Cacti is an open-source RRD tool that regularly collects and displays network data.
As being a free tool, Cacti can quickly fall short if you’re looking to set up comprehensive network monitoring.
PRTG is a powerful all-in-one network monitoring tool that is much more than just an alternative to Cacti.
Upon downloading PRTG, your monitoring environment is set up in a few quick clicks. The Auto Discovery feature automatically scans your network for devices and services, then creates appropriate sensors to monitor them. Adding, customizing, and removing sensors is also quick and easy.
Configuring Cacti, on the other hand, can be extremely complicated and laborious. If errors occur, you can spend hours troubleshooting and may even have to start over completely. The time you will spend on setup, optimization, and troubleshooting can quickly make the actual cost of the open-source tool Cacti go through the roof.
With PRTG, you’ll enjoy user-friendly software that nicely frees up your workday.
PRTG offers comprehensive bandwidth monitoring
Cacti mainly offers bandwidth and traffic monitoring via SNMP and displays data in charts. If you are hoping to analyze network bandwidth in detail or break bandwidth down by IP address or protocol (for example), Cacti monitoring may not be enough.
PRTG offers comprehensive bandwidth monitoring including a complete overview of the bandwidth usage in your network. Along with SNMP, PRTG supports protocols such as Flow and WMI, as well as packet sniffing technology. As a result, you can quickly identify potential disruptions, determine the causes of problems, and eliminate errors.
Learn more about bandwidth monitoring with PRTG here.
Traffic monitoring: A comparison of WMI, SNMP, packet sniffing, and NetFlow
Flow (IPFIX, NetFlow, sFlow, jFlow)
Easy to complex (depending on filter rules used)
Can be complex (e.g., the switch must be configured)
Traffic can be filtered
Differentiate bandwidth usage by protocol or IPs
PRTG can show Toplists (Top Talker, Top Connections, Top Protocols, custom)
Filter bandwidth usage by IP
Filter bandwidth usage by MAC address
Filter bandwidth usage by physical network port
Monitor network parameters other than bandwidth usage
CPU load on the machine running PRTG
Higher, depends on the amount of traffic
Higher, depends on the amount of traffic
Excess bandwidth usage of monitoring
None (except when monitoring switch ports are used)
Depends on the traffic
Multiple monitoring functions
As an all-in-one monitoring tool, PRTG does much more than just monitor network traffic and bandwidth. Among other things, it also provides an overview of your network hardware, virtual machines, servers, databases, and applications.
By working with technologies such as SNMP, SSH, Flow, WMI, and ICMP (used by ping), as well as a powerful API, PRTG lets you monitor practically every component in your network. Discover an overview of all PRTG features here.
Keep a constant eye on your network – even while on the go
Set up PRTG in minutes and use it on almost any mobile device.
Trusted by 500,000 users and recognized
by industry analysts as a leader
Intuitive and user-friendly
In today’s world, networks keep getting more and more complex. A user-friendly monitoring tool therefore makes all the difference. At Paessler, we strive to make PRTG as user-friendly for our customers as possible. If customer feedback is any indication, then we’ve already achieved this goal. The time you spend on cumbersome tools like Cacti can be better spent – or saved – by using PRTG.
Independent tests continually emphasize the outstanding usability of PRTG.
Network errors and downtime can cost companies cold hard cash. PRTG therefore comes with a built-in notification system that immediately informs you of errors. You can set your threshold values yourself, as well as your choice of alarm (e.g. push notification, email, or SMS). With PRTG, you can stop most errors before they arise.
Use the PRTG Map Editor to create network charts with just a few clicks
Create innovative solutions with Paessler’s partners
Partnering with innovative vendors, Paessler unleashes synergies to create
new and additional benefits for joined customers.
We asked: would you recommend PRTG?
Over 95% of our customers say yes!
Paessler AG conducted trials in over 600 IT departments worldwide to tune its network monitoring software closer to the needs of sysadmins.
The result of the survey: over 95% of the participants would recommend PRTG – or already have.
PRTG: The multi-tool for sysadminsAdapt PRTG individually and dynamically to your needs and rely on a strong API:
- HTTP API: Access monitoring data and manipulate monitoring objects via HTTP requests
- Custom sensors: Create your own PRTG sensors for customized monitoring
- Custom notifications: Create your own notifications and send action triggers to external systems
- REST Custom sensor: Monitor almost everything that provides data in XML or JSON format
PRTG makes your job easier
Our monitoring software frees you to focus on other tasks by promptly notifying you of potential issues.
PRTG gives you one central monitoring tool for your servers and entire network. Enjoy a quick overview of your whole infrastructure via our dashboard and app.
Getting started with PRTG is a breeze. Setting up or switching from another network monitoring tool is easy thanks to the auto-discovery and pre-configured device templates.
Still not convinced?
More than 500,000 sysadmins love PRTG
Paessler PRTG is used by companies of all sizes. Sysadmins love PRTG because it makes their job a whole lot easier.
Still not convinced?
Monitor your entire IT infrastructure
Bandwidth, servers, virtual environments, websites, VoIP services – PRTG keeps an eye on your entire network.
|Network Monitoring Software - Version 220.127.116.114 (February 14th, 2024)
|Download for Windows and cloud-based version PRTG Hosted Monitor available
|English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese
|Up to 100 sensors for free (Price List)
|Network devices, bandwidth, servers, applications, virtual environments, remote systems, IoT, and more
Supported Vendors & Applications