Intermapper and PRTG Network Monitor from Paessler are both well known in the IT world for their network monitoring capabilities. Which solution will best meet your organization’s needs?
In this article, we’ll review how Intermapper and PRTG are similar, how they differ, and how to decide which one is the right choice for you.
How are Intermapper and PRTG similar?
Intermapper and PRTG have a lot in common. Here’s how they’re similar:
- Enterprise Solutions: Intermapper and PRTG are both enterprise network monitoring solutions built to help IT professionals do their jobs better. Organizations look to enterprise tools to help them avoid outages, improve efficiency, and keep IT infrastructure healthy. To help organizations meet these business needs, HelpSystems and Paessler provide continuous software improvement, regular feature releases, and responsive support.
- Main Features: To help you stay ahead of network problems and get visibility into the performance of your IT infrastructure, Intermapper and PRTG focus on giving you essential features you’ll use every day without tacking on extras you may not need. Features that both Intermapper and PRTG offer include auto-discovery, visual mapping, Layer 2/3 mapping, real-time monitoring, and threshold-based alerts. In addition, the products are
- Free to Get Started: Knowing that many IT professionals need reliable, free network monitoring software, Intermapper and PRTG both make it free for you to get started. Intermapper offers a free 10-device version and PRTG is free for 100 sensors. While the licensing models of the two products vary quite a bit (we’ll talk about this more below), the ability to get started for free is a benefit for organizations with just a few devices they want to monitor, or who just don’t have budget for a paid tool.
- Market Awareness: While a lot of new products have cropped up in the last few years, both Intermapper and PRTG are longstanding market contenders with wide bases of satisfied users.
Related Content: How Does Intermapper Compare to Other Free Software?
How are Intermapper and PRTG different?
PRTG is primarily a network monitoring product that also offers network mapping. For that reason, their mapping functionality is more rudimentary than Intermapper’s. If map creation is a feature you want, keep in mind that what you get with PRTG is very basic.
Intermapper offers intuitive, limitless network mapping to help teams spot problems faster and get at-a-glance understanding of network health. You can create maps to reflect your real-life network, using hundreds of icons, layouts, and background options. Live animation draws your attention to where problems are occurring on your network. And hierarchical maps let you create top-level views (let’s say, for an entire campus), so you can drill in to see performance for a specific floor or room as you desire.
Like many network monitoring solutions on the market, PRTG only runs on Windows. By contrast, Intermapper offers cross-platform functionality on Windows, Linux, and Mac. The ability to run Intermapper on multiple operating systems gives IT administrators flexibility. No matter which platform you run, you’ll be able to receive the same great support on each.
PRTG charges per sensor. Say you want to monitor processor load, disk usage, and memory usage on a single device. With PRTG you’ll need three licenses to do this. And you pay for each element you want to monitor. Over time, this method of licensing can be both expensive and difficult to manage.
Intermapper charges per device. If you want to monitor multiple things on one device, you can do it without extra cost, using probes (software plug-ins that poll devices and bring back the metrics you need). Intermapper has hundreds of built-in probes, and you can also create your own.
Licensing by device lets you monitor more for your money. It’s also easy to scale and predict costs as your network grows, without the exponential cost growth you see with sensor-based products.
Related Content: How Do Device-Based and Sensor-Based Pricing Compare?
Great support can make or break a product. Having support in your time zone is critical to getting the help you need in a timely fashion. One of the major differences between Intermapper and PRTG is the location of their support teams.
Paessler offers support out of their headquarters in Germany. HelpSystems support is U.S.-based, with Intermapper partners supporting users all over the world in French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Arabic, and more.
Depending on your organization’s location, you’ll want to consider support as you choose a solution.
Making the right choice
Choosing the right IT infrastructure monitoring software starts with knowing your own requirements. What features are most important—do you need monitoring, mapping, or both? How large is your network? How much budget do you have? Who will be using the product, and where will they be located? If you know your top priorities and needs, it will be much easier to see exactly which product is the best for your organization.
For more expert tips on finding the right tool (including an interactive requirements list you can use to narrow down your needs) check out our free Ultimate Buyer’s Guide: Network Monitoring Software in 2017.