Ping monitoring is one of the go-to techniques that an administrator uses to check the availability of network devices. But what is it?
It’s where a user pings a device and waits for a response. The monitor then assesses the connection strength based on the response time.
Using a ping scanning software tool to monitor your devices can tell you whether a device is up or down. Monitoring your network in this way gives you a clear perspective of the health of your key devices. In this article, we’re going to look at the best ping monitoring tools on the market.
We cover each of the software tools that we selected for this article further down, but if you only have time to read a quick summary, here is our list of the best ping monitoring software tools:
- SolarWinds Ping Sweep tool with Engineer’s Toolset EDITOR’S CHOICE A comprehensive toolset supporting ping monitoring. Offers autodiscovery and reports on metrics like availability, CPU load, memory utilization, and latency. Offers real-time graphing of responses and the built-in alerts system will warn of any issues which need attention.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL) A broad set of monitors including the Ping Sensor, the Ping Jitter Sensor, and the Cloud Ping Sensor.
- Pingdom (FREE TRIAL) Cloud-based service that uses ping to check a website’s accessibility from more than 70 locations around the world.
- Site24x7 A bundle of monitoring tools delivered from the cloud that checks on network and website performance.
- ManageEngine Free Ping and Traceroute Tool A useful toolset that includes an alert mechanism.
- Nagios XI A network management software tool that includes a Ping utility.
- MCO Ping Monitor Lightweight utility for networks that uses Ping to monitor devices attached to a network.
- PingInfoView Free simple ping tool with a graphical interface for Windows.
- Dotcom-Monitor ICMP Ping Tool Monitor (Server Monitoring) This tool triggers alerts based on Ping test results, making it a network monitoring system.
- Power Admin A Ping sweep tool that is available for Windows.
The best ping monitoring software tools
When choosing the tools for this list, our primary considerations where the robustness of the tool in terms of diverse industry use cases, reliability, documentation and support, ease of use and software updates and maintenance.
The SolarWinds Ping Sweep tool performs a recursive Ping routine on a list or range of IP addresses. The information pulled back from this ping utility gives you insights into the devices on your network and the performance of your DHCP and DNS servers as well as reporting on the transfer speeds to all of your network’s endpoints.
The tool requires a list of IP addresses as a parameter. However, it is possible to load these in from a text file or you could enter a range that goes from the lowest possible IP address up to the highest possible IP address. This won’t result in an endless list because you can specify to filter out non-responsive addresses from the results table.
The Ping Sweep lists all IP addresses in the scan or just those that responded. In each record, the results screen shows the response time to the node and its hostname, which gets referenced out of the DNS server. This simple report tells you where there might be problems. For example, a blank hostname shows that the address is missing from your DNS server.
The results can be exported out to CSV, TXT, or XLS file so that you can import them into other utilities for analysis and comparison with data from other sources.
The Ping Sweep tool is part of the SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset. This is a bundle of more than 60 useful network management and monitoring tools. The SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset starts at a price of $1,495 (£1,145). SolarWinds offers the entire network bundle on a 14-day free trial, so you can get a look at the Ping Sweep tool and try it out on your network.
Ping Sweep lets you scan a range of IP addresses to see which ones are in use. You can also use this tool to perform reverse DNS lookups. The Engineer’s Toolset also includes a wide set of administrator tools for configuration management, diagnostics, IP monitoring, log management, network discovery and monitoring, and security. Get 30 Day Free Trial: solarwinds.com/engineers-toolset OS: Windows Server® 2008 R2, 2008 R2 SP1, 2012, 2012 R2 or later
Ping Sweep lets you scan a range of IP addresses to see which ones are in use. You can also use this tool to perform reverse DNS lookups. The Engineer’s Toolset also includes a wide set of administrator tools for configuration management, diagnostics, IP monitoring, log management, network discovery and monitoring, and security.
Get 30 Day Free Trial: solarwinds.com/engineers-toolset
OS: Windows Server® 2008 R2, 2008 R2 SP1, 2012, 2012 R2 or later
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a very popular network monitoring tool that delivers a first-class ping monitoring experience. PRTG Network Monitor pings devices in your network to measure their availability. With this tool, you can scan for devices to scan by IP range. PRTG Network Monitor offers many different sensors that can be used for ping monitoring; these include the Ping Sensor, Ping Jitter Sensor and Cloud Ping Sensor.
The advantage of this sensor model of network monitoring is that it provides you with lots of detailed information. Each sensor has its own pane where you can choose between live and historic data before viewing the results on the dial displays. The Ping Sensor provides you with the basics such as ping time, minimum ping time, maximum ping time, and the percentage of packet loss. This provides you with the basic information you need to see if there’s a problem with a device.
However, Paessler PRTG Network Monitor also allows you to monitor for more advanced ping concerns like jitter. The Ping Jitter Sensor allows you to measure how much network jitter there is on your network. This sensor shows the statistical jitter value and the execution time of requests. Monitoring for jitter is especially important in environments with important services like VoIP phones. Of course, PRTG Network Monitor also has notifications to alert you if any particular thresholds are exceeded.
PRTG Network Monitor is also available for free for your first 100 sensors. However, those with larger networks will need to purchase one of the paid versions. The paid versions of PRTG Network Monitor range from $1,600 (£1,226) for 500 sensors to $14,500 (£11,113) for unlimited sensors. There is also a 30-day free trial of PRTG Network Monitor.
Pingdom is a ping monitor for websites. The only way to be sure that everyone everywhere can get to your site is to test access regularly from many locations around the world. Ping is the ideal tool for performing these checks.
The Pingdom system operates on servers in more than 70 locations around the world. As a cloud service, the system doesn’t take up any space on your servers or use up CPU power on your site. Even the dashboard is hosted on the cloud. The service is a little more sophisticated than just a recursive ping execution. It judges response times for sites that are still accessible, so you can get a range of performance metrics out of the service.
The system includes alerts that arise when response times drop or when a testing location is unable to get through to the site. This means that it isn’t necessary to sit and watch the dashboard all day. As well as displaying the alert, Pingdom will send out a notification by SMS or email. Pingdom also has an API that funnels alerts, so you can integrate those notifications into any custom application.
Once a problem is detected, the Root Cause Analysis module will perform tests, such as traceroute to work out exactly why the site is unavailable or slow.
Pingdom is a subscription service with five editions: Starter, Standard, Advanced, Professional, and Enterprise. The difference between the plans lies in the number of tests available and the length of data retention. You can get a 14-day free trial of all but the Enterprise plan.
Site24x7 is a cloud-based service that monitors IT infrastructure, applications, and website performance, user behavior. The focus of this tool is the performance of all IT services. The multiple layers of services needed to support a website mean a failure in one element will impact on the performance of the public-facing web presence.
The speed that data travels around a network and across the internet is a very important factor in the successful delivery of a web page. Ping measures the roundtrip time from one point to another over a connection.
Site24x7 operates from 90 locations around the globe, which gives customers of the service a view of the speed of delivery of their sites to all corners of the earth. The speed statistics delivered by Site24x7 include DNS time, connection time, first-byte time, download time, and SSL handshake time.
Apart from checking on internet speeds, the Site24x7 makes sure that systems administrators get early warnings when equipment problems are likely to impact on the delivery of websites. The service constantly scans the statuses of servers, the network, and supporting applications. These checks, together with security protection of website coding, enable web enterprises to continue to successfully deliver information, services, and goods to site visitors.
There is a free version of Site24x7 which is limited to monitoring five websites or servers. Four paid editions give potential subscribers a choice of modules. All of the paid editions of Site24x7 can be tested on a 30-day free trials.
Further Reading: Site24x7 – Full Review
ManageEngine Free Ping and traceroute Tool is a free ping monitoring tool that is recommended for those looking to deploy a basic ping monitor. With this tool you can measure the core metrics such as round trip time, packet loss percentage, and hop number. You can also view the number of successful and failed ping counts to see how many times a device has succeeded or failed a test.
Even though ManageEngine Free Ping is a basic tool, it still provides you with an easy-to-use dashboard. You can view all of the metrics on your ping tests and the color-coded status of your devices in the main table view. This allows you to view all the important information even without the more advanced displays offered by other products on this list.
ManageEngine Free Ping Tool also has a notifications system. Alerts are sent to the dashboard if a device is seen to be unavailable. This ensures that you never miss any information and ignore a developing problem. These alerts are based on thresholds to keep them meaningful so that you don’t get bombarded by irrelevant information.
The only limitation of this tool is that you can only monitor up to 10 servers or websites at one time. This makes ManageEngine Free Ping Tool insufficient for larger organizations. However, it still offers one of the best user experiences to those who aren’t accustomed to fancier monitoring experiences. You can download the ManageEngine Free Ping and Traceroute Tool.
Nagios XI is widely regarded as one of the best network monitoring tools in the world. Yet Nagios XI offers an excellent ping monitoring experience in isolation as well. With Nagios XI you can view the availability of your devices and see how prevalent packet loss is while your network is in transition. This allows you to cut to the nuts and bolts of how well your network devices are performing.
As a ping monitoring tool, Nagios XI offers a blend of modern network monitoring alongside more classic visual displays, and more advanced displays like network topology maps have also been incorporated. However, if the user design isn’t to your taste then you can customize the layout for each user. This ensures that users have complete control over how to monitor their network.
For smaller organizations, Nagios XI can be downloaded for free on RHEL Linux and CentOS. You can also use Nagios XI on Microsoft but you will have to do so through the use of a VMware workstation or alternative service. As a result, Nagios XI is most simple when deployed within a Linux environment.
There are two paid versions of Nagios XI; Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. The Standard Edition is the cheaper of the two at $1,955 (£1,498). The Standard Edition provides you with all the basic monitoring capabilities, but if you want to schedule reports and create capacity planning reports, you need to buy the Enterprise Edition. The Enterprise Edition can be purchased for a price of $3,495 (£2,679). You can download Nagios XI on a 60-day free trial.
Next up on this list, we have EMCO Ping Monitor which provides one of the most underrated ping monitoring solutions available right now. From the Host Status Overview you can see hosts across your network, their status, ping response rates, and outages information. You can monitor each host in real-time with the help of a color-coded graph to see how your connection changes over time. This provides you with a snapshot perspective so that you can see if there are any pressing issues that you need to deal with.
If you want to look at your network from another perspective then you can look at your historic host data. You simply select the time period that you want to go back to for monitoring. Once you’ve retrieved this information you can create reports to send to other team members in PDF or HTML format. This simple setup keeps you close to what is going on so that you don’t get distracted by more elaborate displays.
One particularly interesting feature offered by EMCO Ping Monitor is the ability to configure scripts. You can configure scripts to run once a network event happens. This is good because it allows you to incorporate a little automation into your monitoring experience. This is supported by the use of alerts that send you email notifications when something changes. EMCO Ping Monitor is available as both a Windows program and Windows service.
EMCO Ping Monitor is available as a freeware version for up to five hosts. In terms of paid versions, you can purchase the Professional Edition or the Enterprise Edition. The Professional Edition can monitor up to 250 hosts for $99 (£75) per copy or $245 (£187) for unlimited copies. The Enterprise Edition offers unlimited monitoring of hosts and costs $199 (£152) for a single copy and $445 (£341) for unlimited copies. You can also download the free trial version of EMCO Ping Monitor.
PingInfoView is a ping monitoring tool for those occasions where you just want to conduct basic ping scans. With this lightweight utility, you can ping multiple host names and IP addresses at once to see whether the connection was successful or not. This information is shown in the main table view which shows you whether the connection succeeded or failed and the final ping time.
Devices that are up are signified by a green button whereas those which have gone down can be identified by a red button. Even though this is a basic tool you can still schedule regular ping scans to keep your monitoring data up-to-date. You can configure PingInfoview to ping devices at regular intervals of your choosing. This ensures that your ping scan data is accurate and up to the minute. After you’re done pinging hostnames and IP addresses you can save the results in text, HTML, or XML file formats.
While this tool won’t be suited to those looking for a product-driven more by visualization, PingInfoView does a good job of providing the user with the basic data. PingInfoView is available for free on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. You can download PingInfoView for free.
Dotcom-Monitor ICMP Ping Tool Monitor is Dotcom-Monitor’s answer to ping monitoring. With this product, you can send ICMP ping requests to assess the status of devices throughout your network. Ping tests are displayed in graph format so that you can track the change in responses over time. Devices that are up and running are simply marked Ok in the table below the graph view.
The pressure of manual monitoring is reduced by DotCom-Monitor ICMP Ping Tool Monitor’s alerts system. The alerts system works based on thresholds and notifies you the moment a metric exceeds the predefined threshold. This means that you don’t have to keep track of the minutiae when monitoring your network; DotCom-Monitor ICMP Ping Tool Monitor does it for you.
Dotcom-Monitor ICMP Ping Tool is part of the web-based Server Monitoring product that Dotcom-Monitor offers. The price of this tool is determined by the number of targets you need, and the check frequency you want to have. The price ranges from $16 (£12.27) per month for 10 targets and a 15-minute check frequency, to $120 (£92) for 100 targets and a one-minute check frequency. You can download a 30-day free trial of Dotcom-Monitor ICMP Ping Tool.
Finally, we have Power Admin. Power Admin’s user interface looks a little outdated compared to most tools on this list but its ping monitoring abilities are just as proficient within modern networking environments. With Power Admin you can ping multiple IP addresses simultaneously. In addition, you can keep track of data on Ping tests, CPU, memory, and disk usage. This provides you with the basics needed to monitor effectively.
Power Admin has its own alerts system that aims to minimize the number of alerts you receive. For instance, you only receive ping alerts if two or more ping responses haven’t been received. The alerts system also allows you to enter a variety of additional configurations. For instance, you can select the maximum response time for a successful ping, and limit alerts to events where an error has been detected for a specific period of time.
Configuring alerts in this way stops you from being bombarded with notifications every time a ping request has failed! When a notification is raised you know that it is something serious that needs to be addressed. Power Admin is available on Windows.
Overall we recommend Power Admin to those users who need a lean ping monitoring platform through which to ping multiple IP addresses. If you’d like to purchase a copy of Power Admin, then you’ll need to contact the company directly and fill out a short email form. There is also a 30-day free trial of Power Admin.
Best Ping Monitoring Tools Verdict
In today’s world of fast-moving networking, ping monitoring has become a prerequisite for managing network devices. Pinging devices is one of the best ways to see if they are experiencing network performance issues. In many cases, you can spot problems before they start to result in downtime if you’re looking carefully enough. However, in the event that a device goes down, you’ll be able to tell immediately by using a tool with alerts like SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolkit or Paessler PRTG Network Monitor.
Ping Monitoring FAQs
Could you recommend a free ping tool with logging?
Any Ping tool can be set to record results, thus implement logging. Free Ping tools with logging include:
- ManageEngine Free Ping and Traceroute Tool
- Spiceworks Network Monitor
- EMCO Ping Monitor
How do I ping multiple devices at once?
You can ping multiple devices at once from the command line by writing a one-line for loop around the Ping command. However, it is much easier to use a graphical Ping tool that will automatically scan the entire network, a range of IP addresses, or work through a list of IP addresses fed into the Ping too via a file.
How do I monitor network stability?
Run Ping recursively to each IP address to monitor network stability. Even the most sophisticated network monitors use Ping for network stability checking. The Ping needs to be run recursively to multiple addresses. It is easier to use an automated Ping tool for monitoring network stability. High-quality Ping tools include thresholds for automated performance monitoring that triggers alerts when network stability deteriorates.
How do I ping my application server?
You can Ping your application server from anywhere as long as you know its IP address. From within your network, find the network IP address of the application server. Just give that IP address with the Ping command, for example, ping 192.168.0.20. If you have a Ping tool just enter your application server’s IP address into it and execute the search.
What is the command for continuous ping?
The Ping command includes switches that modify its behavior. The switch to use on a command for a continuous Ping is -t. So, try
ping -t comparitech.com
at a command prompt in Windows. Press Control-C to break out of the routine. On Macs and Linux computers continuous mode is the default for Ping, so just enter: