PRTG Network Monitor Review

Provides us with feedback on our infrastructure; for us, it is critical to know if something is down


What is our primary use case?

We use it mostly for monitoring our servers, network equipment, firewall, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

The historical data provided by the solution helps us optimize our network performance. And where it comes in very handy for me is in problem solving. I need to look at what has been going on for the last week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, even months, and it gives me that information. I was having an issue at a particular time of day and it actually helped me fix the issue. It was absolutely invaluable.

We're a very small department so the need to find an issue quickly is important to us. PRTG has helped us with that a lot. It enables our IT department to be more cost-effective because we don't have to keep going through support departments.

It also provides us with needed feedback on our IT infrastructure. It is really critical to us to know what's gone down. I received an email the other day saying that one of our servers was down. It's very important to us to receive that information. I received it at ten o'clock at night and I was able to remote on and fix the issue before anyone had even noticed it had gone down.

What is most valuable?

The best feature is that it lets me know what is going on. I need to know if something has gone down, I need to know if something is running very slowly. PRTG tells me that.

I like the dashboard and the new feature which makes it a black dashboard. I also get emails and notifications, which I love.

The sensors and remote probes are very good. Sometimes they pick up far too much information, but I'd rather have far too much than not enough, so that's a benefit. They show the performance of hard drives and the like. How fast a process is going is critical information for our service. We have a 24/7 business so I need to know what's going on 24/7.

What needs improvement?

There seems to be a big jump from the basic scan to the really thorough scan. There is a big jump in the quantity of sensors it uses for certain things. One minute you might get ten and then the next you get 200. There seems to be a big jump between the two at times.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable. It's been up and running now for about two years, which is very stable. There has been the odd crash but that was more the server it was on rather than PRTG. It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling is very easy. You just need to buy licenses to increase the scale and away you go. It takes minutes to scale it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never used their technical support. I've never needed to. I've never had problems that I couldn't fix myself.

I do use the knowledge base online quite a bit, so that might count as technical support, but I have never contacted support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used a free product, although I can't remember the name of it. It was good but it wasn't giving us the feedback we wanted, especially for alerts. As I said, for our company that's extremely important but we just weren't getting those alerts. We did some research, found PRTG, and I spoke to another company that used it. They really loved it so we went ahead got the free license initially, did a trial, found it absolutely amazing, and then bought it.

We went with it because of a good review from somebody I know, which is always a good start. Also, the price was pretty good, very competitive. Finally, we experienced system downtime before implementing the solution and that was a driving factor in our decision. We needed something to help us stop that from happening, or at least to alert us that it was happening.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was dead-easy. It was just pretty much "next, next, next," put in some credentials, set up a scan with the IP addresses and away it went. There really wasn't much to it.

From the time we set up the solution until it provided us with feedback on our infrastructure wasn't long: two to three hours max. Even with setting up the probes, setting up the scan, and the IP addresses, it didn't take long, maybe a couple of hours.

What about the implementation team?

I did it myself.

What was our ROI?

The ROI for us is time, massively. We had an issue a few weeks back, it was after work hours and we had a server that had gone down. I was at home and noticed it - got the alert - connected up and fixed the issue. Most people didn't even notice. If that had been left until the morning, there would have been big issues for directors, time and money, if that server had been down.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at SolarWinds and we looked at NetManage but went for PRTG in the end.

What other advice do I have?

I'd highly recommend PRTG. It's a very good product and the price is pretty good as well. Some of the others I looked at were very expensive.

I don't really use the Desktop app. I prefer to see the web-based version.

The overall feature set is very good. It can be a little memory-intensive, that's one downside as it does eat quite a bit of memory, but other than that, it's very good. It picks up all the sensors, does everything I need it to. I've not really found a product yet that it doesn't scan, which is great. Overall, really good.

I would never give a ten out of ten, but I will go with an eight. It is a little bit memory-intensive and sometimes it gives a bit too much information but, as I said previously, I'd rather have too much than too little so it's not too bad. I would give it a solid eight.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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