Paessler PRTG

Cacti vs. PRTG: Why PRTG is more than just an alternative to Cacti


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    PRTG is a powerful all-in-one monitoring tool

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    Custom dashboards and maps
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    Quick and easy to use and configure



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.


Easy setup


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.


quote steve coppin

“I particularly like having breakfast at home and just surveying my domain, and understanding what's working and what isn't.”

Steve Coppin, Oxford University


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





Packet Sniffer

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.


PRTG comes with all the features you need, plus more your IT infrastructure won't want to live without.



PRTG monitors these vendors and applications in one view!


vendors vm ware



Trusted by 500,000 users and recognized
by industry analysts as a leader


“Fantastic network and infrastructure monitoring solution that is easy to deploy and easier still to use. Simply the best available.”

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“Software is absolutely perfect, Support is superior. Meets all needs and requirements, this is a must have solution if you are needing any form of monitoring.”

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“The tool excels at its primary focus of being a unified infrastructure management and network monitoring service.”

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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.

PRTG tested by

PRTG tested by ITPro


Custom notifications

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.


Easy-to-understand dashboards and maps

PRTG displays all your monitoring data in easy-to-read charts. Create and customize the appearance of your very own dashboard. Keep a constant eye on all the important data in your network and immediately see if everything is running smoothly.


Use the PRTG Map Editor to create network charts with just a few clicks


PRTG vs. other monitoring tools

PRTG vs. other monitoring tools

Create innovative solutions with Paessler’s partners

Partnering with innovative vendors, Paessler unleashes synergies to create
new and additional benefits for joined customers.


Paessler and Plixer provide a complete solution adding flow and metadata analysis to a powerful network monitoring tool.

Read more


IT that works constitutes a business-critical basis for a company's success. Availability and security must be defined for the respective purpose and closely monitored – by OT and IT alike.

Read more


Siemon and Paessler bring together intelligent building technology and advanced monitoring and make your vision of intelligent buildings and data centers become reality.

Read more


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.


Recommend PRTG


PRTG the multi-tool

PRTG: The multi-tool for sysadmins

Adapt 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.


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Save effort

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.

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Save time

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.

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Save money

80% of our customers report substantial cost savings with network monitoring. Your costs of licenses will likely pay for themselves within weeks.



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.



Try Paessler PRTG for free

Everyone has different monitoring needs. That’s why we let you try PRTG for free. Start now with your trial.




Network Monitoring Software - Version (April 10th, 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)

Unified Monitoring

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

Supported Vendors & Applications

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