best internet monitoring software and tools

An organization’s website is its shopfront online and as organizations scale, their websites become more connected with their computer network for an increasing amount of API calls, be it for e-commerce or support calls.

Any weaknesses in your network could result in delays of failures on your website and result in losses. Internet connections can be unstable and become single points of failure in your network.

You can keep on top of these failure conditions with an internet connection monitor that continuously monitors your internet and network connections.

Here is our list of the best internet monitoring software and tools:

  1. Paessler Internet Monitoring with PRTG EDITOR’S CHOICE A three-in-one network, server, and application monitor. This monitoring platform is a collection of individual monitors that the user can customize by selecting which sensors to turn on. Start 30-day free trial.
  2. SolarWinds Pingdom (FREE TRIAL) A Cloud-based network monitor that is charged for by subscription.
  3. Datadog Proactive Uptime Monitoring (FREE TRIAL) A network monitoring service that is delivered from the cloud and so is able to measure traffic flows on any network and even between two points on the internet.
  4. Outages.io A hybrid network monitoring system with a cloud-based control panel and a choice of hardware or software onsite monitors.
  5. NodePing A subscription-based cloud service that can monitor up to 250 networks per customer.
  6. Uptrends A web monitor that includes response time reporting alerts. This service is based in the cloud.
  7. Dynatrace A SaaS system monitoring tool that covers all network statuses onsite as well as response times to a website.
  8. Uptime Robot A website availability monitor that will measure response times to a site as well as its uptime.
  9. Uptime A monitor for networks, servers, and applications that focuses on the availability and response times of resources.
  10. StatusCake Measures the availability and response times of a given website from 28 locations around the world.

Monitoring services

When you are checking to make sure that your site is being delivered at an acceptable speed, you need to monitor several factors. So, look for a tool that will give you the user perspective and will check through several pages on your site rather than one that will just ping your Home page.

Most of the tools in this list are provided on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. That means that they take no time to set up and they are incredibly easy to use. You don’t need to keep updating this software and you don’t need to worry about which point on your network is the best place to install the tool.

Scaling your monitor

An advantage of Cloud-based services is that they charge on a subscription basis and most of them offer several different plans. That means that you can choose a plan that is suitable for your size of business. If you have only one website with a few pages, you don’t want to have to pay for the same service that is tailored to large businesses with many websites. The great thing about these services is that they will allow you to upgrade your plan as your business grows.

When you look for an internet monitoring tool you should check that it fits your business size while also making sure that the tool covers all of the performance factors that you need to monitor on your website.

Web transaction monitoring

Web transaction monitoring is an important task in eCommerce. It doesn’t matter how great your product, service, or information is, if the delivery of your web pages is poor, your hard work is wasted. No one has time to grapple with failures in your site when there are plenty of rival websites to visit instead.

You might find that your hosting service is at fault or you might find that elements in your site, which have great presentational value, are damaging the overall user experience of visitors by making pages too slow to load. Monitoring is one element of making your site function successfully, design decisions and infrastructure investment will also contribute to the4 successful delivery of your web pages.

The best internet monitoring tools

There are many options out there when you are in the market for an internet service monitor. It would take you a long time to assess each of these tools, so we have done the legwork for you. In this guide you will narrow down your search so you can save time and focus on the best options.

You can read more about each of these tools in the following sections.

1. Paessler Internet Monitoring with PRTG (FREE TRIAL)

Paessler PRTG Internet Monitoring software

Paessler’s PRTG monitoring tool covers network, server, and application monitoring. The utility includes many different sensors. Each sensor is actually a separate monitoring program. The menu of available monitors includes the ability to check on your site’s availability from several locations around the globe. These tests give you a live view of internet access speeds for your site. So, you can see how long it takes members of the public to get to your site anytime during the day.

The internet monitoring tool has the Ping function at its heart. So, if your internet service suddenly stops working, you will know right away and be able to take action. As well as seeing a line graph of access times from three different locations, you will be able to set the system to notify you when the internet service performance drops. These notifications can be delivered by email, SMS, or pager alert.

The PRTG internet monitor checks on more than just site availability. You can also use the tool to ensure that all elements of the site are loading properly. You can also use the tool to check on the real user experience, performing a run-through of the full buyer path from an initial visit to a purchase. This enables you to check that database access is efficient and that your shopping cart software is working properly.

The monitoring capabilities of PRTG are not restricted to your own website. You can also check other sites on the internet. Thus, you will be able to compare the response times of your site compared to rival sites.

The PRTG package includes a lot of monitoring utilities. Problems with your website response times might not be caused by your internet service. Server and application performance, and also internal network response times can impact on-site delivery times. With the full PRTG system, you can check for the cause of any internet response time problems and drill through your system to find the exact cause of the fault.

Key Features:

  • Website response times
  • Connection speed monitoring
  • Performance alerts
  • Full infrastructure stack monitoring

You can get a 30-day free trial of PRTG with all sensors available. Paessler charges for PRTG in service level bundles. Each charging band is calculated on the number of sensors that you activate. If you only activate up to 100 sensors, you can use PRTG free of charge forever.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Paessler PRTG is our top choice for monitoring internet availability and performance because it blends monitors for networks, servers, and applications. Websites involve every level of the stack and so problems with internet performance can have any of a long list of causes. Paessler PRTG includes features such as stack visualizations that make it clear where the source of a performance problem lies. PRTG is customizable and the customer only pays for those monitors that are activated.

Start 30-day Free Trial: paessler.com/download/prtg-download

OS: Windows Server

2. SolarWinds Pingdom (FREE TRIAL)

Pingdom - Visitor experience monitoring view

Pingdom is a Cloud-based system that monitors your internet connection and your network performance from an external viewpoint, so you don’t have to install any software. The service is accessed through a Web browser, giving you a personalized dashboard, which you access with account credentials.

As an external service, Pingdom is well-placed to examine the performance of your internet connection and the delivery of web pages from your server. This is true even if you don’t have any onsite equipment and run your business entirely on Cloud-based services.

You can set up a dashboard view to watch stats from several sites all on the same page. This saves you from having to switch accounts in order to keep control of your multi-site business.

The service constantly tests your site’s availability from more than 60 locations around the world. Those uptime tests can be set to check on specific functions of your site, such as sign up or login procedures. That monitoring extends to tracking visitor journeys through your site. Those visitors can be selected at random, but you can also specify surfers to track if your site has frequent repeat visitors.

Problems get double-checked from another source to ensure that there is no false reporting. You get notified by an alert system when a confirmed site performance problem is detected. Those alerts can be channeled through to other apps that you use frequently in your system administration work. You can grade faults and also get them directed to different team members. You get the right to set up several different user accounts on the Cloud service to enable each team member to have a customized view of the dashboard with different levels of controls.

Key Features:

  • Uptime monitoring from around the globe
  • Response time measurements
  • Alerting system
  • Test servers in 60 locations

Pricing is subscription-based with different service levels. You can get a 14-day free trial of the Pingdom system.

SolarWinds Pingdom Download 14-day FREE Trial

3. Datadog Proactive Uptime Monitoring (FREE TRIAL)

Datadog Infrastructure Monitoring - Services view

The Datadog Proactive Uptime Monitoring module is part of a suite of cloud-based IT resource management tools. This module specializes in examining the network traffic on local or remote networks. It is also able to measure the performance of links between networks and also connections through to cloud resources, thus, it can measure internet connection performance.

The service requires an agent program to be installed on the monitored network. Thus, in order to see live information about traffic flows across the internet, the systems administrator would need to install the agent on at least two sites. Another method of measuring internet connections with the Network Performance Monitoring unit would be to place an agent on a cloud server and then an in-house host.

The agent will scan all traffic to identify all of the devices connected to the network and this activity enables the monitor to maintain a live topology map of the network and a device inventory. If agents are placed on several sites, the internet links between them will also be integrated into the network topology maps.

All of the data processing of this monitor takes place on the Datadog server – the agent is a data collector that feeds into those processes. The console is resident on the cloud server and customers gain access to it through any standard browser. The network performance screens show live traffic flow data and Datadog also stores statistics so that performance over timer can be analyzed.

The analysis features of the Network Performance Monitor enable network managers to plan capacity for expected demand both on private networks and in terms of an internet service agreement.

Key Features:

  • Validate HTTP requests
  • Monitor and maintain SLAs
  • Front-end and root cause analysis
  • Real-time metrics, traces, and logs

Datadog charges for the Network Performance monitoring tool by subscription. The company offers a rate per month and a cheaper rate per year. In both cases, the subscriber pays per host. offers a 15-day free trial.

Datadog Proactive Uptime Monitoring Fully Functional Free 30 Days Trial

See also: Best Uptime Monitoring Tools

4. Outages.io

Outages.io

Outages.io offers two options: a hardware and a software solution to internet service monitoring. The hardware device is a box that attaches to your router and becomes part of your home or office network. The firmware of the box is monitored by Outages.io and gets updated automatically.

The software version of the tool can be installed on Windows 7, 8, and 10, CentOS,  and Debian Linux. The tool is able to monitor remote sites as well as the internet connection on your home site and you can also access a control panel in the Cloud.

The aim of this tool is to identify poor performance and outages on your internet connection. It is also able to tell if services on your web server are running slowly or have faults. The monitoring service extends to remote sites and Cloud services as well as onsite servers. The dashboard presents a bar graph of performance samples. Each sample can be queried for details by hovering the mouse pointer over it. The report identifies where the problem lies – local, internet service, or remote service. You can even see which hop on a connection is causing problems. You can set the dashboard to send you notifications by email when performance problems occur.

Key Features:

  • Hardware or software versions
  • Availability and response time monitoring

You can download the software version of Outages.io at the service’s website. This gives you the full-feature tool for 14 days. After that period, you can continue to use the standard version of the internet monitor, or choose to upgrade to the paid version for extra features. You can also access a demo version via the website.

Added bonuses are a free DNS service and a security scan. The hardware option comes with a built-in DNS server and a webcam connection.

5. NodePing

NodePing software screenshot

NodePing is charged-for by subscription, but it doesn’t grade service levels. It has one package for all with very high capabilities. The service will monitor your websites at one-minute intervals and you can cover up to 250 sites with one subscription. The service allows you unlimited user accounts so you don’t have to make all of your systems administration team log in with the same credentials. It is also possible to tailor each account’s dashboard so you can safely give junior members access without the risk of them getting powerful and potentially damaging control on the system.

It checks SSL connections to make sure that your HTTPS service is running correctly. As well as ensuring that the connection security is operating properly, NodePing will probe your web server and its services so it can give you precise reasons for poor performance once connection errors are detected. Tests extend to your email service and DNS system. You don’t have to install any software on your system in order to use the service because it is entirely cloud-based.

The NodePing program will notify you by email or SMS if problems are detected. International SMS messages are not charged for as an extra but are included in the subscription fee. The fee also includes access to diagnostic tools and there is a plan for web hosting companies that lets them provide access to NodePing utilities to their customers.

Key Features:

  • Uptime monitoring plus response time reporting
  • SSL checks

NodePing gives sellers a referral bounty and you can give the system a check by accessing a 15-day free trial.

6. Uptrends

Uptrends screenshot

The Uptrends service monitors a range of factors for websites, including internet service availability. The tool is a remote service, so you don’t need to install any software on your servers. The monitor can check web servers in any location, including those hosted on the Cloud. It can also help you check on the performance of sites that you don’t own so you can compare the delivery times of your website with the performance of your rivals.

The service will check a range of factors on your site, including SSL certificates, DNS records, and FTP server performance. Performance samples are taken every minute and the graphs that represent this data can be exported to PDF or Excel format and you can also email reports out. The Uptrends service will store your historical data for analysis for two years.

The monitor has a customizable dashboard that includes lots of visualizations. You can add on user accounts for all of your team and tailor the dashboard for each, or for groups of users.

The service will send you alerts by email, SMS, or through some other communication app, such as Slack. You can access the dashboard from anywhere, including on mobile devices.

The system will track real user journeys through your site and record the load times for all pages visited. It will also assess the mobile-friendliness of your site.

Key Features:

  • Availability, DNS, SSL, and FTP checks
  • Alert system

Uptrends has two packages, which are Basic Website Monitoring and Advanced Website Monitoring. Each of these options is offered in service levels to suit different sizes of businesses. Charges are made on a subscription basis and you can get a 30-day free trial.

7. Dynatrace

Dynatrace dashboard

Dynatrace offers a full web application management service, which includes performance tracking. The system traces web page and service delivery times and compares every element involved in the page transfer to work out which creates poor performance. This monitor is particularly strong at scrutinizing the performance of JavaScript and it will highlight any program errors and run failures.

As well as watching delivery times, Dynatrace shows a typical visitor journey through your site, so it is a handy source of marketing data as well as an operations performance monitoring tool.

This is a Cloud-based service, but you do need to install some software on your system. This is the OneAgent, which runs on Windows Server or Linux. It will give you stats on the performance of hosted sites as well as sites that you run from your own servers.

Key Features:

  • Uptime and performance monitoring
  • Visitor journey tracking

The service is charged on a subscription model and you can try it for free for 15 days.

8. Uptime Robot

Uptime Robot screenshot

Uptime Robot started out as a free internet monitoring service but now there is also a paid version available. The free version will check on the performance of your website every five minutes, while the paid version, called Pro, will check on your site’s delivery speed every minute. Other differences lie in the storage period for historical data. With the free version, you can store data for two months, while the paid version will store data collected for one year.

Performance data can be set to trigger an alert when transfer time exceeds a set time. These alerts are delivered by SMS.

You get 50 monitors with the free version. Pricing for the paid version depends on how many monitors you choose to deploy. These monitors are situated at different points of the globe. There are different monitor types in the package. These are HTTPS, HTTP, Ping, and Port monitors. You can also run a keyword check on your site to get a report on the presence of desired keywords in your content.

This is a great service that is easy to manage.

Key Features:

  • Performance alerts
  • Response time checks every minute
  • Free version

9. Uptime

Uptime screenshot

Uptime is another Cloud-based web checking service. This utility can monitor sites that are on-premises, on remote sites, or in the hands of an online hosting service. This tool will check on the site availability of your internet services, servers, and applications. It will check on page load speeds for your site and check on the general health of your web services including DNS records.

The Uptime monitoring package includes a status page service that will notify users gracefully of missing pages or incorrect addresses. The tool also gives you the ability to follow visitor journeys through your site with its real user monitoring.

The service is available on a subscription basis with four different service plans. Uptime has servers all over the world from which you can run your system checks. You get access to more geographical locations with the higher plans.

Key Features:

  • Availability checks
  • Response time monitoring
  • 21-day free trial

If you want to try out the service without risk, pick up the 21-day free trial.

10. Status Cake

StatusCake screenshot

StatusCake is another online service for monitoring internet service. This tool will check on the performance of a website and identify whether the problem is due to the internet service, a troubled hop on the route, the webserver, or services and applications that support the site.

The service has 28 servers around the world, which lets you see the performance of your site when accessed from different locations. The server monitoring service is only available for Linux servers. The checks that the StatusCake service includes are Ping, HTTP, SSH, SMTP, and TCP. It will also monitor the DNS entries for your domain. You can see live feedback on site performance issues in the dashboard and you can also get reports run on schedule and emailed to you.

Key Features:

  • Website performance tests from 28 locations
  • Free version

There is a free version of this service, which performs tests every 15 minutes. The paid plans check every minute. You can get a 7-day free trial of both the Superior and Business plans.

Monitoring internet performance

You may have a great product and a fantastic website, but if it is slow to load, visitors will give up and look at the next site on the search engine results page. You can’t sit and test your own site yourself thoroughly. For one thing, you probably have better things to do than sit and constantly reload your site’s pages and for another, you will never be able to test its performance when accessed from the other side of the world without help.

Getting an internet monitor will save you a lot of time and help you spot web delivery problems as soon as they arise. Make the most of the free versions or free trials of the tools that are in this guide to try out several options without risking any money.

Do you use an internet monitoring solution? Have you tried any of the tools listed in this guide? Leave a message in the Comments section below and share your user experience with the community.

Internet Monitoring Software FAQs

Why is web performance monitoring important to Google?

Web performance influences a page’s rankings in Google’s results pages in a number of ways. Google awards scores to web pages and a higher score gets a higher position in search results. One group of attributes that Google scores on is the ‘user experience.’ A page that is slow to load creates a bad experience. Other factors in Google’s ranking algorithm are indirectly influenced by slow loading pages – word of mouth can discourage others from visiting the site, hence a low number of visitors get the page a lower score. Researchers have discovered that website visitors are less likely to stay and wait for a page to load, creating a high bounce rate, which also reduces the page’s Google score.

What are the top websites performance metrics?

The top website performance metrics are:

  1. Page Load Time – Loading speed (also measured as “time to title” and “start render time”)
  2. Time to Interact – The time takes before interactive elements, such as links are active.
  3. Requests Per Second – The rate at which pages and their element are requested
  4. Element Weight – The number of bytes each element in a web page represents (also look at asset type weight and overall weight)
  5. Bounce Rate – The percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one page
  6. Error Rate – The number of load failures

How can I monitor my Internet stability?

Use Ping at the command prompt to check on internet stability. This reports on the failed transmission rate, the roundtrip time for a packet, and the presence of jitter. The utility takes an IP address or a web domain as a parameter, such as ping google.com.