Featured Freeware Tools for IT Professionals 2012

Check out the new list of tools for change auditing, identity management, system monitoring and end-point security.
Most of these tools are winners of multiple awards and received highest points from industry experts.

Netwrix Active Directory Change Reporter: The product keeps tabs on what's going on inside your Active Directory, tracks changes to users, groups, OUs, and all other types of AD objects and fills major gaps found in native Microsoft tools. This is the newly updated freeware edition with enhanced reporting capabilities. E.g. now the modification events indicate "before" and "after" values for all modified settings.

Netwrix File Server Change Reporter: Detects changes made to files, folders and permissions, and tracks newly created and deleted files.

Netwrix Active Directory Object Restore Wizard: A part of Netwrix Active Directory Change Reporter, this product provides granular object-level and attribute-level restore capabilities that allow administrators to rollback unwanted changes (e.g., mistakenly deleted users and OUs, modified group memberships, etc).

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Netwrix Password Manager: Simple solution that allows users to reset forgotten passwords, troubleshoot account lockouts and unlock their accounts.

Netwrix Inactive Users Tracker: Tracks inactive user accounts (e.g., terminated employees, graduated students) so you can easily disable or remove them to eliminate potential security holes. The tool sends reports on a regular schedule, showing what accounts have been inactive for a configurable period of time (e.g., 2 months).

Netwrix Change Reporter for System Center Virtual Machine Manager: This 2011 and 2010 Windows IT Pro Community Choice and Editors' Best Award-winner tracks and reports changes in VMware Virtual Center settings and permissions, such as newly created virtual machines, containers, alerts, ESX servers and more.

Netwrix Group Policy Change Reporter: This Group Policy auditing tool sends daily reports detailing every single change made to Group Policy configuration.

Netwrix Event Log Manager: Freeware event log consolidation, alerting and archiving tool that collects event logs from multiple computers across the network.

Netwrix Password Expiration Notifier: This tool automatically reminds users to change their passwords before they expire, helping keep busy helpdesk administrators safe from password reset calls.

Netwrix Non-owner Mailbox Access Reporter for Exchange: A simple tool that detects all situations when administrators and other users have gained access to another user's mailbox.

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We like the free use of Netwrix AD Change Reporter and feel the pricing is quite affordable; the product offers exactly what is needed without the extra frills that raise the price of software, which are often unused. We always recommend this software to our clients.” - Chad Stewart, Compliance Auditor.

Network Administrators working with Microsoft Active Directory will see a great return using Netwrix AD Change Reporter.” - Derek Schauland, TechRepublic.

Since implementing Netwrix Password Expiration Notifier, our helpdesk has seen trouble tickets relating to passwords completely disappear.” - Benjamin Powell, IT Services Engineer at Tandberg.

We needed a way to notify some of our clients that use our Exchange system about their AD passwords expiring because their PCs were not on our windows domain. The Password Expiration Notifer allows us to send the clients to a web interface where they can change their passwords before they expire, and it has been most helpful to us and our clients.” - Kirk Shankle, Network Administrator, MedSynergies.

Without restoring full [Active Directory] backups... at the transactional level, this is really compelling... In a free utility! Kudos to these guys for putting this utility out there and allowing that much power for free!” - Doug Toombs on RunAs Radio podcast.