PRTG by Paessler (current version 17.4.36) is a tool designed to monitor network devices. It is capable of alerting in case of emergencies, and can provide live status monitoring tools in order to better manage one’s network. This article will cover the main features of the software, and a summary of it’s requirements and costs.
The download and installation is quite straightforward. You may download the .zip folder containing the install executable from https://www.paessler.com/download/prtg-download. Once you extract the files and run the installer, you will be able to enter the trial license key that they provide on the download page. After thirty days, the license will expire, and you can continue using the product with a one hundred sensor cap for free. Once you input the license key and click next, the installer will finish up and PRTG will be ready to use.
PRTG then opens a web page portal, and you will see the home page shown in the image below. A built-in tutorial will guide you through the initial setup process, and have you provide necessary credentials and add devices. There is a “Smart Setup” option, or a “Manual device / sensor setup” which you can choose from, that take on average either 1 minute or 5 minutes per device respectively.
Simple / Modifiable UI
The web portal supports a wide range of browsers and mobile devices, however features may be limited on older models / versions, and there is a possibility that older browsers may not access the web UI at all. There is also a windows application called “PRTG Enterprise Console, which provides a different UI and format. Apps are also available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phones, with separate apps for local / remote monitoring.
All-Inclusive Network Monitoring
PRTG includes over 200 different sensor types, the full list can be found here: https://www.paessler.com/manuals/prtg/available_sensor_types. It can monitor bandwidth, applications, VMs, temperature, and more. Sensors can be managed from the “Sensors” tab in PRTG, and each can be individually managed.
PRTG can use a variety of methods to notify you when an alert is triggered. These include email, push messages for apps, texts, playing sound files, and more. You can even set PRTG to run a custom batch file or EXE file. There are a couple different ways to configure alerts / notifications, but the main ones will be in Account Settings / Notifications, and Logs / System Events / Notifications.
Redundant / Expandable
Each license will allow you to install PRTG on two separate servers. Not only will this allow PRTG to failover to the live server in case one goes down, but PRTG will also be able to monitor from multiple areas on your network, providing different response times so that you can compare and measure network speed to nodes depending on location.
PRTG can also make use of remote probes, and monitor different networks, whether they are segmented networks within your workplace, or even long distance. PRTG also has no limit to the amount of remote probes you can use.
Live Customizable Maps
The Maps tab allows you to create and edit live interactive maps to display information about your network. You can set status colors, and select which types of data to show. If you click on one of the map segments, you will be taken to that node / report. This allows for creating multiple overviews of your network which you can then use as a constant status monitor if you so choose.
PRTG has a few built in reports you can run, and you have the ability to add more via the Reports tab. There you may customize the format of the report, the sensors to include, scheduling information, and more. You can run reports to either view in a separate tab in your browser, store them as PDF / data files, and send the generated PDF / data files via email.
The recommendation of Paessler is that PRTG core server and remote probes be installed on a x64 architecture PC/Server that is less than two years old, running Windows Server 2012 R2. .NET Framework 4.0 or 4.5 is required.
Below is Paessler’s chart on specifications dependent on sensor count.
For the Core Service and Probe Service, PRTG also supports Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, and Server 2012 R2. Note that Vista and Server 2008, as well as core Server 2012 (no R2) are not recommended.
Recommended browsers include Google Chrome 45 or later, Firefox 40 or later, and IE 11.
Monitored devices using SNMP must use version 1, 2c, or 3.
Netflow devices must use V5, V9, or IPFIX.
Sflow and jFlow must both use V5.
The free version of PRTG includes up to 100 sensors, and is available after the 30-Days-Trial which allows you to use unlimited sensors. The cost tiers are as such:
- 500 Sensors for $1,600
- 1000 Sensors for $2,850
- 2500 Sensors for $6,150
- 5000 Sensors for $10,500
- Unlimited Sensors with 1 Core Server Installation for $16,900
- Unlimited Sensors with 5 Core Server Installations for $60,000