Paessler PRTG

Monitor network traffic with
all-in-one PRTG monitoring

 

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    PRTG monitors network traffic

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    PRTG monitors data packets

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    PRTG filters according to IPs, protocols, and data types

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    PRTG uses SNMP, packet sniffing, WMI, NetFlow

 

 
 

Looking to capture network traffic? Here are 3 typical situations where PRTG comes in handy:

gaining an overview

Gaining an overview

As a responsible administrator, you hope to obtain an overview of how much traffic is flowing through your network. PRTG lets you optimize network capacity planning. You can also determine if your full data allowance is actually being used, or if you need to buy more or can make do with less.

 analyzing

Analyzing a network

Is your company’s Internet connection becoming less and less reliable? Errors occur in the network – but you don’t know why? With PRTG, you get a network traffic tool that analyzes your data consumption and uncovers the causes of network disruptions. You’ll also identify bottlenecks and security leaks. Read more about network security here.

optimizing

Optimizing a network

Every network has a bandwidth hog. It might be an individual application, video stream, or overloaded WLAN. But it could also be a simple print job containing some big files that are temporarily clogging the network. PRTG Network Analyzer allows you to identify bandwidth hogs and therefore optimize your consumption of data.

 

4 traffic monitors: A comparison

 

 i 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.

View video (3:26 min.)

SNMP


SNMP

SNMP puts very little strain on the CPU and network loads. But it still provides for a complete overview. Detailed network analysis (including traffic filters) is however not possible. 

packet sniffer


Packet sniffer

With packet sniffing, data traffic can be analyzed according to IP addresses, protocols, and types of data. This method, however, generates much higher CPU and network loads. 

flow technologies


Flow technologies

Flow technologies (NetFlow, IPFIX, jFlow, sFlow) are best suited for Cisco, Juniper, and HP routers, but are used by other manufacturers as well. Flow technologies are particularly adapted for larger networks. 

 i NetFlow is a protocol for collecting, aggregating and recording traffic flow data in a network. NetFlow data provide a more granular view of how bandwidth and network traffic are being used than other monitoring solutions, such as SNMP. NetFlow was developed by Cisco and is embedded in Cisco’s IOS software on the company’s routers and switches and has been supported on almost all Cisco devices since the 11.1 train of Cisco IOS Software.
Read more

WMI


WMI

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) lets you monitor Windows Server. Compared to the other monitors, WMI takes up the most network resources. SNMP is a good alternative if you are looking to save network space. 

other network utilities


Other network utilities

PRTG supports many other network utilities like ping, nslookup, and traceroute.

 

A sneak peek at PRTG as a network traffic analyzer

 

That's why PRTG is your network traffic analyzer

Display network traffic: one tool for everything

Display network traffic: one tool for everything

PRTG monitors every part of your network. Speed, traffic, uptime, servers, routers, switches: PRTG is an all-in-one monitoring tool for your entire network. When problems arise, you’ll benefit from a complete overview that is available instantly. With PRTG, finding the sources of errors is quick and easy. And that means you'll save both time and frustration.

Have your network’s traffic displayed via an app on your tablet or smartphone. Perfect when out and about, for having a quick look at home, or while working on the rack in the server room.

Analyzing network traffic: detailed reporting

Analyzing network traffic: detailed reporting

The PRTG Network Traffic Tool collects all data and displays it in easy-to-read charts and graphs. The results are also sent to a reporting system, which you can configure to meet your own specific needs. With PRTG, data access is customizable. Find out more about the Reports feature.

Have customized reports sent to individual people or teams automatically. Made with easy-to-read charts, these reports can be used to show non-IT managers why the company needs to invest in the network.

Monitoring data traffic: the fast-acting PRTG alarm

Monitoring data traffic: the fast-acting PRTG alarm

Configure PRTG to send you an alert when certain situations arise. PRTG will notify you well in advance - such as when a sensor reveals a problem, but the network device is yet to fail. This means you can react immediately - before the error leads to something more serious. 

Sysadmins love our software’s built-in notification system. It lets them confidently go about their daily tasks without having to constantly worry about something going wrong with the network.

Monitoring data traffic: the right technology

Monitoring data traffic: the right technology

PRTG uses the following key technologies as traffic analyzer: SNMP, packet sniffing, Flow, WMI, and performance counters. Whether you’re dealing with Windows Server or a Cisco router: with PRTG, you always have the right technology for your monitoring, right at your fingertips.

Analyzing network traffic: long-term evaluations

Analyzing network traffic: long-term evaluations

PRTG lets you capture network traffic over the long-term and analyze historical data. You will see if peak loads occur at regular intervals over longer periods of time. If so, you can quickly get to the root of the problem. 

If you’re faced with a critical problem and want to perform an in-depth analysis of your network traffic, you can use PRTG with another tool such as Wireshark, which will provide for a more comprehensive look at the flow of your data. PRTG lets you quickly exclude a number of possible error sources, allowing you to get down to the root of problems faster.  

 

More network traffic monitoring sensors

The following sensors can also be used for network traffic monitoring with PRTG:

 

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

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

IPFIX

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

jFlow

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

sFlow

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

Windows Network Card

The Windows Network Card sensor monitors bandwidth usage and traffic on a network interface using WMI or Windows Performance Counters. It can show:

  • Total traffic on the network card
  • Traffic in and traffic out
  • Total number/number of received and sent packets
  • Number of discards/errors/unicast/non-unicast packets
  • Number of unknown protocols

 

Your network traffic at a glance

PRTG is set up in a matter of minutes and can be used on a wide variety of mobile devices.

 

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

vendors vm ware

 

PRTG monitors these vendors and applications, and more, in one view!

 

 

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.”

Read more reviews

“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.”

Read more reviews

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

Read more reviews

 

 

An overview: WMI, SNMP, packet sniffing, Flow

 

WMI

SNMP

Packet Sniffer

Flow (IPFIX, NetFlow, sFlow, jFlow)

Setup

Medium

Easy

Easy to complex (depending on filter rules used)

Can be complex (e.g., the switch must be configured)

Traffic can be filtered

NO

NO

YES

YES

Differentiate bandwidth usage by protocol or IPs

NO

NO

YES

YES

PRTG can show Toplists (Top Talker, Top Connections, Top Protocols, custom)

NO

NO

YES

YES

Filter bandwidth usage by IP

NO

NO

YES

YES

Filter bandwidth usage by MAC address

NO

NO

YES

NO

Filter bandwidth usage by physical network port

YES

YES

NO

NO

Monitor network parameters other than bandwidth usage

YES

YES

NO

NO

CPU load on the machine running PRTG

Medium

Low

Higher, depends on the amount of traffic

Higher, depends on the amount of traffic

Excess bandwidth usage of monitoring

Small

Small

None (except when monitoring switch ports are used)

Depends on the traffic

 

Definition, tools, alternatives

 Network traffic

Network traffic

Vast amounts of data flow through every network owned by a company or organization. Emails, video files, website visitors...Network traffic never ceases to rise, in every sector and business. If you’re an administrator, that means you’re constantly looking for ways to optimize the performance of your network.

 Traffic monitoring tools

Traffic monitoring tools

Administrators often search for appropriate tools with which to observe, measure, and analyze their traffic. Some of the available tools include free ones which allow for a detailed look into a network’s live data. Wireshark, for example, captures live, unfiltered network traffic. But unless you know what to look for, analyses can be extremely difficult to perform. Luckily, PRTG provides clear, long-term data recording to get you on the right track.

alternatives

Alternatives

Administrators are faced with the question of whether to use several small tools, or install one central tool with which they can analyze all their network traffic. In its trial version, PRTG is free of charge.

 

Network traffic monitoring: active or passive? Two everyday examples

Active: the sysadmin puts out a fire

Active: the sysadmin puts out a fire

The day starts well. Then, all of a sudden, the network crashes. Emails are stuck in the outbox, applications slow to a snail’s pace, and the technical support hotline rings off the hook. The sysadmin immediately gets to work. He looks for a tool that will display his network’s traffic. He searches, checks – and eventually finds the error.

Passive: a 24 x 7 tool

Passive: a 24 x 7 tool

With a network traffic monitoring tool like PRTG, the sysadmin can continually monitor the traffic in his network. He'll quickly be able to tell if the volume of data has increased, and with it the strain on the existing infrastructure. At the first sign of disruptions, he can take action and upgrade the weak spots in his network. Conclusion: Trust is good, but monitoring is better.

 

Example: case study

Hume Bank

www.humebank.com.au

“PRTG lets us constantly work in accordance with the two-man rule. PRTG notifies us immediately if something is wrong in our network. Thanks to PRTG, we can use our time and resources for the things which really demand our attention.”

Brad Mennen, System Administrator at Hume Bank in Australia. Hume Bank uses PRTG to monitor its LANs, WANs, servers, website, applications, and much more. To the case study

 
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You want to know more about other network-related monitoring topics?

Here you find everything about...

PRTG as network discovery tool

PRTG the network activity monitor

Real-time network monitoring

 

Monitoring and displaying network traffic: free vs. paid tools

Free software

Free software is ideal for those who are in search of a tool for a private network. If you’re a private user, then PRTG as enterprise software is not the right choice for you. If you’re the manager of a small network and wish to set up some lightweight yet powerful monitoring, then opt for the free version of PRTG. It comes with the alarm and reports features, as well as 100 sensors that never expire.

Paid software

All our licenses are easily upgradeable and priced in accordance with the total number of sensors. You’ll need around 10 sensors per device to set up comprehensive network monitoring. Start with the free version or a license including fewer sensors – you can always upgrade later.

 

For administrators, PRTG means...

Less Help Desk support

Less help desk support

With PRTG, your network is unmistakably more stable. And that results in fewer Help Desk requests. Let’s face it: the Help Desk can be quite the odious task, especially when problems and complaints are pressing and complicated. Save yourself this hassle with PRTG.

More time for hardware

More time for hardware

Our network monitor and alarm system allow you to concentrate on the important and enjoyable tasks in your day-to-day work with total peace of mind. Take the time to leisurely install new hardware, for example.

Optimization

Optimization

PRTG lets you monitor your network traffic on a permanent basis. Thanks to historical data, you'll receive a long-term database and can constantly optimize your network.

More time for evaluations

More time for evaluations

PRTG makes evaluating new hardware and applications a breeze. Network monitoring with PRTG is fun! Every day, you’ll get to know your network a little bit better.

 

gerald schoch

Practical tip: “Hey Gerald, what would you tell sysadmins who are looking to monitor the traffic in their networks?“

“PRTG toplists give you a constant overview of the amount of bandwidth that is currently being used by IP addresses, devices, ports, services, and protocols. If these values change, you can take action at once.“

Gerald Schoch, technical editor at Paessler AG

 

Create innovative solutions with Paessler’s IT partners

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

IP Fabric

Combining the broad monitoring feature set of PRTG with IP Fabric’s automated network assurance creates a new level of network visibility and reliability.

Read more

Plixer

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

Read more

ScriptRunner

With ScriptRunner, Paessler integrates a powerful event automation platform into PRTG Network Monitor.

Read more

 

 

Tips from our
knowledge base

 

 

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

 

 

 
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Want to read more? Please do!


SNMP Monitoring: PRTG comes with several preconfigured SNMP sensors. Head over to our SNMP Monitoring page to learn just how SNMP works, as well as how to set up SNMP monitoring and where obstacles can lie. 

Packet Sniffing: The PRTG Packet Sniffer Sensor monitors web traffic, mail traffic, file transfer traffic, and much more. Check out our section on packet sniffing to find out how to set up this Sensor, and to get an idea of the advantages and disadvantages that come with this technology. 

NetFlow Monitoring: The NetFlow protocol is mainly supported by Cisco routers and switches. On our NetFlow page, you’ll learn all you need to know about the various Flow technologies and how to configure their sensors.

 

PRTG The Swiss army knife

PRTG: The Swiss Army knife 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

 

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.

 

 

PRTG

Network Monitoring Software - Version 22.4.81.1532 (November 29th, 2022)

Hosting

Download for Windows and cloud-based version PRTG Hosted Monitor available

Languages

English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese

Pricing

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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