Ping Monitoring Software is a useful tool-set that allows system admins and IT professionals to work out if a network device, 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.
Here is our list of the best ping monitoring tools:
- SolarWinds Ping Sweep with Engineers Toolset – FREE TRIAL A collection of more than 60 system administration tools that includes a Ping Sweep service. This searches a network and identifies existing devices, listing their allocated IP addresses. Installs on Windows Server. Start the 14-day free trial.
- Site24x7 Network Monitor – FREE TRIAL A cloud-based system that watches network device statuses and tracks traffic volumes. Access the 30-day free trial.
- Paessler PRTG – A bundle of network, server, and application monitors that includes Ping-based network testing and discovery sensors. Runs on Windows Server.
- ManageEngine OpManager Free Ping Tool A tool that offers on-demand Ping sweeps and DNS resolution tests. That is offered for free by a leading systems monitor provider. Available for Windows Server and Linux.
- Nagios XI An infrastructure monitoring system that uses Ping for some of its network exploration and testing functions. Installs on Linux.
- EMCO Ping Monitor An affordable Ping monitor that is easy to use interface and allows for a sweep of all devices on the network. Runs on Windows and Windows Server.
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.
Related Post: Best IP Monitoring Tools and Software
Here's the Best Ping Monitoring Software & Tools of 2022:
What should you look for in Ping monitoring tools?
We reviewed the market for monitors of network devices and servers that use Ping and analyzed options based on the following criteria:
- Ping on demand with a facility to launch the service on a schedule
- A continuous Ping service for constant device availability tracking
- Connection performance reports that detail packet loss and jitter
- Storage of test results for historical analysis
- Alerts is a device becomes unavailable
- A free trial or a demo package for a cost-free assessment opportunity
- Value for money from a competent Ping-based monitoring tool that is offered at a reasonable price
With these selection criteria in mind, we identified a short list of useful network device monitors that use Ping and can also be used to watch endpoint availability.
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.
- Network Discovery Tools
- Port Scanners
- Switch Port Mappers
- SNMP Sweeping
- IP Network Browsing
- Mac Address Discovery
- Ping Sweeping
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 Engineers Toolkit not only an excellent monitoring tool, but a great troubleshooting tool as well.
- Ping for discovery and availability testing
- IP address usage tracking
- Scan an entire network or a range of IP addresses
- Linked port scanner
- Time-series graphs
- The free trial only lasts 14 days
Pricing: 14-day Free Trial Download!
SolarWinds Ping Sweep is our top pick for a Ping monitoring tool because it provides an on-demand scan of a network, identifying each device by its IP address. This lets you see where there are gaps in your IP address allocations and also extract a list, which you can compare to your DHCP IP address pool to identify abandoned IP addresses. Use this tool to discover the response times of each device connected to your network and also find equipment that is connected but not responding. You can also use DNS reports in the Ping sweep output to check on the records in your DNS server.
Get a 14-day free trial: https://www.solarwinds.com/engineers-toolset/registration
Operating system: Windows Server
Site24x7 is a cloud-based platform of system monitoring tools. The Network Monitor of Site24x7 is a comprehensive tool but it isn’t available as a standalone service. Instead, it forms an element of each of the five plans available from the platform.
The Network Monitor integrates Ping into its system discovery and monitoring processes. The service begins by searching for all the devices connected to the network and creating a network inventory. This list of devices and their attributes and statuses form the heart of the network monitor’s device tracking service. It also forms the basis for a network topology map.
Site24x7 continually re-queries the system for status reports, which enables it to keep the inventory and topology map up to date. If errors are detected, the Network Monitor will generate an alert and send that out to technicians in the form of a notification via SMS, email, voice call, or instant messenger post.
- Network discovery
- Topology mapping
- Inventory creation
- Live performance monitoring
The dashboard for the system can be accessed through any standard Web browser. The network monitoring screens show statuses for each device. These screens can easily be customized by the user through a drag-and-drop function.
The Network Monitor also includes an on-demand Ping test service that will poll a range of addresses for a response and keep repeating. The polling frequency can be set at any rate from every one minute to once a day.
- Cloud-based service that can Ping to multiple sites
- IP address usage sweeps
- Alerts for missing devices
- Integrated with a network topology mapper
- Results can be skewed by poor internet conditions
Pricing: The Site24x7 Infrastructure service includes the Network Monitor and costs $9 per month when paid for annually.
Paessler 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 built 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.
- A range of Ping-based monitors
- Device availability
- Connection testing
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.
- Part of a package of network, server, and application monitors
- Can be set up to test connections between sites
- Jitter and packet loss assessments
- The choice of many Ping sensors can be confusing
Pricing: 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 and Network monitoring service, which includes reach-ability 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.
- Recursive Ping
- Time-series performance graph per device
- Ping sweep
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 a Linux network monitor with troubleshooting and has an alert system that will let you know if any of your vital system components goes offline.
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.
- Tests for endpoint and network device availability
- Time-series graphs
- Additional network monitoring tools
- Doesn’t run on Windows
Pricing: Starts at $1,995
5. 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.
- Free tool
- Connection speed
- Sweep a whole network
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.
- Monitors servers and network devices
- Can test the availability of websites
- Also offers Traceroute and DNS testing
- The full paid version OpManager has better tools
6. EMCO Ping Monitor
The ECMO Ping Monitor is a paid for solution, but is free for up to 5 hosts and has a slew of features worth looking at when evaluating a solution – you can find a extensive review of EMCO ping monitor here for more in-depth information!
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.
- Free version
- Response time graph per device
- Availability tests
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.
- Records cumulative uptime
- Alerts for failed tests
- Operates continuously
- The free version only monitors five devices
Pricing: 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.
Ping monitoring FAQs
What is ping monitoring?
Ping monitoring checks the availability of devices on a network by sending a packet to an IP address. The Ping utility can just work through a range of frequently used LAN IP addresses and if a response comes back, the monitor can record that the address is in use. By this method, the Ping sweep of a network can be used to manage IP address usage. The Ping report also details the roundtrip time that it took until a response arrives back.
What is ping and how it works?
Ping uses a function of the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP). This protocol provides a message format that is an echo request. A device receiving this request, immediately sends back a response. The program that sends that request can derive a number of metrics from sending a series of echo requests to the same target. These include the mean roundtrip time, jitter, which is the variability of response speeds, and packet loss. The most fundamental result of a Ping to an IP address tells you whether the IP address is in use. A response also tells you whether a device that is known to be using an IP address is available.
How is ping calculated?
The main statistic provided by Ping is roundtrip time. The response to an echo request is immediate and so if the program that sends the request takes a timestamp the moment that the echo request is sent, and another the moment the response arrives, the system can calculate how long a packet takes to get to the target and back.