Syslog, and by extension syslog servers (click to learn ‘what is a syslog server?'), are programs and protocols that aggregate and transfer diagnostic and monitoring data.
Here is our list of the best free Syslog servers for windows:
- Kiwi Syslog Server – FREE VERSION This system collects, and files syslog messages and SNMP traps and also includes a message viewer. The tool runs on Windows and you can download it for free.
- ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer – FREE EDITION This is an excellent SIEM system in its paid edition but it also offers a Free edition that provides a log manager. Runs on Windows Server and Linux.
- Paessler PRTG – FREE VERSION A package of sensors for networks, servers, and applications and includes a Syslog receiver. The package is free for up to 100 sensors and it installs on Windows Server.
- Nagios Log Server Free This companion to the free network monitor, Nagios Core offers the collection and filing of log messages from Windows and Linux that includes Syslog. Runs on Windows and Linux.
- Splunk Light This free version of the Splunk system has been deprecated but you can get a 60-day free trial of Splunk Enterprise to process Syslog messages. Runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
- The Dude This free network monitoring tool receives, analyses, and stores Syslog messages as well as other data sources. Runs on Windows, macOS., and Linux.
- TFTPD32 This service is also available in 64-bit format and it provides a range of administration utilities, including the viewing and filing of Syslog messages. Runs on Windows.
- Syslog Server This straightforward Syslog manager is no longer available. It was designed for Windows Server.
- Icinga 2 A free system monitoring package that also provides a collector for Syslog messages that can be filtered by severity level. Runs on Linux.
- Visual Syslog Server This lightweight Syslog collector shows arriving messages in its screen and also files them. Runs on Windows.
- 3cDaemon This is a graphical interface tool for Windows that was written to follow the procedures y of the Unix command line syslogd.
- Syslog Server Datagram Collects Syslog messages and inserts them into a database for sorting and querying. Available for Windows.
Their power comes from the wide range of data that can be collected and, furthermore, the ways in which this data can be analyzed and levied for the sake of network maintenance, system monitoring, and dozens of other diagnostic and troubleshooting purposes!
Generally, the Syslog protocol is supported by a wide variety of devices and thus it's easy for devices and applications to fire off log information to the Syslog server, which stores the information for further analysis. Most notably, Syslog servers are often capable of triggering alerts or sending notifications. This enables an admin in the field to receive time-critical information or to simply gets a heads up of something that may need attention soon.
Thanks to a built-in severity metric, it's easier to know when something can wait and when it can't. SNMP ties heavily into Syslog server functionality and can be used in tandem to poll all the wonderfully wide variety of information that admins are used to snatching up via SNMP.
However, when taken a step further via Syslogging server software, they can take that SNMP data and do a lot more with it – graphical interfaces which aggregate and monitor SNMP data, for example, can massively speed up the assessment of almost any number of critical systems or failure points.
Using these same metrics many Syslog servers can also have automated scripts or events that will trigger and can potentially streamline the process of recovering from, or preventing, downtime or outages. Some Syslog servers require client-based software to manage but many also offer web-based solutions, which can ease management both remotely or from different systems on a network environment.
Most servers are also quite good at data management and will handle some level of archival functionality for saving older logs or records that may not actively be needed at present. Syslog does have a few drawbacks – it's not particularly standardized, meaning that sloppy implementation can cause troubles for Syslog servers, and it also lacks any kind of authentication. In a trusted network environment, this isn't really an issue, but especially nefarious malware or untrusted networks can sow seeds of trouble.
The Best FREE Syslog Server Software & Tools of 2023
Our methodology for selecting free Syslog servers for Windows
We reviewed various free Syslog servers for Windows and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:
- Compatibility across various Windows environments
- Integrations into other log collection platforms
- Graphical interpretation of data, such as charts and graphs
- A free trial period, a demo, or a money-back guarantee for no-risk assessment
- Free versus premium versions
Below is a list of software that performs these functions and more, as well as the compatible operating systems and, quite importantly, whether it supports some form of alert (alarms, pop-ups, etc.) and/or notifications (email, txt, etc.)
1. Kiwi Syslog Server – FREE VERSION
Kiwi's Syslog Server boasts ease of installation and setup on top of its other range of desirable features.
Reports can be generated both in easy-to-read HTML or in plain text if necessary for parsing with other software.
Log archival and storage are automatic and rigorous with a focus on compatibility in cases where even regulatory needs must be carefully met – even those as stringent as HIPAA.
Kiwi utilizes a web-based console for extremely ease of access and swift availability that requires no client installation or configuration.
Kiwi's software even handles Syslog and SNMP, including from Linux and UNIX hosts, and performs real-time alerting and notification based on this data with a vast, and customizable, range of metrics that can be checked against.
- Offers a freeware version for smaller networks
- Captures both syslog and SNMP traps, ensuring nothing is missed
- Interface is easy to use, and allows for quick filtering based on application, location, or custom grouping
- Color-coded warning level helps critical events pop out, and aids in prioritization
- Affordable for any size network
- Built for sysadmins, not the best option for home networks or non-technical users
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability: Win XP 32/64, Win 2003 32/64, Windows Vista 32/64, Win7 32/64, Windows 2008 R2 32/64, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 & 2012 R2; has both alert and notification ability.
2. ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer – FREE EDITION
The Free edition of ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer collects and stores log messages gathered from up to five sources. That isn’t very many devices. However, small businesses will be able to get by with this service.
The log collector gathers messages from Windows and Linux. It also collects messages from security systems, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antimalware products. You can get messages from database management systems and Web servers filed through this log manager as well.
The log server consolidates incoming messages into a common format and then files them. The system also includes a data viewer that gives you rudimentary analytical tools, such as sorting and filtering.
- Collects log messages from equipment and operating systems
- Gathers security alerts from firewalls and intrusion detection systems
- Merges messages from different sources into a common format
- Files log messages and makes them available in a data viewer
- The free edition only collects logs from five sources
Free version and Trial: ManageEngine offers the paid EventLog Analyzer on a 30-day free trial. This is a full SIEM system and it can collect messages from many more sources than the Free edition. The paid system also performs security scanning through collected log messages. If you decide not to buy at the end of the trial period, the package switches over to the Free edition.
Download: The EventLog Analyzer software installs on Windows Server or Linux – https://www.manageengine.com/products/eventlog/download.html
3. Paessler PRTG – FREE VERSION
Paessler PRTG has some Syslog ability then added via a sensor to the PRTG monitoring suite.
Primarily focuses on SNMP and Syslog protocol data and has a good amount of analysis ability due to the built-in capability PRTG already has for general monitoring and management.
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability: Any Windows 64-bit environment with Windows Server 2012 R2 specifically recommended; good notification and alerts, but all varies a bit as sensor must be added and configured by hand
- Uses a combination of packet sniffing, WMI, and SNMP to report network performance as well as discover new devices
- Autodiscovery reflects the latest inventory changes almost instantaneously
- Drag and drop editor makes it easy to build custom views and reports
- Supports a wide range of alert mediums such as SMS, email, and third-party integration
- Supports a freeware version
- Is a very comprehensive platform with many features and moving parts that require time to learn
Free version & Trial: You can use up to 100 sensors of PRTG indefinitely for free. If you have larger requirements for your network, you can check out the 30-day free trial.
4. Nagios Log Server Free
Nagios Log Server is a paid log management system that collects a range of log message types, including Syslog. The tool has a free version, called the Open Source Edition. The catch is that the operations of the free system allow limited to processing 500 MB of data per day. So, this is only a viable free service for small businesses.
This log server will also process Windows Events and log messages from network devices and software packages. You host this system on your own server running Linux or Windows over VMWare, so the data retention period is up to you. The tool includes a data viewer and you can also construct charts, graphs, and alerts based on log contents or server throughput data.
- Open-source free version available
- Supports built-in event visualization
- Offers multi-platform log collection on Linux and Windows systems
- Offers a live view into event collection as it happens
- Dashboard is highly customizable, good option for teams
- Bug fixes in open-source environments are left to the community
5. Splunk Light
Not an ideal solution as even the Splunk forum will suggest using several Splunk servers for a proper setup, but still doable! Utilizing Splunk to index and manage log files is more strongly recommended, as syslog data will be lost with each Splunk restart by default.
None the less, it does offer syslog functionality and, with a little work getting several Splunks working together, can be a solid solution.
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability: Splunk runs on Windows 64-bit versions as well as Linux and Mac OSX, syslog functionality varies; no real alerting or notification functionality for syslog
- Uses excellent visuals to display collected data and insights
- Supports a multitude of environments for data collection
- Uses machine learning to identify new data sources and monitor behavior
- Caters to enterprises with excellent support and a wide range of integrations
- Many features and services cater to large enterprise networks
6. The Dude
The Dude, despite it's odd name, is an interesting and free option for general network management – it comes with a built-in syslog server which can be enabled with ease as well as provides functionality for remote logging via RouterOS.
Log events can be filtered, sorted to different logs, or discarded based on customizable thresholds.
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability: Most versions of Windows, recommended Windows 2000 or newer, also runs on Linux or MacOS using Wine/Darwine; email based notification with some on-screen alert or log-based alert options, too
- Installs on Windows, Linux, and Mac, making this one of the most flexible options for syslog servers
- Can ingest SNMP alerts, ICMP requests, and DNS queries, giving you a wide variety for log collection options
- Utilizes autodiscovery for network mapping and device identification
- Supports log forwarding to other servers or applications
- Not as lightweight as some other simple syslog servers
- Interface can we challenging to learn
TFTPD32 has a strong root in TFTP, as the name implies, but it also serves as a capable Syslog server to boot in addition to DHCP, DNS, SNTP, as well!
It's breadth of coverage does mean less features, and overall the software is pretty cut and dry – which isn't always a bad thing! Handles all basic Syslog message gathering and storage
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability: Runs as Windows service, compatible with most newer Windows versions after 2000; email based notifications
- Open-source tool, completely transparent
- Has a simple interface that gets the job done and is easy to navigate
- Offers a host of configurable options
- Can track file transfers via log, or visually in real-time as they come in
- Has a higher learning curve than other options
8. Syslog Server (Abandoned)
A fairly simple and barebones Syslog server that also doubles as an analyzer. It can be adjusted to only log and monitor events at certain threshold values and also can trigger email-based notifications, as well as sort the way in which events are displayed.
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability: Service on Windows server prior to 2008, application functionality on most Windows versions; can trigger e-mail notifications based on thresholds
- Lightweight tool – uses little system resources
- Organizes and monitors Windows events
- Supports email alert notifications
- Fairly barebones – not the best option for power users
9. Icinga 2
Icinga is a powerful open-source monitoring suite, and though its focus is on a wide breadth of monitoring, it does offer a plug-in specifically for Syslog monitoring and management.
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability: Most Windows both consumer and server on application level; some alerting functionality based on plug-in settings and version
- Can be configured via GUI or DSL, making it a good choice for admins who enjoy CLI tools
- Supports built-in visual reporting
- Modules allow for different functionality, keeping the base installation sleek and lightweight
- Designed for more technical users
- Better suited for smaller environments
10. Visual Syslog Server
Visual Syslog Server is a very straightforward and light-weight Syslog option that focuses on a real-time approach.
It does have some ability to handle and rotate logs automatically, to avoid bloat, and can also trigger scripts or programs based on thresholds that can be set.
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability:
- Windows XP,
- as well as Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012;
It can handle notifications via email and also some alerting and automated triggering of actions!
- Simple interface, utilizes color to aid in log prioritization
- Powerful filtering options work quickly and are easy to learn
- More user friendly than other tools
- Better suited for smaller networks, features don’t work as well at scale
Based on the BSD-unix style functionality of syslogd, this particular offering is going to appeal to only a select crowd! None the less, it can handle logging based on priority, filter/restriction messages by IP, has real-time viewing of the log, and even can dump log information to plain ASCII.
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability: Application level server run on most older Windows, newer OS versions may be iffy at best as the software is quite old; no real alerting or notification functionality
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability:
Windows 32 Bit
- Simple lightweight tool
- Offers various data export settings
- Robust filtering features
- The BSD style of the tool can be off-putting to Windows users
- No alerting functionality
12. Syslog Server Datagram
This software focuses on an enterprise level of functionality and is geared towards larger environments – it can gather and store a wide range of Syslog information and store it on a central database with a wide range of filters and alarms available.
OS Compatibility and alert/notification ability:
Windows 2000 and forwards; has alarm functionality but not much for notifications
- Provides enterprise level logging through a lightweight platform
- Simple interface is easy to use
- Has a large number of sorting and filtering features
- No visual reporting – heavily text based
- Limited alert options
Syslog tracking via a powerful Syslog server can save any network administrator an obscene amount of time and effort.
Every bit of data, whether SNMP or Syslog, that can be requested, aggregated, and analyzed is another potential piece of a puzzle that can trigger alerts or notifications and quickly bring human attention to the problem as soon as possible, or even fire off predefined scripts or programs to alleviate, or at least slow down, oncoming issues.
The flexibility of these programs are a superb way for admins to leverage monitoring to their advantage with the goal of maximum uptime and stability.
Much of this information can be seen on any one system or device, but even a small network with a few dozen devices would be totally unreasonable to monitor one by one – having it centralized, automated, and closely monitored is invaluable!
Free Syslog Servers for Windows FAQs
What are some popular Syslog servers for Windows?
Some popular Syslog servers for Windows include:
- Kiwi Syslog Server
- SolarWinds Kiwi Syslog Server
- Syslog Watcher
How do I set up a Syslog server on Windows?
To set up a Syslog server on Windows, you can download and install one of the available Syslog server applications, such as Kiwi Syslog Server or Graylog, and configure it to receive and store Syslog messages. You will also need to configure your network devices and applications to send Syslog messages to the IP address and port of your Syslog server.
What are some common errors I might encounter when setting up a Syslog server on Windows?
Some common errors you might encounter when setting up a Syslog server on Windows include:
- Incorrect firewall settings that prevent network devices and applications from sending Syslog messages to the server
- Incorrect Syslog configuration settings, such as incorrect IP address or port settings
- Insufficient disk space on the server for storing log data
- Server hardware or software issues that prevent the server from receiving or storing Syslog messages.
Related Post: Windows 7 FTP Server Installation Guide