Packet loss is one of the most common errors encountered in digital communications. It can result in highly noticeable performance issues or jitter with streaming technologies, VoIP, video conferencing and online gaming, and can also affect other network applications.

PRTG Network Monitor is a comprehensive network management and monitoring tool, which includes advanced packet loss monitoring functionality. It runs on all windows versions and is a very effective tool for network troubleshooting and monitoring. It only takes a few minutes to download, install and configure the trial or free version.

PING Packet Loss

PING tests are an essential tool for determining packet loss and network troubleshooting. With PRTG’s PING sensor, you can monitor the availability of a device and measure packet loss (including wide area networks, wireless networks, router and internet packet loss) in percent. The PING test is the basic method for measuring the packet loss rate. You can configure PRTG to alert you when packets are not received in an orderly fashion. PRTG's flexible alerting system lets you determine the percentage of lost packets that is still acceptable for you, so you will only be notified when the value is above this limit.

Monitoring Packet Loss with PRTG's QoS Sensor

PRTG also has a built-in QoS (Quality of Service) sensor, which is a more advanced tool for determining network packet loss and VoIP packet loss. For UDP based services such as VoIP, lost or reordered packets can have a huge impact on the quality of the connection. UDP packet loss is measured by the QoS sensor, which takes its measurements by sending UDP packets between two remote probes. Thus, it determines factors such as VoIP jitter, lost packets, packet delay and network latency.

Packet Loss Monitoring with IP SLA

Another possibility to monitor lost, duplicated and reordered packets and for to determine quality of VoIP traffic is IP SLA Monitoring, which is included in Cisco’s IOS software. If you own hardware which supports IP SLA then PRTG is likely to provide you with the least-cost monitoring solution for IP SLA. Most vendors charge extra for IP SLA support. Following Paessler's long term policy, we simply include this as one of our sensor types. If you use the Freeware Edition, PRTG is a free IP SLA monitor!

PRTG Network Monitor

PRTG Network Monitoring Software is available in two editions. For basic, free bandwidth tracking and availability monitoring functionality, the Freeware Edition may be downloaded and used for personal and commercial use completely free of charge. For more advanced needs, licenses for the Commercial Editions start at $440 / €330.

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