PRTG Network Monitor

Once you have SNMP configured on a system you wish to monitor, you need to have SNMP monitoring software on that system or another system. If you would like to use a Windows system as the SNMP monitoring, or management, system, Paessler provides a free edition of their PRTG Network Monitor software, which is available for downloading at Downloading PRTG Freeware Edition

The Freeware Edition may be used free for personal or commercial use. It is limited to monitoring only up to ten (10) sensors and a minimum interval of one minute. You can, alternatively, install the Free Trial Edition or the Starter Edition. The Trial Edition gives you unlimited use for 30 days, so you can test whether one of the commercial editions is right for you.

The 10 sensor limit can be increased to 20, if you place a PRTG banner, such as the one below, on a publically accesible website. The banners, which are available at Download a free banner for your webpage come in a variety of sizes.

Monitored by PRTG

Once you've placed a banner on your website, if you send an email to sales at mentioning the URL of your page, you will be provided with a key that unlocks 20 sensors for free.

Note: the information below was written for the 8.1.0 version of PRTG and the installation and configuration process may vary for other versions.

When you start the installation process for the free version, you will see a setup window advising you that the installer only contains the Freeware, Starter and Trial Edition of PRTG Network Monitor.

PRTG Install - Start

When you click on Yes to continue, a welcome screen appears. Click on Next to continue.

PRTG Install - Start

You will then see the PRTG installation welcome screen.

PRTG Install - Welcome

After you accept the license agreement, you will be asked where you wish to install the software and informed that at least 119.2 MB of free disk space is required. When you continue with the installation files will be extracted to the location you specify and the PRTG Server service will be set up. You will then be taken to step one of the installation process.

PRTG Install - Step 1

At step one of the PRTG installation procedure, you can choose whether you would like the freeware or trial option. If you choose the freeware option, you will be taken to step 3.

PRTG Install - Step 3

In step 3, you are prompted for an email address, login name, and password for the PRTG administrator account. The default login name is prtgadmin . You are also prompted for the port to be used for PRTG's built-in web server. You can access the PRTG graphs using a web browser on the system on which you install PRTG or, also, from other systems, if you choose to make PRTG accessible over the network. The default port is the standard HTTPS port, port 443. I.e., the default is to encrypt the transmissions between PRTG's web server and other systems. You can, alternatively, select the standard HTTP port, port 80, or even select a nonstandsard HTTP port, if you prefer.

At step 3, you can also choose whether PRTG will be accessible only from the system on which it runs or from other systems. The default selection is for PRTG to be accessible from other systems via an IP address on the system on which it is installed. If you chose the localhost option, the PRTG web server will only accept connections on the system's "loopback" address of If the system has more than one IP address associated with it, you can choose to have the PRTG web server listen for connections on "All IPs." Note: if you already have a web server running on the system, such as Microsoft's Internet Information Server on port 80, make sure you don't select the same port as the existing web server for the PRTG web server.

At the next step, you are asked whether you want to run PRTG in "Standalone Mode" or "Cluster Mode". If you are planning to only have PRTG running on one system, then the default option of "Standalone Mode" is the appropriate mode.

PRTG Install - Step 4

Run PRTG in "Standalone Mode" (on One Server)

Run PRTG in "Cluster Mode" (on Two or Moe Servers)

Choosing the operating mode is the last configuration choice you have to make during the installation.

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PRTG Install - Step 5

When the installation is finished, you can choose to open PRTG in the systems default web browser or to start the PRTG Windows GUI.

PRTG Install - Finished

When you open the website in the web browser, which you can do by using, presuming that you opted to use HTTPS on port 443 and that is the IP address for the system on which you installed PRTG, you will receive a warning about the PRTG website certificate. That occurs, because the certificate is a self-signed certificate and not one issued by an authorized certificate authority. That is of no concern; a self-signed certificate is adequate in this case, unless you intend to make PRTG publically accessible to a lot of people.

PRTG Website Certificate Warning

When you accept the certificate, you will be prompted for the login name and password for the PRTG administrator account you entered when installing the software.

When you login, you can choose to "Add Sensor(s) Manually" to create sensors manually using a wizard, if you choose the Ajax interface. To add monitoring of another system, take the steps below.

  1. Under Add Sensor, choose Create a new Device, then click on Continue.
  2. You can have the deviced added to the existing "root" group, by leaving "Add device to an existing group" selected, clicking on "1st group (visible to all user accounts)" and then clicking on Continue.

    In PRTG the sensors are grouped by devices, which are organized into groups.
  3. At the next screen, put in a device name and IP address or DNS name. You can also specify tags for the device, if you wish. Tags are keywords or descriptive terms associated with an ojbect as a means of classifciation. Then select an icon. Leave "Manual (no auto-discovery) selected for Device Type and click on Continue.
  4. Click on Devices and choose Settings for the root group.
  5. In the Credentials for Windows Systesm section, fill in the Domain or Computer Name, Username, and Password fields with information that will provide access to the system or all systems which are in the domain, if you have a Windows domain.
  6. If you are going to be using SNMP for monitoring, put the appropriate Community String value in the Credentials for SNMP Devices, if you aren't using the default community string of public.
  7. Click on Save.
  8. Under Sensors, select Add Sensor.
  9. Choose Add sensor to an existing device and select the device for which you wish to add a new sensor, then click onContinue.
  10. Select the type of sensor to add, e.g. Windows/WMI for Windows Manaagement Instrumentation for Windows computers, which would use the Windows credentials you entered earlier, or SNMP, which would use the public community string or one that you specified earlier, if you replaced the default community string..
  11. For WMI, you can add the following sensors:
    Server Monitoring Software
    WMI CPU Load
    WMI Memory
    WMI Uptime
    WMI Free Disk SPace (Multi Drive)
    WMI Free Disk SPace (Single Disk)
    WMI Network Card
    WMI Pagefile
    WMI Service
    WMI Share
    WMI Terminal Service (Windows XP/Vista/2003)
    WMI Terminal Service (Windows 2008)
    WMI Process
    WMI Event Log
    WMI File
    WMI Custom
    WMI Vital System Data
    Event Log (Windows API)
    WMI Exchange Server 2003
    WMI Exchange Server 2007
    WMI Microsoft SQL Server 2005
    WMI Microsoft SQL Server 2008
    WMI IIS 6.0  SMTP Sent
    WMI IIS 6.0 SMTP Received

    You can select WMI Network Card to monitor bandwidth usage and traffic of a network interface using WMI by double-clicking on that selection. You will then be presented with a display where you can monitor the network card in the system or the loopback interface. Leave the network card selected and click on Continue.

    You can see graphs for the bandwidth utilization by selecting the device and then choosing one of the 2 Days, 30 Days, or 365 Days tabs.

If you uninstall the software, you may see a message advising you that you will have to manually remove its data files. Those may be in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Paessler on a Windows XP or Server 2003 system.

If you need to install SNMP support on a Windows system, instructions for doing so for a Windows XP system are at Installing SNMP Under Windows XP.


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Created: Saturday October 16, 2010