PRTG: All-in-one
bandwidth monitoring


  • Analyze your network
    bandwidth with PRTG

  • PRTG detects
    bandwidth overloads


  • PRTG Bandwidth monitor
    supports SNMP, WMI,
    Packet Sniffing and Netflow


Free Download

Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days. After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version.
Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime.






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 strainPrivate 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 Network Monitor 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:


Packet Sniffer

Monitors the headers of data packets that pass a local network using a built-in packet sniffer. It can show the following traffic types (analyzes only header traffic!):

  • Chat (IRC, AIM)
  • Citrix
  • FTP/P2P
  • Mail, WWW
  • Remote control (RDP, SSH, Telnet, VNC)

Packet Sniffer Sensor


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



Monitors traffic on a device using SNMP.

SNMP Traffic Sensor 

NetFlow V9

Shows traffic for NetFlow v9-supported devices, split by type and is able to divide traffic into channels. Traffic types include:

  • Chat (IRC, AIM)
  • Citrix
  • FTP/P2P
  • Mail, WWW
  • Remote control (RDP, SSH, Telnet, VNC)

NetFlow v9 Sensor

NetFlow V5

Shows traffic for NetFlow V5-supported devices, split by type and is able to divide traffic into channels. Traffic types include:

  • Chat (IRC, AIM)
  • Citrix
  • FTP/P2P
  • Mail, WWW
  • Remote control (RDP, SSH, Telnet, VNC)

NetFlow v5 Sensor


Shows traffic for IPFIX-supported devices, split by type and is able to divide traffic into channels. Traffic types include:

  • Chat (IRC, AIM)
  • Citrix
  • FTP/P2P
  • Mail, WWW
  • Remote control (RDP, SSH, Telnet, VNC)

IPFIX Sensor


Shows traffic for jFlow-supported devices, split by type and is able to divide traffic into channels. Traffic types include:

  • Chat (IRC, AIM)
  • Citrix
  • FTP/P2P
  • Mail, WWW
  • Remote control (RDP, SSH, Telnet, VNC)

jFlow v5 Sensor


Shows traffic for sFlow-supported devices, split by type and is able to into channels. Traffic types include:

  • Chat (IRC, AIM)
  • Citrix
  • FTP/P2P
  • Mail, WWW
  • Remote control (RDP, SSH, Telnet, VNC)

sFlow Sensor


Monitors the traffic of an IPsec VPN connection on a Cisco ASA using SNMP and shows the incoming and outgoing traffic. 

SNMP Cisco ASA VPN Traffic Sensor

Cisco ADSL

Monitors ADSL statistics of a Cisco router using SNMP. It can show:

  • Speed of downlink and uplink
  • Remote and local attenuation, SNR and local power output

SNMP Cisco ADSL Sensor

NetApp Storage

Monitors a network card of a NetApp storage system via SNMP and can show:

  • Traffic in and out
  • Number of errors per second (in and out)

SNMP NetApp Network Interface Sensor

Windows Network Card

Monitors bandwidth usage and traffic on a network interface using WMI or Windows Performance Counters and can show among others:

  • Total traffic on the network card
  • Number of received and sent packets
  • Number of discards, errors, unicast packets and unknown protocols

Windows Network Card Sensor

IPFIX/xFlow/Packet Sniffer/SNMP

Lets you define your own channel definitions according to your needs

Custom Sensor


PRTG makes bandwidth monitoring easy 

With PRTG Network Monitor, it is easy to track and check bandwidth usage in your network. 
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 
bandwidth usage and the amount of data transferred.


Bandwidth monitoring for professionals


iBandwidth 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.
Read more

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.


Free Download

Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days. After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version.
Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime.


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.


Problems with large file transfers

Problems with
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.

Slow applications


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.

Malfunctions when backing up

Malfunctions when
backing up

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

PRTG Network Monitor 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.


iWhat 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.

View video (3:26 min.)


“We can all work with greater peace of mind knowing that our systems are constantly
being monitored.”

Markus Puke, Network Administrator, Schüchtermann Klinik, Germany


This is what bandwidth monitoring
looks like in PRTG


Free Download

Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days. After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version.
Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime.


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 PRTG auto-discovery and pre-configured device templates.

PRTG saves money

80% of our customers report substantial or even exceptional cost savings in the area of network monitoring. The experience shows that the costs for licenses have paid for themselves within a matter of weeks.



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."

To the case study (in German)


TIP: You are still new to monitoring
and need a little support?

Paessler offers a free, multi-part email course covering the 4 basic methods of bandwidth monitoring: SNMP, Packet Sniffing, Flow, and WMI. Learn more about individual processes and the possibilities of using them to improve bandwidth usage in your network.

Sign up here for our free email coaching and learn how you can put your resources to better use with Paesslers bandwidth meter.


Trusted by 300,000 users
and recognized by industry analysts as a leader




Free Download

Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days. After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version.
Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime.


Test bandwidth:
Use PRTG to test with success!

Video 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.

View video (3:57 Min.)

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: 

Challenge 1:

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.

Challenge 2: 

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

Create three HTTP Advanced sensors, which access several files of circa 500 kB from a variety of "fast servers" (e.g. your ISP's static websites).

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?

Quick troubleshooting

Quick troubleshooting

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.

Identify shortages

Identify shortages

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

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.

Reduce costs

Reduce costs

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.

Increase morale

Increase morale

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 sys admins

Adapt 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
  • New REST API 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


German quality

Free Download
  • Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days
  • After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version
  • Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime



Administrators must compare monitoring tools or search for a free one. There are several suppliers on the market.

PRTG comes with a full range of advantages:

1. Free trial version: PRTG is available in a free trial version. Use this version to get a feel for our network monitoring tool with no risk whatsoever.

2. Over 300,000 administrators: whether in large or small businesses, authorities, colleges or administrations - all around the world, more than 300,000 administrators put their trust in our network monitoring tool, and can therefore also monitor their bandwidth. Read our case studies here.

3. Support: do you have a question? We respond in a jiffy! You can already access a great deal of information online by consulting our FAQs, manuals, videos, webcasts, or knowledge base. You can of course also send us a message. We'll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours on business days.

PRTG – your network monitoring tool

PRTG is the Paessler AG all-in-one network monitoring tool. Our software is used by more than 300,000 administrators worldwide, whether it be to monitor their hardware- and server performance , their virtual environments, or the accessibility of their websites. Use PRTG for database monitoring or SQL monitoring.  PRTG is a one fits all network analyzer tool.

Save time, worry, and money. PRTG is configured in a matter of minutes. The trial version is offered free of charge. And you can upgrade whenever you like.



Network Monitoring Software - Version (October 20th, 2020)


Download for Windows and hosted version available


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Up to 100 sensors for free (Price List)

Unified Monitoring

Network devices, bandwidth, servers, applications, virtual environments, remote systems, IoT, and more

Supported Vendors & Applications


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