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The Ultimate No-Cost Network Toolkit

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Software

Need to boost network performance, manage servers remotely, protect your network from hackers and more? Don't spend a bundle on expensive technicians or software -- instead, turn to these free and Open Source tools.

Your network has slowed to a crawl, which has become more than a nuisance -- it means that you are losing business. Sure, you could pay for a consultant, technician or product, but why bother with an expensive, for-pay solution, when the answer may be as simple as downloading and using free and Open Source software?

Keep in mind that there are some downsides to free and Open Source solutions. Interfaces aren't always polished, and it may take you a bit of time to learn how to use the programs. And as for getting support from the vendor...you won't get any, and so you'll be on your own. And some people worry that open source network protection programs, like Snort, don't always have up-to-date signatures.

Still, there's no need to pay through the nose when a free solution is within easy reach. To help you, we've put together the "Cleaning Dozen," a collection of twelve of the best pieces of free and Open Source software to help you get more out of your network before spending the money on consultants or new or additional technology.

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    My approach to development can often differ from my peers. I prefer to spend the early phase of a cycle doing lots of prototypes of various features we plan to implement. That allows me to have the confidence necessary to know early in the cycle what I can finish and where to ask for help.
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    Meson is definitely getting more traction in GNOME (and other projects), with many components adding support for it in parallel to autotools, or outright switching to it. There are still bugs, here and there, and we definitely need to improve build environments — like Continuous — to support Meson out of the box, but all in all I’m really happy about not having to deal with autotools any more, as well as being able to build the G* stack much more quickly when doing continuous integration.