For years, network administrators have used HWMonitor from CPUID to manage their physical infrastructure, look for performance issues, and troubleshoot
Operational hardware is the bare minimum you need to stay productive throughout the working day. However many enterprises are failing to monitor their hardware sufficiently. Amongst conscientious enterprises, the hardware monitoring tool HWMonitor is a household name but even so, at scale, it runs into limitations.
Here is our summary list of the 10 best alternatives to HWMonitor:
- This monitoring package examines server hardware, operating system, and applications, linking the three together for root cause analysis. Runs on Windows Server and scans servers running Windows Server and Linux.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL) This tool monitors networks, servers, and applications. On servers, it covers all hardware statuses and includes alerts for out-of-bounds conditions.
- Atera (FREE TRIAL) A system monitoring and management package aimed at managed service providers.
- WiNFO An infrastructure monitoring tool that covers hardware statuses. Runs on Windows.
- ManageEngine OpManager A network monitor that uses SNMP to keep tabs on the statuses of network devices. Available in Windows Server and Linux versions.
- AIDA64 A hardware monitor for Windows that is available in four editions.
- SysGauge A lightweight hardware performance monitor that runs on Windows. Available in free and paid editions.
- PA Server Monitor A monitoring tool for Windows Server, and Linux operating systems. Priced per monitored device.
- Open Hardware Monitor A lightweight, free server monitor that is available for Windows and Linux.
- Progress WhatsUp Gold A network monitor that includes device status monitoring. Can be extended to include server monitoring.
What is HWMonitor?
HWMonitor is a free hardware monitoring program that monitors the speed, voltage, temperature, fans of PCs connected to your network. The tool can tell if a device is overheating or performing poorly. HWMonitor is designed to work with ARM processes from popular providers like AMD, Intel, and VIA.
Performance data is displayed in a list table format, that shows health sensors with the data recorded from connected devices. All you need to do to find the performance data you’re looking for is to scroll down to the relevant section.
For visualizations, there is a Graphs Generator that automatically creates graphs of usage data which is saved to a log folder. You can interact with the size of graphs by clicking on Option. While this isn’t as sophisticated as some other proprietary products it does help give you a top-down perspective.
Why use HWMonitor?
The main reason you should use HWMonitor is that it is lightweight. The basic layout of the table design makes it easy to scroll and find the data you need. You won’t get lost or sidetracked by other features. It is relatively easy for you to view all the hardware information you need on-screen without too much searching.
Another good reason to use HWMonitor is that it is updated regularly. While many tools CPU monitoring tools are updated inconsistently HWMonitor has new updates every few months. Regular patches help to tighten up the monitoring experience and eliminate bugs found by users.
Beyond the technical abilities of HWMonitor the low price point is another reason to consider the tool. The standard version of HWMonitor is available for free, putting it in the reach of SME’s and larger organizations. However, there is a Hardware Monitor Pro version that includes additional logging capabilities, remote operation, and graphing. The price of HWMonitor Pro is $22.40 (£17.69) for 10 remote connections and $39.33 (£31.05) for up to 20 remote connections.
The only issue with HWMonitor is that it only shows you data points like temperatures, voltages, and frequencies. It doesn’t have the depth of monitoring features that other competitor tools have. Similarly, it doesn’t have the production value or visualization features that some other popular hardware monitoring providers have.
So we’ve had a look at the best alternatives and ranked them according to their feature and benefits, ease of use, and overall performance.
The best HWMonitor alternatives
is a server and hardware monitoring platform that provides one of the most streamlined monitoring experiences on this list. The tool can monitor the health of hardware recording information on CPU, memory, disk space, temperature, fan speed, and power supply. The user interface shows this information in a list format that you can drill down or minimize as needed.
- Server hardware monitor
- Operating system monitor
- Application monitor
- Application dependency mapping
- Root cause analysis
However, the visual elements included with SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor are more advanced than those of HWMonitor. For example, current hardware health is shown alongside green buttons to denote devices that are up. Devices in between are marked as warning and once they reach critical levels they are marked with red. You also have detailed graphs to show you the change in hardware performance overtime.
To work better with third-party vendors, SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor comes with templates for monitoring over 200 different applications. Templates are available for Windows, Microsoft IIS, Exchange, SQL Server, Active Directory, Linux, Apache, and more. So if you’re looking for a tool to monitor hardware from disparate vendors this tool is an ideal choice.
- Designed with large and enterprise networks in mind
- Supports auto-discovery that builds network topology maps and inventory lists in real-time based on devices that enter the network
- Uses drag and drop widgets to customize the look and feel of the dashboard
- Robust reporting system with pre-configured compliance templates
- Designed for IT professionals, takes time to fully explore all features and options available
The price of SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is also competitive for a premium hardware monitoring product. The price starts at $2,995 (£2,364). There is a 30-day free trial version.
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is our top pick for an HWMonitor alternative because it is easy to install and use with a discovery service that finds your applications and maps the stack of supporting services right down to hardware factors. This system has a lot more than just hardware monitoring and it can explain why the software that users access over a network is arriving slowly or hanging. The system includes a list of performance thresholds that will trigger alerts if application delivery performance drops.
Download: Get a 30-day free trial
Official Site: https://www.solarwinds.com/server-application-monitor/registration
OS: Windows Server
2. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL)
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a network monitoring tool that can also monitor hardware. With PRTG Network Monitor you can monitor the CPU, RAM, and hard drives of network devices. Devices that the tool monitors include computers, switches, routers, and printers. The tool pings devices in your network to assess response time and availability. The tool is thus a good choice if you want to monitor the performance of a wide-cross section of devices connected to your network.
- A range of hardware sensors
- Network, server, and application monitoring
- Performance alerts
- Free version
The alerts system on PRTG Network Monitor is exceptional. Sensors can be customized to notify you if a device is experiencing performance issues or outright fails. Notifications are sent as emails, text messages, and push notifications. Push notifications are available for Android and iOS devices so that you are always aware of current developments.
PRTG “Core service” is available on Microsoft Windows 2012 R2, 2016, 10, 8, 2008 R2, and 2008. For cash-strapped SME’s PRTG Network Monitor is a good choice because it uses a scalable pricing model. The product is free for monitoring with less than100 sensors.
- Uses a combination of packet sniffing, WMI, and SNMP to report network performance data
- Fully customizable dashboard is great for both lone administrators as well as NOC teams
- Drag and drop editor makes it easy to build custom views and reports
- Supports a wide range of alert mediums such as SMS, email, and third-party integrations into platforms like Slack
- Supports a freeware version, great for small businesses
- Is a very comprehensive platform with many features and moving parts that require time to learn
Paid versions of PRTG Network Monitor start at $1600 (£1,263) for 500 sensors and go up to $60,000 (£47,369) for unlimited sensors with 5 server installations. You can download the 30-day free trial.
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor Download 30-day FREE Trial
3. Atera (FREE TRIAL)
The remote monitoring and management (RMM) functions of Atera cover all hardware on a client’s site, not just endpoints. The tool supports the work of managed service providers (MSPs) and so it includes administration functions as well as monitoring utilities.
- Designed for managed service providers
- Remote monitoring
- Endpoint management
The Atera system is a cloud-based service that includes server time and space for processing and storage, so the MSP that signs up for this package doesn’t need to have any major infrastructure on its own site. The remote systems being monitored do need to have agent software installed, however. The MSPs managers and technicians access the Atera dashboard through any standard web browser. Atera also produces free apps for mobile devices to give access to the system.
The hardware monitoring sections of Atera supervise CPU, memory, and disk space, noting the potential capacity of each and monitoring utilization. Admin functions included in the tool extend to maintenance tasks, such as system backup and restore and disk cleaning and defragmentation. Other controls in the system enable a technician to audit all software on a device, install new service and programs, and shut down and startup servers and endpoints.
Technicians get remote desktop access to endpoints as part of the Help Desk support suite in Atera. This section of the Atera package also includes remote access for system exploration, patch management, and script execution for automated administration and onboarding tasks.
- Minimalistic interface makes it easy to view the metrics that matter most
- Flexible pricing model makes it a viable option for small businesses
- Includes multiple PSA features, great for helpdesk teams and growing MSPs
- Can track SLAs and includes a time tracking option for maintenance tasks
- Is highly focused on MSPs, smaller companies may not be able to utilize the multi-tenant tools available
The Atera system is charged for by subscription with fees applied per technician. The MSP can decide whether to pay for the service monthly or annually – the yearly plan works out cheaper. The subscription model of Atera makes this service very scalable and suitable for MSPs of any size. You can check out the features of Atera with a free trial.
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HWiNFO is a hardware monitoring tool with real-time system monitoring capabilities. The hardware components you can view with this tool include CPUs, GPUs, drives, mainboards, and peripherals. In terms of data, you can monitor the RAM, logical CPU number, temperature, memory speed, and battery charge of connected devices.
- Free to use
- Computer internal statuses
- Graphics card add-on
Similar to other network monitoring tools, HWiNFO offers features like alerts and reports to keep the user updated. Alerts are customizable so that you can monitor parameters of your choice. Likewise, you can generate reports in XML, CSV, and HTML to share findings with your team.
There are also add-ons to enhance the core monitoring experience of HWiNFO. Add-ons available for HWiNFO include RivaTuner/MSI Afterburner/EVGA Precision On-ScreenDisplay, Rainmeter plug-in, HWiNFOMonitor, LCDHost plug-in, and more. Each add-on adds a new feature to the program. For example, the HWiNFOMonitor extension adds a customizable sidebar that adds additional graphs for you to monitor.
- Pulls hardware data in real-time
- Supports built-in virtualizations
- Very detailed, good for overclockers and gamers
- Features customizable alerts and simple reporting
- Can even run on DOS
- Doesn’t support multiple machines
- Lacks a centralized management dashboard
- Good for single machines, not designed for company-wide device hardware monitoring
HWiNFO is the natural successor to HWMonitor and offers clear-cut but detailed hardware and system monitoring experience. The program is available on Windows in 32-bit and 64-bit. You can download HWiNFO for free.
5. ManageEngine OpManager
ManageEngine OpManager is a hardware and network monitor for Windows and Linux. The tool uses SNMP to ping devices and pulls performance data. Things you can monitor with ManageEngine OpManager include temperature, fan speed, voltage, and processor status. The software is compatible with VMware, Dell, Cisco HP, and more so you maintain complete transparency.
- Network and server monitoring
- Hardware statuses
- Free version
As a top network monitoring tool, ManageEngine OpManager also has an alerts system. Alerts are sent via email and SMS to make sure that you don’t miss anything important. When devices go down or match certain parameters alarms are raised. Alarms are divided into 4 categories; Service Down, Attention, Trouble, and Critical. These are shown as dials on the left-hand side of the alarms page.
- Designed to work right away, features over 200 customizable widgets to build unique dashboards and reports
- Leverages autodiscover to find, inventory, and map new devices
- Uses intelligent alerting to reduce false positives and eliminate alert fatigue across larger networks
- Supports email, SMS, and webhook for numerous alerting channels
- Integrates well in the ManageEngine ecosystem with their other products
- Is a feature-rich tool that will require a time investment to properly learn
There are three versions of ManageEngine OpManager available to purchase; the Standard Edition, Professional Edition, and Enterprise Edition. The Standard Edition costs $245 (£193.42) for 1000 devices. The Professional Edition costs $345 (£272.37) for 1000 devices with additional features like VMware monitoring and hyper-v monitoring. The Enterprise Edition costs $11,545 (£9,114.56) for 10,000 devices with additional features.
AIDA64 is a piece of hardware monitoring software that offers temperature, CPU, fan, speed, and disk monitoring. The tool works by using a hardware detection engine to find information on the software being used by connected devices. Being able to see what software devices are using remotely increases transparency. As an added bonus, AIDA64 also provides stress testing for your computer, hard disk, SSD, and OpenCL GPU.
- Hardware statuses
- Device stress tests
- Performance graphs
One of the reasons why AIDA64 is so widely used is because of its benchmarking abilities. Benchmarks are used to measure how fast a computer completes processes and tasks. In other words, benchmarks allow you to test for the signs of poor performance and spot hardware issues like hardware degradation.
AIDA64 is available for Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, PE, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7, 2008 R2, 8, 2012, 8.1, 2012 R2, 10 and 2016. There are four versions of AIDA64 that you can purchase; Extreme, Engineer, Network Audit, and Business. The Extreme version is aimed at home users and starts at $39.95 (£31.54). The Engineer version adds command-line automation and starts at $199.90 (£157.80).
- Designed to detect and monitor devices at scale, good for large companies and enterprises
- Can save collected information in database format
- Simple alert system is easy to use
- Acts as a lightweight RMM with options to restart machines remotely
- Less intuitive than leading products
- Interface could use improvements, graphs can be hard to read
The Network Audit version has network inventory, command-line automation, and change management for $100 (£78.94). Finally, the business edition includes all of the above with remote management for $199.90 (£157.83). You can download the free trial.
SysGauge is a system monitoring solution with a range of CPU monitoring functions. The CPU Monitor module shows information such as CPU usage, user CPU usage, kernel CPU usage, CPU interrupt rate, CPU frequency, and more. The display Is broken down into graphs and text data. The visual display is relatively basic but it is easy to read.
- CPU monitor
- GUI interface and command line system
- Operating system monitor
The program is also highly customizable. For instance, you can use the System Monitor module to configure CPU monitoring profiles for your users. Then you can select the local and remote computers that you want the user to be able to monitor. In the paid versions of SysGauge there is also a command-line interface, where you can monitor CPU usage directly.
SysGauge is available for Windows as a 32-bit and 64-bit application on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2012 R2, and 2016. The SysGauge platform is free for 10 monitors or less.
- Covers both system and hardware monitoring
- Simple and easy-to-navigate interface
- Built-in visual graphs are basic but insightful
- Only available for Windows
- Notification features could be easier to set up and implement
There are three paid versions of SysGauge: SysGauge Pro, SysGauge Ultimate, and SysGauge Server. SysGauge Pro comes with 50 monitors for $50 (£39.48). SysGauge Ultimate supports up to 100 monitors for $125 (£98.70). SysGauge Server is also $125 (£98.70) and supports up to 200 monitors with extra remote control capabilities. You can download SysGauge for free.
8. PA Server Monitor
PA Server Monitor is a hardware and server monitoring tool that can monitor Windows and Linux devices. PA Server Monitor shows you the ping, CPU, memory, and disk data on your local environment. There is also remote monitoring to monitor remote computers and other devices. The user interface is slightly outdated but still provides a high-quality monitoring experience with the potential to monitor over 1,000 servers or devices.
- Memory, disk, and CPU activity
- Performance graphs
- Monitors up to 1,000 devices
The software also has more advanced features like alerts. Alerts are sent automatically by email or SMS once a specific trigger condition has been met. The program can be configured to automatically restart a service or run a custom script to respond to issues. The automation offered by the alerts system decreases your response time when addressing performance issues.
For further detail, you can translate network usage data into reports. Reports come in the form of status reports for devices complete with uptime data. Reports are available in HTTP and can be sent by email to the rest of your team. You can also develop maintenance schedules to deactivate monitoring outside of business hours.
- Uses very few system resources, great for older hardware
- Can support over 1000 hosts and devices
- Flexible licensing makes the product affordable for all organizations
- Outdated interface
- Lacks alerting integrations into popular messaging tools
- Could use upgraded graphs and visualizations
There are four versions of PA Server Monitor available to purchase; Lite License, Pro License, Ultra License, and Corporate Ultra. You need to purchase a license for every monitored server or device. The Lite License range starts from $49 (£38.68) each for devices 1-9 up to $4 (£3.16) for 1000+ devices. For more information on pricing options, you will need to check the comparison table on the site. You can download the free trial version.
9. Open Hardware Monitor
Open Hardware Monitor is a lightweight hardware monitoring utility that is popular amongst Windows users.
- Motherboard monitoring
- CPU activity
- Graphics card checks
The program is open-sourced and can monitor temperature, CPU load, fan speed, voltage, and clock speed. All of this information can be viewed in the form of a basic table. While there isn’t much in the way of fancy features or presentation, Open Hardware does a good job of showing your computer’s performance in one window.
- Open-source community-supported project
- Quickly displays hardware specs in real-time
- Available cross-platform for both Windows and Linux
- Hasn’t been updated in quite a while
- Lacks a centralized management dashboard
- Doesn’t have any alerting or reporting capabilities
If you’re looking for a basic hardware monitoring experience Open Hardware Monitor has you covered. The program simply shows you the metrics you need and nothing more. Open Hardware Monitor is available for Linux, WindowsXP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. Check out the free download.
10. Progress WhatsUp Gold
WhatsUp Gold is a hardware monitor widely used by SME’s and large organizations. WhatsUp Gold can monitor the temperature, fan status, and power supply of your devices. The APC performance monitor tracks the power usage of connected devices automatically once they have been discovered. The program is also capable of monitoring any printer that supports IETF Printer, MIB, RFC 3805.
- Endpoints and network devices
- Power supply statistics
- Alerts for performance problems
One of the most useful features included with WhatsUp Gold is the ability to automatically discover your entire network. All connected devices are located and plotted on a topological map. From here you can view their status with up devices shown in green and failed devices shown in red.
The alerts system is also extremely useful. You can create custom alerts to notify you when a certain parameter has been met. Alerts are sent by email, SMS, Slack, web alarms, and IFTTT posts to make sure that you don’t miss out on anything.
- Uses simple visualizations to help provide at-a-glance insights
- Supports modular pricing, allowing companies to pay only for features they intend to use
- Can monitor LANs, WANs, and cloud-based applications such as container environments
- Available only for Windows Server
- Modular upgrades might not be a good fit if you intend on utilizing all aspects of a networking monitor
There are three versions of WhatsUp Gold that you can purchase: Premium Annual Subscription, Premium License, and the Total Plus License. The difference between the Premium and Total Plus license is that the latter has network traffic analysis, application monitoring, virtualization monitoring, configuration management, and more. However, you’ll have to contact the vendor directly if you want to view pricing information. Progress offers a free trial.
HWMonitor alternatives: SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor, PRTG Network Monitor, and HWiNFO
HWMonitor is a versatile tool in its own right but if you’re looking for something different or more modern, , Paessler PRTG Network Monitor, and HWiNFO stand in as great alternatives. If you have the budget then SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor offers a full-featured hardware monitoring experience that is easy to configure.
However, if a low-price point is essential then Paessler PRTG Network Monitor’s free edition is ideal. It offers higher-quality displays and visualization than HWMonitor for the same price. That being said if you would prefer something a little more simple HWiNFO stands as the natural successor to HWMonitor with alerts and plugins for those additional monitoring capabilities.
How do you read HWMonitor?
HWMonitor displays data in categories. Each category has a node point that can be expanded. Some categories have subcategories. In order to see all of the subcategories, click on the plus symbol (+) next to the category name. When a category expands, that plus sign turns into a minus sign (-). Click on the minus sign to collapse a category’s display down to its heading.
Is HWMonitor safe?
HWMonitor just reports on the output of sensors that are already embedded in the hardware of your computer. It cannot damage your equipment.
How do you run HWMonitor stress test?
An HWMonitor stress test involves pushing the performance of your computer by identifying resource-heavy processes and running them all at once. You would use HWMonitor to measure the results of the stress test.
What is VRM temp in HWMonitor?
VRM temp refers to the temperature of the voltage regulator module (VRM). This is difficult to spot in HWMonitor because the VRM doesn’t always have a temperature sensor built into it – this depends on the decisions of the manufacturer. Thus, HWMonitor doesn’t have a slot in to display format for this temperature and its position can change depending on the motherboard brand being monitored. You have to guess which is the VRM temperature – some users have reported TMPINT2 as this value.
Related: The Best Hardware Monitoring Tools & The Best CPU Temperature Monitors