Best Hardware Monitoring Tools and Software

A hardware monitoring tool is necessary to catch problems early on and reduce the likelihood of a node or server platform going down.

Causes of hardware failure range from malware to old age. Implementing hardware monitoring software is essential for gaining visibility over device performance.

The challenge is that it’s not always easy to spot when any hardware is failing either. Using hardware monitoring software to spot problems early on is critical for staying online.

Here’s our list of the best Hardware Monitoring software (Includes PC):

  1. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor EDITOR’S CHOICE The industry leader from a provider of a suite of infrastructure monitoring tools. Runs on Windows Server and can monitor CPU, memory, disk space, fan speed, and power supply and app performance to keep you on top of aging hardware. Start 30-day free trial.
  2. NinjaOne (FREE TRIAL) – formerly NinjaRMM – a remote monitoring and management package that covers all hardware on a business site from the network devices through to desktops and servers. This package also includes processes for managing software and it is a SaaS platform.
  3. FirstWave Open-AudIT (FREE TRIAL) The basis of this system management tool is the automated asset discovery and auditing of all devices on your network. Installs on Windows Server and Linux.
  4. Atera (FREE TRIAL) A cloud-based system monitoring and management package aimed at managed service providers that can monitor hardware throughout a network.
  5. ManageEngine Endpoint Central (FREE TRIAL) A unified endpoint management system that provides automated onboarding and asset management for desktops, mobile devices, and removable storage. Available as a SaaS platform or for installation on Windows Server.
  6. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL) A unified network, server, and application monitoring tool that can be fine-tuned by selecting which hardware monitoring sensors to turn on.
  7. Datadog Infrastructure Monitoring A cloud-based infrastructure management and monitoring package that includes infrastructure monitoring plus other useful system monitoring utilities.
  8. TeamViewer Remote Management This cloud-based package offers monitoring of systems no matter where they are located.
  9. Zabbix A free, open-source infrastructure monitor with an attractive interface. Installs on Linux.
  10. CPUID HWMonitor A basic hardware monitoring program. Available in free and paid versions.
  11. HWiNFO A real-time network hardware monitor that focuses on device statuses. Runs on Windows.
  12. Open Hardware Monitor Free, open-source hardware monitor software that installs on Windows and Linux.
  13. AIDA64 A hardware and application monitor packaged in four editions that is aimed at SMEs. Installs on Windows.
  14. SysGauge Reports on the statuses of all equipment that is connected to the network. Available in free and paid versions. Runs on Windows.

Server hardware monitoring

The term “server” is used both for a physical computer and for applications. Examples of software systems that are often called “servers” are a “webserver” and an “FTP server.” When looking for server software, it is important to be very clear in your mind exactly what you are hoping to monitor. Virtual servers complicate the concept of a server even further. Virtualization creates a “virtual machine” (VM), which is supported by a server – in this case a software-defined server. Both the VM and the virtual server run on a physical server.

When examining application servers and physical servers, you will be watching different sets of metrics. For a physical server, for example, you will need to watch the power supply, fan speed, internal temperature, and environmental temperature – these might be factors that need to be monitored on the rack rather than the server itself.

Monitoring physical, virtual, and software-created servers requires watching CPU, memory, and disk capacity and usage. In each case, these same titles might be referring to different things. It is possible to reserve memory and disk space for specific applications, so if a virtual server is running out of memory, that doesn’t mean that the physical server that it runs on has no memory to spare.

The best hardware monitoring software – includes PC

Hardware monitoring software provides you with a centralized platform to monitor the health and performance of connected devices. These tools offer visual displays that highlight faults with notifications and alarms.

Our methodology for selecting PC and hardware monitoring software

We reviewed the market for PC and hardware monitoring software and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:

  • A system that includes device discovery routines that relaunch constantly
  • A software scanning tool that creates an inventory
  • Constant availability checks for all devices connected to a network
  • Options for remote management across the internet
  • Event logging features for data protection standards compliance
  • A free trial period or money-back guarantee for assessment
  • A good mix of tools that reduces costs and justifies its price

1. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (FREE TRIAL)

SolarWinds SAM-NodeDetailsSummary

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) is a hardware monitoring tool that can identify performance issues throughout a network. The tool can monitor CPU, memory, physical disk space, fan speed, and power supply. All of this information is shown to you in the form of a dashboard that provides you complete visibility over your network status and the usage of Windows applications, Linux applications and server resources whether they are located on-premises or in the cloud. You can monitor Azure, AWS IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services.

Key Features:

  • Monitors key server statuses
  • Integrates with network management modules
  • Alerts system
  • Attractive data graphs

Why do we recommend it?

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor tracks important server hardware statistics while also recording all software activity. This is an important link that pure hardware monitors lack because the tool can immediately show which applications are placing a heavy load on a server. By correlating the statuses of both hardware and software, a technician can immediately see a way to lower the strain on CPU and combat any overheating problems.

The installation process offered by SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is incredibly lightweight. You can start the installation and automatically discover devices connected to your network. It takes less than an hour to be up and running to monitor your local environment.

SolarWinds Server and Application monitor screenshot

Once the installation is complete you can start to customize the monitors you deploy to manage your environment. The Component Monitor Wizard helps you to choose what service or application you want to monitor. Having this level of control makes sure that you have complete visibility throughout your hardware stack.


Who is it recommended for?

This tool is aimed at businesses that rely heavily on their own servers so small businesses and companies that use cloud services more than on-premises systems probably wouldn’t get the most value out of the Server & Application Monitor. Although this package has an excellent application performance monitor that can track cloud-based operations in it, its competitive advantage over pure APM systems lessens when applied to off-site applications.


  • Intuitive interface can scale and monitor devices at an enterprise level
  • Monitors granular details like clock speed and fans speed, often not found in other solutions
  • Supports virtual hardware monitoring as well as cloud-based services
  • Leverages autodiscover to quickly find devices
  • Simple and fast setup, even for larger networks
  • Built-in graphing tracks usage historically and in real-time


  • Built for networking professionals in a business setting, not for home users or hobbyists with a single machine

SolarWinds SAM is a natural choice for those SMEs searching for low-maintenance but highly effective hardware monitoring software. The price starts at $1,622 (£1,224). You can download the 30-day free trial version.


SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is one of the most powerful tools for monitoring & preventing performance issues that stem from hardware malfunctions and failures. It has an intuitive and customizable dashboard that makes it seamless for you to optimize your resources and prevent server outages.

Get 30 Day Free Trial:

OS: Windows Server 2016 or later

Read more: Step-By-Step CPU Benchmark Test

2. NinjaOne (FREE TRIAL)

NinjaOne Alerts

NinjaOne – formerly NinjaRMM – is a SaaS package of system monitoring and management tools. This platform is designed for use by the technicians of managed service providers (MSPs). However, the package can also be used by the It Operation departments of multi-site businesses. This bundle includes manual and automated tools that can manage network hardware, desktops, and servers. It also includes procedures to manage software.

Key features:

  • Covers all types of IT system hardware
  • Accesses remote sites
  • Provides monitoring services
  • Includes automated maintenance tools

Why do we recommend it?

NinjaOne is able to monitor and manage remote systems. This includes its service for monitoring the hardware of endpoints and also the software that runs on it. The tool provides alerts for issues such as overloaded CPUs or memory exhaustion, which enables support technicians to take action in order to lower the load on each device.

The NinjaRMM service includes a discovery routine that identifies all devices connected to the network and logs them in a hardware inventory. This service operates continuously, so any new hardware added to the network will immediately be recognized.

The hardware monitor works on an alerting mechanism. This is particularly focused on resource utilization and operates through a series of thresholds on specific indicators. Examples of the types of attributes that thresholds monitor are CPU utilization, available disk space, and switch memory availability. If a threshold is tripped, the NinjaOne service will generate an alert in the form of a notification that is routed to a technical team member through the integrated ticketing system.

Who is it recommended for?

NinjaOne is an RMM system for managed service providers (MSPs). Its selling point is that it enables the MSP to squeeze the maximum value out of each technician. This enables an MSP to bid competitively for contracts. While the system would also work well for the central IT departments of multi-site organizations, the multi-tenant architecture of NinjaOne would only be of use to MSPs.


  • An included ticketing system for task allocation and goal monitoring
  • A service that automatically watches over acceptable system performance
  • A notification service that is based on adjustable resource usage thresholds
  • A package of network, endpoint, and software monitors
  • The ability to monitor multiple sites simultaneously


  • Not ideal for monitoring Linux devices

As a SaaS package, NinjaOne doesn’t require any software to e installed on your site. However, the monitored location needs agents installed. The dashboard is accessed through any standard web browser from anywhere. The company doesn’t publish a price list, so you need to request a quote. NinjaOne is available on a 14-day free trial.

NinjaOne Start 14-day FREE Trial

3. FirstWave Open-AudIT (FREE TRIAL)

FirstWave Open-AudIT Dashboard

FirstWave produces a range of IT system monitoring and management tools and Open-AudIT is the hardware and software inventory management module in the suite. The first task that this auditing tool will perform is a network sweep, automatically discovering and auditing each device for hardware, software, services, and operating systems.

Key Features:

  • Fast asset discovery
  • Configuration management
  • Software inventory
  • Capacity tracking

Why do we recommend it?

FirstWave Open-AudIT provides device discovery, hardware warranty management, capacity logging, and utilization tracking for hardware as well as many services for monitoring and managing software. The discovery process in the package rescans the network constantly, so your hardware inventory is kept constantly up to date.

The Open-AudIT service operates as a configuration manager. It takes an image of each device’s settings and then stores it. The asset discovery sweep can be scheduled to suit any cadence, with each device audit, the service resamples the device’s configuration and reports on any changes. Another security benefit of Open-AudIT is that it can spot unauthorized devices connected to the network.

FirstWave Open-AudIT Devices Asset Tracking

All results of system scans are stored in a database, so they can be referenced at any time. As well as creating and managing a hardware and software inventory, the Open-AudIT system produces scheduled audit reports. The dashboard for the system shows live scan results and offers historical data analysis tools.

Who is it recommended for?

This tool is a good option for IT departments. Other tools on this list that compete well with Open-AudIT are mainly designed for use by MSPs. The closest alternatives to Open-AudIT for use by IT departments are Endpoint Central, Paessler PRTG, and Zabbix. However, of those other IT department systems, only Endpoint Central includes a configuration management tool that matches the functionality in Open-AudIT. A Free edition to manage up to 20 devices makes this system attractive to small businesses.


  • Offers autodiscovery to immediately maps and discover new devices
  • Has a free version, great for smaller networks or more in-depth trials
  • Detailed reporting is easy to use and highly customizable
  • Detailed filtering options for historical data analysis
  • Capacity tracking helps sysadmin track inventory and makes networks changes based on usage


  • Can take time to fully learn and utilize all features in the platform

FirstWave markets the software for Open-AudIT on an annual license. The package is available in versions to run on Windows Server and Linux and it can also be run as a virtual appliance over a hypervisor. The service is available in two editions: Professional and Enterprise. Each package is priced according to ranges of node numbers to be scanned. Open-AudIT is offered for free to manage up to 20 nodes which is ideal for evaluating the product.

FirstWave Open-AudIT Download FREE Trial

4. Atera (FREE TRIAL)

Atera Dashboard

Atera is a system monitoring platform created especially for managed service providers (MSPs). The service is delivered from the cloud, removing almost all hardware requirements from the MSP’s own site. Access to the console of the system, both for MSP managers and their technicians is made through any standard web browser. Atera also produces free apps to enable customers to get to its system from mobile devices.

Key Features:

  • Cloud-based
  • Suitable for MSPs
  • Both PSA and RMM packages

Why do we recommend it?

Atera offers remote monitoring and management systems for multiple sites and it includes an autodiscovery function and a hardware inventory service. It provides automated performance monitoring that includes hardware status tracking. The Atera system will raise an alert if endpoint resources start to run short, which enables technicians to get on with other tasks, knowing that no news is good news.

The service checks on the statuses of network devices, endpoints, and physical or virtual servers. In addition to hardware monitoring, Atera is also able to track and improve the performance of applications, such as databases and web and email servers.

As a cloud-based service that supports remote access, Atera can deliver connections to any customer resource, including cloud-based AWS or Azure servers – The Atera system is actually resident on Azure servers. The monitored system just needs an agent installed on it.

Atera includes a Help Desk portal, which gives technicians remote access to endpoints for investigation and problem solutions. The package also includes a remote desktop service that lets the endpoint user watch the actions of the technician.

Customers of Atera don’t need to pay for the software upfront, which is a big advantage for independent freelance support specialists and is very appealing to startup MSPs. Instead, the MSP pays a subscription per technician. This pricing model makes Atera suitable for MSPs of all sizes, and it is particularly interesting for rapidly expanding service providers. When an MSP gets to full capacity and hires new staff, it just needs to add on the appropriate number of Atera subscriptions to get those new technicians fully tooled up.

Who is it recommended for?

The Atera system is offered in two versions – for IT departments and for MSPs. As such, it is a competitor for Endpoint Central and NinjaOne. As with most system-wide monitoring packages, Atera focuses more on software activity than hardware statuses.


  • Cloud-based monitoring lowers costs and avoids complicated onboarding
  • Browser-based dashboard is accessible from virtually anywhere
  • Offers additional features like PSA and RMM, making it a good fit for managed service providers
  • Can group devices and monitoring reports to be filtered by client


  • Could use more integration options
  • Could implement better device inventory management

The Atera subscription also includes processing power and storage on cloud servers, so it is a very cost-efficient deal. Annual pricing starts at $99 a month per technician. You can try out the Atera system on a 30-day free trial.

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5. ManageEngine Endpoint Central (FREE TRIAL)

ManagEngine Endpoint Central Configuration

ManageEngine Endpoint Central is a unified endpoint management (UEM) for corporate fleets of desktops and mobile devices. This system also looks after removable storage and will watch over the hardware and software assets of your business.

You can start your device management automation with Endpoint Central by defining and storing a standard setup per device type. This can be achieved by selecting an example device, cleaning up its configuration, and taking an image of it. From then on, you onboard devices of the same type by applying the image. This can be implemented in bulk, saving a lot of time.

Key Features:

  • Automated onboarding
  • Mobile device management
  • Software inventory management

Why do we recommend it?

ManageEngine Endpoint Central is a comprehensive bundle of monitoring and management tools. It is a good package for local system monitoring and for multi-site management. The hardware monitoring services in the package include a recursive discovery system that creates hardware and software inventories. An alerting system provides automated monitoring and there are also system management tools in the package.

During ongoing service, the tool manages your software inventory and lets you create profiles that specify which software should be made available for which user groups. This software package installation can be implemented automatically as part of the onboarding process. Constant checks on the availability of updates trigger a patch manager that is part of the package.

Hardware warranty tracking and software license management are part of Endpoint Entral’s services. So, are asset tracking and configuration management. The tools in the service provide remote access with a remote control function. This is able to access devices that are in sleep mode or turned off and it can also shut down or restart devices.

Who is it recommended for?

Like Atera, Endpoint Central is available in versions for use by IT departments and managed service providers. The marketing of the two systems is a little different because Atera targets MSPs and then offers a version for IT departments, while ManageEngine markets its package first for IT departments. A Free Edition of Endpoint Central will appeal to small businesses that have up to 25 endpoints to manage.


  • IT asset management for hardware and software that extends to mobile devices
  • Remote access for troubleshooting that includes remote control for user training
  • A software management system that includes license tracking and patch management


  • Doesn’t include network mapping to locate each device

There are four versions of Endpoint Central: Free, Professional, Enterprise, and UEM. The Free edition allows you to manage 25 devices. The Professional edition has all of the features of the Free editions – some of them are paid extras – but it can manage more devices. Move up to the Enterprise edition for WAN coverage, and you need the UEM version to get OS deployment and a unified approach to desktop and mobile management/ This system is offered as a SaaS platform but you can download it onto Windows Server. Assess the system on a 14-day free trial.

ManageEngine Endpoint Central Access 14-day FREE Trial

6. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL)

PRTG Network Monitor

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is another hardware monitoring tool that strikes the balance between depth and accessibility. With PRTG Network Monitor you can monitor the CPU, RAM, and hard drives of network devices. The software supports products from vendors including IBM, Cisco, Dell, Synology, and Linksys. All performance data can be viewed instantly through the on-screen dashboard.

Key Features:

  • Customizable monitoring package
  • Live data on server statuses
  • Network device monitoring
  • Device autodiscovery

Why do we recommend it?

Paessler PRTG is a very flexible system because you decide which of the many monitoring tools in the package you want to turn on. There is an autodiscovery cycle in PRTG that forms the core of the service and creates hardware and software inventories. Sensors in the bundle include hardware monitors.

However, you don’t have to stay glued to the computer just to know what is going on. PRTG Network Monitor has an alerts system that sends you a notification via email or SMS if there is a problem in your environment. For example, you can configure critical alerts to be sent if disk space drops too low.

The setup process with this tool is also quite straightforward. You can set the program to ping IP ranges to find devices connected to your network. You can also build maps of your network with a drag-and-drop editor if you want to troubleshoot from a geographical perspective.

Who is it recommended for?

The PRTG package is almost a self-assembly system and you pay for the number of sensors that you want to turn on. The smallest unit you can buy is for 500 sensors. If you only use 100 sensors, you never have to pay. This makes the tool very suitable for businesses of any size.


  • Offers hardware monitoring as well as network and application monitoring
  • Sensors are highly configurable, allowing for monitoring of custom-built devices
  • Freeware version supports 100 sensors
  • Pricing is based on sensors in use, making it a good fit for both small and large networks
  • Autodiscovery makes mapping large networks with lots of devices fast and efficient


  • Is designed for network professionals, can take time to learn all features offered on the platform

PRTG Network Monitor operates a flexible pricing scale depending on the number of hardware sensors you want to use. The tool is free for less than 100 sensors but beyond that point, you will have to pay. Paid versions of PRTG Network Monitor start at $1,750 (£1,321) for 500 sensors and 1 server installation. There is also a 30-day trial.

Paessler PRTG Start 30-day FREE Trial

Related: CPU Temperature Monitoring Tools

7. Datadog Infrastructure Monitoring

Datadog Infrastructure Monitoring - hosts view

Datadog is a system monitoring and management service that is based in the cloud. The base package of Datadog is called Infrastructure and it monitors hardware as well as service performance. The Datadog system is packaged into modules and the more modules you get, the more control you have over your system. The modules link together to produce better visibility of what is going on in your IT resources. Other modules offered by Datadog include Security Monitoring, Network Performance Monitoring, Application Performance Monitoring, and Log Management.

Key features:

  • Network devices autodiscovery
  • Search tag, and sort hosts
  • Create host and container maps
  • Live hardware process monitoring

Why do we recommend it?

Datadog Infrastructure Monitoring is a cloud-based package that watches over all of the services that a business uses between user-facing systems and the network. That remit includes server resources. As it is based in the cloud, the Datadog platform isn’t tied to a specific site, so you can monitor servers on many sites within the same account.

Datadog Infrastructure Monitoring - Services view

Features in the infrastructure module include autodiscovery, so you don’t have to spend time setting up the monitor with a list of your hardware. The tool will also monitor your system’s performance, enabling you the option of remapping your resources to make better use of existing hardware.

Who is it recommended for?

The Datadog system is very scaleable because it is priced per host. The ability to track servers on multiple sites is another advantage for the business when marketing to a wide audience. A Free edition allows the monitoring of up to five hosts, which is an attractive offer for small businesses.


  • Streamlined cloud deployment allows for quick onboarding with no hardware cost
  • Supports both individual devices as well as total networking device monitoring
  • Has one of the most intuitive user interfaces
  • Live network mapping can help visualize more complicated networks of devices
  • Preconfigured templates make device monitoring quick and works well out of the box
  • Advanced filters can help narrow down and filter a wide range of devices on large networks


  • Would like to see a longer trial period

The Infrastructure module of Datadog is available in three plan levels, the cheapest of which is the Free plan. The two paid plans are called Pro and Enterprise. The Enterprise plan has more features and is more expensive than the Pro plan. Utilities in the Enterprise plan include machine learning for the creation of alert threshold levels and the examination of live processes. The Enterprise tool also includes security monitoring and forecasting features. Both the Pro and Enterprise plans of Datadog Infrastructure are available for free trials.

Related: CPU Monitoring Guide & Tools

8. TeamViewer Remote Management

TeamViewer Remote Management Console

TeamViewer is a widely-used remote desktop system and its providers have expanded their stable of services in recent years. TeamViewer Remote Management is one of those new packages. This package includes monitoring services for endpoints and networks devices plus asset management functions.

Key Features:

  • Monitors Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Tracks resource availability
  • Monitors security software

Why do we recommend it?

TeamViewer is primarily known as a remote access system and the company has expanded its services through to full system monitoring with its Remote Management package. The Device Monitoring module is where you will encounter the hardware monitoring part of TeamViewer Remote Management. This system focuses on CPU, memory, and interface capacity and utilization rather than physical hardware statuses.

As a remote monitoring system, this package is able to track the performance of remote sites and the individual devices used by work-from-home staff. The first line of monitoring tests device availability and then tracks through activity statistics. All of this information is shown live in the console for TeamViewer Remote Management and the data is also stored for historical analysis. You will see performance overviews for all of your infrastructure and get paths to drill down and see the activity on each individual device.

Who is it recommended for?

Many businesses use TeamViewer for remote access to endpoints and the adoption of this remote monitoring and management package would be an easy step for those enterprises. There are versions for IT departments and for managed service providers.


  • Offers software and hardware management as well as monitoring
  • Automated patch management
  • Alerts for performance problems
  • Constant connectivity checks


  • Entirely reliant on constant internet availability for every device

The original TeamViewer remote access system is the anchor software for all TeamViewer services. If you want to use TeamViewer for IT support, it makes sense to extend your subscription to include this remote monitoring and management package. You can get a 14-day free trial of TeamViewer Remote Management. The price for this package works out at $2.16 (£1.63) per month per endpoint.

9. Zabbix

Zabbix screenshot

Zabbix is a network monitoring tool that can track hardware availability. Zabbix automatically discovers devices on setup and recognizes when devices have been connected or disconnected. Once tools are connected, you can monitor system status, disk space, device temperature, power supply, and fan state of network hardware. There are also out-of-the-box templates for monitoring popular servers from manufacturers like IBM, Lenovo, Dell, Linux, Solaris, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Key Features:

  • Monitors hardware statuses
  • Attractive interface
  • Free to use

Why do we recommend it?

Zabbix is a full-stack monitoring system that offers network, server, and application monitoring. It includes a discovery service that automatically compiles hardware and software inventories. This is a major competitor to the remote monitoring services of NinjaOne and Atera but it is an on-premises package rather than a cloud platform.

To keep you updated you can look at alerts through email, SMS, jabber, custom scripts or messenger. Alert messages can be customized based on the recipient. For instance, you can customize date and time, hostname, item value, trigger values, host profile, user macros and escalation history.

The visualization offered in Zabbix is also top-notch. You can view graphs of hardware that automatically refresh. For example, you can view graphs of CPU load and CPU utilization monitoring to see how devices are performing. You can also generate availability reports to show other members of your team.

Who is it recommended for?

Zabbix is a completely free service but you host it yourself and the package doesn’t come with professional support. The company makes money by offering support contracts for the system. So, Zabbix is great for businesses of any size. The Zabbix package has become more of a competitor to NinjaOne and Atera recently by creating a multi-tenant edition for MSPs, which is a paid package.


  • Can track metrics such as network connectivity, power consumption, temperature, and disk metrics providing a holistic look into the health of the device
  • Wide variety of alerting options, SMS, email, third-party integration
  • Open-source transparent project


  • Open-source version lacks paid support options, reliant on community for bug fixes
  • User interface can feel crowded when tracking a large number of devices
  • Only available for Linux machines

One of the key selling points of Zabbix is that it is free and open-source. You can download Zabbix for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Oracle Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Raspbian. You can download Zabbix for free.

Related post: Nagios vs Zabbix

10. CPUID HWMonitor

CPUID Hardware Monitor Pro dashboard

CPUID HWMonitor is one of the most widely-used hardware monitoring tools on this list. HWMonitor monitors the health status, voltages, temperatures and fan status of connected devices. Information is shown to you in a list format that breaks down the performance of connected devices. All data readings are shown in real-time so you can stay up to date with the performance of devices within your network.

Key Features:

  • Monitors hardware statuses
  • Easy to use
  • Free version

Why do we recommend it?

CPUID HWMonitor tracks actual hardware statuses, such as temperature and fan activity. This is a free, onboard tool that is only accessible on the device it is installed on. The Pro edition is a paid tool that can be accessed remotely and that can also deliver log files that can be fed into an automated centralized monitoring tool or a SIEM.

One advantage of HWMonitor is that it is easy to use. After completing a startup it will automatically start monitoring your network for performance issues. Once the program is up and running, you can use features like reports to gather further information on your hardware and troubleshoot.

If you’re looking for a straightforward hardware monitoring experience without some of the more advanced features and visualization of other platforms, HWMonitor is a good choice.

Who is it recommended for?

The free edition is a good choice for home use and for small businesses. HWMonitor Pro is worth paying for because it can be accessed remotely, so it can be used by large enterprises that have too many endpoints for technicians to visit each in person. HWiNFO, Open Hardware Monitor, and the free edition of SysGauge are very similar to the free version of HWMonitor and SysGauge has a paid version that offers similar capabilities to those of HWMonitor Pro.


  • Very simple lightweight tool
  • Populates data in real-time almost immediately
  • Good option for single machines or home use
  • Can log metrics for long-term testing


  • Not for businesses use, no centralized management options
  • Lacks in-depth reporting
  • Lacks alerting capabilities

The program is available as a free version or a paid full version (the pro version offers additional logging capabilities and remote operation). You can download HWMonitor for free.

11. HWiNFO

HWiNFO dashboard

HWiNFO is a network monitoring tool that is used for hardware and system monitoring. HWiNFO offers real-time hardware monitoring for your computer’s CPUs, GPUs, mainboards, drives, and peripherals. The tool is geared towards identifying if your device is overheating or failing. While the user interface is a bit outdated it makes it easy to find the information you need.

Key Features:

  • Live hardware status monitoring
  • Used by NASA
  • Free to use

Why do we recommend it?

HWiNFO is an on-device hardware monitor for Windows PCs. It provides live readouts of various hardware statuses but you can minimize the interface and rely on a system of alerts that will warn you if the device is overheating or running out of CPU, memory, or disk capacity.

The information collected by the tool is categorized into different segments; memory, CPU, motherboard, bus, drives, monitor, ports, network, audio, and video adapter. The sheer range of categories gives your monitoring activities visibility throughout your entire network.

Even though HWiNFO’s experience is a little more basic than some of the other tools on this list, it still has its own alerts system. Alerts are customizable and can be updated with extensions. You can also collect more information with XML, CSV, and HTML reports complete with customizable graphs and tables.

Who is it recommended for?

Home users and small businesses would benefit most from this hardware monitor and its alerts system means that you don’t have to watch the monitor’s screen to spot system problems. However, the tool can only be accessed by the user of the device on which it is hosted, so it is not a good option for businesses that have many endpoints. Also, there aren’t any versions of this free tool for macOS or Linux.


  • 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

For smaller enterprises that require a simple hardware monitor, HWiNFO is an ideal choice. HWiNFO works on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. Learn more and download it at this link.

12. Open Hardware Monitor

Open Hardware Monitor dashboard

Open Hardware Monitor is an open-source hardware monitoring solution that monitors CPU load, temperature, fan speed, voltage, and clock speed. You can view the system performance of these elements in list format. The last update for Open Hardware Monitor was released in 2016.

Key Features:

  • Monitors server statuses
  • Live reporting
  • Free to use

Why do we recommend it?

Open Hardware Monitor is a lightweight on-device package for Windows. This is a very similar system to HWiNFO. The layout of the Open Hardware Monitor interface mimics the hierarchy structure of typical Windows utilities, such as Windows Explorer.

As an open-source product, Open Hardware Monitor is cost-free and easy to install. You can download the program as a file or source code.

Who is it recommended for?

Although this is a competent hardware monitor, its interface is starting to look a little dated. It is suitable for use on PCs only because there aren’t versions available for macOS or Linux. The system can’t be accessed remotely, so it is only suitable for home use and small businesses.


  • Open-source community-supported project
  • Quickly displays hardware specs in real-time
  • Available cross-platform, Windows, and Linux


  • Hasn’t been updated in quite a while
  • Lacks a centralized management dashboard
  • Doesn’t have any alerting or reporting capabilities

The program is available for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 and Linux (x86 based operating systems). You can download Open Hardware Monitor for free.

13. AIDA64

AIDA64 dashboard

AIDA64 is a hardware and software monitoring solution designed specifically for SMEs. The tool has a hardware detection engine that can discover connected devices from a database including over 208,000 entries. The hardware monitoring capabilities offered by AIDA64 include CPU, disk, and temperature monitoring tools. Once data and information has been collected from devices it can be saved as CSV, XML or an SQL database.

Key Features:

  • Status alerts
  • Aimed at SMEs
  • 30-day free trial

Why do we recommend it?

AIDA64 is a mini system monitoring tool that is like a scaled-down version of Zabbix. However, as Zabbix is free to use and a lot better than AIDA64, it is difficult to see what marketing advantage the AIDA64 system has. The tool shows rudimentary performance graphs and can monitor network activity as well as hardware statuses. AIDA64 can monitor a network full of endpoints from one console.

The alerts system of AIDA64 can send notifications to the user once there is an issue or a piece of hardware or software is changed. For example, you can receive a notification if the system drive free space is below a certain percentage or there is a system memory size change. Notifications are sent by email so that you don’t miss anything important.

One of the exciting features included with AIDA64 is the ability to monitor devices remotely. You can launch, restart and shutdown applications and services remotely. The remote management capabilities of this tool allow you to monitor remote PCs seamlessly.

Who is it recommended for?

AIDA64 is suitable for small businesses. However, there are free versions of Datadog, Endpoint Central, and PRTG that offer a better service, as does the completely free Zabbix.


  • 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 software for AIDA64 runs on Windows. There are four different versions of AIDA64 available for purchase: Extreme, Engineer, Network Audit, and Business. The Extreme version starts at $49.95 (£37.74) for home users. The Engineer version starts at $199.90 (£150.91) with command-line automation. The Network Audit version costs $119.90 (£90.51) to cover 10 computers and includes command-line automation, network inventory, and change management. The Business edition is available for a minimum of 10 endpoints at a price of $199.90 (£150.91). That package supports remote management, command-line automation, network inventory, and change management. You can download the free trial.

14. SysGauge

SysGauge Screenshot

Although technically a ‘system monitor’ and not a true ‘hardware monitor’, SysGauge made it to our list because it can cover the hardware monitoring needs of most network administrators. SysGauge is a network performance monitor that provides an overview of connected devices. The tool monitors CPU usage, memory usage, resource usage, disk space usage, and disk read/disk write for all logical and physical disks installed within a computer. For hardware monitoring, the System Status Monitor will be where you spend most of your time.

Key Features:

  • Network performance with hardware monitoring
  • Covers server statuses
  • Free version

Why do we recommend it?

SysGauge is a nice little tool that shows a dial and a time-series of graph for each of the system metrics that it covers. You switch between statistics categories in the menu to look at one device at a time. This tool can monitor multiple endpoints, including their hardware statuses.

The System Status Monitor shows you graphs and dials displaying CPU usage and memory allocation data. These are relatively basic but they do a great job of visualizing the raw data. In the CPU usage chart display, you can view usage data from the last minute, last two minutes, or last five minutes.

To deliver notifications, SysGauge has system monitoring rules. These rules allow you to configure notification conditions. For example, you can add an option like’ If Memory Usage Current Value is More than 90% Show Error’ or ‘If Disk Space Usage Current Value is More Than 90% Show Warning’.

Who is it recommended for?

SysGauge is suitable for use by small businesses and it is free to use for up to 10 endpoints. While that allowance is more than the limit on the Free edition of Datadog Infrastructure Monitoring, it provides less capacity than the free versions of PRTG or Endpoint Central. SysGauge also struggles to compete with the permanently free Zabbix monitoring system.


  • 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

SysGauge is available on Windows as a 32-bit or 64-bit package. There is a free version of SysGauge that supports up to 10 monitors and profiles. The paid versions of the program are as follows: SysGauge Pro$50 (£39.52), SysGuage Ultimate $125 (£98.80), and SysGauge Server $125 (£98.90). These support 50, 100, and 200 monitors/profiles each. You can download SysGauge.

Choosing Hardware Monitoring Software

Hardware monitoring is the only way to safeguard against the failure of a device. Using a proactive hardware monitoring solution like SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor, Opmantek Open-AudIT, and NinjaOne can help to minimize the rise of a node failing and halting productivity.

These tools each have their own dashboards to oversee hardware performance metrics and an alerts system to compliment real-time monitoring efforts. Whether you are an SME or a large organization, both tools have the bandwidth to manage hardware performance at scale.

PC & Hardware Monitoring Software FAQs

Is Open Hardware Monitor safe?

Open Hardware Monitor is safe. The program doesn’t communicate with a remote control center and so it is not vulnerable to message hijacking over the internet. The purpose of the software only checks the physical statuses of the monitored device and does not tough data files or interact with software services. As an open-source project, the source code for the utility can be read through, enabling the user to check that the program isn’t doing anything untoward.

What is the best hardware monitor you have found?

We really like the SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor. It is very rare that any business will only want to monitor its server’s physical statuses. Server performance problems can be caused by faults with applications, services, and software as well as physical issues. Using an integrated monitor covering all aspects of a server’s performance is better than just focusing on physical properties. 

How do I monitor my CPU temp?

CPU temp is a typical hardware status that most server monitors will cover. When looking into different server monitoring packages, make sure the tool you are interested in is specifically a hardware monitor rather than an application monitor. If it is a server hardware monitor, it should monitor CPU temp. Standard PC monitoring tools also typically cover CPU temp.

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