“The page below is from the manual of PRTG, our quick-to-install and easy-to-use network monitoring software”

Aurelio, System Admin at Paessler AG

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What is an “SNMP Community String”?

The “SNMP Community string” is like a user id or password that allows access to a router's or other device's statistics. PRTG sends the community string along with all SNMP requests. If the community string is correct, the device responds with the requested information. If the community string is incorrect, the device simply discards the request and does not respond.

Note: SNMP Community strings are used only by devices which support SNMPv1 and SNMPv2c protocol. SNMPv3 uses username/password authentication, along with an encryption key.

By convention, most SNMPv1-v2c equipment ships from the factory with a read-only community string set to "public". It is standard practice for network managers to change all the community strings to customized values in the device setup.

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