Packet capture tool PRTG:
All-in-one monitoring


  • PRTG monitors
    data traffic

  • PRTG analyzes
    data packets

  • PRTG monitors IP, UDP,
    and TCP traffic

  • PRTG uses
    packet sniffers

  • PRTG uses NetFlow, IPFIX,
    sFlow and jFlow


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 sensors for analyzing data packets

 i What 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.)



PRTG lets you monitor IP packets and filter according to UDP and TCP packets, for example. The following PRTG sensors will allow you to capture packets:

Packet Sniffing Sensor

Packet Sniffer sensor

With the Packet Sniffer Sensor, you can monitor web traffic, mail traffic, file transfer traffic, infrastructure traffic, and remote control traffic, among others. The sensor only analyzes the headers of data packets, and therefore puts little strain on your system. To the Packet Sniffer Sensor.

NetFlow sensors

NetFlow sensors

The NetFlow protocol is mainly used by Cisco devices. PRTG comes with corresponding NetFlow sensors. Whether NetFlow v5, NetFlow v9, or IPFIX: PRTG has sensors for Cisco routers and switches that can handle any future developments. To the NetFlow sensors.

 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

sFlow sensors

sFlow sensors

sFlow sensors only check every nth packet. You will therefore put even less strain on your network. These sensors are especially suited for extremely large networks, where reducing the network load caused by monitoring is a must. To the sFlow Sensor.

jFlow sensors

jFlow sensors

jFlow sensors are often used for Juniper Networks devices. If you use Juniper routers or switches, jFlow is a particularly good way to monitor data traffic and packets. To the jFlow-Sensor.


Custom sensors

Custom sensors

NetFlow, IPFIX, jFlow, and sFlow sensors are also available as custom sensors. These sensors can be configured to serve as individual channels or to monitor the data traffic you wish to analyze. As a result, you can pinpoint your troubleshooting. To the Flow-sensors.

more than sensors

... more than sensors

You'll find over 250 sensors in our sensor list. These sensors are part of a single, centralized tool that allows you to perform comprehensive monitoring and capture data traffic. With PRTG, you’ll keep a constant eye on your entire network and all ongoing network activities. Our sensor list is continually being updated.


PRTG is a vital tool for getting your IT into tip-top shape!

The costs for a one-year PRTG license pay for themselves in an average of only a few weeks.
License costs vary according to the size of your network.

PRTG makes
your network more reliable

PRTG improves the reliability of your network

PRTG saves
network management costs

PRTG saves network management costs

PRTG saves time
spent on network management

PRTG saves time spent on network management


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.


Keep a constant eye on your network – even while on the go

PRTG can be started within minutes and it's compatible with many mobile devices.


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, and more, in one view!



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

Markus Puke, Network Administrator, Schüchtermann Klinik, Germany


Packet analysis: 6 advantages of PRTG 

Quick setup

Quick setup

While configuring PRTG, the Auto Discovery feature is launched automatically. This feature searches all the devices in your network, and creates sensors for monitoring them. Basic monitoring is therefore configured during the setup process, and available when opening PRTG for the very first time. This saves you time and hassle. Initial results, furthermore, are displayed immediately.

Custom filters

Custom filters

Custom sensors allow you to choose the types of data you wish to capture. For example, you may opt to only analyze HTTP or file transfer traffic. You can also just have certain servers or devices displayed. As a result, you will pinpoint your troubleshooting.


Easy-to-understand dashboard

Easy-to-understand dashboard

All important facts and figures are displayed in an easy-to-understand, customizable dashboard. Whether on your desktop, smartphone, or tablet: PRTG is always available! Have a look at some examples of dashboards.


Toplists for the overview

Toplists for
the overview

Each sensor automatically provides “toplists.” View the top talkers, top connections, and top protocols at a glance. You'll maintain a constant overview, and can subsequently perform an in-depth packet analysis or diagnosis.


Long-term analysis


PRTG lets you capture data traffic over a longer period of time, and then analyze this traffic. You’ll therefore detect long-term anomalies, such as an abnormal increase in certain protocols or data types in the total traffic at certain times or on specific days.



One tool for a variety of manufacturers

One tool for a variety of manufacturers

Whether a Cisco router, Juniper switch, or Microsoft server: PRTG has the right sensors for your network. Benefit from one central monitoring tool instead of a handful of separate solutions. PRTG lets you monitor total traffic as well as individual data packets.



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


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.


Network: Where do I monitor data packets?

Video Tip: How to monitor your bandwidth with packet sniffing and flow technologies

View video (19:04 Min., English)



Capturing packets on the router

Capturing packets on the router

Connect PRTG to the monitoring port of a router or send flows to PRTG and use corresponding sensors to capture all data packets which pass through it. This procedure is the most common one.

Capturing packets on the switch

Capturing packets on the switch

You can also use sensors to monitor data packets on an individual switch.

Capturing packets with VMware

Capturing packets with VMware

PRTG monitors your virtual infrastructure by way of port mirroring on routers or access points. You will subsequently see which and how much data your ESX server sends and receives.


Capturing packets on the server

Capturing packets on the server

With PRTG, you can limit packet capture to individual servers. This is appropriate for email and web servers, for example.


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 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.



Over 95% of our customers recommend PRTG


Paessler AG worldwide trialled PRTG in over 600 IT departments.
The aim was to tune the network monitoring software closer to the needs of the administrators.
The result of the survey: over 95% of the participants would recommend PRTG - or already had.

Recommend 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.


Data packets: Definition & tools

Packet delay

Data packets

Data packets make it possible for data to be communicated via the Internet. They are sent via all the usual protocols. TCP packets are extremely reliable during the exchange of data, as errors are checked for and eventually removed. With UDP packets, the focus is on the quick exchange of data. PRTG monitors IP, TCP, and UDP packets, as well as other protocols.


Packet loss

Packet capture tools

Many administrators use Wireshark to analyze their data packets. This tool, however, has the disadvantage that all information is captured live and unfiltered. This makes analyses difficult to perform as there is no clear indication of where to start. Although the tool provides an in-depth look, it does not come with an overview. PRTG takes a different approach. It lets you filter data packets according to various properties to detect potential problem areas, and then check these areas in more detail. By doing so, you'll get to the root of problems faster and more easily.



Also interesting:

Uptime Monitoring: PRTG checks the uptime of all your servers and ensures smooth running of your services. If any of your monitoring services goes down, you get an instant alarm.

Performance Monitoring: PRTG provides you with a constant overview of the performance levels of each and every component in your network. With a high-performance network, your whole company will work with maximum efficiency. 








For administrators, PRTG means...

Less stress for the help desk

Less stress for the help desk

With the PRTG monitoring software, your network is demonstrably more stable.As a result, the help desk has a lot fewer calls. Most administrators dread help desk inquiries. With PRTG, you’ll save yourself this added stress.

More time for hardware

More time for hardware

The built-in alarm system of PRTG lets you focus on the important tasks at hand with total peace of mind. You can calmly install a new piece of hardware, for example, a task which you usually don’t have the time to get around to.

Greater optimization possibilities

Greater optimization possibilities

PRTG provides for detailed network traffic monitoring on a permanent basis. This means you can keep an eye on both total traffic and data packets. Thanks to historical data, you'll get a long-term database and can constantly improve your network.

More time for evaluations

More time for evaluations

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



PRTG The Swiss Army knife

PRTG: The Swiss Army knife for sysadmins

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
  • REST Custom Sensor: Monitor almost everything that provides XML or JSON

also of interest

Tips from our knowledge base

PRTG comes with fast, friendly, and comprehensive support. We speak the same language as administrators. On business days, we usually answer inquiries within 24 hours. You will also find answers to many of your questions in our knowledge base.

Two tips on packet sniffing:

A tip on how to configure Cisco routers for NetFlow:



Still not convinced?



More than 500,000 sysadmins love PRTG

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.




Free Download



Try PRTG for free

Everyone has different monitoring needs. That’s why we let you try PRTG for free. Start now with your 30-day trial.




Network Monitoring Software - Version (December 1st, 2021)


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Supported Vendors & Applications


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