Review, compare and select the best Network Bandwidth Monitoring Software from the list to prevent any major network collapse in the future:
You will experience a slow network connection, be it Internet or Intranet, and one of the main reasons for network delays is high bandwidth usage. Slow or bottlenecks are created by hardware or software resources on the network. Such congestion results in low bandwidth, which slows down the network or sometimes crashes the entire network, resulting in total disruption or crash.
One of the best prevention tools in such a scenario is network bandwidth monitoring software. In today’s growing world of IoT (Internet of Things) such software will notify performance issues in advance, which will help IT administrators or network administrators to take necessary actions before catastrophic failures occur.
In this publication, we will look at the top companies that offer software for bandwidth monitoring, their technical specifications, comparison details, and prices. We’ll also look at the factors affecting network bandwidth and how to choose the best network bandwidth monitoring software for your network.
What You Will Learn:
- Network Bandwidth Monitoring Software Review
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Factors Affecting Network Bandwidth
- List of Top Network Bandwidth Monitoring Software
Network Bandwidth Monitoring Software Review
An important role of this software is to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic. It tracks various devices and their performance to find parameters such as bandwidth usage, latency metrics, data packets (uploads and downloads), device availability and downtime, unwanted packets, and more.
This software monitors all programs and hardware resources blocking bandwidth usage. The results are displayed in either metrics or graphs, which makes it easier for IT administrators to troubleshoot network failures and ensure smooth packet flow.
Pro-Tip: There are various bandwidth monitors, paid and free, designed for small and medium-sized businesses and large businesses, but the bare minimum should contain:
- Auto-discovery of nodes and network metrics.
- Device inventory and logging.
- Configurable alerts.
- Web-based management interface.
- Centralized dashboard highlighting performance in graphs and metrics.
- Intrusion detection.
- Agentless installation.
If you are looking for granular level management and troubleshooting, then look for commands level management of network settings.
As the following study shows, IT networks and systems contribute significantly to data center outages. In such scenarios, network bandwidth monitor software plays an important role in overcoming such failures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) How can I monitor bandwidth usage on the network?
Answer: You can use free or paid software to monitor your network bandwidth. If you are in the testing or evaluation phase, you can use the free software or can try the 30-day trial of paid software. If you plan to deploy on a LAN or enterprise network, it is better to use a proven paid version of the software.
Q #2) How can I monitor bandwidth usage per device for free?
Answer: You can use free network bandwidth monitoring software to monitor bandwidth usage, but it comes with basic functionality.
Q #3) Can SNMP monitor bandwidth?
Answer: Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a protocol used to obtain information about devices connected to an IP network. Network bandwidth monitoring software uses SNMP to get details about various devices (supporting SNMP) from the network to showcase information about bandwidth utilization.
Q #4) What is network bandwidth utilization?
Answer: This means the amount of bandwidth consumed on the network. Network bandwidth monitoring software is used to detect devices and other applications that are using high bandwidth. Such usage can slow down the network and disrupt the network.
Q #5) What is bandwidth capacity?
Answer: Network bandwidth is a capacity that indicates the maximum amount of data (packets) that can be transmitted over a wired or wireless network in a given period. It is represented by the number of bits, kilobits, megabits, or gigabits that can be transmitted in 1 second.
Q #6) What is bandwidth? Explain with example.
Answer: It indicates the speed of data transmission to a local network or Internet connection. The higher the bandwidth, the faster the connection and vice versa.
For example, a local gigabit connection (LAN) has a bandwidth of 1 GBPS or 1000 Mbps.
Factors Affecting Network Bandwidth
Following are some of the factors that lead to high bandwidth usage. Therefore, this bandwidth monitoring software that tracks devices and resources is useful so that IT administrators can take timely action to prevent major network collapse.
- Faulty network device
- Huge uploads and downloads
- Streaming videos
- Packets lost
- Resource heavy applications
- Unwanted packets in the network
- High CPU usage
- Problems with physical connectivity
- DNS problems
List of Top Network Bandwidth Monitoring Software
Here is the list of popular and free bandwidth monitor tools:
- Solarwinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer
- Paessler PRTG Bandwidth Monitor
- ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer
- Ntopng (ntop next generation)
- Progress WhatsUp Gold
- Cacti (Freeware software)
- BitMeter OS (freeware software)
Comparison of the Best Bandwidth Monitor Tools
|Software name||Solution offered||Top Features||Free Trial||Price/Licensing|
|Solarwinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer||Software for analyzing network traffic and monitoring bandwidth||•Identifies users, applications, and consuming bandwidth|
•Highlights the IP addresses of high bandwidth utilization
•Explores historical IP flow conversations
|free 30-day trial||Its price starts at $1072|
|Paessler Bandwidth Monitor||Monitor entire IT infrastructure: LAN, WAN, servers, websites and applications.||•Customizable SNMP options|
•WMI for windows and SSH for Linux/Unix and macOS systems
•Traffic analysis using flow protocols or packet sniffing
|30-day full version||Per server license
PRTG 500 $1750
PRTG 1000 $3200
PRTG 2500 $6500
|ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer||It collects, analyzes and reports in detail the network bandwidth metrics||•Monitoring traffic patterns |
•Track network anomalies that flows through firewall.
•Effective monitoring of video, audio and data
|30-day full functional trial version||The prices are available on quote request|
|NetWorx||It collects data about bandwidth usage and measures network connection speed||•Usage reports|
•Graphs and charts
|30 days free of cost||Home and business editions.
Upto 5 devices it cost $25 for home users and $49 for business users.
|Ntopng||This is a network traffic check that monitors network usage||•Predefined alerts on security issues |
•Analyzes IP traffic
•API to ease integrations with third party tools
|Nil||It has varied variants
ntopng Pro (x64) - 149.95 Euro
ntopng Enterprise M (x64) - 499.95 Euro
ntopng Enterprise L (x64) - 699.95 Euro
Let’s start a technical review:
#1) Solarwinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer
Best for medium and large enterprises to monitor and analyze network bandwidth.
Solarwind’s NetFlow Traffic Analyzer monitors and analyzes network traffic by collecting data packets and comparing them to a usable format. It presents data in a web-based interface for an easy-to-read format in graphs and metrics.
It provides full bandwidth tracking performance by monitoring bandwidth thresholds and generating instant alerts, providing information about high bandwidth-consuming applications, and monitoring specific IP groups for network usage.
- Breakthrough the traffic of every element with multiple views.
- Determine which users, applications, and protocols consume the most bandwidth.
- Emphasizes IP addresses for high bandwidth usage.
- Check historical IP stream conversations in detail for up to a minute.
Verdict: If you are looking for the best solution for monitoring network parameters and bandwidth, then Sonnenwind’s NetFlow Traffic Analyzer is the best choice. Everything from wired network traffic to wireless network traffic can be monitored and tracked. The only lag point is you need to have SolarWinds NPM software to use NetFlow Traffic Analyzer.
Price: You can download a free, full-featured, 30-day trial and start analyzing and identifying which users, apps, and protocols use the most bandwidth. Prices start at $1,072.
#2) Paessler PRTG Bandwidth Monitor
Best for small to large enterprise-level networks.
Paessler Bandwidth Monitor is an all-in-one network monitoring software, including determining how much bandwidth is being used by devices and applications that help users to identify bottlenecks in the network.
It also monitors certain records from databases, statistics about applications running on the network, retrieves information about devices such as routers, switches, servers. The cloud service is also tracked and comes with a flexible alert function.
- Custom SNMP options.
- WMI for Windows and SSH for Linux/Unix and macOS systems.
- Traffic analysis with flow protocol or packet sniffing.
- User-friendly maps and dashboards.
Verdict: It is comprehensive traffic analysis software. If you want to monitor systems, devices, traffic, and applications without external plugins, then Paessler Bandwidth Monitor meets your IT infrastructure requirements.
Price: You can try the full version for 30 days for free before buying. The product license one-time price is shown below. Maintenance costs are updated annually.
Website: Paessler PRTG Bandwidth Monitor
#3) ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer
Best for mid-size to large companies that are specifically looking for bandwidth management and monitoring on the network.
It provides detailed network traffic analysis that helps network administrators to determine proper bandwidth usage, aids in troubleshooting and optimization. It is wholesome software that can analyze root causes of high bandwidth.
Its specialization in network bandwidth management includes monitoring bandwidth, bandwidth usage by users, real-time departmental monitoring, and more.
- Monitor traffic patterns and penetrate details at the interface level.
- Track network anomalies running through firewalls.
- Effective video, audio, and data monitoring.
- Multi-vendor support.
Verdict: It is designed for complete bandwidth monitoring. This software has everything you need to keep your network running at scale through in-depth traffic analysis, bandwidth management, network security, etc. In addition to the above features, it is compatible with multivendor and flow technologies.
Price: Available in two versions. Professional and Enterprise. Prices are available upon request for a quote. It also has a 30-day full-featured trial version.
Website: ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer
Best for users looking for basic bandwidth monitoring and alert software.
NetWorx is a network bandwidth monitoring tool compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. It is very simple to configure and a very user-friendly console.
You can monitor the bandwidth consumption and can set audio and visual alerts to trigger unusual network traffic. Based on the threshold set, it can automatically disconnect the Internet connection if it observes unusual network activity.
- Speed meter to measure download times.
- Usage reports.
- Customizable alerts.
- Graphs and charts.
Verdict: It is an economical and basic network bandwidth monitoring and analysis software. You can view the traffic metrics in graphs and can be exported to other interfaces like Word, Excel, etc.
Price: You can use its fully functional software for 30 days free of cost. It has two editions–Home and Business. Up to 5 devices it cost $25 for home users and $49 for business users.
#5) Ntopng (Ntop next generation)
Best for monitoring network traffic and statistics for small to mid-size networks.
Ntopng can automatically detect traffic generating applications with no settings or configuration parameters. With just a few clicks, you can easily see which protocols are highly using bandwidth.
To make it easier to highlight bandwidth usage, it groups top downloaders based on throughput. It provides statistics like subnets, autonomous systems, Flows Matrix, and geolocation of small to enterprise-level networks.
- Predefined security warnings.
- Analyze IP traffic and sort by source/destination.
- API to facilitate integration with third-party tools.
- Analysis of traffic behavior and periodic traffic detection, such as suspicious movements.
Verdict: It supports a wide variety of operating systems such as Unix, Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, and Windows. It’s easy to set up and has an easy-to-use console to monitor and analyze traffic.
Price: Prices are available in different formats, from small to large businesses, as shown below. The cost is one time.
#6) Progress WhatsUp Gold
Best suited for full transparency for network devices, cloud or on-premises servers, and application performance.
One of the best network monitoring software recognized as an industry leader in the latest G2 Grid report on network monitoring solutions. It monitors not only Microsoft applications but also Linux systems. Analyze bandwidth usage across networks and servers and provide transparency across AWS and Azure Cloud. It also monitors wireless networks.
- Simple and integrated log management.
- Integrate third-party tools with REST API.
- Hyper-V and VMware environment performance monitoring.
- Provide real-time notification.
Verdict: This software includes almost all network parameters and factors that are required to be tracked and monitored to keep the high uptime. Besides log management, REST APIs are for third-party integrations, making it easier to find and fix problems more quickly.
Price: Free trial available. The software has two main versions – Premium (annual subscription and perpetual). Prices are available when you request a quote.
Website: Progress WhatsUp Gold
Best for LAN and complex networks.
It is a lot of artistic software that includes support for tools, charts, multiple data sources, data collection, and polling. On top of that, there are templates for compatible integration of other metrics and parameters. It also supports automatic detection and various plug-ins.
- Supports SNMP, ICMP, TCP, and UDP protocols.
- Integrate various tools via plugins.
- Network scan automatic scheduling.
- Collect multiprocessor and multithreaded data to find all devices.
Verdict: Multifunctional tool available for free. This requires a basic emphasis on a few programs like MySQL, PHP, RRDTool, Net-SNMP, and a PHP-enabled web server like Apache or IIS.
Price: This is free software.
#8) BitMeter OS
Best for small networks for basic information monitoring and tracking.
BitMeter OS is a free, open-source bandwidth monitor that runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX. It monitors and tracks network and Internet usage and provides statistics on the web interface and via the command line. The query console provides details of bandwidth utilization and options for exporting to a table.
- Provides connection and bandwidth usages with time frame.
- Internet usage notification.
- Calculator to find time to upload and download files.
Verdict: Free software to monitor and track basic network usage parameters.
Price: It is freeware software.
Website: BitMeter OS
How to choose the best Network Bandwidth Monitor Software?
There is no clear answer to this question, as everything from LANs to large complex networks has its requirements, depending on the business themes and critical applications. One of the best ways to evaluate the right software for your network is to try and get free trials of paid software.
Here are some factors that are important for monitoring network bandwidth for efficiency, stability, and security:
- Unwanted packet detection.
- Rogue detection.
- Monitor all types of flow, like NetFlow, sFlow, jFlow, IPFIX, etc. To track and measure bandwidth usage in real-time.
- Based on your needs – simple, complex, or detailed reporting and graphical representation of metrics and statistics
- Advanced alerting mechanism.
- Agentless Bandwidth Monitoring.
- Virtual network support like Azure, AWS.
- Supporting both wired and wireless networks.
Whether businesses are related to IT or other sectors, they cannot lose productivity, customers, revenue, or reputation just because of network glitches. Therefore, the availability of suitable software for monitoring network bandwidth is a must.
As mentioned in the above section, a typical small to medium network can use NetWorx, Ntopng, and Progress WhatsUp Gold. Small networks can also try Cacti and BitMeter OS.
For enterprise networks and distributed environments requires a complete platform to manage their network and bandwidth, like Paessler PRTG Bandwidth Monitor, Solarwinds NetFlow Analyzer and Bandwidth Monitoring Software, and ManageEngine NetFlow analyzer.
Thus, IT administrators or system administrators have full transparency about physical and virtual servers, network infrastructure, intranet, and internet link, and cloud services and take preventative steps to avoid major outages.
- We spent 18 hours studying and researching various network bandwidth monitoring software to choose the best one for you.
- Total software researched- 15
- Total software shortlisted – 08