What is Router Packet Loss?

Router packet loss can be caused by many different factors, but the most important are router memory or CPU overload. If the router's internal buffer is full, it will drop or reject further incoming packets, or drop packets based on prioritizing criteria.

Consequences of Packet Loss

A high packet loss rate can be responsible for poor audio quality in VoIP connections, resulting in the loss of parts of the conversation. It is therefore essential to measure router packet loss, as well as network packet loss, delay, and packet delay variation (jitter) before deploying VoIP applications. PRTG Network Monitor offers an advanced PING sensor, which lets you determine your router's packet loss rate as well as network latency. PRTG's QoS sensor measures the packet loss rate, jitter, and latency of your network connections.

These measurements help you to design and configure network traffic prioritization and router buffer parameters, which will help you to ensure network efficiency and good VoIP quality.

PRTG also monitors bandwidth usage: using SNMP, the built-in packet sniffer / port sniffer functionality, or NetFlow, the network performance monitor checks bandwidth usage in your network, and alerts you to bottlenecks which can result in router buffer overflow and thus in router packet loss.

PRTG Network Monitor

The Windows Network Monitor (for XP, Vista, Windows 7, 2003 and 2008) offers much more than packet loss monitoring: With more than 200 different sensor types, the PRTG SNMP management tools combine powerful bandwidth, network and server monitoring software in just one intuitive and highly customizable tool. Thus, PRTG enables you to stay on top of your network at all times, conduct a regular server performance test, and it makes network diagnostics and analysis easy.

PRTG is available in two editions: the IP sniffer freeware includes 30 sensors for home and small company networks, and several commercial licenses for advanced network monitoring needs.

Apart from PRTG, Paessler also offers the stress load test software WebServer Stress Tool for professional web load testing.

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