Network TroubleShooter Is Software-Only

Observer 4.0, from Network Instruments, is a software-only, Windows 95/NT-based protocol analyzer and network troubleshooting tool available for Microsoft, UNIX, Novell, Apple, DEC and IBM networks. Priced at $695, it lets administrators monitor bandwidth utilization; collect statistics in both list and chart form by user, packet size, or protocol; capture, view, and decode LAN traffic; and set triggers and alarms to pinpoint critical problems. Douglas Smith, Network Instruments president, points out that "Observer now provides the same level of functionality and speed that hardware-based analyzers have traditionally provided -- at thousands of dollars less."

This new version features a Web Observer mode for tracking local Web server status; network error reporting; auto-discover of IP addresses, NetWare login names and NetBIOS names; and many new functions. A full-featured demonstration copy can be downloaded from the firm's Web site. Network Instruments, LLC, Minneapolis, MN, (800) 526-7919,

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This article originally appeared in the 08/01/1997 issue of THE Journal.