Lansweeper is a comprehensive audit tool which allows you to quickly scan all the systems on your network (Windows 2000 clients or later are supported) from one central location, then view details on their hardware and installed software.

This is a professional tool which can handle huge networks, but does require SQL Server (or Express) to manage its database. If that's not installed you don't have to worry, as Lansweeper will download and install SQL Server 2008 Express Edition for you, but this will extend the setup process by quite some time (it's a 100MB download, and although configuration is automatic, it takes a while). Just go away and leave your PC to it, it'll finish eventually.

Lansweeper is then accessed via your browser, where you'll soon be browsing the large number of options and reports on offer. Many of these are only available during the initial 20-day trial period, but when that expires you'll still be able to view a detailed report on each networked system.

The computer report includes information like the operating system, CPU, video card, sound card, BIOS, RAM, network interfaces and hard drive details, for instance. There's a long list of installed applications and their version numbers. The system can extract a few product keys, though the list of supported applications here is a little odd (on our system it reported keys for Windows 7, Office 2010, and, uh, an ancient copy of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun). And you can manually edit entries to, say, record a support URL or phone number for a particular computer or network device, so over time the database becomes a genuinely useful record of your networked systems and all their related information.

Please note, Lansweeper comes in many editions, from the basic free version, to the $299 Premium edition and upwards. Check the product website for more details on which version does what and the various licensing options.

Version 6.0.0.51 is a minor update with these improvements (see changelog for more info):

Fixed: #516214 Deploying on a single asset within an installation with multiple scanning servers triggers a deployment log entry for all scanning servers, even though the deployment was only performed by one
Fixed: #515100 Ticket custom fields that contain an apostrophe are not always saved correctly, e.g. in radiobutton lists
Fixed: #514867 When configuring a custom language under Configuration\Translations, the use of apostrophes can cause issues with ticket filters and other functionalities in the Helpdesk menu
Fixed: #516465 Scheduled deployments on dynamic asset groups are run for only one asset after the first scheduled run
Fixed: #512935 Advanced actions don't prompt for confirmation even if they are configured to prompt
Fixed: #509523 Computer webpages indicate that LsPush is out-of-date when this is not the case
Fixed: #509647 Lansweeper installer does not list version number of current Lansweeper installation when updating
Fixed: #509649 Software names under Software\Authorization that contain an ampersand (&) produce an empty software report when clicked
Fixed: #509847 User actions don't work when the user's displayname contains certain characters or spaces
Fixed: #510123 CompactToServer.exe tool not opening
Fixed: #510498 Error in Russian language Chrome when running HTTPS action on some assets
Fixed: #505209 Full Lansweeper version number is now shown on the first line of the Upgrade/New Install screen of the Lansweeper installer

Verdict

Lansweeper is a powerful, professional network auditing tool which comes packed with features. The browser-based interface means these aren't always as easy to find as we'd like, but good documentation tells you what you need to know