Bandwidth monitoring with PRTG
What is bandwidth monitoring?
Bandwidth monitoring is a method for measuring the actual bandwidth available on a local system (LAN or WiFi). Bandwidth monitoring tools display real-time data such as download and upload speeds and help prevent network strain. Private individuals and professionals alike use bandwidth monitoring to check for available bandwidth.
Find out who is hogging your bandwidth
"Who is hogging my bandwidth?" - maybe you hear that frustrating question over and over again from your users. They are complaining about a slow network and you need to identify the root of the problem. PRTG helps you determine how much bandwidth your devices and applications are using. Depending on your network and hardware, you can use different protocols like SNMP, flow or packet sniffing.
How to check bandwidth usage
Most bandwidth analysis solutions are only able to check internet traffic on a single device. For measuring all the traffic in your network, you need to monitor the data directly on your routers. Protocols like SNMP, NetFlow or WMI allow you to monitor bandwidth usage of your entire network. By using the Network Bandwidth Analyzer PRTG you get informed about all ingoing and outgoing traffic and see what application or what servers are using up the most bandwidth.
Bandwidth monitoring sensors
The following sensors can be used for bandwidth monitoring with PRTG:
Uses a MIB library file to create sensors that monitor a device via SNMP and provides custom monitoring beyond the standard SNMP sensors of PRTG.
SNMP Library Sensor
Monitors traffic on a device using the RMON standard via SNMP and can show i.a.:
- Transmitted kbit/s
- Packets, CRC Errors, Fragments, Jabbers, and collisions per second
SNMP RMON Sensor
Monitors traffic on a device using SNMP.
SNMP Traffic Sensor
PRTG makes bandwidth monitoring easy
With PRTG, it is easy to track and check bandwidth usage in your network.
The bandwidth tool reads the traffic data from your router and displays
the results in three graphs. This way, you will quickly and easily be able to check
bandwidth usage and the amount of data transferred.
Bandwidth monitoring for professionals
Bandwidth is measured as the amount of data that can be transferred from one point to another within a network in a specific amount of time. Typically, bandwidth is expressed as a bitrate and measured in bits per second (bps). It refers to the transmission capacity of a connection and is an important factor when determining the quality and speed of a network.
In professional settings (businesses or large organizations), reduced bandwidth has severe consequences. Disruptions lead to idleness on the part of employees and customers and a corresponding loss of sales. Administrators must promptly expose and eliminate bandwidth hogs.
In this instance, our PRTG bandwidth monitoring tool will help you to monitor bandwidth, detect and measure heavy bandwidth overloads, quickly recognize potential disruptions – and get down to the root of the problem.
PRTG tells you for instance which user, service, or which device is using the most bandwidth.
This is a short video about bandwidth monitoring
Measuring bandwidth: 3 situations where PRTG comes in handy
With PRTG, you'll be able to promptly identify potential bandwidth overloads and quickly pinpoint the causes of crashes.
One single network component overloading can swiftly result in a significant loss of bandwidth.
large file transfers
Practically every company sends large files. These files consume a correspondingly high amount of bandwidth. But bottlenecks lurking in every network slow down transfers.
Your co-workers complain that the programs used internally are too slow? Your customers are unhappy because your website constantly seems bogged down? Then the problem probably lies with your bandwidth.
No IT can do without backups. In general, backups or database synchronizations require a great deal of bandwidth. Without the proper amount of bandwidth your network can be brought to its knees.
Obtain a comprehensive overview of your bandwidth usage
How do I monitor bandwidth?
PRTG reads the complete traffic data from your router and provides detailed statistics about which services and programs use your bandwidth, and where potential bottlenecks could be.
PRTG displays your bandwidth usage in graphs and toplists and shows net bandwidth consumption based on various parameters such as port numbers, IP addresses, protocols, etc., using either Packet Sniffing or xFlow sensors (NetFlow, sFlow, jFlow, and IPFIX).
Custom alerts notify you about bandwidth shortages via SMS, email, or push notifications. This ensures you can react proactively to all bandwidth issues and troubleshoot problems before they become severe.
Monitoring bandwidth usage is key to better network management.
What is a sensor?
In PRTG, “sensors” are the basic monitoring elements. One sensor usually monitors one measured value in your network, e.g. the traffic of a switch port, the CPU load of a server, the free space of a disk drive. On average you need about 5-10 sensors per device or one sensor per switch port.
PRTG simplifies your day
Our monitoring software works for you and promptly notifies you of potential issues.
It frees you to concentrate on your day-to-day tasks with peace of mind.
PRTG saves time
With PRTG, you get one central monitoring tool for your servers and entire network. Enjoy a quick overview of your whole infrastructure via our dashboard and app.
PRTG saves worry
Customizing PRTG is a breeze. Getting started or switching from another network monitoring tool is easy thanks to the auto-discovery and pre-configured device templates.
Customer example: Austria’s rail traffic relies on PRTG
"Due to business-critical applications, it is of the utmost importance that the ÖBB Infrastruktur AG data network constantly run flawlessly. To make this a reality, the management installed PRTG Network Monitor. PRTG is used for the bandwidth monitoring of the central routers and switches in the data network so administrators can determine the most important key parameters for utilization and availability. In total, the monitoring consists of several thousand sensors which query the relevant values in regular intervals."
Test bandwidth: Use PRTG to test with success!
PRTG BANDWIDTH MONITORING METHODS
by Heather Pacan, Systems Engineer
In this video, you’ll get a quick overview of the methods PRTG offers. Discover which method is best suited for your IT infrastructure.
You’d like to know if your ISP actually provides the bandwidth they’ve promised? Then just like many administrators, you probably perform frequent SLA checks. But how do you test bandwidth? Two challenges arise:
In order to test the maximum throughput, you must use your line to maximum capacity. This means there will be no more resources for other data during the network test. In other words, you'll paralyze your network.
For a 100% measurement, you’ll essentially need two computers which are directly located on the ends of the line whose bandwidth you would like to test. Otherwise you will also simultaneously test all network devices found on the “test track.”
For these reasons, you cannot measure the bandwidth directly over the course of the entire test, but must test the speed of the line by generating short load peaks, e.g. by downloading a small file (a few kB) every few minutes and measuring the time it takes for the download.
The solution: This is how to test with PRTG
Let the sensors run for a few hours with a 5-minute interval. The sensors have a channel which specify the bandwidths achieved during the file download in Kbps.
If, for example, you have a data line with a specified bandwidth of 4 Mbps, the network test of a 500 kB file should last 1,000 ms (1 second): 4 Megabits per second = .5 MB per second = 500 kB per second.
If your line is used by others during the network test, you will see jitter (unwanted fluctuations) on the curve, for your test did not always run with the full amount of available bandwidth. If there was no other traffic on the line, your curve should closely resemble a straight line. Bandwidth checks with PRTG will allow you to monitor your network and potential bottlenecks.
Attention! If you download a 500 kB file every 60 seconds, you'll generate a data volume of 720 MB per day!
Bandwidth monitor: What makes PRTG better than the rest?
Looking for the causes of slow applications or other problems without a monitoring tool is long and costly. PRTG provides a comprehensive network bandwidth monitor. You get around 20 sensors just for the monitoring of your bandwidth, and these sensors can be created automatically.
PRTG lets you keep an eye on your bandwidth over a longer period of time, and recognize the times when utilization has spiked. This allows you to proactively plan for more bandwidth at certain times - such as when your website is in high demand, when users tend to draw heavily upon applications, or when an update is about to take place (read more about update monitoring here).
Promptly diagnose capacity
Your bandwidth is slowly reaching its limit? With PRTG bandwidth monitor, you'll know immediately when maximum capacity has been reached. This lets you plan for new resources in a timely manner.
By discovering and removing bandwidth hogs, you'll increase the efficiency of your network. You'll also benefit from lasting savings. Most of the time, these measures alone quickly compensate for the costs of PRTG.
With PRTG as your bandwidth tester, you'll provide a stable bandwidth, boost the reliability of your network, and simply enjoy greater control of your IT infrastructure. As a consequence, you'll play a major role both in the improved performance of co-workers and in soaring customer satisfaction.
PRTG: The Swiss Army knife for sysadminsAdapt PRTG individually and dynamically to your needs relying on a strong API:
- HTTP API: Access monitoring data and manipulate monitoring objects using HTTP requests
- Custom Sensors: Create your own sensors for customized monitoring
- Custom Notifications: Create your own notifications to send alarms to external systems
- REST Custom Sensor: Monitor almost everything that provides XML or JSON
Practical tip: “Hey Mathias, what would you tell administrators who wish to monitor their bandwidth?”
“Instead of trying to measure bandwidth by way of an extra, simulated load, you should have a look around for actions which do that anyway – and then monitor them. For example, when you perform backups, you often put great strain on the bandwidth and can thus easily recognize shortages or bottlenecks.”
Mathias Hengl, PRTG developer at Paessler AG
What's the difference between
PRTG Network Monitor & PRTG Enterprise Monitor?
is the right solution for you if
- you need to monitor up to about 500 to 1,000 devices
- knowing every detail about network and infrastructure is your main requirement
- you need one easy-to-use monitoring tool for a small or midsize IT environment
Fully functional 30-day trial version
is the right solution for you if
- you need to monitor more than 1,000 devices
- you are looking for a management overview in addition to all the details
- you are responsible for a large and distributed IT environment
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