Professional and Essential licenses

You can add devices to the N-able N-central server in either Professional or Essential license mode. Professional Mode devices can use all of the N-able N-central monitoring and management features and will count towards your device licensing limit. The licensing mode of a device is assigned when the device is first added to N-able N-central. You can modify this later by editing the device's properties.

To purchase licenses for N-able N-central features, contact N-able sales. For more information on a sales office near you, visit

If you have issues with your servers dropping their licenses, see N-able N-central servers becoming unlicensed.

Professional licenses

Professional Mode device licenses are per Individual Device. These licenses allocate a single Professional Mode device license for each individual device.

Use cases

Professional Essential
  • Foundation for Proactive and Managed programs
  • Delivery of Scheduled Maintenance tasks
  • Leveraged to preform Reactive Help Desk Tasks
  • Network Device Management (Firewalls, Routers, Switches, VMware Servers, etc.)
  • 3rd Party Software Monitoring, and custom monitoring
  • Microsoft and 3rd party patching and patch monitoring
  • Foundation for à la carte program; each à la carte line items is delivered with an Essential node
  • Delivery of network assessments (in conjunction with Report Manager)
  • Sales tool; leveraged as a proof of concept for prospective clients
  • Mixed environment: Essential on some devices and Professional on others (that is, Essential on workstations and Professional on Servers). Used to help transition non-contracted devices into contracts
  • Break/fix environments to assist with support process.

Essential mode license limits

The Essential mode license provides robust options. Some services have limited scan times as outlined in the table below.

Service Name Minimum Scan Interval
AV Status service 4 hours
Agent Status service 15 minutes
CPU service (local API, SNMP, WMI) 4 hours
Connectivity service 15 minutes
DNS service 15 minutes
Disk (Local API, SNMP, WMI) service 4 hours
TCP Port Availability service 15 minutes
Memory service (Local API, SNMP, WMI) 4 hours
Printer Conf Changes service 15 minutes
Printer Cover Status service 15 minutes
Printer Display service 15 minutes
Printer Page Count service 15 minutes
Paper Supply Level service 15 minutes
Printer Status service 15 minutes
Printer Toner Level service 15 minutes
SMTP service 15 minutes

Also note the following:

  • The only Automation Manager policies that may be run are:
    • List
    • Top
    • CPU-MEM
    • Processes
    • Software Inventory
  • Remote Control is only available on Professional licenses.
  • Patch management is only available on Professional licenses.
  • Backup Exec, SNMP, and EDF monitoring are not available.
  • Power Control and System Change management are not available.
  • Custom services are not available.
  • The device may not be used in any Scheduled Tasks.

The restriction on Scheduled Tasks is not enforced if managed services (for example, those related to AV Defender) are applied to Essential Mode devices in which case, Scheduled Tasks related to those services may be run on the device.

Changing license modes

When a service template is associated with a device that has been configured in Essential Mode, any services that are classified as Professional services will not be applied. If the device is then changed from Essential Mode to Professional Mode, N-able N-central will automatically re-apply service templates so that any services that had been omitted because they are classified as Professional services will be applied.

Licenses are applied for a minimum period of 15 days. For basic license types such as Professional licenses, the period starts when the license is initially applied, not when the device is imported.If a device’s license usage is modified, the original license usage will continue to be in effect until the 15-day minimum period has ended. Once that period elapses, the license will go back into the pool for use elsewhere.If the license is removed from the device after the 15 day period has expired, the license will immediately return to the available pool.

Feature comparison

The table below outlines the differences between the two license options.

Professional Essential
Monitoring Monitoring
  • Full Monitoring (5 minute intervals)
  • Asset Monitoring
  • Connectivity Monitoring
  • Patch Status Monitoring
  • Printer Monitoring
  • Warranty Monitoring
  • Event & Security logs
  • Windows Services
  • Windows Processes
  • Traffic Monitoring
  • VMware Monitoring
  • Custom Services
  • Asset Monitoring (4 hour interval)
  • Connectivity Monitoring (15 minute interval)
  • Patch status monitoring
  • Printer Monitoring
  • Warranty Discovery
Task Management Task Management
  • Patch Management (Windows)
  • Scheduled Automated Script Execution
  • Self-Healing Automated Procedures
  • Software Distribution
  • Application Compliance
  • License Key Discovery
  • License Key Discovery
Remote control options Remote control options
  • Remote Desktop
  • Web Page
  • Take Control
  • SSH
  • Telnet
Add-ons Add-ons
  • Backup Manager
  • AV Defender
  • Patch Management (Windows and 3rd Party)
  • Automation on Essentials
  • DirectSupport on Essentials
  • Backup Manager
  • AV Defender