Best Network Monitoring Tools & Software (2024)

Best Network Monitoring Tools

In our rapidly evolving digital age, networks have emerged as a vital component of any organization, big or small.

They facilitate the seamless flow of data, support mission-critical operations, and serve as the backbone for many of today’s business functions.

Despite their significance, network monitoring tools — the very means that can ensure the health, performance, and security of these networks — are often surprisingly overlooked.

For both expansive corporate networks and smaller-scale operations, network monitoring is not just a luxury but an absolute necessity.

Such services watch over the vast array of connected devices, detecting irregularities, preventing potential downtimes, and ensuring optimal performance.

Without a proper monitoring mechanism in place, businesses risk interruptions, inefficiencies, and even security breaches.

Yet, many organizations, whether due to budget constraints, lack of awareness, or competing priorities, fail to invest adequately in this critical area. 

However, recognizing the need for network monitoring is just the first step. The market is saturated with tools that promise efficient, real-time, and comprehensive network oversight.

But which one aligns best with a particular organization’s needs? How can an administrator discern between the multitude of options available?

15 Best Network Monitoring Tools

1. Auvik is included in our list for its network infrastructure visibility and automation. It’s an excellent choice for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) managing complex networks.

Best for: MSPs managing multiple complex networks requiring infrastructure visibility and automation capabilities.

2. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor earns its place in our list for its scalability and robust network performance monitoring. It shines in providing in-depth insights for large enterprises.

Best for: Large enterprises that require the extensive capabilities of its powerful set of tools, that need comprehensive support, and that have the financial resources to back it up.

3. Checkmk is recognized for its user-friendly interface and versatile monitoring capabilities. Its strength lies in efficient, customizable monitoring for IT teams.

Best for: Small to medium-sized businesses that prefer to start with a free open-source option and move up from there.

4. PingPlotter stands out with real-time network visualization. It’s a valuable tool for network administrators and gamers, offering precise latency monitoring.

Best for: Small to medium-sized businesses that want a quick solution with a shallow learning curve that need to monitor workstations and servers.

5. Zabbix is featured for its open-source nature and extensive monitoring capabilities. It excels in providing customizable network monitoring and alerting solutions.

Best for: Large organizations with experienced technical staff to support, manage, and customize the product.

6. ManageEngine OpManager offers a comprehensive suite of network monitoring tools, ideal for enterprises seeking a unified monitoring solution.

Best for: Medium to large-sized businesses that can financially support its price tag, that require an all-around decent network monitoring solution.

7. Noction IRP stands out as a specialized tool designed for businesses aiming to optimize their BGP route selection in multi-homed environments.

Best for: Businesses that consider their Internet connectivity mission critical with multiple ISP connections that have strict uptime requirements.

8. LogicMonitor Network Monitoring is a SaaS-based solution known for ease of use and cloud-centric monitoring. It excels for businesses heavily reliant on cloud services.

Best for: Companies with cloud-based infrastructure and services in their IT ecosystem.

9. Site24x7 offers a wide range of monitoring options including Application Performance Monitoring (APM), website, and infrastructure monitoring. It is a comprehensive solution for businesses needing a bird’s-eye view of their IT infrastructure’s health.

Best for: Small to mid-sized businesses seeking a cost-effective, all-in-one solution.

10. Paessler PRTG is chosen for its wide-ranging monitoring capabilities and scalability. It’s a powerful network monitoring tool suitable for organizations of all sizes.

Best for: A wide range of businesses of various sizes including multi-site organizations that require a wide variety of items to monitor.

11. Domotz is included for its user-friendly remote network management capabilities, catering to both home automation enthusiasts and IT professionals, with a very noteworthy pricing structure.

Best for: Individuals and small businesses that are beginners in the field, and have limited financial resources.

12. Atera is a remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool, praised for its ease of use and pricing model. It has a noteworthy integration of automation and AI in its services.

Best for: MSPs and IT service providers.

13. NinjaOne is noteworthy because of its cloud-based monitoring and management features, simplifying and streamlining IT monitoring.

Best for: Small and medium-sized businesses and for MSPs seeking an entry-level option that can grow with them.

14. Datadog earns its spot for extensive cloud monitoring capabilities and integrations. It’s notable for its integration and automation capabilities, infrastructure monitoring, application performance monitoring, and log management.

Best for: Organizations with a substantial cloud infrastructure.

15. Dotcom-Monitor focuses on web application and performance monitoring, making it a great choice for e-commerce businesses and web service providers.

Best for: Organizations sporting multiple mission critical web sites and web-based applications.

Guiding Decision Makers

We hope to help guide decision-makers through the maze of network monitoring tools available today.

By ranking and reviewing the top 15 contenders in the field, we aim to provide a clear and concise comparative framework.

Our hope is to not only underscore the undeniable importance of network monitoring but also to arm network administrators with the insights they need to make an informed choice.

15 Top Network Monitoring Tools (Our Test Results)

ToolUI/UXScalabilityFeaturesIntegrationValueRating
1.Auvik98910109.2
2.Solar Winds91091079.0
3.Checkmk9108898.8
4.PingPlotter1088998.8
5.Zabbix999888.6
6.OpManager999768.0
7.Noction IRP9107878.2
8.LogicMonitor8810988.6
9.Site24x7898998.6
10.Paessler PRTG9881078.4
11.Domotz8987108.4
12.Atera998888.4
13.NinjaOne998878.2
14.Datadog8710878.0
15.Dotcom-Monitor887887.8

Testing Methodology

When ranking network monitoring tools and software, it’s imperative to consider a spectrum of features and qualities that cater to an organization’s unique needs. Here are the five vital aspects that we examined when evaluating these 15 services.

1. Usability and Interface

The initial impressions of a network monitoring tool are often drawn from its ease of setup and configuration. A smooth installation process can set the stage for a positive user experience.

Once installed, the dashboard’s user interface (UI) becomes central to the user’s daily interactions. An intuitive, clean, and easily navigable UI can significantly enhance the efficiency with which network issues are identified and resolved.

Beyond the immediate user experience, the tool’s adaptability also matters. A top-notch network monitoring solution should offer a level of customization that allows it to be tailored to the unique requirements and preferences of each organization.

2. Scalability and Support

In the ever-evolving landscape of networking, the scalability of a monitoring tool is pivotal.

As organizations expand and evolve, the chosen tool should not only meet their current needs but also adapt to future challenges, from adding new devices to managing more complex network structures.

Equally vital is the tool’s support infrastructure. A robust network monitoring solution is complemented by a dedicated support team that can offer guidance, resolve issues, and ensure smooth operation.

Having access to timely and effective support can be the difference between a minor hiccup and a major network crisis, making it an essential criterion in the selection process.

3. Feature Set and Versatility

The heart of any network monitoring tool lies in its features. Real-time monitoring capabilities, combined with the automatic discovery of devices and performance baselining, can offer a comprehensive view of the network’s health.

The flexibility of alerting mechanisms can be a boon for administrators, allowing them to customize alerts based on various criteria like severity, device, or time.

Comprehensive and customizable reporting features enable stakeholders to derive actionable insights, facilitating informed decision-making.

4. Integration and Compatibility

As networks diversify, incorporating a myriad of devices, operating systems, and applications, a monitoring tool’s compatibility range becomes increasingly vital.

Whether it’s legacy systems or the latest cloud-based services, the tool should seamlessly integrate and monitor across platforms.

Additionally, in an interconnected IT ecosystem, the ability of the monitoring tool to integrate with other systems management tools, ticketing platforms, or collaboration systems can be a significant advantage, fostering a unified IT management approach.

5. Value for Cost

While features and performance are essential, its cost-effectiveness is equally paramount. It’s not just about the price tag but about the value the tool brings relative to its cost.

Does the tool offer a suite of features and a level of performance that justifies its price? Is the organization receiving a return on its investment in terms of improved network performance, reduced downtimes, and enhanced security?

The ideal tool strikes a balance, offering top-notch capabilities at a price that delivers undeniable value to the organization.

A Note on Rankings

It’s no easy task to determine which service is better than which, and sometimes the evaluation process can be quite subjective. 

You may find that a service ranked near the bottom of our list actually fits very well with your particular needs, while those near the top are awkward or inadequate.  And that’s perfectly fine!

The purpose of our rankings is not to deliver an absolute classification of the services to be strictly followed but to provide a method of comparison that will help you navigate the various options available. 

Network Monitoring Tools & Software Reviews

1. Auvik (Editor’s Choice)

Overview

Auvik is a cloud-based tool designed to automate network monitoring, enhancing the capability of ICT specialists.

It produces a comprehensive map of all devices on your network, from routers to PCs and printers.

The tool provides automatic monitoring, alerts, and tracks performance metrics for all these devices. Configuration backup and recovery features let you track and compare historical changes.

While primarily designed for network devices, it effectively monitors end devices like PCs and IP phones.

Auvik’s troubleshooting tools offer quick insights into issues, CLI remote access, and supports management of multiple independent networks under one account.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

Auvik stands as a robust solution for network monitoring and management, providing a range of functionalities to simplify and streamline network administrative tasks. Here’s a dive into some of its features and capabilities:

Installation

Auvik offers three installation methods: virtual machine, physical appliance, or a Windows service. It deploys the Auvik collector to discover and manage network devices, interfacing with a cloud-based dashboard for administrative oversight.

Automated Mapping and Inventory

Post-installation, Auvik discovers all network devices using various protocols like ping, traceroute, and SNMP. To ensure smooth discovery, it’s necessary to prepare network devices for compatibility. The Auvik collector gathers network information, sending summarized data to the Auvik controller securely.

Network Monitoring and Alerts

Every detected device is consistently monitored, with real-time and historical performance metrics displayed. Each device type (e.g., firewall, PC, IP camera) has a tailored display of its performance indicators.

Configuration Backup and Recovery

Auvik offers an automated backup and recovery utility, logging configuration changes. Administrators can trace changes, potentially identifying configuration errors, and revert configurations as needed from a unified interface.

Troubleshooting Features

With Auvik, remote troubleshooting becomes more accessible. Network administrators can identify and address issues across vast, geographically spread networks. The Traffic Insights tool provides comprehensive network behavior analysis, highlighting bandwidth-consuming applications and users.

Additional Features

Some additional noteworthy features of the software include:

  • Inventory: Overview of managed entities.
  • Hardware Lifecycle: Info on licensing, support contracts, and end-of-life dates.
  • Debuging: Remote debugging capabilities.
  • Geolocation View: Visualize traffic origins and destinations.
  • Multi-site Dashboard: Overview of multiple networks.
  • Remote CLI: Swift login to any device’s CLI or web interface.
  • API Integration: Compatibility with popular IT tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack.
  • Vendor Equipment Support: Auvik supports virtually any network equipment manufacturer using standard protocols.

Pricing

As far as pricing is concerned, Auvik offers two service levels: Essentials and Performance.

Both levels include unlimited users, network sites, endpoints, support, and lack additional maintenance charges, encompassing features like automated discovery, network monitoring, configuration management, and API integration.

The Performance level further enhances with features like network flow analytics, application visibility via machine learning, Geo IP traffic, and unified troubleshooting dashboards.

While the website doesn’t disclose pricing, Auvik encourages reaching out for a personalized quote.

Pros:

  • Repetitive tasks are well automated to save time
  • Easy to use display of full network inventory and realtime navigational map
  • Comprehensive syslog analytics and network traffic insights

Cons:

  • Lacks an on-premise solution for customers who favor such configurations.
  • Doesn’t adequately address application-level performance in the network.
  • Traffic analysis capabilities need refinement.

User Interface

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Bottom Line

The introductory line of Auvik’s 7-minute promotional video reads:

“Auvik’s cloud-based software simplifies and automates network monitoring and management to boost your IT team’s efficiency and capacity.” Initially, I dismissed this as a mere marketing spiel, but after delving into the software, I found the claim genuinely accurate.

Auvik genuinely shines in its emphasis on automation and meticulous monitoring, effectively elevating both efficiency and potential.

The term “capacity” has taken on a new significance for me; it implies that with Auvik, a lean IT team can achieve much more.

On a side note, after registering for the sandbox, I received a prompt and courteous call from a representative offering assistance, a gesture that both impressed and assisted me.

2. Solar Winds NPM (Best For Large Enterprises)

Overview

Among the most well-known names in the network monitoring game is SolarWinds. 

The company’s Network Performance Monitor (NPM) is a comprehensive network monitoring solution designed to offer real-time insights into network performance, traffic, and issues.

It provides an intuitive interface with customizable dashboards, allowing IT professionals to swiftly detect, diagnose, and resolve network-related problems.

With its scalable architecture and a wide range of features, including intelligent alerting and detailed performance analytics, NPM ensures that networks remain optimized and resilient to disruptions.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

SolarWinds NPM delivers a whole series of features and use cases.  It is among the most comprehensive tools that we are evaluating on our list.  Users have overwhelmingly reported that the feature set is more than satisfactory and covers the needs of businesses large and small.

Some of the most noteworthy features that the SolarWinds NPM service delivers include:

  • Automated network device discovery
  • Network insights, capacity planning, mapping, and monitoring
  • Multi-vendor network monitoring support
  • Customizable reports
  • Advanced alerting and packet capture analysis

Note that although it is advertised as a multi-vendor platform, some users have reported that support for Cisco devices is somewhat favored.  Indeed, even support staff have been seen to have less experience with non-Cisco implementations. 

Pricing

The pricing models that SolarWinds offers for this product is either a subscription-based or perpetual license.  The subscription option starts at $1785 per year, while the perpetual license is $3265. 

But prices go up depending on the size of your network.  The license tier and subsequent cost of each option depends upon a combination of the number of nodes (network devices such as routers, switches, firewalls etc.) and the number of interfaces on your network.

Pros:

  • Custom reports building
  • A very large variety of data sources
  • Easy to use and powerful network discovery feature
  • Simple to add and remove network devices

Cons:

  • Relatively high cost for smaller businesses
  • Sometimes slow at retrieving historical data from databases and creating charts
  • Some features such as network mapping and dashboards have been reported to be somewhat “clunky”

User Interface

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Bottom Line

SolarWinds NPM has a pedigree that few other network monitoring tools have, with a well-established name and reputation.  The software delivers a very rich feature set, exceptional customizable reporting, and a high usability rating. 

Performance and support are considered quite good, however, some users have found it to be a little bit challenging to integrate it with third-party software, as well as with particular network device vendors. 

Value for cost is somewhat lacking for smaller businesses but quickly becomes more viable for larger enterprises.  Overall, a great product for most medium to large-sized businesses.

3. Checkmk (Best Beginner’s Open-Source)

Overview

Checkmk is a robust open-source monitoring solution that provides IT professionals with comprehensive insights into the status and performance of IT infrastructures.

Created by Mathias Kettner, it is designed to monitor networks, servers, applications, clouds, containers, and more.

Checkmk comes in three main editions: Checkmk Raw, which is open-source and free, Checkmk Enterprise with additional features and professional support, and Checkmk Cloud, for cloud and hybrid infrastructures.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

Checkmk can operate within an existing virtualization platform, or as a dedicated appliance.  In a virtual environment, you can integrate the software directly with your virtualized infrastructure, whether on premises or in the cloud. 

As an appliance, it is a plug-and-play scenario, where the device can be connected to your network, and you’re ready to go.  This means a quick setup and low maintenance.  Additional features include:

  • Automatic Discovery: Checkmk’s discovery feature automatically identifies services and components on network devices, servers, and other infrastructure elements, simplifying the initial setup.
  • Performance Metrics: The software collects performance data for various metrics, offering a detailed view of the IT environment’s functioning and health.
  • Flexible Notifications: Users can configure notifications based on a variety of conditions, ensuring timely alerts when issues arise.
  • Scalability: Checkmk is designed to handle both small setups and large-scale infrastructures, efficiently monitoring thousands of devices.
  • Distributed Monitoring: For organizations with decentralized structures or multiple sites, Checkmk supports distributed monitoring, allowing multiple instances to be managed centrally.
  • Extensions and Plugins: Thanks to its open-source nature, Checkmk boasts a large number of plugins and extensions, enhancing its monitoring capabilities.
  • Intuitive Dashboard: Checkmk offers a user-friendly dashboard that displays critical metrics and alerts, allowing IT teams to quickly assess the status of their infrastructure.

Pricing

Needless to say, the Raw edition is free forever, since it is open source.  The Enterprise edition is billed at $80/month billed annually for 3000 services hosted on 100 hosts. 

For up to 30000 services hosted on 1000 hosts, the cost goes up to $475/month billed annually.  For anything higher you will have to contact sales.

For the Cloud edition, you are asked to contact sales directly.  The costing model is relatively simple, which is something I like to see.  It’s also quite competitive compared to other services.

Pros:

  • Holistic Monitoring: Checkmk provides a comprehensive solution, covering everything from hardware, servers, applications, to more intricate components like databases and virtual environments.
  • Efficiency: With its automatic discovery and plugin system, Checkmk reduces the time and effort required to set up and extend monitoring capabilities.
  • Open-Source option: Being open-source in its Raw edition, Checkmk can be tailored to meet specific needs, and the community continually contributes to its growth and refinement.

Cons:

  • The Enterprise option has only basic limited cloud monitoring for AWS, Azure and GCP. For more detailed cloud monitoring, the Cloud edition is necessary.
  • The design of the front end has been reported by users to be slightly dated.
  • Sometimes the overwhelming number of options is difficult to deal with, and some users have reported that they are not organized as well as they could be.

User Interface

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Bottom Line

Checkmk stands as a versatile and comprehensive monitoring solution catering to diverse IT environments.

Whether for a small business with a handful of devices or a multinational corporation with vast and complex infrastructure, Checkmk delivers insights and alerts crucial for maintaining optimal IT performance.

Its combination of automatic discovery, extensive plugin support, free open source option, competitive pricing, and scalability ensures that IT professionals can remain a step ahead of potential issues.

4. PingPlotter (Best For Individuals & Beginners)

Overview

PingPlotter is a network diagnostic and troubleshooting tool that provides visual insights into the performance of a network.

It combines the functionality of tools like ping and traceroute, presenting data in an intuitive graphical format. This aids users in identifying, diagnosing, and resolving network issues.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

  • Visual Trace Route: PingPlotter maps the route data packets take from the source computer to a destination address, showing performance metrics for each hop along the way.
  • Performance Graphs: The software continuously graphs packet loss and latency, offering real-time and historical views of network performance.
  • Multiple Timeframes: Users can toggle between different timeframes to see both short-term and long-term performance trends.
  • Alerts and Notifications: Based on user-defined conditions, like high latency or packet loss, PingPlotter can send notifications, ensuring proactive response to network issues.
  • Remote Monitoring: With its cloud functionality, PingPlotter allows users to monitor networks from anywhere, enabling flexibility and continuous oversight.
  • Annotations and Notes: Users can annotate specific events or issues directly on the graphs, facilitating communication and collaboration when diagnosing problems.
  • Customizable Workspaces: The tool allows for the creation of customized workspaces to focus on particular aspects of network data or specific devices.

Pricing

PingPlotter delivers three tiers of services: Standard, Professional, and Cloud.  The cost is $6.99/month, $29/month, and $90/month respectively, but there are volume discounts available as well. 

You can also choose to purchase a perpetual license for the Standard and Professional tiers at $39.99 and $349 respectively. 

Each subscription delivers a certain number of agents, and as you increase those agents the cost increases, but the cost per agent decreases.  The final cost will be calculated when you finalize the number of traces/agents you desire.

Pros:

  • Very simple to deploy – you can get it up and running within minutes
  • Extreme detail – not only are response times shown and graphed but they are analyzed delivering useful insights, especially for troubleshooting
  • Scalable – naming, templates, and summaries can be used in conjunction to mass deploy the service to multiple sites monitoring multiple services
  • Innovative tools – insights, troubleshooting utilities, and helpful hints and tips are all part of delivering a highly functional and information-rich monitoring service

Cons:

  • Whenever an update is created for the agent software, it has to be manually reinstalled on the device. There is no automatic push update to agents… yet.
  • PingPlotter requires you to install a client on every device you want to monitor for more extensive reporting and monitoring features.
  • Agents cannot be installed on network devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, wireless access points, or on end devices such as IP phones, IP cameras, and mobile phones and tablets.

User Interface

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Bottom Line

PingPlotter stands out as a visual-centric network diagnostic tool, converting intricate network metrics into understandable visual data.

Its blend of real-time and historical insights, paired with its alerting capabilities, ensures that users can swiftly identify and respond to network challenges.

It’s quite easy to install and use, however, the limitation that it can only monitor PCs, Macs and servers may be a dealbreaker for some. 

Whether it’s for casual use or professional network management, PingPlotter offers valuable insights into network health and performance.

5. Zabbix

Overview

Zabbix is an open-source monitoring solution designed to monitor and track the status of various network devices, servers, applications, and other IT resources.

Zabbix offers real-time monitoring of large-scale IT environments, collecting metrics from different sources and providing visualization and alerting based on these data.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

  • Data Collection: Zabbix supports multiple methods for data collection, including SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), JMX (Java Management Extensions), IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface), as well as custom agents.
  • Real-Time Monitoring: Monitor CPU, memory, disk usage, network bandwidth, and other real-time metrics across various devices and applications.
  • Advanced Problem Detection: Define specific thresholds and dependencies to recognize issues within the infrastructure accurately.
  • Visualization: Offers a variety of data visualization options like graphs, screens, maps, and dashboards to represent data in an understandable format.
  • Anomaly Detection: With built-in machine learning features, Zabbix can predict trends and detect anomalies in your data.
  • Alerting: Flexible alerting allows for the swift notification of responsible personnel when thresholds are breached. Integration with various alert methods, including emails, chats, and third-party applications, is available.
  • Template-Based Approach: Zabbix uses templates that allow users to define parameters for monitoring specific device types or applications, making it scalable and consistent across large environments.
  • High Performance and Scalability: Designed to support small to large environments, Zabbix can handle millions of metrics, ensuring reliable performance.

Pricing

Zabbix is the only truly open-source option that has been reviewed in this article.  It literally costs nothing to obtain.  However, this lack of initial purchasing price means that cost is shifted to personnel expertise costs. 

You will need to have experienced technical staff to support, manage, and customize the product, which can mean higher staffing expenditure.

Pros:

  • Open-Source Nature: Being open-source means Zabbix is free to use, but it also benefits from a vast community that contributes to its development, plugins, and templates.
  • Flexible and Robust: The software can monitor a broad range of devices and applications out of the box, with the flexibility to be tailored to specific needs.
  • Can be deployed in a wide variety of forms including cloud images, containers, appliance, or all-in-one packages
  • Rich Integrations: Supports integration with various third-party tools and systems, enhancing its functionality and reach.

Cons:

  • Requires a level of expertise to install and set up which means that even though it is free, there is a cost of paying someone to set it up, parameterize it and maintain it.
  • It is relatively complex compared to more plug-and-play scenarios delivered by other service providers.

User Interface

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Bottom Line

Zabbix stands as one of the premier open-source monitoring solutions in the market, trusted by enterprises worldwide. Its comprehensive set of features, combined with the flexibility inherent to open-source software, ensures that IT professionals can keep a keen eye on their infrastructure, promptly detecting and addressing issues. Its open-source nature can be both a boon and a burden depending upon what kind of technical expertise you have in your organization.  Whether for a small business or a large enterprise, Zabbix offers a robust and scalable solution for a wide range of monitoring needs.

6. ManageEngine OpManager (Best Granular Support Of Applications)

Overview

ManageEngine OpManager is an integrated network management platform designed to help IT teams monitor and manage their network infrastructure efficiently.

Developed by ManageEngine, the software provides real-time monitoring of network devices, physical and virtual servers, and critical applications.

It caters to both small businesses and large enterprises, offering a unified view of the network’s health and performance.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

  • Network Monitoring: OpManager automatically discovers and maps all IP devices in the network, offering real-time visibility into their performance metrics.
  • Physical and Virtual Server Monitoring: Beyond network devices, OpManager also provides detailed monitoring of physical servers, VMware, and Hyper-V virtual servers.
  • Multi-level Thresholds: The platform allows users to set multiple thresholds for performance metrics, triggering alerts when anomalies are detected.
  • Customizable Dashboards: OpManager features a customizable dashboard where users can visualize key performance metrics and device statuses according to their preferences.
  • Bandwidth Analysis: With its bandwidth monitoring capabilities, OpManager helps teams identify bandwidth bottlenecks, usage trends, and top bandwidth-consuming devices.
  • Network Configuration Management: OpManager can back up, restore, and push configurations to network devices, ensuring network compliance and reducing downtime risks.
  • Fault Management: Through its alerting system, OpManager notifies IT teams of potential issues or failures in the network, allowing for prompt resolution.
  • Workflow Automation: The software can automate routine maintenance tasks, such as device restarts or configuration backups, based on user-defined criteria.

Pricing

ManageEngine OpManager is available in three editions, the Standard, Professional, and Enterprise versions. 

The license model that is used can get complex, because each edition has a different price depending upon factors such as:

  • Number of monitored devices
  • Number of administrators/users
  • Whether it is a perpetual license or a subscription

For 10 devices and two administrators/users on the Standard plan, the cost is $95 a year.  For the Professional edition, that comes to $145.  For the Enterprise edition with 250 devices, the cost goes up to $4595 annually. 

ManageEngine also provides the OpManager Plus and OpManager Plus Enterprise which are technically the same as the basic three editions offered but follow a different licensing model.

It packs all the add-ons with the base OpManager product license, at a discounted price.

What is also noteworthy is that, unlike many other providers, the cost is on a per-device basis and not per interface. 

The license is inclusive of all the interfaces, nodes, or sensors in the device. A device can have any number of interfaces, elements, or sensors, and still be counted as a single device.

Many add-ons can be chosen and purchased as needed to deliver a truly customizable system.  Although this is very flexible, it does add complexity to the process of procuring the service.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive Monitoring: OpManager offers a 360-degree view of the network, from basic devices to intricate server setups, ensuring no blind spots in the monitoring process.
  • Down-to-earth licensing model: The per-device licensing rather than per element is refreshingly cost-effective, allowing smaller businesses to use the service.
  • Scalability: ManageEngine OpManager is built to accommodate growing IT infrastructures, ensuring consistent performance and monitoring capabilities even as the network expands.

Cons:

  • Although the costing can be cost-effective, it can become complex with the multitude of options available, making it difficult to choose the best option online. Help from the sales team may be necessary.
  • Integration Limitations: Some users have noted that while OpManager supports various integrations, it might not cover all third-party tools or niche applications seamlessly.
  • Primarily operates as an on-premises solution, and is not natively available as an SaaS platform.

User Interface

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Bottom Line

ManageEngine OpManager stands out as a comprehensive, yet user-friendly, network management solution. By offering a wide array of monitoring and management tools in one platform, it simplifies the task of ensuring network health and performance.

Whether it’s real-time monitoring, historical analysis, or proactive fault detection, OpManager provides IT teams with the tools they need to keep their networks running smoothly. 

It is ideal for both small and large enterprises, and is quite versatile, although somewhat complex in its ordering process.

7. Noction (Best For Multi-homed Route Optimization)

Overview

Noction’s Intelligent Routing Platform or IRP primarily caters to businesses with multi-homed Internet connectivity.

IRP offers a comprehensive network monitoring and troubleshooting toolkit, designed for swift detection, diagnosis, and resolution of performance hitches.

It provides real-time BGP monitoring, enabling users to visually oversee network performance, set triggers, and receive immediate alerts and notifications upon detecting specific issues.

This platform is ideal for network planning, ensuring Quality of Service, and verifying that the network operates at its peak potential.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

  • BGP Route Optimization: One of the primary functions of Noction IRP is its ability to optimize BGP decisions. Traditional BGP route selection is based on static attributes like AS-path length. In contrast, Noction dynamically adjusts routing based on real-time performance metrics, such as latency, packet loss, and route stability.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Noction IRP continually monitors inbound and outbound traffic. It evaluates multiple internet routes in real-time, identifying the best paths based on predefined or customizable performance policies.
  • Failover and Redundancy: The platform can swiftly detect route failures or under-performing paths and redirect traffic to alternative routes, ensuring better uptime and network reliability.
  • Performance Reporting: Noction provides detailed analytics and visualizations related to network performance. This includes insights into traffic patterns, improvements driven by the IRP, identified issues, and suggested routes.
  • Cost Management: By dynamically adjusting to the most optimal routes, Noction can balance traffic across multiple ISPs. This can lead to cost savings, especially if there are different pricing tiers or overage charges associated with various providers.
  • Troubleshooting Assistance: Noction IRP’s deep visibility into BGP routes and their performance metrics can greatly aid network engineers in diagnosing routing-related issues. The platform can identify and suggest better routes, avoiding network congestion points or unstable paths.
  • Security Features: Noction IRP enhances network security by integrating features that provide protection against certain types of network threats, like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. The system can intelligently reroute traffic away from suspicious paths or sources of attack.

Pricing

Noction does not publish its costs for the IRP service as it is a specialized service particularly reserved for larger enterprises, and it cannot easily be directly compared and evaluated with other similar services in this list.  This seems to indicate that it can get quite expensive.

Pros:

  • Dynamic BGP Route Optimization: Noction IRP excels at making real-time BGP routing decisions based on performance metrics such as latency, packet loss, and route stability. This ensures optimal performance and reliability for internet traffic.
  • Cost Management: By intelligently distributing traffic across multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs), businesses can often reduce costs, especially if there are different pricing tiers or potential overage charges associated with various providers.
  • Comprehensive Monitoring and Reporting: Noction provides detailed analytics and visualizations, allowing network administrators to gain deep insights into traffic patterns, improvements driven by the platform, and potential issues.

Cons:

  • Complexity: While Noction IRP is powerful, its features and capabilities might introduce complexity, which can make the platform challenging for newcomers or small teams without specialized expertise to set up and manage effectively.
  • Cost: High-end BGP optimization solutions like Noction IRP can be expensive. The overall return on investment is often positive for larger organizations with significant internet traffic, but smaller entities might find it cost-prohibitive.
  • Dependency on Multiple ISPs: For businesses to fully leverage the route optimization benefits of Noction IRP, they typically need multi-homed connectivity with multiple ISPs. This requirement can limit the platform’s appeal to businesses with a single ISP connection, and thus most small to midsized organizations.

User Interface

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Bottom Line

Noction’s Intelligent Routing Platform stands out as a specialized tool designed for businesses aiming to optimize their BGP route selection in multi-homed environments.

Through continuous monitoring, dynamic adjustment, and detailed reporting, Noction IRP offers a combination of improved network performance, enhanced reliability, and potential cost savings.

For organizations where internet performance is critical, Noction offers a valuable toolset for maintaining and troubleshooting optimal BGP routes.

8. LogicMonitor (Best For Cloud-based Infrastructure)

Overview

LogicMonitor is a cloud-based, SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) infrastructure monitoring platform designed for modern IT environments.

The tool offers comprehensive monitoring capabilities across networks, servers, applications, storage, and cloud resources.

It helps IT teams optimize performance, predict and prevent IT outages, and improve overall operational efficiency.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

  • Auto-Discovery: LogicMonitor can automatically discover IT infrastructure devices and resources across hybrid environments, reducing manual configuration efforts.
  • Customizable Dashboards: Users can tailor dashboards according to their preferences, ensuring relevant metrics and alerts are displayed prominently.
  • Performance Metrics: LogicMonitor offers detailed insights into performance metrics across a myriad of devices, ensuring timely identification of bottlenecks or inefficiencies.
  • Alert Tuning: LogicMonitor’s alerting system is robust, allowing for escalation chains, custom thresholds, and integration with popular incident management tools.
  • Cloud Monitoring: Given its cloud-native architecture, LogicMonitor seamlessly integrates with major cloud service providers, offering insights into resources and applications running in cloud environments.
  • Integrations and Extensions: LogicMonitor supports integration with popular third-party tools and platforms, ensuring a cohesive IT operations management experience.
  • Reports & Forecasting: Apart from real-time monitoring, LogicMonitor provides detailed reports, trend analysis, and forecasting, which assists in capacity planning and resource optimization.
  • Role-Based Access: Multiple user roles and granular permissions ensure that team members have the appropriate access to monitoring data and configurations.

Pricing

No pricing structure is indicated on their website, which tends to make me believe that the cost is not that competitive.  You are asked to contact sales for more information. 

However, there are volume discounts, and the cost is based on the size of your network. 

You can also purchase additional capabilities and features as add-ons, such as Log Analysis, Application Traces, and SaaS monitoring, however costs for these are also not published.

Pros:

  • Scalability: Being a cloud-based platform, LogicMonitor can scale with the growth of an organization’s IT infrastructure without the need for significant changes or new installations.
  • Versatile Monitoring: With its extensive device and service support, LogicMonitor ensures that IT teams have visibility into almost every aspect of their technology stack.
  • Exceptional visuals: The tool delivers a pretty interface that is pleasant to look at but also functional in the way it displays information.

Cons:

  • Only supports specific brands of devices, and is thus not truly completely multi-vendor
  • Although prices aren’t published, users have reported that the service is relatively expensive, especially for smaller businesses
  • The user interface is somewhat less intuitive than some of its competitors

User Interface

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Bottom Line

LogicMonitor offers a comprehensive, cloud-based solution for IT infrastructure monitoring, ideal for modern businesses with hybrid environments.

Its automated features, combined with the depth of monitoring and ease of use, make it a valuable tool for ensuring optimal IT performance and proactive issue resolution.  However, the lack of published prices makes me a little apprehensive.

9. Site24x7 (Best All-round All-in-one Solution)

Overview

Site24x7 is an all-in-one monitoring solution developed by ManageEngine. It’s designed to ensure the high availability and performance of websites, online applications, servers, and other IT infrastructure components.

The platform offers a unified cloud solution to monitor the user experience, track application performance, and oversee network health from a global perspective.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

  • Website Monitoring: Site24x7 provides real-time monitoring of website uptime, performance, and broken links from over 60 global locations, ensuring sites remain accessible to users everywhere.
  • Server Monitoring: It offers in-depth monitoring of physical servers, virtual machines, and cloud servers, tracking performance metrics and ensuring optimal operation.
  • Network Monitoring: Monitor network devices such as routers, switches, and firewalls for health and performance, ensuring network stability.
  • Real User Monitoring (RUM): Track real user interactions with your website, understanding how real users experience site performance across various geographical locations and devices.
  • Application Performance Monitoring (APM): Dive deep into application stack traces, database calls, and external HTTP requests to troubleshoot performance issues.
  • Public & Private Cloud Monitoring: Oversee the performance of cloud resources in platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
  • Log Monitoring and Management: Analyze log data from applications, servers, and other infrastructure components to gain insights into system health and operations.
  • Alerts and Notifications: Real-time alerts inform you of potential issues, with the ability to customize thresholds and alert types.

Pricing

Site24x7 has a complex pricing model depending upon what you want to focus on. 

It has five primary groupings of services, including Website Monitoring, Infrastructure, Application Performance Monitoring, All-in-one and MSP options.

For comparison purposes, we’ll showcase the cost structure of the Infrastructure option for comparison purposes, however, it is noteworthy that the tool is very highly customizable for the requirements of most businesses.

The Infrastructure option delivers a Starter package at $9/month (paid annually) for 10 basic monitors, 500MB of logs, one advanced Microsoft App, and several other features. 

Based on the requirements you can purchase several Starter subscriptions and purchase some add-ons at particular prices.  The pricing model is quite granular, so you really do pay only for what you use.

Pros:

  • Holistic Monitoring: Site24x7 offers an integrated platform that covers all aspects of IT monitoring, from frontend website health to backend server and network performance.
  • Scalability: As a cloud-based solution, Site24x7 scales easily, accommodating the needs of growing businesses.
  • Global Perspective: With monitoring servers situated globally, it ensures that businesses understand their performance from the vantage point of users worldwide.
  • Intuitive Dashboards: Users can quickly gauge system health and performance with the platform’s clear, detailed dashboards and reporting tools.

Cons:

  • While Site24x7 offers various plans to cater to different needs, some users have noted that certain key features are limited to higher-tier plans.
  • Given its vast array of features, new users might find Site24x7 somewhat complex to set up and navigate initially. Properly configuring monitoring parameters and understanding all the functionalities can take time, especially for those not accustomed to similar platforms.

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Bottom Line

Site24x7 stands out as a comprehensive solution for businesses needing a bird’s-eye view of their IT infrastructure’s health.

With its wide array of features, it caters to the diverse monitoring needs of modern businesses, including web sites, APMs, as well as infrastructure monitoring, ensuring that every critical component of a company’s digital presence operates smoothly and efficiently.

10. Paessler PRTG (Best User-Friendly Interface)

Overview

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a comprehensive network monitoring solution designed by Paessler AG.

This tool provides real-time information on the health and performance of a variety of network devices, applications, bandwidth usage, and more, helping administrators and IT professionals to ensure the optimal performance and uptime of their IT infrastructure.

The product is actually presented in three different product packages depending upon the requirements in each case.  There is the Network Monitor, Enterprise Monitor, and Hosted Monitor. 

The Network Monitor is for small to mid-sized infrastructures and is capable of monitoring up to 1000 devices and service.  It is deployed on premises and is purchased using a perpetual license.

The Hosted Monitor option is identical to the Network Monitor except for the fact that it is hosted by PRTG on their cloud infrastructure, so no hardware is needed. 

The payment structure is also different as it is a subscription-based service.

The Enterprise Monitor option is for large and very large enterprises that can monitor an unlimited number of devices and services, and uses a flexible subscription license based on the size of the network.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

The features offered by each package are similar and just differ on scale.  The features that you can expect include:

  • Auto-Discovery: PRTG automatically discovers network devices and services, making the initial setup process more straightforward.
  • Multiple Sensor Types: PRTG offers more than 200 sensor types, covering a variety of elements including bandwidth, applications, virtual environments, and hardware parameters, among others.
  • Flexible Alerting: PRTG provides customizable alerts based on predefined conditions. Users can receive notifications via email, SMS, push notifications, and even execute custom scripts or third-party integrations when specific criteria are met.
  • Web-Based Interface: The intuitive web-based interface ensures that users can access the monitoring dashboard from any location, facilitating remote network monitoring.
  • Maps and Dashboards: Users can create customized dashboards with maps to visualize the status and health of their network devices, providing a comprehensive and intuitive overview.
  • Distributed Monitoring: For organizations with multiple sites or complex network architectures, PRTG supports remote probes and distributed monitoring.
  • Cluster Failover Solution: PRTG provides a built-in clustering feature that allows users to set up multiple PRTG instances as failovers, ensuring uninterrupted monitoring.
  • Mobile Apps: Paessler offers dedicated apps for iOS and Android, enabling on-the-go access and management.
  • In-depth Reporting: Users can generate various reports based on monitored data, assisting in both real-time troubleshooting and long-term analysis.
  • Customizability: PRTG provides APIs that allow users to integrate with other systems or add custom sensors.

Pricing

The pricing of each of the packages is different. 

The Paessler PRTG Network Monitor package starts at $1899 per license, where each license corresponds to a single on-premises server installation.  The license is perpetual and is renewable upon request.

The Paessler PRTG Enterprise Monitor package starts at $17599 and is a subscription based annual cost. 

The company claims a fair and transparent licensing and flexible pricing model, but doesn’t specify any more details concerning how costing is achieved.  You’ll have to contact customer support for that.

The Paessler PRTG Hosted Monitor option starts at $1699 and is also a subscription-based annual cost.

Pros:

  • Versatility: With over 200 sensor types, PRTG offers monitoring for a wide range of devices, applications, and systems, allowing for comprehensive coverage of diverse IT environments.
  • Ease of Setup and Use: Its auto-discovery feature simplifies the initial setup process, and the intuitive web-based interface ensures a user-friendly experience for ongoing monitoring tasks.
  • Reliable Alerting System: Customizable alerts based on specific conditions ensure that IT teams are promptly informed of potential issues, allowing for quick response and resolution.

Cons:

  • Licensing Model: The licensing is based on the number of sensors, and in larger environments, this can become expensive. It may also require careful planning to optimize the number of sensors used.
  • Complexity for Novices: While PRTG is user-friendly for those familiar with network monitoring, beginners might find its vast range of options and features overwhelming at first.
  • Resource Consumption: In extensive monitoring setups, PRTG can consume significant system resources, potentially affecting the performance of the machine it’s installed on.

User Interface

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Bottom Line

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a robust and versatile tool designed to provide a 360-degree view of networks, ensuring their health and efficiency.

Whether for small businesses or large enterprises, PRTG offers scalability, user-friendliness, and a range of features that make it a preferred choice for many IT professionals worldwide.

11. Domotz (Budget-Friendly Choice)

Overview

Domotz is a leading remote monitoring and management platform designed for more traditional voice and data networks, as well as for industrial and machine-based Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems.

It offers a comprehensive solution for professionals to monitor and manage connected devices and systems within a network, especially catering to Managed Service Providers (MSPs), integrators, and IT professionals.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

  • Device Monitoring: Domotz automatically discovers all IP-connected devices within a network, allowing users to monitor their status, performance, and any connectivity issues in real-time.
  • Remote Access: With Domotz, users can remotely connect to, reboot, and manage devices, eliminating the need for on-site visits for trivial issues.
  • Alerting and Notifications: The platform provides instant alerts for any device-related issues or anomalies, ensuring that potential problems are immediately addressed.
  • Network Diagnostics: Domotz offers diagnostic tools like speed tests, route analysis, and bandwidth analysis to evaluate network health and performance.
  • Collaboration Tools: Users can share device and network details with teammates or external collaborators directly from the platform.
  • Integration Capabilities: Domotz integrates with several third-party platforms, including ticketing systems, voice control systems, and other RMM tools, ensuring a cohesive workflow.
  • Security Features: The platform incorporates security measures such as two-factor authentication, encrypted communications, and automated device vulnerability scans.

Pricing

The pricing is refreshingly simple!  Just $23 per month per site.  No device or interface counting, no added costs for additional features etc.  Just so simple. 

If you need a dedicated account manager, longer data retention and some level of Enterprise customization, then you can get a custom quote, but that’s typically needed for those that have over 100 network locations to manage. 

Pros:

  • Simplified Management: Domotz consolidates device and network management into a single pane of glass, making it easier to monitor and manage numerous devices without juggling different tools.
  • Pricing model: Domotz has one of the simplest and cost-effective pricing models out there.
  • Scalability: Designed to handle vast IoT ecosystems, Domotz can effortlessly scale with growing network infrastructures, making it ideal for businesses of all sizes.

Cons:

  • Integration with additional documentation systems should be augmented to allow for techs to have a single location for all of their resources.
  • Some users have reported that the User Interface could use some improvements dealing with group settings and slow logins.
  • Some have reported that some of the more advanced tools have a slightly higher learning curve.

User Interface

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Bottom Line

Domotz offers a comprehensive solution for those looking to effectively monitor and manage their IoT devices and systems. It is surprisingly one of the highest-rated services among the evaluated network monitoring tools. 

It’s clean, straightforward, and does away with the complexities involved in many of the more “powerful” and “effective” software packages out there.  Indeed it was difficult to find cons to list. 

Really happy with this one, as it delivers a seamless experience for IT professionals, MSPs, and integrators. Whether it’s a small business setup or a vast, interconnected IoT ecosystem, Domotz stands out as a reliable and scalable solution. 

Just like it says on their website, Domotz is truly powerful, automated, simple, and affordable!

12. Atera (Best AI Integration)

Overview

Atera is an all-in-one network monitoring platform primarily tailored for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and IT professionals. It prides itself on its simplicity, its easy onboarding, and its scalability. 

Atera consolidates various IT functions into a single platform, empowering IT experts with remote access, insight, and oversight across all networks and devices.

It delivers a unified solution integrating many different IT operations including patch management, automations, comprehensive reporting, alerting, integrated helpdesk, ticketing, and numerous integrations with familiar tools, making management and monitoring streamlined and efficient, facilitating faster and smarter work.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

  • Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM): Atera offers proactive monitoring of servers, workstations, and networks, enabling IT professionals to detect, troubleshoot, and resolve issues remotely.
  • Integrated Professional Services Automation (PSA): Atera provides tools like ticketing, billing, reporting, and inventory management, all of which are powered by AI, streamlining the operational aspects of IT service delivery.
  • Remote Access: IT pros can swiftly connect to client devices remotely, enabling quick response to issues or service requests.
  • Patch Management: Atera automates the process of updating software, ensuring that systems remain up-to-date and secure.
  • Alerting and Notifications: Receive real-time alerts for any system or network anomalies, ensuring rapid response and minimal downtime.
  • Integrated Helpdesk: Atera includes a helpdesk solution, allowing IT teams and MSPs to manage support requests efficiently.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Users can generate detailed reports on system health, performance metrics, and service delivery, aiding decision-making and service improvement.

Pricing

Atera offers two types of services for network monitoring.  The first is for IT departments while the second is specifically tailored to MSPs, and includes PSA capabilities.

For the purposes of this review, we are examining the service for IT departments.

For IT departments, there are four tiers.  The Professional tier is billed at €149/month, the Expert tier at €169/month, the Master tier at €199/month, and the Enterprise tier requires you to contact sales for a quote. 

All monthly costs include the discount for being billed annually, and each tier offers a different level of services and features.

Pros:

  • Unified Platform: Atera’s integration of RMM, PSA, patch management, AI, and other tools in a single platform simplifies IT management, eliminating the need to juggle multiple standalone solutions.
  • Cloud-Based: Being a cloud-based solution, Atera ensures ease of deployment, scalability, and accessibility from anywhere, making it convenient for MSPs with varied clientele.
  • AI Powered: Many of the services delivered have integrated AI functionality to further streamline operations.

Cons:

  • Although the payment plan is simple, it can be somewhat expensive, especially for smaller businesses.
  • Some users have reported slow responses and some bugs, but these are things the company is working on continually.
  • There have been some reports that the software is slightly feature-poor, missing some core features, as well as lack of customization on other features.

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Bottom Line

Atera offers a holistic solution for IT professionals and MSPs looking to efficiently manage and monitor IT infrastructures.

It has a nice capability of the use of professional services automation, and an innovative integration of AI in its operations. 

With its integrated suite of tools and cloud-based nature, it ensures streamlined operations, proactive system management, and effective service delivery.

Its emphasis on simplicity, both in its interface and pricing, makes it an appealing choice for businesses of varying scales.

13. NinjaOne (Best Entry-level Option)

Overview

NinjaOne, previously known as NinjaRMM, is a cloud-based IT management and remote monitoring solution designed for managed service providers (MSPs) and IT professionals.

The tool streamlines various IT tasks, including network monitoring, patch management, and remote control, by providing a unified platform for holistic IT management.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

  • Unified Dashboard: NinjaOne offers a centralized dashboard that gives a clear overview of all devices, alerts, and tasks. This provides IT teams with actionable insights into the health and performance of the entire network.
  • Proactive Monitoring: NinjaOne constantly monitors systems and networks to detect issues before they become critical. It offers detailed insights into device health, system performance, and potential security vulnerabilities.
  • Patch Management: NinjaOne allows for automated patching of software and operating systems, ensuring that devices remain updated, and vulnerabilities are addressed in a timely manner.
  • Remote Control & Support: The platform integrates with remote support tools, allowing IT teams to instantly connect to problematic devices and resolve issues without physical intervention.
  • Scripting and Automation: NinjaOne supports custom scripts and automation tasks, allowing for repetitive or complex tasks to be executed across devices seamlessly.
  • Integration Capabilities: The tool integrates with several third-party applications and platforms, enhancing its capabilities and ensuring a cohesive IT management experience.
  • Alerting & Notifications: NinjaOne provides real-time alerts based on user-defined thresholds, ensuring immediate attention to potential issues.

Pricing

NinjaOne doesn’t publish its prices online, but obligates you to request a quote by providing contact information. 

It does however indicate that it has a monthly subscription payment model, and you pay only for what you need, which means the services offered are modular in nature, and you can pick and choose those that are most important for your network.

Pros:

  • Efficiency: With its automation and remote management capabilities, NinjaOne reduces the time and effort required for routine IT tasks and troubleshooting.
  • Visibility: The unified dashboard and detailed reporting offer a clear view of the entire IT landscape, making it easier for teams to identify and address issues.
  • Scalability: Being a cloud-based platform, NinjaOne can easily scale to accommodate the growth of an organization’s IT infrastructure without the need for major overhauls.

Cons:

  • Active Directory Integration: Some users have reported that the service doesn’t support AD integration, and for some this is a dealbreaker.
  • Initial Setup Complexity: While NinjaOne offers a comprehensive feature set, the initial configuration and customization can be daunting for users without prior experience, requiring a learning period to fully harness its capabilities.
  • Integration Limitations: Though NinjaOne supports various third-party integrations, it may not cover all niche or specialized tools, potentially necessitating manual workarounds or additional configurations for seamless functionality.

User Interface

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Bottom Line

NinjaOne presents a comprehensive and integrated solution for network monitoring and IT management. Tailored to the needs of modern IT teams and MSPs, it combines robust monitoring features with management capabilities, ensuring a proactive approach to IT challenges.

Whether for daily operations, long-term planning, or instant troubleshooting, NinjaOne stands out as a reliable partner for IT professionals. 

With some future updates that may include more options for third-party integration, the product may become even more favorable.

14. Datadog (Best For Integrations With 3rd Party Services)

Overview

Datadog is a cloud-based monitoring and analytics platform that integrates and automates infrastructure monitoring, application performance monitoring, and log management into a unified view.

Initially established for cloud-scale monitoring, Datadog has grown to accommodate a wide range of IT environments, from on-premises to multi-cloud setups.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

  • Real-time Data Collection: Datadog provides real-time metrics and traces from hosts, containers, and applications, offering a comprehensive perspective of the entire infrastructure.
  • Customizable Dashboards: Users can create, customize, and share dashboards that display data in a variety of visualization formats, ensuring relevant insights are easily accessible.
  • Integration Capabilities: Datadog supports over 400 integrations, ranging from web servers, databases, cloud services, and more, allowing for extensive monitoring coverage.
  • Anomaly & Outlier Detection: Leveraging machine learning, Datadog can automatically detect and alert users to anomalies and potential performance bottlenecks.
  • Tracing and APM: Datadog’s Application Performance Monitoring (APM) provides end-to-end request tracing, helping pinpoint performance issues down to the code level.
  • Log Management: With its integrated log management solution, users can collect, search, and analyze log data for additional insights and correlations.
  • Security Monitoring: Datadog also offers security monitoring features, helping teams detect threats and unauthorized activities in real-time.

Pricing

Datadog’s pricing plans can become complex.  They offer a multitude of options, many of which are not readily understood.  For example, what do I need in order to monitor my network? 

Well, I can purchase the basic network performance monitoring starting at $5/month/host billed annually, or the network device monitoring billed at $7/month/host billed annually. 

But I also have to buy NDM NetFlow monitoring add-on if I want that option, with a different cost for a different retention duration (anywhere between 60₵ to 85₵ for data retention between 15 and 90 days per host). 

You can add onto this any additional service from dozens that are available.

On the one hand, this makes the pricing model very modular and you truly pay only for what you use, however, it is somewhat of a turnoff when I have to go through each and every little detail for costing. 

For larger networks, the cost can accumulate quite quickly, although there are volume discounts.

Pros:

  • Unified Monitoring: Datadog provides a centralized platform where teams can monitor infrastructure, application performance, and logs, breaking down silos between different monitoring tools.
  • Scalability: Being cloud-native, Datadog can easily scale to accommodate the monitoring needs of both small businesses and large enterprises, ensuring performance is maintained.
  • Collaboration Features: Annotations, dashboard sharing, and integrated chat tools enable better collaboration between teams, fostering quicker issue resolution.

Cons:

  • The pricing model is complex and can get expensive, and this is the number one turnoff indicated by users.
  • There are reports of mismanagement of service outages that took place within 2023
  • Support has been somewhat lacking from the technical team of Datadog

User Interface

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Bottom Line

Datadog offers a holistic approach to IT monitoring, blending infrastructure metrics, application insights, and log data into a cohesive platform.

Its wide range of integrations, combined with powerful analytics capabilities, makes it a favored choice for modern IT teams looking for a scalable and unified monitoring solution.

However, its pricing model can get tricky and for some may be a dealbreaker, especially for larger networks.  Support could also be better.

15. Dotcom-Monitor (Best For Web Application Monitoring)

Overview

Dotcom-Monitor is a comprehensive web performance and network monitoring platform designed to monitor the uptime and performance of websites, servers, applications, and network infrastructures.

The platform focuses on ensuring that web-based services remain available and responsive, meeting the expectations of users and businesses.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics

The software is focused more on the monitoring of websites, APIs, and web applications in real time, however, the range of services that it delivers is much more extensive than just website monitoring.  Here is a more detailed list:

  • Website Monitoring: Dotcom-Monitor tracks website uptime, response times, and performance, ensuring sites are available and responsive to users globally.
  • Web Application Monitoring: Monitor multi-step web transactions such as shopping carts, login processes, searches, and more to ensure functionality and performance.
  • Server Monitoring: Beyond just websites, the tool can monitor servers for uptime, performance, and general health.
  • Network Services Monitoring: Track services like DNS, FTP, SMTP, POP3, and more, ensuring they remain functional and responsive.
  • Load Stress Testing: Simulate varying levels of user load on websites or applications to understand their performance under stress.
  • Real Browser Monitoring: Utilize real browsers to simulate user interactions and monitor the end-user experience accurately.
  • Global Monitoring Locations: With multiple monitoring locations worldwide, Dotcom-Monitor ensures that services are accessible and performant for users everywhere.
  • Alerts and Reports: Receive real-time alerts when performance metrics breach predefined thresholds, and access in-depth reports for analysis and troubleshooting.

Pricing

As with most similar products, dotcom-monitor delivers three packages.  The Basic, Standard, and Advanced plans, each billed at $23.76/month, $42.75/month, and $105.84/month when billed annually, saving you 35% of the cost. 

There is also a customized option where you can pick and choose the features you want, and the cost is calculated automatically. 

The differences between the packages have to do with the frequency of polling, the number of agents, the reports, and advanced features, as well as the kind of support and security you can expect. 

Pros:

  • End-to-End Monitoring: Dotcom-Monitor provides a holistic overview of online services, from frontend website performance to backend server health.
  • Global Perspective: With monitoring nodes around the world, businesses can ensure they provide a consistent user experience regardless of the user’s geographical location.
  • Actionable Insights: Detailed reports and real-time alerts mean businesses can react promptly to any issues, minimizing potential downtime or user inconvenience.

Cons:

  • Because it specializes in website monitoring, some of the network infrastructure monitoring features are not as advanced and specialized as some of its competitors.
  • Some users have reported that the interface can be overwhelming initially, especially for those unfamiliar with network monitoring tools. This can lead to a steeper learning curve when trying to navigate the platform and set up specific monitoring tasks.
  • While Dotcom-Monitor supports a range of functionalities natively, users have reported that it does not integrate as seamlessly with some third-party tools or platforms.

User Interface

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Bottom Line

Dotcom-Monitor offers a multi-faceted approach to network and web performance monitoring. It caters to the needs of businesses that want to ensure their online presence is robust, responsive, and reliable.

By blending website, application, and network monitoring into a unified platform, Dotcom-Monitor ensures that every aspect of a company’s online infrastructure meets performance and availability standards. 

This however retracts from the software’s network infrastructure monitoring capabilities, which some businesses may consider a dealbreaker.

What To Consider When Choosing A Network Monitoring Tool

Network Monitoring Software

When choosing a particular network monitoring platform, it is important to realize first of all that there are many features that are common to all products. 

The key is to focus in on particular differences between the services each one provides. 

In this short buying guide, we highlight the aspects that most often differ between providers, giving you a better understanding of how to evaluate and compare the various choices you may have. 

Using this guide, we hope to help you to make a well-informed decision.

1. Open or Closed Source

The first decision to make is whether you want an open-source or a proprietary (closed source) solution.

Open-source tools, like Zabbix or the Raw edition of Checkmk can be freely modified and tend to have active communities that contribute to their development.

They’re often more flexible but might require more manual setup and maintenance.

Proprietary solutions, on the other hand, often come with premium features, dedicated support, and are generally considered more ‘plug-and-play’.

2. Deployment types: Cloud-based or On-Premises

Your deployment preference can influence the tool you choose. Cloud-based solutions offer the benefits of scalability, reduced maintenance, and remote accessibility.

On-premises solutions might be favored for their control, data security, and potential customization, but they may require more hands-on maintenance. 

Some providers deliver both options at different prices and/or with different feature sets.

3. Cost Structure

Different tools have varying pricing models, and understanding these can help avoid unexpected costs.  These pricing models can include:

  • Per Device: You’re charged based on the number of devices being monitored.
  • Per Interface: Pricing is determined by the number of network interfaces being tracked.
  • Per Service: Charges apply for each service being monitored, like HTTP, FTP, etc.
  • Per Site: Costs are associated with the number of physical or virtual locations monitored.
  • Per Feature: Some tools have modular pricing where you pay for the specific features you need.

Ensure that you choose a pricing model that is most financially cost effective for your particular case.

4. Monitoring Protocols

Check if the tool uses proprietary agents or standard monitoring protocols. While proprietary agents might offer deeper insights or be optimized for the tool, they can be restrictive.

On the other hand, common protocols like SNMP are universally recognized and can offer broader compatibility across various devices and systems.

5. Monitoring Focus

Lastly, ascertain the primary focus of the monitoring tool:

  • Infrastructure Monitoring: Ideal for tracking the health and performance of IT infrastructure components like servers, routers, and switches.
  • Website Monitoring: Focuses on the uptime, speed, and overall user experience of websites.
  • Endpoint Monitoring: Centers on the devices (endpoints) connected to your network, ensuring they are secure and performing optimally.
  • Network routing monitoring and optimization: Focuses on making real-time routing decisions based on performance metrics such as latency, packet loss, and route stability.

Make sure that the choice aligns well with what you want to monitor.

Conclusion

When looking for the best network monitoring tool, align your choice with your organizational needs, budget, and the technical expertise available in your team.

With the right tool in place, you can ensure optimal network performance, quick issue resolution, and proactive maintenance, leading to smoother and more efficient operations. 

Our hope is that this set of reviews have given you insight into these tools so that you can make the best most informed and responsible decision of which one is best for your organization.

Lazaros Agapidis

Lazaros Agapidis

Lazaros Agapidis is a telecommunications and networking specialist with over twenty years of experience in network design, architecture, deployment, and management. He’s worked with multiple wired and wireless technologies including IP networks, fiber optics, Wi-Fi, as well as mobile communication networks. He has developed training content and courses for multiple vendors, and has been directly involved with teaching telecommunications for more than a decade. Over the years, he’s gained valuable first-hand experience from working on various large-scale telecom projects from both the enterprise as well as the telecom provider point of view.

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