The Dude is a versatile network monitoring application, ideal for dealing with a small network infrastructure. It provides you with all the basic features of a visual network management software and strives to bring to the table some of the tools used by experienced network administrators.
This approach is probably what leads to the intimidating user interface. The main functions of The Dude are easily accessible but the wide range of options, settings and commands might scare the inexperienced user at a first glance. This is but a minor setback, since after browsing through the application a bit, things tend to become familiar.
After scanning the network, The Dude presents users with an adjustable visual interface of the network structure. All computers, routers, file servers or web servers are displayed using a set of icons to differentiate them, all being presented in a web-like manner. You can easily drag any of the network items you are interested in, and rearrange the structure to your liking.
You can add new devices, networks or submaps to the visual representation of the currently discovered items by simply providing the IP address or the subnets, thus extending the framework.
With The Dude you can easily get the IPs, MAC addresses or the services running on any of the machines on the network. You can perform a wide set of actions on any of the computers in the network and use the monitoring protocols to get notifications for all important changes.
You can ping, traceroute, probe, scan or use the remote connection to get information on computers or routers on your network. Furthermore, the application provides you with valuable charts and statistics regarding the performance of your network.
If you are looking for a free network management solution, then you should give it a try and see what it does for you.