The InfoWorld Bossies are chosen annually by Test Center editors, analysts, and reviewers. The winners represent the best free and open source software we've used. Our choices in networking software were led by contributing editor Victor R. Garza, with help from contributing editors Rick Grehan, Matt Prigge, and Paul Venezia.
Got an open source favorite we missed? Please send us a note.
More and more companies count on Asterisk to provide their most mission-critical application – dial tone. Asterisk has what you'd expect from an enterprise-worthy VoIP system, and integrates with other tools to allow for clustering, failover, IPv6 support, and a range of other functions. Asterisk operates as a back to back user agent, managing all aspects of a VoIP call, where some of its contenders deal only with VoIP signaling.
Asterisk is not without rivals – notably OpenSER (recently renamed Kamailio), FreeSWITCH, and CallWeaver – but it’s still our champ.
Log File Analyzer
The list of capabilities in AWStats is what you'd expect from a mature log analysis tool. It reads the logs of Apache, IIS, and other Web servers, not to mention streaming, mail, and FTP servers. For Web logs, the GUI presents statistics for visit duration, domains, and countries of visitors, most viewed, entry and exit pages, OS and browser enumeration, popular search engines used, and the ever present errors. No matter what kind of log you’re looking at, understanding what's going on at a glance is important and AWStats delivers.
Wi-Fi Network Scanner
The only way to secure a wireless network connection is to create a VPN tunnel or use some of the more advanced Wi-Fi encryption methods, staying away from the hole-ridden WEP and using WPA2. NetStumbler used to be our tool of choice for profiling a wireless network, but NetStumbler has stumbled. Today we favor inSSIDer. Although it does require Vista or Windows XP SP2 to run, inSSIDer provides signal strength information and the ability to group wireless devices by SSID, channel, RSSI, and MAC address, using most any wireless network card.