Free Networking Software: 10 Downloads

Free downloads for Wi-Fi installation and troubleshooting, traffic monitoring, remote desktop and sharing, and password recovery.


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Posted August 18, 2010

Eric Geier

Eric Geier

This isn't another laundry list of freeware or free trial applications. We're going to review ten hand-picked, totally free, applications and tools that will help you install, troubleshoot, and use your network.

We'll touch on a variety of solutions helping you with remote desktop and sharing, traffic monitoring, password recovery, Wi-Fi installation and troubleshooting, and more. Now let's get started!


Windows gives you Remote Desktop (RDP) to access your computers when away from the office, but it's not as user-friendly or feature-rich as other solutions. Unlike Microsoft's RDP, TeamViewer works on all Windows editions and it supports Mac OS X as well. However, just remember TeamViewer is only free for personal use or non-commercial use.

You can remote control another's desktop, present your desktop, transfer files or establish a VPN between users. All this without configuring your router or firewall like you would have to with Remote Desktop. Instead of identifying each other by IP addresses, which usually change often, you just have to swap IDs and passwords.


This is a relatively new tool that serves as a front-end to a new wireless feature in Windows 7 that Microsoft calls Wireless Hosted Networks, which lets you create a virtual a wireless router with your wireless adapter.

This tool has several different uses. It could offer Wi-Fi access in a router-less network, where the Windows 7 machine is hooked directly to the Internet modem. You could share an Internet connection at a hotel or Wi-Fi hotspot to other Wi-Fi devices and users, while only paying for one connection. It might even come in handy to extend a Wi-Fi signal.


This tool listens to your network and Internet traffic and displays detected passwords. You can, for example, recover passwords saved (behind the asterisks) for websites or e-mail you lost or forgot. You might even use it to demonstrate, to yourself or others, the insecurity of clear-text protocols. The particular protocols it supports include: POP3, IMAP4, SMTP, FTP, and HTTP. Simply start scanning, login to sites or services, and watch the passwords appear.

Read the rest at Practically Networked.

Tags: software, networking, network management, download

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