PRTG network sniffer: What you’ll find on this page
Free sniffer: Having a nose for trouble saves hours of frustration
We've all been there. Hours (or days) tracking down a failed switch, or working out why a critical app isn't running properly… while busy colleagues sit around and wait, and your boss breathes down your neck.
Paessler PRTG monitors traffic across your entire network and sniffs out issues before your system crashes, saving you time, stress, and frustration.
3 reasons why to choose PRTG to sniff out network issues
Get instant diagnostics
Don't tear your hair out trying to get to the root of a network problem. Whether it's a glitchy protocol, an issue with data packet transfers, IP addresses, or something else, PRTG alerts you immediately and shows you what and where to check, so you can fix things double quick.
Try now, pay later
Yes, really. Access PRTG's full feature set — including the alerting and customizable notification system, reporting, and all of our 250+ preconfigured sensors – for 30 days, 100% free. You don't have to buy a license if you don't think it's the right tool for you.
What network packet sniffing looks like in PRTG
Diagnose network issues by continuously monitoring data packets. Show the volume and sources of traffic across your entire network in real time and visualize data in graphic maps & dashboards to identify problems more easily. Gain the visibility you need to troubleshoot dips in your network's performance.
How PRTG network sniffer works
How PRTG defines sensors
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 uses sophisticated sensors to continuously log inbound and outbound traffic across your network, analyze the content of data packets, and alert you if there are issues. Each sensor tracks a specific metric, enabling you to pinpoint (or exclude) the reason for network disruption straight away.
With our preconfigured Packet Sniffer sensor, you can track, for example:
- Total traffic
- Web traffic
- Email traffic
- File transfers
- Top talkers
- Top connections
- Top protocols
Combine it with any other of PRTG’s 250 preconfigured sensors to conduct more in-depth analysis, and track the health and performance of all your hardware, cloud and virtualization environments (VMware, Hyper-V, AWS…), databases (MySQL, Microsoft SQL, Oracle SQL, PostgreSQL…), and more.
PRTG is compatible with all major vendors and manufacturers
Your network sniffer for Windows at a glance – even on the go
Set up PRTG in minutes and use it on almost any mobile device.
Create innovative solutions with Paessler’s partners
Partnering with innovative vendors, Paessler unleashes synergies to create
new and additional benefits for joined customers.
“Excellent tool for detailed monitoring. Alarms and notifications work greatly. Equipment addition is straight forward and server initial setup is very easy. ...feel safe to purchase it if you intend to monitor a large networking landscape.”
Infrastructure and Operations Engineer in the Communications Industry, firm size 10B - 30B USD
Network sniffer: FAQ
A sniffer (also known as network analyzer or packet analyzer) is a software that can intercept and log traffic on a network. The tool captures each packet that flows across the infrastructure and analyzes its content.
PRTG is a proprietary software that shows you, as a network sniffing tool, how much traffic is flowing through your network and where it's coming from in real time. It logs every data packet and analyzes its content, so it's quick and easy to track how much bandwidth you're using and troubleshoot performance issues.
Because it helps you identify and address network performance issues before it's too late. It's like having a personal guard dog with a highly sensitive nose, continuously sniffing for signs of trouble. But a network sniffer isn't just for troubleshooting. It's also useful for the following:
- Tracking bandwidth usage spikes (and dips)
- Analyzing your network's overall performance
- Identifying and pinpointing unusual traffic in your network
- Collecting data for security analysis in your infosec team
The simple answer is: it depends (and no, we're not trying to sidestep the question). The free sniffer tool is perfect for diagnosing a specific problem, or if you have a small network and only need to monitor traffic from limited sources. But if you have a larger, more complex network and need comprehensive monitoring, alerting, and reporting, the full version is probably the better choice. Still unsure? Try the full version for 30 days, completely free. No catches.
In PRTG, “sensors” are the basic monitoring elements. One sensor usually monitors one measured value in your network, for example the traffic of a switch port, the CPU load of a server, or the free space on a disk drive.
On average, you need about 5-10 sensors per device or one sensor per switch port.
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
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.
Paessler PRTG is used by companies of all sizes. Sysadmins love PRTG because it makes their job a whole lot easier. Bandwidth, servers, virtual environments, websites, VoIP services – PRTG keeps an eye on your entire network. Everyone has different monitoring needs. That’s why we let you try PRTG for free.
Still not convinced?
More than 500,000
sysadmins love PRTG
Monitor your entire IT infrastructure
Try Paessler PRTG
Paessler PRTG is used by companies of all sizes. Sysadmins love PRTG because it makes their job a whole lot easier.
Bandwidth, servers, virtual environments, websites, VoIP services – PRTG keeps an eye on your entire network.
Everyone has different monitoring needs. That’s why we let you try PRTG for free.
|Network Monitoring Software - Version 184.108.40.2064 (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