Paessler PRTG

Manage network capacity with PRTG as protocol analyzer


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    Get detailed insights into bandwidth usage

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    Break down flow data
    into toplists

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    Get rid of bottlenecks
    in your network

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    Maintain your network:
    cost-efficient & targeted







What is a protocol analyzer?


A protocol analyzer (also protocol analysis tool, network analyzer, or network analysis tool) is software that you can use to record and analyze data traffic in a network. In concrete terms, this means that the network traffic is broken down according to various parameters. The data flows are then displayed in diagrams and tables for analysis.

PRTG includes protocol analysis functionalities to track and analyze different flow protocols. Network traffic is categorized by connection, IP address, and by protocol. PRTG supports all major flow protocols such as NetFlow, sFlow, jFlow, and IPFIX.









How network traffic is recorded with flow monitoring


In the context of flow monitoring, the term flow refers to the flow of data packets between two endpoints, such as devices or applications.

Recording the data flow is mostly done by exporting the flow data of a device (e.g. a router, firewall, or switch). In addition, a data collector is required. Its task is to log the data so that it can be analyzed later. PRTG offers several preconfigured sensors for collecting, analyzing, and monitoring flow data.


What steps are necessary to export flow data?


 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.)


To analyze the flow data later, it must be exported. The export has three steps: installing PRTG, configuring the flow unit, and adding a flow sensor. Therefore, proceed as follows:


Installation of PRTG

Installation of PRTG

The first step is to install the network protocol analyzer PRTG on a server.


Configuring the flow device

Configuration of the flow unit

Then you configure a flow unit, which is a device like a router or switch. The flow unit exports the flow data and sends it to the system that runs PRTG:

  • It is best practice to use the default port for the respective protocol.
  • Also enter the IP address of the PRTG server into the flow unit.
  • Some units, such as firewalls, may need to be configured to allow data packets to pass through (and not block them based on security settings).


Adding a flow sensor

Adding a flow sensor

Now you can add a flow sensor in PRTG. This must match the respective flow unit protocol used. It must also be configured to point to the device sending the flow packets. PRTG offers the following sensors for flow monitoring:



This is what protocol monitoring looks like in PRTG



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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Network protocol analysis at a glance – 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!


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Categorization of flow data in toplists


PRTG processes the collected data for analysis. The data is displayed in so-called toplists and corresponding interactive graphs:

  • The toplist “Top Communicators” includes bandwidth usage data by IP address.
  • The toplist “Top Connections” shows bandwidth usage by connection.
  • The toplist “Top Protocols” contains the bandwidth usage data by protocol.

This categorization in toplists simplifies the analysis of network traffic, as the traffic is broken down into more detailed information. Among other things, administrators can more quickly identify which applications are bandwidth hogs or which servers are overloaded.


jon berry


“We start managing the existing infrastructure to determine bottlenecks. Sometimes it is CPU, I/O or code-based problems. By using PRTG, we can save clients from making bad decisions, saving headaches, time and money.”

Jon Berry, President and Owner, Green Olive Tree










What are the benefits of a protocol analysis tool like PRTG?


Network stability

Detect peak loads and increase network stability

Flow monitoring makes it possible to analyze the bandwidth usage of applications. Changes or irregularities in network performance can be detected directly. With PRTG as a protocol analysis tool, load peaks are quickly and efficiently identified and fluctuations in accessing applications or websites are revealed. Thanks to the recorded flow data, administrators can scale capacities much better and thus achieve greater network stability. When bandwidth usage is optimized, the productivity of business processes and applications also increases.

Reports and toplists

View detailed reports, statistics, and toplists

The recorded flow data is not only visually displayed, but also categorized in toplists according to IP address, connection, or protocol. You can also create customized toplists. Moreover, it is possible to create custom reports that you can export through various channels. This also allows other people such as the management level to be conveniently informed about the status of the network.

Network bottlenecks

Identify bottlenecks in the network

Specific applications that use far too much bandwidth can cause bottlenecks. Overloaded Wi-Fi networks, routers, and switches also put a strain on networks. Large online backups can slow down the network, too. Flow monitoring with PRTG helps system administrators to detect bottlenecks in a targeted manner and therefore solve such issues more quickly.

Network up-to-date

Keeping the network up to date in a cost-efficient and targeted way

Comprehensive protocol monitoring with PRTG ensures that administrators have a 360-degree view of their network traffic. This means that they know the bandwidth capacity and network speed in detail. Monitoring thus provides valuable long-term information about the state of the network. This is the prerequisite for keeping the network and the entire IT infrastructure up to date in a more cost-efficient and systematic way.


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.



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


Create innovative solutions with Paessler’s partners

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


Integrating monitoring results from PRTG into NetBrain maps makes the foundation for network automation.

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

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UVexplorer integrates tightly with PRTG to bring fast and accurate network discovery, detailed device inventory, and automatic network mapping to the PRTG platform.

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“Easy to implement and configure with good technical support.”

R. v. S., ICT Manager at Heinen & Hopman Eng BV


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


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 (February 14th, 2024)


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