Hi, I am IT for an office of about 10 employees and up to 12 computers or so in the office. I'm looking into upgrading our cable and getting on DOCSIS 3 and faster speeds. However, before I start buying new offerings from our ISP and replacing the modem and potentially older router/switch, I'd like to be able to run some kind of benchmarks, speed tests, or otherwise record what we have now to compare against after the upgrades.
Some examples, maybe weekly our connection drops one or two times, maybe only a minute or so, but up to 5 or 10 minutes in the past. So I'd like to record things like how stable our connection is, track over time how fast and slow it gets, packet loss, ping times, etc etc...
We happen to use Thunderbird as a desktop email client, and more often than not it times out when connecting to outgoing server (ISP's server) and we have to retry to send. So if there is some way to track on individual PCs what their network usage looks like, to see if their quality goes up after upgrades? If I can track packet loss, retry attempts, timeouts, DNS lookup times, how often or how slow it takes for their systems to connect to web pages, etc.
As of now I have zero network monitoring, haven't had the time to implement anything. I'd like some kind of network-wide tracking/monitoring/benchmarking/testing/reporting/logging/error tracking program that is robust and easy to manage from a single location that I can use to troubleshoot and benchmark/test with and find network bottlenecks and errors.
I'll work up from any freeware utilities to paid-for services as well, I know something like this probably won't be free, but we can't afford enterprise class stuff either. I'd rather have a one-time purchase than have to pay every month as well. It needs to be out of the way, not very impacting on system resources or slow down PCs, and support mainly Windows XP and 7. We have a peer-to-peer network, no servers at the moment. And occasionally use wireless on laptops and cell phones/devices.
If possible, network mapping and being able to look for vulnerabilities in security would be great! If I could see at a glance things like what IPs are connected, with their computer names and such, how secure the wireless is, and more.
Thanks for any suggestions!