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PRTG vs Nagios Comparison for Network Monitoring Tasks

prtg compared to nagios

Marc Wilson UPDATED: December 9, 2022

The age long debate of which networking monitoring and management software is better never ceases to amaze us, especially in the comparison of Paessler PRTG vs NAGIOS – We're going to break down the main differences between the two software packages, along with some of their feature sets, capabilities and pricing models.

Some Features we'll be discussing and comparing between the two are as follows:

The list above is not fully comprehensive of what both software solutions are capable of, but are merely a standard that many admins and engineers look for when evaluating software packages before committing to one of the other.

Pros & Cons

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor

Pros:

  • Uses a combination of packet sniffing, WMI, and SNMP to report network performance as well as discover new devices
  • Autodiscovery reflects the latest inventory changes almost instantaneously
  • Drag and drop editor makes it easy to build custom views and reports
  • Supports a wide range of alert mediums such as SMS, email, and third-party integration
  • Supports a freeware version

Cons:

  • Is a very comprehensive platform with many features and moving parts that require time to learn
  • Custom sensors can sometimes be challenging to manually configure

Nagios

Pros:

  • Offers a free open-source version alongside a paid version
  • Pricing is based on the number of flow exports, making it a flexible option
  • Detailed reports and alerting options
  • Can record live J-Flow traffic and replay it for further analysis

Cons:

  • Better suited for smaller networks

To see a full list of features and capabilities each software can do, see their respective websites here for Paessler PRTG and here for Nagios to get an understanding of what they are capable of.

Here's a Comparison & Breakdown of Paessler PRTG vs Nagios:

Paessler PRTG Network
Monitor

Nagios XI

Monitor Network Uptime & Critical
resources
Yes Yes
Forecast Trends and Expandability Yes Yes
Alerting System Yes Yes
Add-on/Plugins (3rd Party, etc) Yes Yes
(Required for Network Maps,
and Wifi Monitoring)
SNMP/Agentless Support Yes Yes
Syslog/Event Collection Yes Yes
Implementation Time/Cost Yes Yes
Web Interface Yes Yes
Network Topology Maps/Visuals Yes No
(Add-on/Plugin Needed)
Bandwidth/Netflow Analysis Yes Yes
Hardware Health Status Yes Yes
Wireless Network Monitoring Yes No
(Plugin needed)
Virtualization Support Yes No
(Plugin Required)
VoIP and QoS Support/Monitors Yes No
(Plugin Required)
Cloud Service Support/Monitors Yes Yes
Server Room Environmental
Monitoring
Yes No
(Plugin Required)
Active Directory/LDAP Integration Yes Yes
Auto Network Scan/Discovery Yes Yes
IP SLA Support/Reporting Yes Yes
Cost Free Edition up to 100 Sensors (Unlimited Time)
More Pricing for Additional Sensor Found on their PRICE LIST
Core is Free
Nagios XI is $1995 up to 100 Nodes.
Full Pricing List Here
Download PRTG Free! Go to Nagios.com

It's no surprise that many admins and IT professionals are constantly comparing these software packages, they both have very similar traits and features that many engineers and admins want in their monitoring and management arsenal. Nonetheless, if your looking for an All-in-One solution and would like to not have to deal with configuration files within a Linux/Unix system, then PRTG is the way to go.

The battle of PRTG vs Nagios can go on and on, but for if you are looking for an Enterprise Grade solution that has the backing of a support team and fully-featured out-of-the-box solution, then we'd have to recommend PRTG in this case.

Start a 30-day Free Trial!

On the other hand, if you want to get your hands dirty and do some manual configuration, installation, and editing of config files, give Nagios a try. We've linked their plugin repositories above under each given section for the feature that is compared.

If you're looking for other comparisons to Paessler PRTG, check out our other article on Solarwinds NPM for a head-to-head showdown.

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