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:
- SolarWinds Pingdom EDITOR’S CHOICE Delivers cloud-based website performance monitoring that combines synthetic and real-user monitoring to give you invaluable performance insights. It is easy to use and provides a full-stack application monitoring experience which is great for troubleshooting issues. Start a 30-day free trial.
- 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.
- Paessler Internet Monitoring with PRTG 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.
- Outages.io A hybrid network monitoring system with a cloud-based control panel and a choice of hardware or software onsite monitors.
- NodePing A subscription-based cloud service that can monitor up to 250 networks per customer.
- Uptrends A web monitor that includes response time reporting alerts. This service is based in the cloud.
- Dynatrace A SaaS system monitoring tool that covers all network statuses onsite as well as response times to a website.
- Uptime Robot A website availability monitor that will measure response times to a site as well as its uptime.
- Uptime A monitor for networks, servers, and applications that focuses on the availability and response times of resources.
- StatusCake Measures the availability and response times of a given website from 28 locations around the world.
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 Software
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.
What should you look for in internet monitoring software?
We reviewed the market for internet monitoring software and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:
- A tool that can test internet connections from different locations around the globe
- A system of checks on availability and response times for different Web applications
- A service that doesn’t require deep technical knowledge in order to get actionable results
- A monitoring service that can identify whether connection issues or poor coding is the cause of response time issues
- A system to trace the real hosts of API functions
- A system that offers a free trial period to enable risk-free assessment
- A low-cost subscription service that cuts hosting costs and doesn’t require installation fees or have lock-in periods
You can read more about each of these tools in the following sections.
Pingdom is a Cloud-based system that monitors your website performance 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.
- Uses a combination of synthetic and real-user monitoring
- Uptime monitoring from around the globe
- Full-stack application performance monitoring, great for troubleshooting
- Response time measurements
- Alerting system
- Test servers in 100+ locations
As an cloud-based service, Pingdom is well-placed to examine the performance of your website’s 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 100 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.
- Lightweight cloud tool – doesn’t require any installation or onboarding
- Easiest option for external monitoring, great for keeping tabs on website performance, or ISP uptime
- Can test site availability from over 100 sites around the world, great for web applications that require global access
- One of the best dashboards available compared to competing products
- Can manage multiple sites easily from a single tool
- Supports multiple alert channels including email and third-party apps like Slack
- Would like to see a longer trial period
Pricing is subscription-based with different service levels. You can get a 30-day free trial of the Pingdom system.
Pingdom Website Performance Monitoring is our first choice! It uses a mix of synthetic and real-user monitoring to give you detailed insights on how your site is being used. We were impressed by the granularity of the application performance insights which is great for getting to the bottom of bottlenecks and issues.
Start 30-day Free Trial: https://do.solarwinds.com/apm-integrated-experience-signup/
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.
- Validate HTTP requests
- Monitor and maintain SLAs
- Front-end and root cause analysis
- Real-time metrics, traces, and logs
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.
- Operates as a lightweight cloud product
- Flexible pricing makes it a great option for any size business
- Features some of the best network mapping and user interfaces on the market
- Helps shorten resolution time with root cause analysis features
- Can validate HTTP requests, goes beyond simple ping checks
- Allows businesses to easily move into other forms of monitoring offered by DataDog
- Would like to see a longer trial period to test all of the features
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 14-day free trial.
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.
- Website response times
- Connection speed monitoring
- Performance alerts
- Full infrastructure stack monitoring
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.
Overall PRTG is great 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.
- Flexible platform that allows businesses to expand their monitoring capabilities easily
- Pricing is based on usage, making it a scalable platform for both small and large networks
- Can alert via a number of different mediums, ensuring the right teams are in the loop
- Can check to ensure site elements are all loading properly and can track metrics like Time to First Meaningful Paint (FMP)
- Same platform can be used to set up internal monitoring of networks, applications, and user activity
- PRTG is a feature dense platform that may require time invested to fully utilize all of its features
You can get a 30-day free trial 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.
See also: Best Uptime Monitoring Tools
OutagesIO 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 OutagesIO and gets updated automatically. The service is owned and run by Echo Networks and it is also marketed as Sane IP. A base edition of OutagesIO’s software version is available for free as a Community Edition.
- Hardware or software versions
- Availability and response time monitoring
- A free dynamic DNS (DDNS) service
The software version of the tool can be installed on Windows 7, 8, and 10, CentOS, and Debian Linux, Raspberry Pi, and Tinker Board. 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.
- Uniquely offers a hardware solution to monitor the internet alongside the software option
- Can be installed cross-platform on both Windows and Linux
- Can identify slow running websites and elements that fail to load correctly
- A free version is available
- The choice between software and hardware solutions is confusing
OutagesIO’s Community Edition is free forever and acts as a free trial for the paid editions of the software. This doesn’t give you any experience of the OutagesIO hardware solution and it doesn’t include all of the functions of the paid software options. Sign up for the Community Edition and, after trying that, you can decide whether to upgrade to the Extended plan. OutagesIO also offers a demo system at its 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.
NodePing is a subscription service that offers site availability checks at intervals of up to 15 seconds. The service can monitor up to 200 Web pages for each account.
- Uptime monitoring plus response time reporting
- SSL checks
- Service problem notifications
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.
- Can check SSL and encryption protocols
- One subscription can cover 200 sites, making it an attractive over to MSPs and resellers
- Can send alert notifications to SMS, email, or webhook
- Visualizations could use an overhaul, some graphs are difficult to read
- Aimed towards a more technical audience, not as intuitive as some other solutions
NodePing gives sellers a referral bounty and you can give the system a check by accessing a 15-day free trial.
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 company offers packages of services that include Website and cloud resource monitoring. Tools in the bundle include real user monitoring (RUM) and synthetic monitoring systems. As an external service, the availability and response time checks can be launched against any website, so you are not limited to checking you’re own sites, you can investigate those of your rivals as well.
- Availability, DNS, SSL, and FTP checks
- Alert system
- Free version available
Apart from the subscription services, Uptime offers a basic Website availability monitoring service for free. You just enter a site URL and your email address into the monitoring system and it will perform availability and response time checks continuously. The service emails you regular performance reports and will also email you an alert if the site is unavailable. The free service can be run from several locations around the world and it double checks before sending you a notification that the site is down.
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.
- Web-based tool – does not require installation or onboarding
- Supports remote checks from multiple locations
- Can query the performance of sites you don’t own, good for competitor analysis and SEO
- Uses data captured by real visitors to access performance and speed
- Can alert to multiple channels, including Slack
- Account types are liable to change
We have been watching Uptrends for quite a while now and the service has considerably improved over the last year. The Free Website Monitoring service is a nice favor to small businesses that have budget issues, so that’s nice to see. Uptime offers a long list of other free tools as well. The paid plans have been improved as well, with a slimmer menu.
The paid services are packaged in three editions: Starter, Business, and Enterprise. All plans include availability and response times tests and also real user monitoring and cloud monitoring. The higher plans include browser-based tests, SLA monitoring, and more checkpoints. You can get a 30-day free trial of any plan.
- Uptime and performance monitoring
- Visitor journey tracking
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.
- Excellent user interface
- Can run on both Windows or Linux operating systems
- Runs in the cloud, doesn’t require installation or on-premise servers
- Could use a longer trial period
- Can be complicated for non-technical users
- Is designed for enterprise use, not the best option for smaller companies
The service is charged on a subscription model and you can try it for free for 15 days.
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.
- Performance alerts
- Response time checks every minute
- Free version
Another difference between the Free and Pro services is that the data retention period is three months with the Free service but two years with the Pro edition. There is also a top plan available, called Enterprise, which is a custom package.
Performance data can be set to trigger an alert when transfer time exceeds a set time. These alerts are delivered by SMS or voice call and they are not available in the Free service. A Pro account includes a credit of 20 notifications a month. If your Web assets experience a lot of problems and those notification credits run out, you can choose to top up with a payment for extra notification credits or just let notifications stop for the rest of the month.
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.
- Features a freeware version and paid version
- Threshold-based alerting helps notify admin before users are impacted
- Free version supports up to 50 monitors
- Simple and easy to use
- Options like SSL expiration alerts are a paid feature
- Could use more reporting options
- Not suited for companies who wish to track a large number of assets
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.
- Availability checks
- Response time monitoring
- 21-day free trial
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.
- Cloud-based tool can monitor both on-premise and remote sites within the same dashboard
- Can test load speeds and uptime in a single click
- Is easy to use for non-technical users
- Supports utilizing user journey data to measure performance
- Would like to see a longer standard 30-day trial
If you want to try out the service without risk, pick up the 21-day free trial.
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.
- Website tests from 30 different countries
- Server performance monitoring
- Free version
The service has servers that launch tests from 30 countries around the world and that lets you see the performance of your sites when accessed from faraway 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.
- Cloud-based tool can monitor both on-premise and remote sites within the same dashboard
- Great user interface, balances verbose logs with recent historical metrics
- Can test from multiple locations around the globe
- Would like to see a longer trial, seven days is a bit short
- Better geared towards smaller networks, not the best option for enterprise internet monitoring
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:
- Page Load Time – Loading speed (also measured as “time to title” and “start render time”)
- Time to Interact – The time takes before interactive elements, such as links are active.
- Requests Per Second – The rate at which pages and their element are requested
- Element Weight – The number of bytes each element in a web page represents (also look at asset type weight and overall weight)
- Bounce Rate – The percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one page
- 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.