Paessler PRTG

Monitoring systems:
Definition, examples, tips


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    Monitor routers, servers, ports, and switches
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    Monitor CPU, temperature, RAM, and hard disks
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    Monitor network traffic and applications
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    Monitor system performance and availability


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    Remote monitoring system
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    Alarm in the event of malfunctions








System monitoring FAQ


What is system monitoring?

System monitoring involves the continuous monitoring of an infrastructure – aka an IT system – by an IT manager. It includes the monitoring of CPU, server memory, routers, switches, bandwidth, and applications, as well as the performance and availability of important network devices.

What is a monitoring system?

A monitoring system is software that helps system administrators monitor their infrastructure. These tools monitor system devices, traffic, and applications, and sound the alarm in the event of malfunctions and disruptions. There are lots of monitoring systems on the market, from freeware to professional software.


How does system monitoring work?

During system monitoring, devices and applications communicate with the monitoring system by way of protocols such as SNMP, WMI, HTTP, MQTT, and OPC UA. The device manufacturer (Cisco, HP/HPE, Dell, etc.), application providers, and monitoring tool determine which protocol is used.

Do I need a monitoring system?

Some IT managers only intervene when an error occurs. But this comes with a lot of risk. And troubleshooting can be extremely time-consuming. Other IT managers monitor their infrastructure with a variety of small tools. But unlike monitoring systems, these tools are unable to provide an overview. A monitoring system will save you time, worry, and money.

What are the advantages of a monitoring system?

A centralized monitoring system lets you monitor your entire network in real time from a single machine. If an error occurs, you’ll be notified immediately and can fix the problem at once. This saves you time and provides for peace of mind.


A sneak peek at monitoring with PRTG


An overview of our network monitoring system



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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PRTG lets you keep a constant eye on your network – even while on the go

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.

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



System monitoring case studies

The Student Hotel Group monitors its systems and applications with PRTG. Its managers tested other monitoring systems but eventually decided to go with our software. What sold them on PRTG? PRTG is user-friendly, allows for remote monitoring, and can be easily upgraded to meet the long-term monitoring needs of the company.


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Silent4Business provides IT security services in the USA and South America. In large networks, a monitoring tool must be able to monitor the availability of devices such as routers, ticketing systems, and switches. The company found PRTG to be best suited for these needs. 

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Abu Dhabi University is the largest university in the United Arab Emirates. It has several branches and teams up with partners from all over the world. The university needs its online offer and everyday business operations to always be up and running. It therefore uses PRTG to monitor the availability of its network.

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 “Hey Greg, what would you tell administrators looking to monitor their Windows Server with PRTG?“

„PerfCounter custom sensors are some of the most useful sensors to be overlooked by users. Imagine SNMP sensors, but for Windows performance counters. Simply find out the name of the counter you wish you monitor. There’s a great knowledge base article on this topic.

Once you have the name, setting up the sensor is a piece of cake. It’s amazing to think of how many PerfCounters are really available for Windows applications, especially those which don’t come from Microsoft itself. These counters often offer insights into applications or processes which you may have once thought to be impossible.“

Greg Campion is a SysAdmin at PAESSLER AG.


Monitoring system tools: Free or paid?   

Free monitoring system tools

Many sysadmins use the command line for certain inquiries such as whether or not a device is available. Many device manufacturers also offer their own monitoring tools, some of which are free of charge. However, unlike PRTG, neither of these solutions will provide you with an overview of your entire IT system. What’s more, with our network monitoring system, the first 100 sensors are free and never expire. You can also access the alarm and all other features for as long as you like. PRTG can therefore be used as free monitoring software.

Paid monitoring system tools

There are lots of paid monitoring tools on the market. Sysadmins often compare PRTG with monitoring software such as ManageEngine, Zabbix, Solarwinds, and WhatsUpGold. The open-source tool Nagios is yet another option. Many IT managers also look for alternatives to their existing tools and come across PRTG. See our handy comparison of the various network monitoring tools including the results of independent tests.


5 advantages of PRTG

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All-in-one system monitoring

Most IT systems are years in the making. More often than not, they contain devices from several different manufacturers. A central network monitoring system provides you with an overview of your entire IT infrastructure. All information is consolidated on one main dashboard. A quick glance is all it takes to see if everything is OK.

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Real-time traffic monitoring  

PRTG monitors network traffic in real time. Among other things, it displays the web traffic and mail traffic that flow through your network. If you notice an anomaly or a spike in traffic, you can take action at once.

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Prompt alarm in the event of errors

In large IT systems, errors can crop up in countless different places. A single damaged switch can cause a major disruption. Network monitoring systems allow you to quickly identify errors and their sources, thereby speeding up the troubleshooting process.

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Remote monitoring

Many companies have multiple branches in a building complex, a city, or a region. PRTG is agentless software. It comes with remote probes that are quick and easy to install and let you monitor distributed networks from one central location.

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Free network monitoring 

PRTG comes with 100 free sensors that never expire. You can also use its full range of features for as long as you like. This is all you really need for basic network monitoring. What’s more, for the first 30 days you get access to an unlimited number of sensors so you can really put our software to the test. Afterwards, simply choose the license that corresponds to your needs.


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

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PRTG saves network management costs

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PRTG saves time spent on network management

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More on network monitoring

Monitoring the entire IT infrastructure

PRTG monitors network devices, cloud services, applications, databases, and nearly every other aspect of your IT system.

Learn more

Monitoring large IT systems

If you’re in charge of a large network composed of 1,000+ devices in several different locations, then you need a heavy-duty monitoring system. PRTG is the perfect tool for large IT systems.

Learn more

Monitoring cloud services

Amazon, Microsoft, and VMware are just a few of the many cloud service providers. Discover the PRTG sensors that make cloud monitoring easy.


quote steffen ille

“The greatest advantage of PRTG? You get to rest easy.“

Steffen Ille, Bauhaus-University of Weimar, Germany


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.


baramundi and PRTG create a secure, reliable and powerful IT infrastructure where you have everything under control - from the traffic in your firewall to the configuration of your clients.

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Combining their tools to a powerful solution for advanced analysis and automation, KnowledgeRiver and Paessler enable IT teams to ensure best performance for their infrastructure and networks.

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

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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 (September 20th, 2023)


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


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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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