Ping Monitoring is a useful tool-set that allows system admins and IT professionals to work out if a network deice, such as a PC or server, are online and responding to network requests. The ping command is accessible through the command prompt, and it is found in all major operating systems via the command line.
Ping not only allows for connectivity states to be seen, but it also tells you what your network speed is currently operating at. This is because Ping measures the ‘round trip’ that your packet request takes on its journey from your computer, to your target, and back to your computer.
Ping uses ICMP requests, and operates in the Networking Layer of the OSI Model, which is Layer 3. Because of this, Ping does not have an associated port number with it as it does not operate on Layer 4 like UDP and TCP do.
We will look at 5 of the Best Ping/ICMP-based network tools for your network, and how they could work for you in your environment.
Here's the Top Ping Monitoring Tools of 2019:
1. Solarwinds Engineers Toolset
Where Solarwinds Engineers Toolset is different to other Ping Monitoring software is that it has many additional features such as graphing and logging. This gives users a clear historical record of their network activity going to and from their network devices, and allows them to sift through this data in the event of any system failures.
This is especially useful when performing root cause analysis during an event post mortem.
Solarwinds Engineers Toolkit is so much more than just a ping tool, however, so users can expect to find an entire arsenal of networking tools and diagnostic applications at their disposal.
Additional features include:
- Network Discovery Tools
- Port Scanners
- Switch Port Mappers
- SNMP Sweeping
- IP Network Browsing
- Mac Address Discovery
- Ping Sweeping
- Many more tools and features
Automated alerts ensure that if any devices happen to go offline that you will receive a real time alert, notifying you immediately of any downtime. This makes Solarwinds Engineer’s Toolkit not only an excellent monitoring tool, but a great troubleshooting tool as well.
Free 30 Day Trial Download!
2. ManageEngine OpManager Free Ping Tool
Ensuring maximum uptime for your servers and network infrastructure is essential in IT, and Free Ping Tool is an excellent choice to do just that. Users will find that the Round Trip Packet Time data is especially useful when troubleshooting connectivity and line speed issues on the network.
From here, users can also determine how many hops the connection has to complete, through the Trace Route module. The added functionality doesn’t stop there though, and there are plenty of other useful features that this app comes with. This includes:
- DNS Lookup
- HTTP Performance Reporting
- Website Reporting
- Server Performance Reporting
All of these features are useful and highly functional, especially in a free tool. There are some limitations, like a lack of real time alerts and warnings, but as a troubleshooting and monitoring solution, there is a lot to like about Manage Engine’s Free Ping and Traceroute Tool.
PRTG offers a ping tool that tests connections on your network, and over the internet. As we have already seen in this round up, ping is a very basic diagnostic tool, and what it can tell you in general is very simple.
PRTG and its system of sensors are all build around ping, which means that if a system goes offline and cannot be reached then an alert will be sent to tell you about the outage.
The Ping sensor is especially helpful for monitoring your current network state, as it displays the minimum and maximum latencies from the request, as well as the packet loss of the ping in progress.
All of this information helps to build a clear picture of what is happening on your network at any given time, and is especially useful when trying to pick up which assets on the network are currently offline.
Sometimes you might find that a server is online, but there are definite performance issues on the network that are causing latency and timeout events for users. The ping jitter sensor helps to identify what the latency and jitter is, and will help you to begin the process of elimination when trying to find the culprit on your network.
You can download a Free Trial version that is unlimited for 30 days, there after it reverts to a Free 100 Sensor Version.
Nagios offers a complete ping monitoring service, which includes reachability stats and packet loss information for all networked devices. Nagios recommends implementing their solution as it has some key benefits for users, such as increased server, services and application ability, as well as faster detection of network outages and protocol failures.
Nagios also benefits from a massive library of plugins such as SmokePing, so you can find some added functionality if you need to monitor finer details via a ping tool. That’s not to say that Nagios isn’t a capable ping monitor on its own though.
It has all of the tools that are necessary for network troubleshooting and monitoring, and has an alert system that will let you know if any of your vital system components goes offline. There are so many features to look at with this application, which gives you full network analysis tools, such as a bandwidth monitor, network analyser, server monitoring, and much more.
This system might be overkill if you are only looking for a ping monitoring solution, but there is a lot to be said about having all of the tools that you could possibly need at your disposal. Those that are looking for basic ping functionality will not be disappointed.
Starts at $1,995
5. EMCO Ping Monitor
The ECMO Ping Monitor is a paid for solution, but is free for up to 5 hosts. It is able to monitor how long your servers have been up and online for, and can tell you when they go offline. The free version does not have much in the way of customization, but it works really well as a free solution.
The way that this ping tool works is by tracking the states of connection with ICMP requests, and as such offers a network level of analysis.
Summary information is available for every monitored host on your network that is connected to the application, offering you a deeper insight into the state of your network. This information includes host status, uptime, ping response stats, and current outages. There are also real time statistics that give a current view of what is happening with you networked infrastructure.
Reports and alerts are also part of the application, which means that you can find out when a system goes offline immediately, even if you are not near your workstation at the time. This is a good application for smaller environments, and the free version is a good way to test the functionality of the program for yourself, and the purchasing price is very reasonable.
Single copies are $99 USD, and unlimited licensing costs just $245 USD
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
IT professionals need to know when their critical servers and network appliances are running smoothly, and even more importantly, when they go offline. A ping utility is especially useful for this purpose, as it keeps a constant stream of ping requests going to your important network devices.
Using a ping monitoring application to keep track of how things are running is also very efficient on your overall network capacity, which means that you can keep the services running indefinitely without affecting the performance of your network or internet connection.
How you decide to implement your ping monitoring solution will depend on your requirements, but with a bit of research and testing, you are sure to find the best approach for your own specific needs.