Performance counter monitoring keeps applications robust

  • The PRTG Windows Performance Counter locates network bottlenecks
  • PRTG improves the performance of your system and applications
  • PRTG provides information on applications running on an IIS server

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 keeps a constant eye on the performance of your applications

Performance is the Alpha and Omega

Application and service performance is at the heart of any IT-based business's success. As the performance of an IT work environment increases, so does the productivity of its workers. Slow applications, however, can thwart your company's potential.

With its performance counters, Windows allows administrators to find bottlenecks in their networks and thus improve the performance of their systems and applications. Windows' own Performance Monitor (perfmon.exe) lets you graphically display the data made available by performance counters. In order for you to obtain a quick overview of this data and receive the notifications that go with it, performance counters must deliver an extraordinary amount of data, which can consequently lead to bottlenecks in your system.

You therefore need a professional monitoring tool such as the PRTG Performance Counter.


Easy-to-read display

PRTG first reads the available performance counters in your Windows systems and then supplies various workstations with easy-to-read graphics of the performance statistics of your applications.

You can use PRTG to determine where bottlenecks arise, when applications crash, and where the causes of problems are to be found - in the network, hardware, or application itself.

Set limits for individual counters to receive notifications before something really goes wrong with your network, and have reports for previous time periods generated automatically. With PRTG, all work gets done in a proactive manner. PRTG provides for increased application stability and uninterrupted work processes, as well as a sound decision-making basis for optimizations to your company's own software.

With PRTG, everyone will work with peace of mind.


A sneak peek into PRTG:
Performance counter monitoring

The PRTG Performance Counter gathers the following information


 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.)

User-defined Windows performance counters with the PerfCounter Custom Sensor


Performance counters, e.g. on CPU load and network card traffic with default sensors


Performance data for applications, services, and the operating system


Information on applications running on an IIS server such as Microsoft SharePoint or SSRS



6 good reasons
to choose PRTG as your Windows performance counter

Establish an overview

You get an overview of the performance data of your applications: both individual ones and those spanning several workstations.

Increase security

If an application’s performance drops, you can promptly search for the causes and prevent a crash.

Stabilize business processes

Continuous monitoring and rapid fine-tuning provide company employees with a stable and high-performance work base.

Discover and solve problems

Software developers and administrators will troubleshoot software components and hardware configurations, and take appropriate actions to optimize them.

Develop your firm’s own applications

Collect company-wide data on the performance of applications developed in-house, and reach conclusions regarding the company’s future software development plans.

Be alerted automatically

Should business-critical applications (defined by you) take a hit, you’ll be notified at once.

Your performance counters at a glance
- even 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!


How PRTG performance counter monitoring works

Read and analyze measured values

Performance counters are time-sensitive, measured values administered by Windows that deliver information on the performance of operating systems, applications, services, and hardware. PRTG automatically reads this performance data in real-time via the Remote Registry Service, and then makes it available for analysis. This allows sysadmins to isolate problem areas and plan improvements to their network infrastructures.

The performance counter method

There are a few good reasons for using performance counters as monitoring technology for Windows Server: WMI, Microsoft's default method for monitoring Windows systems, uses an excessive amount of network resources and is sometimes unstable. PRTG offers so-called "hybrid sensors" by default, which first attempt to request the desired data (such as CPU load) via performance counters, and only resort to WMI if performance counters are unavailable or cannot be read for some other reason.

Using custom sensors, administrators often find the performance counter method easier to configure, for only the desired counters need to be entered into the sensor settings. Finding the name of the desired performance counter is extremely simple, as we explain in the following article: The user-defined WMI sensor requires an entire WQL query and is therefore somewhat more complicated to configure.

From the point of view of performance, SNMP is definitely our top choice for monitoring Windows devices, but in certain cases this monitoring technology is inappropriate. Some data is simply not available on Windows machines via SNMP; in such cases, performance counters are often the better bet.


Using PRTG as the perfect performance counter 

All performance counters built into Windows are fully supported by PRTG. Take a look at your Windows Performance Monitor as described in the aforementioned knowledge base article (link included above): Sometimes it's incredible to think of just how many performance counters there are for Windows apps! These also include those which do not come from Microsoft itself, for such counters often provide surprising insights into applications and processes.

More information on how to configure the PerfCounter Custom Sensor and other performance counter sensors can be found in our manual.



Customer Quote Network Monitoring

"Our network engineers really love PRTG, because of its customization."

John Krull, CTO, Oakland Unified School District, USA

300,000 system administrators worldwide
trust our software. Every day.


“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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  • 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 simplifies your day!

PRTG not only helps to ensure the availability and performance of the website, but also makes it easier
for you as IT Sys Admin to work throughout the day.

PRTG saves time

With PRTG, you get one central monitoring tool for you 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 more than 250 sensors 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 of our customers shows that the costs for licenses have paid for themselves in an average of a few weeks.


Also interesting:

Packet Capture: PRTG analyzes data packets and displays the data packet loss rate. In the event a critical value is exceeded, you’ll automatically receive an alert. Read more about packet sniffing here.

CDN monitoring: PRTG offers you an overview of traffic distribution between international DN nodes, as well as information on traffic strength, response times, server performance, and potential weak spots.

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

Still not convinced?



More than 300,000 sysadmins love PRTG

PRTG is used by companies of all sizes. Sysadmins love PRTG because it makes their job a whole lot easier.


With PRTG, PAESSLER AG offers a powerful, affordable and easy-to-use unified monitoring tool. Over 300,000 administrators worldwide use our software, whether it be to monitor their server performance, virtual environments, or even the accessibility of their websites. PRTG is a network analysis solution for Windows.

Our network monitoring software was created in 1997 by Dirk Paessler. We are an established software company with headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany. We place great value on our high standards and never stop developing our software. And if ever there is an issue, our support team usually responds within 24 hours (except weekends). 

Get started with PRTG Windows performance counter monitoring today. You'll save time, money, and effort. It takes only a few minutes to install PRTG. You get 100 free sensors, which is plenty for small networks. And you can upgrade whenever you'd like.


Network Monitoring Software - Version (September 21st, 2021)


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


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Up to 100 sensors for free (Price List)

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Supported Vendors & Applications


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A functional Active Directory is one of the core elements in a network’s organization. PRTG Network Monitor solves typical Active Directory problems by preventing replication errors, identifying logged-out and deactivated users, and monitoring ad group memberships. Try PRTG now for free.

  • 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

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