11 Best Network Bandwidth Monitoring Tools

A comprehensive list of the best bandwidth monitoring tools.

In fact, I’ve used the tools on this list to monitor the bandwidth usage on small to very large networks with 1000’s of devices (routers, switches, servers, etc).

In this guide, I include both free and paid tools.

Check it out.

1. Paessler PRTG

paessler prtg

Paessler PRTG is a network monitoring platform that you can install within a few minutes. The entire platform is contained within a straightforward installer, allowing you to begin using it quickly without additional downloads.

This platform contains tools to help ensure that devices run smoothly and to track your bandwidth and resource consumption. For example, the software includes Packet Sniffer, a tool that examines the header traffic of data packets. It can also query network devices automatically and identify traffic flows.

This network monitoring tool is one of the most popular on the market, with over 500,000 active installations. It’s also available in a wide range of languages, making it accessible across the globe.

Paessler PRTG is also free up to the first 100 sensors. You’ll need a few sensors per device, but 100 sensors can cover a significant portion of your network.

Altogether, Paessler PRTG is a reliable, comprehensive monitoring program with the tools necessary to track bandwidth usage across your network.

2. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor

solarwinds npm

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor is a multi-vendor network monitoring program with a range of network insights to key you into bandwidth utilization issues. This program makes it easy to see bandwidth utilization on all systems and interfaces.

Key Features:

  • Multi-vendor support
  • Monitor interface bandwidth usage
  • Network availability monitoring
  • Critical path visualization
  • Performance analysis
  • Intelligent mapping

This program is simple to use, making it accessible for even non-technical users. You can deploy the program throughout your network and ensure that all users feel confident working around it.

If you’re looking for even more advanced monitoring, you can upgrade your Performance Monitor to the SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer Pack. This pack includes the Netflow Traffic Analyzer tool that provides advanced application recognition, critical bandwidth monitoring, top bandwidth users, and more.

Below is a screenshot of SolarWinds Traffic Analyzer (NTA) displaying the top 10 applications by bandwidth percentage.

solarwinds nta

You can get started with the Network Performance Monitor by downloading a free trial. This trial can enable you to test out the software before making a monetary commitment.

Download 30 Day Free Trial

3. ManageEngine OpManager Plus

Manageengine opmanager

OpManager Plus is a network monitoring program from ManageEngine, an industry leader in IT management software. This program includes comprehensive data to gain complete insight into your network’s performance.

With OpManager Plus, you can view bandwidth consumption in easily readable charts. The software displays data in a format that makes it easy to determine where bottlenecking is occurring, allowing you to fix the issue before it impacts other users.

Along with network bandwidth monitoring, OpManager Plus also includes:

  • Configuration management
  • IP address management
  • Switch port management
  • Firewall log management

This program comes in three packages: standard, professional, and enterprise. You can talk with a ManageEngine customer service agent to determine the right option for your network.

For more intensive bandwidth monitoring, you can combine the OpManager Plus software with ManageEngine’s NetFlow Analyzer. This software allows you to monitor network bandwidth at an interface-specific level. However, OpManager Plus provides the comprehensive monitoring many businesses need.

4. Auvik


Auvik is a cloud-based network monitoring platform that has monitored over 4.4 million devices across 55,000 networks. This software takes the hassle out of network management, creating a seamless, user-friendly experience that keeps your network running smoothly. It’s ideal for people without a tech background.

Auvik provides fast alerts whenever it detects pre-configured monitoring problems. Its traffic analysis tools can instantly identify anomalies in your network, and its device logs can allow you to pinpoint the root cause of the issue without any downtime.

The program’s bandwidth monitoring tools are also easy to use yet comprehensive. You can monitor bandwidth in real-time or retroactively, easily view which devices are hogging bandwidth, and analyze network traffic.

This software is quick and easy to install. Once you begin using Auvik, it will monitor your network continually through the cloud, install automatic updates, and require no ongoing maintenance.

Note: Network bandwidth monitoring is only available in Auvik’s higher plan.

5. Nagios


Nagios is IT software with a wide range of monitoring capabilities. However, the program’s network monitoring tools are some of its most popular.

This company offers open-source network monitoring tools that are prevalent in organizations worldwide. The program can monitor routers, switches, and more, then show results in various visual representations, making them accessible to the average user.

Nagios also provides complete bandwidth monitoring of routers and switches. This program allows you to view inbound and outbound bandwidth utilization. Notably, you can set up this bandwidth monitoring wizard on each device in a few minutes.

Nagios’ bandwidth monitoring tools provide the following benefits:

  • Easy location of over-utilized ports
  • Fast detection of network outages
  • Tracking for power-port bandwidth utilization
  • Discovery of possible network abusers

While there are several different Nagios products available, the network bandwidth monitoring tools are most compatible with Nagios XI. You can download a free trial to test out the program’s features.

6. Zabbix


Zabbix is a network monitoring tool that allows you to view your entire IT infrastructure in one place. This tool includes network, server, cloud, application, and service monitoring.

Zabbix is incredibly versatile, allowing you to monitor any possible performance incidents and metrics throughout your network. You can scan network performance, including:

  • Bandwidth usage
  • Packet loss rate
  • Interface error rate
  • Memory utilization
  • Aggregate throughput
  • TCP connection anomalies

Along with monitoring bandwidth usage, this software can also predict trends of bandwidth usage through its proactive monitoring features.

You can also track network health and receive alerts when links are down, the system status is critical, the device temperature is too high, etc. Zabbix allows for multiple notifications, including emails, custom scripts, messenger, SMS, or jabber. You can even customize message content.

Zabbix can run on-premises or through the cloud, allowing it to adapt to your data storage and needs.

7. WhatsUp Gold

whatsup gold

WhatsUp Gold is network monitoring software from the parent company Progress. This program makes it easy to monitor bandwidth and optimize it for critical services and programs. With WhatsUp Gold, you can:

  • Identify and solve problems before they impact other users
  • Ensure optimal bandwidth
  • Maintain and restore device configurations
  • Automate asset, configuration, and log management

WhatsUp Gold is incredibly user-friendly, featuring “At-a-Glance” dashboards that provide a unified view of your network’s performance. You can also view customizable network maps through the software to visualize your virtual infrastructure and identify where problems originated.

This program also features automated device discovery. WhatsUp Gold utilizes SNMP to investigate each device in the network and obtain inventory information. Then, the program automatically generates maps of this data for easy viewing.

Altogether, Progress WhatsUpGold makes it easy to optimize bandwidth utilization and view network data, creating a seamless network monitoring experience.

8. Observium


Observium is intuitive network monitoring software with auto-discovery features that support a range of devices and platforms. This program uses powerful monitoring tools within a simple, attractive interface, making for a highly enjoyable user experience.

Observium can enhance your network visibility by collecting and displaying data about your services that you may not have realized otherwise. It can also improve your network’s reliability by providing proactive notifications about potential issues.

Traffic Accounting is one of the platform’s bandwidth monitoring features. This feature makes it easy to track and bill customer bandwidth usage. 

Additionally, Observium contains several valuable features, such as:

  • External integrations with a range of third-party applications
  • Threshold and failure alerts
  • Extensive device support

You can choose between a Community, Professional, and Enterprise model of the Observium software. The Community model is free and suitable for home labs, while the Enterprise model is ideal for large enterprises.

9. Cacti


Cacti is a user-friendly network graphing tool that you can download to your devices for free. This tool makes it easy to visualize data pooled from device uptime, temperature, CPU load, and network bandwidth utilization.

Cacti first launched as a basic performance management platform in 2001. Since then, a community of Plugin developers expanded the program to become the comprehensive operational management program it is today. This program now has a range of functions, including:

  • Performance management
  • Fault management
  • Device discovery
  • Log management
  • Network mapping
  • Router configuration backup

With Cacti, you can visualize both current and previous bandwidth utilization in easily viewable graphs.

Cacti includes several high-level features, such as:

  • Advanced template-based automation features
  • Domain management features
  • Templates and packages
  • Multi-language support
  • Remote data collection
  • Discovery and automation

You can download Cacti to Linux or Windows for free. The program receives ongoing updates to ensure high-level quality and performance.

10. LogicMonitor


LogicMonitor is an observability platform that offers network, cloud, infrastructure, and application performance monitoring. The software’s network monitoring tools allow you to track your network’s health and performance within a unified, secure platform. You can download and deploy this software within minutes. 

Once you launch LogicMonitor, you can see a complete view of your network to identify any issues quickly. Specifically, the platform allows you to monitor bandwidth utilization and detect performance bottlenecks in real-time.

LogicMonitor also provides detailed reporting with clear data visualization and topology mapping, allowing you to review your network’s performance at a glance. You can monitor a range of metrics, including:

  • CPU
  • Temperature
  • Memory
  • Fan
  • Hardware components
  • Throughput
  • Packet and error rates
  • Utilization
  • Wireless access points
  • And more

11. SolarWinds Network Traffic Analyzer (NTA)

solarwinds netflw traffic analyzer

SolarWinds NTA is one of my favorite bandwidth monitoring tools. This tool makes it very easy for administrators to troubleshoot bandwidth-related issues.

With SolarWinds NTA, you can view the dashboard to get a quick view of bandwidth utilization across your network. You can click on any monitored device to get more details on the bandwidth being used. The software has saved me hours of troubleshooting with its easy-to-use interface and bandwidth graphs.

In addition to bandwidth monitoring, the software includes:

  • Network traffic analysis
  • Network bandwidth capacity planning
  • Customize dashboard
  • Monitor wifi bandwidth
  • See top applications and protocols in use
  • See internet bandwidth usage
  • Get email alerts and schedule reports

The Benefits of Network Bandwidth Monitoring

Quickly Identify Bandwidth Bottlenecks

As a network administrator, nothing is more frustrating than getting reports of a slow application and having no visibility of the network. A good bandwidth monitoring tool will quickly show you which devices are consuming the most bandwidth.

The picture above is from the SolarWinds NPM dashboard displaying the interfaces with high utilization. This is done automatically and with the click of a button, you can see which device or interface is consuming the most bandwidth. In addition to finding bandwidth bottlenecks, you will easily see the throughput and bandwidth of the network. This is important to ensure your network is performing as expected.

Monitor Protocols and Applications in Use on Your Network

Most programs will keep track of the protocols and applications that are in use on your network. This will give you insight into exactly what is running on your network. It can also be useful for network security reasons such as identifying insecure protocols or malicious activity.

In this screenshot, you can see all the top applications in use. You can see things like Netflix, youtube, SQL traffic, and even BitTorrent traffic.

Monitor Internet Bandwidth

With so many applications depending on the internet it is critical that you monitor internet bandwidth. If your internet connection becomes over-utilized then this will mean business applications will become slow or fail to work properly

Do you have a solution in place for when users call and report that email is slow or they can’t open an Office 365 document? A good bandwidth monitoring tool will help you to quickly find out what is using all of the internet bandwidth. It also helps in capacity planning so you can report to management that you need an upgrade.

Network Security

Monitoring network bandwidth can help you find malicious activity on your network.

For example, your network suddenly becomes slow and you notice a large increase in bandwidth on your internet router. Using your bandwidth analyzer you notice a huge amount of ping requests to your router that is consuming all of the bandwidth, this is a DDos attack.

Another example would be noticing unusual protocols in use or traffic to and from strange locations.

Network Bandwidth Reporting and Capacity Planning

Ever had a user report their application or internet is slow during a specific time? How do you troubleshoot that?

You would need to look at the bandwidth usage over a period of time. Take a look at the screenshot below. This is the bandwidth usage over a 7-day period. You can see around the 27th the usage has increased significantly. This could explain why the application is now slow and provides you with a starting point for troubleshooting.

The historical reporting will also help you plan for upgrading network connections. You don’t want to wait until all the bandwidth is consumed, use the reports to identify those connections that need an upgrade.

Recommended Tool: SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM)

SolarWinds NPM is a powerful and easy-to-use software that can help you monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize your network performance.

Reduce network downtime, monitor network performance and availability, discover and map your network devices, analyze network capacity and hardware health, and much more.

You can start a free trial of NPM today and see for yourself how it can help you monitor your network more effectively. Just click on the link below to download NPM and get started.

Download Free Trial