PRTG Network Monitor Review

Ping and bandwidth utilization sensors help us be proactive when something is down


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is monitoring when our network fails, when a server goes down or a site goes down. We have five sites.

How has it helped my organization?

We're more proactive. Usually, we already know when something has gone down by the time we get the phone calls. When someone says, "We can't log in," or "We can't get on the internet," we probably already know about it.

It makes us, as an IT department, more "time-effective" and if time is a cost then it makes us more cost-effective. Rather than getting 20 phone calls, we can just send an email out, company-wide, saying, "We know this has occurred, we're looking at it." It's cost-effective, time-wise.

What is most valuable?

Its proactiveness is its most valuable feature. We already know when we come in, in the morning, if a server or site is down, as opposed to someone telling us. Before, we'd have to find out ourselves, check it ourselves, which we were not likely to do, realistically. I wouldn't come in, first thing in the morning and see if all the servers were up, are all the sites were up. It was not the first thing I'd do.

The sensors and remote probes are good. I've used them for a while. The sensors are good because you can change the length of time before they notify you. One of the problems we used to have was that we had it on 30-second alerts, so as soon as there was a slight network blip we would get an email. What's good is that they're adaptable.

Overall, the solution's feature set is really good. I've probably only used about ten percent of it. We use the Ping sensors and the bandwidth utilization sensors. We don't use half of the rest. What we are using is fairly key to what we do.

What needs improvement?

It probably has this already, but if it had a mobile app that would be helpful. For example, on a day like today when I'm out, if I could just fire it up and see green, green, green, green, green or red, that would be good.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. We've had no issues with it. It's pretty sound. It always works. I can't really fault it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We've only got a small infrastructure, but if we had a larger infrastructure it would be fine. We probably only monitor 20 to 30 devices on it. We could do more but we don't.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never used their technical support, but I suppose that's a good reflection on the product itself.

I've used it for quite a while. I just played around with it initially, it's pretty intuitive. I might google the odd problem I've had with it, and how to do this, that, and the other but most the time it's intuitive enough.

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

We had system downtime before implementing the solution. I've been where I am now for about eight years. Before, there were issues all over the shop. I walked in and we had servers that had no disk space, which this product can look at. We had issues with poor connectivity to certain sites which this will obviously flush out.

One of the reasons we went with it is because I had used it before.

How was the initial setup?

The only downside - and it's a minor thing - is when I've uninstalled it. I usually install it on a server to use the probe. When you uninstall it, it requires a reboot and sometimes it doesn't quite warn you enough that it's going to reboot the server, so you have to be very careful.

From the time we set up solution until it provided with us with feedback on the infrastructure was 20 minutes. Install it and it's working 20 minutes later.

What other advice do I have?

It has a free trial so I would give it a go, you have nothing to lose really. Just try it. It doesn't take long to set up.

I rate PRTG at eight out of ten. I wouldn't go higher because I haven't investigated it, used it fully-optimized. But I'm really happy that it does what it needs to do.

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