Windows event log data is a goldmine of information that you can use to monitor network infrastructure and manage security events.
While you can use Windows Event Viewer, log management tools are a superior alternative and enable you to manage Windows event log data with enhanced GUIs and visualizations.
Here is our list of the best tools to manage Windows Event Log / Event Viewer:
- SolarWinds Log Analyzer EDITOR’S CHOICE Our top pick for Windows event log management tool. Real-time event log monitoring tool for Windows with tagging, filtering, and customizable alerts. 30-day free trial available.
- ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer (FREE TRIAL) Log management software with custom reports, a correlation engine, and more.
- Site24x7 Log Management (FREE TRIAL) A log server, consolidator, and processor that is available from several plans offered by a cloud-based system monitoring platform.
- Netwrix Event Log Manager Free event log management tool that centrally stores Windows event log data, and generates event alerts.
- LogRhythm SIEM platform with analytics, machine intelligence, workflow automation, alarms, and more.
- Sumo Logic Free log management software, available as a SaaS service with custom dashboards, real-time analytics, and machine learning.
- Datadog Cloud monitoring tool with log management capabilities, dashboards, alerts, search, filtering, and more.
- Syslog-NG Log management software with TLS encryption, log collection, storage, forwarding, and more.
The best tools to manage Windows Event Log / Event Viewer
The following reviews include some of the top log management tools, SIEM software, and other tools that provide network administrators with more visibility into logs.
What should you look for in Windows Event log management tools?
We reviewed the market for Windows Event log management software and assessed the options based on the following criteria:
- The ability to receive and file Windows Events messages
- A file management service that creates meaningful logfile names and a meaningfully named directory structure
- A logical logfile rotation strategy that prevents log files from becoming too large while maintaining a manageable file naming strategy
- Nice to have a log consolidator that can also receive Syslog messages and logs from applications
- A logfile metrics screen in the dashboard that shows the arrival rate of Windows Event messages and optionally displays those messages on the screen
- A free trial or a money-back guarantee that creates a no-risk assessment period
- A comprehensive tool that improves efficiency and is sold at a reasonable price
SolarWinds Log Analyzer is an event log monitoring tool for Windows that collects event log data. You can monitor event log data in real-time through syslog, SNMP traps, and system event logs. Data can be collected and monitored through one user interface.
The software is very easy to use. Tagging and filtering enable the user to navigate through log data efficiently. There is also a search bar, and event logs are tagged with icons including warning, alert, error, emergency, and debug so that the user understands what’s happening more clearly.
A customizable alert system enables the user to set trigger conditions for alerts. Users can set alerts according to severity, and configure reset conditions to minimize false positives. Alerts can be sent from email and trigger external scripts to ensure you respond to performance events as they unfold.
SolarWinds Log Analyzer is an excellent tool for managing Windows event log data through a single pane of glass. The platform provides extensive visibility through an intuitive platform that makes it easy to find the information you need to. Prices start at $1,495 (£1,210). You can download the 30-day free trial.
- Real-time log monitoring
- Log tagging
- Log filtering
- Custom Alerts
SolarWinds Log Analyzer leads the pack with log management and analysis capabilities that are second to none. It provides real-time log collection, analysis and rich visuals.
We love the in-built search engine with filtering capabilities that help you search for log entries.
Get 30 Day Free Trial: solarwinds.com/log-analyzer
OS: Windows Server 2016 or 2019
Related post: Best Log Analysis Tools
ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer is a free log management tool for Windows and Linux that can manage event logs and syslogs. You can process logs at 25,000 logs per second, which enables you to detect cyberattacks in real-time. The software can pull log data from services like WindowsServer, Linux, Oracle, Amazon Web Service, Apache, Cisco, HP, IIS, and more.
The correlation engine automatically processes event logs and compares them with other logs to detect the signs of a cyber attack. The automatic processing enables you to monitor log data more efficiently and stay on top of threats. However, you can use the search module to search manually as well.
Compliance reports enable you to create log reports and comply with a range of regulatory frameworks. The EventLog Analyzer creates reports that comply with PCI DSS, ISO 27001, GLBA, SOX, FISMA, and HIPAA regulations. Reports can also be customized and scheduled according to the preferences of the user.
ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer is one of the top free event log management tools. The free edition supports up to five log sources. Paid versions start at $595 (£481.78) with features like compliance reporting and log forensics. You can download the 30-day free trial.
- Automatically processes event logs
- Customizable dashboard
- Log search engine
- HIPAA, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, GLBA, SOX, and FISMA compliant
Site24x7 Log Management is a module in a suite of monitoring services delivered from the Cloud by Site24x7. This log management tool isn’t available as a standalone product. Instead, it is integrated into all of the packages that Site24x7 offers. These are:
- Website Monitoring
- Site24x7 Infrastructure
- Application Performance Monitor
The Site24x7 system is mainly resident in the Cloud but it does need a data collector to be installed on the monitored system. This agent is available for the Windows Server and Linux operating system and it can collect statistics over a network.
The data collector also catches log messages as they circulate around the server and network. It collects Windows Event messages and also Syslog and application log messages. These are sent to the Site24x7 server over a secure connection for processing. The server consolidates all of the log messages that it receives and converts them into a common format. This enables a unified treatment of log messages from all sources.
The Log Management system includes a data viewer, which can be accessed from the Site24x7 system dashboard. This includes data analysis features such as the ability to sort, filter, group, and summarize records.
All of the Site24x7 packages are subscription services and all are available on 30-day free trials. For example, you can get a free trial of the Site24x7 Infrastructure plan in order to try out the services’ Log Management tool.
- Collects Windows Events, Syslog, and application logs
- Consolidates different log formats
- Data viewer
- Data analysis tools
Netwrix Event Log Manager is a free event log management software that can collect Windows event logs. It collects event logs and centrally stores them for the user to analyze. The tool allows you to monitor the event log data of multiple Windows devices from one centralized location.
Managing and configuring the Event Log Manager is simple for new users. The platform runs as a service so you don’t need to have it open at all times for monitoring. To configure the tool, all the user needs to do is add target computers to monitor the network and enter alert parameters to determine when notifications are generated.
The alerts system sends you email notifications whenever an important event happens to a connected device. You can control what alerts you’re notified about through a dialog box. For example, you can set the system to notify you about Application Errors and Systems Errors.
Netwrix Event Log Manager is a reliable tool for enterprises looking to manage Windows Event Log and event viewer data for free. It’s available for Windows XP SP3 and above, Windows Server 2008, 2012, and 2016. You can download the software for free.
- Centrally stores event logs
- Real-time alerts
- Event summaries
- Runs as a service
LogRhythm is a SIEM platform that can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud with high-performance and speed. It uses ElasticSearch to maintain performance for users during indexing and searching. Log data captured by the program is searchable so that you can locate event log data fast and easily.
Through a web-based user interface, users can monitor security incidents throughout their entire network. Security analytics and visualizations provide you with an engaging presentation of log data. Log data is processed by Machine Data Intelligence to classify and structure log messages to produce over 800 different data sources.
When it comes time to respond to an issue, LogRhythm has an alarms system that notifies the users about security events. To lower the time to resolve the user can use SmartResponse to create automated response workflows. The SmartResponse feature allows you to automatically complete tasks such as running a vulnerability scan or disabling a user account.
It’s is an excellent log management solution for scalability. LogRhythm offers a flexible pricing model that supports up to an unlimited number of log sources and users. However, you need to request a quote from the company directly. You can watch the demo.
- 24/7 monitoring
- Search analytics
- Scalable architecture
- Machine intelligence
Sumo Logic is a free SaaS-based log management tool that collects and analyzes windows event logs. You can create custom dashboards and use real-time analytics to monitor security events throughout your network. The analytics system can identify performance anomalies by analyzing log patterns, which helps the user to make sense of log data.
One of its advantages is the ability to share dashboards and reports with other users. Dashboards include a range of displays such as charts to help the user make sense of log data. Users also have the option to adjust the time frame they’re looking at to change the data they view.
Sumo Logic is a platform that’s recommended for those users who want a log management platform with top-notch analytics capabilities. The free version supports up to 4GB of log storage. Users that require more can purchase a paid version. Paid versions start at $90 (£72.97) per month per 1GB daily ingest. You can start the free trial.
- Custom dashboards
- Real-time analytics
- Machine learning
- PCI DSS, SOX, and HIPAA compliant
Datadog is a cloud monitoring tool that can monitor applications, services, and log data. You can take Windows Event Log data and use it to generate events in your Event Stream. The Event Stream displays a list of recent events that have occurred throughout your network.
The software enables you to search and filter log data in one place. All data can be archived centrally so that it’s accessible when you need it. Log data can be viewed through the dashboard, which is packed with visualization options like charts and diagrams to give you a more sophisticated perspective of what’s going on.
Machine learning-driven alerts notify you the moment there’s a problem. Alert notifications can be sent directly to external services like Slack, Hangouts Chat, and Microsoft Teams. You can also use Webhooks to follow up with custom code to deliver an automated response to the problem.
There is a range of pricing options available for Datadog depending on your use case. For log management, prices start at $1.27 (£1.03) per million log events, per month with 7-day data retention or $0.10 (£0.081) per ingested or scanned GB, per month. You can start the 14-day free trial.
- Real-time log management
- Charts and diagrams
Syslog-NG is a log management solution that can collect and store Windows event logs. It can collect data from over 10,000 log sources and uses TLS encryption to protect important messages from unauthorized access. The platform offers users filtering to assist with navigation and store data in binary files.
The software enables the user to forward log data to external tools. Users can send logs to SQL databases, MongoDB, and Hadoop Distributed File System nodes. The user can also send logs via SNMP or SMTP. Forwarding log data makes it easier for organizations to manage logs in the format that’s most convenient.
Syslog-NG is recommended for enterprises that want a simple but comprehensive log management solution that supports a range of log sources. You can request a custom price quote from the sales team on the company website. Download the 30-day free trial.
- Stores log data
- Log filtering
- Log forwarding
- TLS Encryption
Choosing the right tool for your organization
Managing Windows event logs is something that every enterprise should be doing. Having the visibility to detect failed services and availability issues early reduces the chance of the network is disrupted. The log management tools we’ve listed can all manage Windows event log data effectively, and give you the best chance of catching performance problems quickly.
Our editor’s choice for this article is SolarWinds Log Analyzer as it offers Windows users a comprehensive Windows event log monitoring experience for a competitive price tag. ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer also offers users a high-quality alternative and is recommended for companies looking for a free log management solution.