How do I monitor a network

I am new to network monitoring.
I think that the network connection in my network goes down once and a while for some seconds. I don't know if it's the hardware or the cables or the computers.
Is there a tool that monitor the network so that I can find what the problem is?
I have 8 pc's running (XP) and 1 SBS 2003 with AD. There is a switch, no router.
Thank you for your help
best regards.

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Kamran ArshadIT AssociateCommented:

You can check out the below applications for network monitoring;


SolarWinds Orion      Propriety
Adventnet OP Manager      Propriety
CommView      Propriety
Observer      Propriety

Open-Source NMS            

Ntop      LAMP based NMS
Bandwidthd      LAMP based NMS
Etherape      LAMP based NMS
MRTG      RRDTool
Cacti      RRDTool

Personal recommendations are using NTOP, Cacti or Adventnet OP Manager.
If all you really need to do is find out which PCs/connections are going down, then this free program should help troubleshoot and isolate the problem.

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