9) Virtual Machine Sprawl Tracker: Uncontrolled creation of virtual machines (VMs) that are rarely if ever used consumes physical resources and diminishes the value of virtualization. This common drawback is typically called "VM sprawl." NetWrix VM Sprawl Tracker is designed to address the issue of VM sprawl via tracking of VM activity over time and reporting of VMs that have been inactive for too long.

10) Disk Space Monitor: Even with today's terabyte-large hard drives, server disk space tends to run out quickly and unexpectedly. This monitoring tool will send you daily summary reports regarding all servers that are running low on disk space.

You can browse the entire line of NetWrix freeware tools.

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