When we think about network resources, the first thing that comes to mind are things like devices or bandwidth.
It’s easy to forget that DNS servers play a critical role in assigning IP addresses to URLs and making the network tick.
DNS monitoring is just as important as any other form of monitoring. The right tool can help you stay on top of DNS servers by monitoring their response times, setting threshold-based alerts, notify you when thresholds are surpassed and can support servers from multiple vendors.
Here is our list of the eight best DNS server monitoring tools:
- SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (FREE TRIAL) – Server monitoring tool that can monitor DNS health and response times.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL) – Network monitoring tool with DNS sensor and a threshold-based alerts system.
- Site24x7 (FREE TRIAL) – Unified network monitoring solution that can monitor DNS response times from over 90 locations across the globe.
- ManageEngine Applications Manager (FREE TRIAL) – Application monitoring platform with DNS availability and performance monitoring.
- Dotcom-Monitor – Web and infrastructure monitor that monitors DNS performance from a range of locations.
- ThousandEyes – Network monitoring tool that can monitor DNS availability and performance.
- Uptrends – DNS Monitoring tool with alert escalation and reports.
- DNS Check – Free DNS monitoring tool that can monitor DNS records with notifications.
Best DNS Server Monitoring Software
We’re going to look at the best DNS server monitoring tools and rank them according to their features. ease of use, graphical interfaces and overall reliability for the task at hand.
SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor is a server monitoring tool that can monitor DNS performance. With SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor you can test how the DNS server responds to a record query. The tool compares the response against a list of IP addresses and measures the response time to show you if the connection quality is good or not.
You can also monitor the health data of servers. Monitor metrics like fan speed, temperature, CPU, power supply, battery, and hard drive status. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor supports servers from a range of vendors including Dell PowerEdge, Microsoft Windows Server, HP ProLiant, IBM eServer xSeries, VMware vSphere hypervisor, and more.
The alert system tells you when a DNS server is receiving an unusually high number of requests. Notifications are sent out by email and SMS to let you know there’s a problem so that you can respond manually.
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is ideal for those looking for a top server monitoring solution that’s easy to use. Prices start at $2,995 (£2,268). You can download the 30-day free trial from this link here.
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a network monitoring platform with DNS monitoring capabilities. The software can monitor the performance and availability of DNS servers. The DNS sensor is your first port of call when monitoring with PRTG. Here you can monitor the response time and status of the DNS server. The sensor displays information with dials and a table.
Sensors can be equipped with alerts. The alerts system is threshold-based and can be customized according to your requirements. For example, you can set an alert that notifies you when DNS response time exceeds a particular value. Notifications come in the form of email, SMS, Slack messages, push notifications, SNMP traps, and more.
The software is also easy to configure. An autodiscovery feature automatically discovers devices throughout your network. You can then use custom dashboards to keep track of the information that’s most important to your environment. You can also generate reports to reflect back on performance.
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is free for the first 100 sensors. If you need more sensors then you can purchase a paid version. Paid versions start at $1,600 (£1,211) for 500 sensors. The pricing format is scalable and supports up to an unlimited number of sensors. You can download a 30-day free trial.
Site24x7 is an all-in-one website, server, cloud, application, and network monitoring solution. You can monitor DNS server performance and availability. The platform shows you the response time of your DNS server, the lookup type (if available), the DNS record name and search value. You can measure the response time of a DNS server from over 90 different locations across the globe.
The tool has a notification system that alerts you about DNS failures. Notifications come in the form of voice calls, SMS, IM, RSS feeds, and push notifications (for Android and iOS).
The reports function allows you to produce an overview of performance and availability information. For example, you can view the Average Response Time By Location for your servers. If you want to diagnose performance issues then you can use the root cause analysis report to find the origin of the problem.
Site24x7 is an excellent choice if you want to monitor a DNS server on account of its range of testing locations and simple notifications system. There is a free forever plan that lets you monitor the uptime of up to five URLs or servers. Paid versions of Site24x7 start at $9 (£6.82) per month with 10 websites or servers supported. You can download the 30-day free trial.
ManageEngine Applications Manager is a free application monitor for Windows and Linux with DNS monitoring. It allows you to monitor the availability and performance of DNS servers.
Types of metrics you can measure include response time, record type, record available, search field, search value, search value status, and search time. All of these performance data can be viewed in the form of charts and graphs for a more comprehensive outlook.
A configurable alert system notifies you if there is a problem with your DNS server. The alerts system is threshold-based, so you can configure trigger conditions to determine when an alert is created. Alerts come via email and SMS so you can stay updated no matter where you are.
ManageEngine Applications Manager stands out as one of the top DNS server monitoring tools with a solid alert system. The platform is available for free for up to five applications or servers. Paid versions start at $945 (£715.83) for 25 monitors. You can download the 30-day free trial version.
Dotcom-Monitor is a web and infrastructure monitoring tool that can monitor DNS query resolutions from a range of locations around the world. The software supports a range of record types in eluding A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, NS, PTR, SOA, SPF, and TEXT. The range of record types available to you provides you with a wealth of information when working through the troubleshooting process.
The alerts feature helps you keep up with performance conditions as they unfold. For instance, the moment a resolving DNS name has a problem a DNS trace is taken. The trace shows the path that caused the issue and generates an alert detailing the problem. You can also produce reports for further monitoring.
Dotcom-Monitor is worth considering if you’re looking for DNS server monitoring tools that can monitor DNS performance geographically, to make sure that your users have a quality experience. Paid versions start at $19.99 (£15.14) per month for uptime and performance monitoring with a 1-5 minute check frequency. You can start the 30-day free trial.
ThousandEyes is a performance monitor that monitors DNS server availability, connectivity, query performance, and more. You can monitor DNS performance and view path tracing data to develop a more holistic perspective of performance issues. The software can detect DNS cache poisoning.
The diagnostic capabilities of ThousandEyes stand up against the very best tools. For example, you can trace the DNS hierarchy of a record to see if there are any issues that are compromising the availability of the service. However, you also have alerts to assist you if there is a performance issue that you don’t spot.
When it comes to addressing performance issues you can generate custom reports with charts and tables. Reports can be scheduled ahead of time and include event forensics to help you identify what caused the problem. Pulling up a report can be useful for coming to grips with complex performance issues.
ThousandEyes is a powerful diagnostic tool for DNS. If you want to make sure that your users enjoy the best user experience then this tool is worth considering. The tool operates a usage-based pricing model but you’ll have to contact the company directly for a precise quote. You can start the 15-day free trial.
Uptrends is a free DNS monitoring tool that can monitor DNS health and domain name verification. You can also run health checks and complete additional tasks such as verifying A or AAAA records, verifying SOA serial numbers, checking aliases, monitoring server mappings, monitoring DNS zone delegates, and more.
You can test your DNS connectivity from 209 worldwide checkpoints so you can ensure your users enjoy an excellent experience no matter where they’re located. You can also create shareable reports that provide you with an overview of DNS performance issues.
The alert system notifies you immediately when an event happens that needs your attention. The alerts system doesn’t send you an alert unless the same error has been found in tests from multiple locations, which minimizes false positives. To ensure fast follow up you can set DNS alert escalations to determine to whom alerts are routed.
Uptrends is an excellent tool for teams that want to manage DNS performance. Paid versions start at $12.02 (£9.11) per month with 10 basic monitors. You can start the 30-day free trial.
DNS Check is a DNS monitoring tool that lets you monitor DNS records with automated checks every five minutes. You can monitor DNS records and name server changes and failures. The software supports a range of DNS records including A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, NS, PTR, SOA, SRV, and TXT.
An alert system keeps you in the loop of DNS changes. Notifications can be sent by email, PagerDuty, and Slack. If you want to investigate manually then you can view the history of DNS records over the past 30 days. Historic monitoring helps to identify if there are any underlying trends you need to be aware of.
DNS Check is ideal for enterprises in search of a free DNS monitoring tool. It’s easy to use and provides just enough features to help manage your DNS records. DNS Check is free for up to 10 DNS records. Paid versions start at $8 (£6.06) per month with support for up to 100 DNS records. You can sign up for free.
Best DNS Server Monitoring Tools
DNS server monitoring may not be as glamorous as ping testing devices but it’s no less important. Poor DNS connectivity or failures can have a devastating impact on your network. Keeping your DNS up and running will make sure that you can find devices when you need them.
Our editor’s choice for this article is SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor, as it offers a complete server monitoring experience with a high-quality DNS monitoring experience. Other stand out tools include Paessler PRTG Network Monitor, Site 24×7, and DNS Check.