This blog introduces six industry-standard tools and applications that will be heavily relied upon on a daily basis by network engineers. These are tools that those who aim to be network engineers should familiarize themselves with.

Must Have Applications For Network Engineers
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Six Main Applications:

Putty – I use it every single day at work. It allows for connection profiles – takes information about the device (IP address, name, keyboard lay out, log in, etc.) and save it for future use.

  • Free – Lightweight – Portable
  • Runs from your desktop
  • Can be used without needing to be installed
  • Runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Wireshark – I use this for troubleshooting network communications at the packet level (host level).

  • Aids in-depth troubleshooting
  • Used from the security side to check for packets with hidden data
  • Runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Microsoft Visio – I use this primarily for documentation. It gives you the ability to depict the architectural layout of IT systems. There you can create and show various types of network diagrams, data flows, rack elevations, etc.

  • Only for Windows
  • Not Free
  • Get familiar with it!

BONUS – Free alternatives to Visio include:

Python – This is the preferred programing language for network engineers.

  • Powerful and free
  • Easy to learn
  • Ability to be integrated with other tool sets
  • Key for bigger environments because it automates repeatable tasks

WinSCP – This is a tool I use for sending/receiving files over SCP and SFTP.

  • Free tool
  • For Windows only
  • Great for pushing network devices’ software packages from management workstations
  • Easy to use = drag and drop

Notepad++ – This is a text and source code editor software I used frequently.

  • Free and only for Windows
  • Autosaves
  • Tabs for multiple files so it is easy to go back and forth in between tabs
  • Plug-ins

The Wrap Up

New to IT, and wanting becoming a network engineer? Spend some time with these tools and understanding how they work and how they can make your job a lot easier.

There are many more tools than these, and I’ve gotten some decent feedback on some other ones to include in the list, so keep your eye out for a Part 2!