Obkio Review and Alternatives

There are many network monitoring systems available on the market and new providers are appearing all the time. Obkio is a relatively new network performance monitor and it is available for subscription, delivered from a SaaS platform.

In this review, we will look at the company that created the performance monitor and examine the tool itself. We will also list recommended alternatives to this network performance monitor.

About Obkio

Obkio Website

Obkio, Inc., is a relatively new business. It was founded in 2018 and it has its offices in Montreal, Canada. The company’s founder was Jean-François Lévesque and he was the CEO of the business until 2024. Obkio was Lévesque’s second enterprise as he had already started up a telecommunications cabling business, which he ran for 10 years. Obkio VP and Co-Founder, Pierre-Luc Charbonneau took over the reigns of the company and was joined by new CEO, Francis Gingras.

Obkio is still a small business with twelve employees.

Obkio details

Obkio is a cloud platform that offers network monitoring and troubleshooting systems. As well as the standard format for use by in-house system support technicians, the platform is available in a multi-tenant architecture for use by managed service providers (MSPs). It is possible to centralize the monitoring of networks on multiple sites and also include the devices of home-based workers in the monitoring system.

As a cloud-based service, the tool presents its dashboard through any standard Web browser; agents need to be installed at each location that is to be monitored. This service would be suitable for businesses that operate a virtual office because the company doesn’t need to have its own server to host the tool. If a business uses all cloud services, those platforms can be monitored by the Obkio system and the performance of the internet connections between them and remote workers can be monitored instead of a traditional network.

Obkio modules

Obkio provides reporting per site on its home screen with live throughput graphs and a striking connections visualization.

Obkio modules

This monitoring system is based on the Simple Network Monitoring Protocol. However, unlike most SNMP-based services, it doesn’t provide a network topology map.

Obkio network performance summary

The main feature of the home screen in the Obkio dashboard is a representation of all sites, with statuses reported by all of the agents. This is a circle with connections between sites shown as curves that are color-coded with traffic light colors to show their statuses.

This is a unique and eye-catching design. It instantly tells you which sites are experiencing problems – if any. The layout format is called a Chord Diagram.

The performance of links between the agents on a network is the main activity of this service. Connection testing is implemented with a proprietary system that works in the same way as a recursive Ping. It reports on availability, packet loss, jitter, and transfer speeds.

VoIP monitoring

The network performance graphs in the Obkio screen include Quality of Service (QoS) and Mean Opinion Score (MOS), which are key performance metrics for VoIP connections. Keeping track of these measurements will enable users to continue to use network-based telephony systems.

Measurements can be taken between sites and out to cloud-based PABX systems. Data is shown both as to numbers of current readings and graphs of performance over time.

Network device monitoring

Network device monitoring with the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is an essential part of any network performance monitor and this is an area where Obkio is surprisingly weak.

The cloud platform installs an agent on a server and this acts as the SNMP Manager. Usually, the SNMP Manager broadcasts a request across the network, so it doesn’t need to know the addresses of devices in order to get started. Instead, it discovers those addresses when the responses come in. Obkio ignores this functionality and requires the user to manually set up the address information for each device. So, devices can be overlooked. SNMP polling occurs every 30 seconds.

The SNMP system allows device agents to send out an emergency message if the host device develops problems. This message is called a Trap and normally, network performance monitors interpret these messages as alerts. However, Obkio’s network device monitor uses a custom UDP packet exchange that works in a similar way to Ping for its status reports instead of collecting Trap messages.

Network troubleshooting

The main troubleshooting tool in the Obkio system is its path analysis service which is based on Traceroute. This shows a path illustration and identifies, through traffic light color-coding, which links have problems.

The Obkio service stores its performance metrics for historical analysis. The exact storage period depends on which plan you choose. The analysis takes the form of a graph of response times per link or device. This enables you to alter the timeframe of the graph to an earlier starting point to see response times for previous days up to the present moment.

Obkio Network troubleshooting

Performance alerts

Obkio will send out an alert by email if a recorded metric passes a preset threshold. These thresholds can be adjusted and they relate to the typical metrics gathered by Ping – latency, jitter, and packet loss.

Obkio system requirements

As it is a cloud-based system, the Obkio server does not need to be installed. However, you will need an agent installed on each network that is to be covered by the monitoring service. There are four types of agents available:

  • Software
  • Virtual appliance
  • Hardware
  • Public

The Public appliance is a cloud platform service. These have been stirred on all of the major cloud platforms by Obkio and you just need to activate the agent inside your cloud platform account. There are a total of 17 cloud platforms that Obkio has written agents for and these include AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

The Software and Virtual Appliance versions of the Obkio agent install on one server on your site. The software agent is available to run on Windows, Linux, and Docker and the virtual appliance installs over Hyper-V, VMWare, or Oracle Virtualbox.

The Hardware agent runs on a device that needs to be shipped to you. There are two models available and you can buy either at the Obkio online store. The agent is intended for use at a branch location that doesn’t have an onsite server on which to install the software or virtual appliance agents.

Obkio pricing

As well as three plans for home and education use, there are four business plans for Obkio. With their prices, these are:

  • Starter – $199 per month
  • Basic – $399 per month
  • Premium – $699 per month
  • Enterprise – starting at $2.000 per month

The difference between these plans lies in the number of agents included, users for the account, and devices that can be covered. There are several other capacity differences between the plans, the most important of these is the data retention period for performance metrics.

  • Starter – Agents: 5, network devices: 2, users: 2, data retention: 6 months
  • Basic – Agents: 10, network devices: 5, users: 2, data retention: 6 months
  • Premium – Agents: 10, network devices: 10, users: 5, data retention: 36 months
  • Enterprise – Agents: 30, network devices: 30, users: 5, and data retention: by negotiation

The Enterprise plan is bespoke, so it doesn’t have a fixed price. You can get a 14-day free trial of the Obkio system.

Obkio’s strengths and weaknesses

Obkio is a little disappointing because, while it tests inter-site connections well with Ping, there are many uptime monitors available that can also give you website response time data, which Obkio doesn’t provide. Obkio misses out on the benefits of the SNMP monitoring capabilities and it also does not attempt to provide internal network bandwidth capacity and traffic analysis functions that the free NetFlow, sFlow, J-flow, and IPFIX protocols could have given it. So, the system’s assessment is heavily in the “weaknesses” category.


  • Cloud-based
  • Free version
  • Ping performance tests
  • Traceroute analysis
  • Historical data retention for Ping feedback


  • No autodiscovery, network inventory, or network topology maps
  • Device performance monitoring based on Ping and not SNMP
  • No traffic reporting
  • No device configuration assessments
  • No wireless network monitoring
  • No virtualization tracking

Alternatives to Obkio

Obkio is a relatively new system and its creators stress the simplicity of the tool in its advertising copy. This is a Ping and Traceroute system – two facilities that are available for free from many providers. There is a lot more that this tool could do by exploiting SNMP and traffic flow protocols, such as NetFlow, sFlow, and J-Flow.

As Obkio is a SaaS platform, we examined the market for cloud-based network monitoring packages as our primary source of alternatives to Obkio that we can recommend. We also included some on-premises systems. These tools are all based around an SNMP polling function that gathers status information from network devices and provides better detection automation than Obkio’s services.

Here is our list of the best alternatives to Obkio:

  1. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (FREE TRIAL) This is your best option if you would prefer an on-premises network monitoring solution. The SolarWinds tool is well-established and has a very large user community, which gives you access to tips and tricks from other users through a site called Thwack. This tool gives you SNMP polling, autodiscovery, asset management, and topology mapping. It will track the performance of virtualizations, VLANs, wireless networks, and internet links as well as LANs. The console includes diagnostic tools as well. This software installs on Windows Server and is available for a 30-day free trial.
  2. Datadog Network Device Monitor This cloud-based system makes constant checks on network device statuses with SNMP and provides an alert if a problem arises. Datadog also offers a Network Performance Monitor, which tracks traffic on a network, recording link capacity and utilization. Used together, these two modules give you total visibility into network usage and help you plan capacity to avoid bottlenecks. Annoyingly, the network mapping functions that are usually part of SNMP monitors are included in the Network Performance Monitoring package, so you need both of these tools to fully replicate the services delivered by rival network device tracking systems. Try out all Datadog modules with a 14-day free trial.
  3. Paessler PRTG Hosted Monitor This cloud platform offers network, server, and application monitoring services and you decide which of the large number of sensors to use – the more you activate, the more you pay. The bundle includes autodiscovery and network mapping services, SNMP device monitoring, traffic monitoring, and Ping-based availability checks. The package is available for a 10-day free trial.
  4. Site24x7 Network Monitoring This SaaS platform offers plans that combine network monitoring with server and application monitors, offering the ideal stack monitors for root cause analysis when things go wrong. You get autodiscovery, inventory, and mapping functions plus SNMP polling for device statuses. The plans also include traffic monitors and alerts for performance issues. Available for a 30-day free trial.
  5. LogicMonitor This cloud system offers an attractive dashboard with great visualizations that show your network map and live performance graphs. The system can watch over servers and applications as well and, as a cloud-based service, it can unify the monitoring of all your locations in one console. Get SNMP device polling and flow protocol data plus troubleshooting tools, such as on-demand Ping and Traceroute-like functions. Access this system with a 14-day free trial.
  6. Dynatrace This cloud-based monitoring service claims it is the only tool available for process-to-process network traffic, but that just means protocol analysis, which a lot of network tools offer. Despite this flashy claim to uniqueness, the Dynatrace system is worth investigating because it has some good diagnostic tools built into its network monitoring functions. Have a look at it with a 15-day free trial.