No one likes having to repeat themselves, but when packet jitter rears its ugly head, you don’t have much choice! Thankfully, you can put a stop to the disruptions with VoIP monitoring tools. VoIP monitoring software allows you to monitor the performance of VoIP phone calls for issues like packet loss, latency, and jitter so you can resolve them before they affect your users.
Here is our list of the six best VoIP monitoring tools:
- SolarWinds VoIP & Network Quality Manager (FREE TRIAL) Real-time VoIP and WAN monitoring platform that monitors jitter, latency, packet loss, and MOS. It includes a visual call path trace feature.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL) Network monitoring tool with VOIP QoS monitoring. Range of sensors for VoIP monitoring including QoS Round Trip Sensor, QoS One Way Sensor, Cisco IP SLA Sensor, and more.
- SolarWinds Call Detail Record Tracker (FREE TOOL) A free VoIP performance monitor that can measure jitter, latency, packet loss, and MOS. It filters through Cisco CallManager Call Detail Records.
- Site24x7 APM (FREE TRIAL) An application performance monitor that includes the capability of monitoring VoIP traffic. This is a cloud-based service.
- ManageEngine OpManager Network monitoring tool that can monitor packet loss, delay, jitter, round trip time, and MOS. It includes graphing and reporting features.
- ExtraHop Real-time infrastructure monitoring software with a VoIP bundle that can show Call/Session Status And Volume, Load Balancing and Routing, Call Quality, and more. It includes a SIP VoIP Call Dashboard with performance graphs.
- ThousandEyes Infrastructure and VoIP monitoring tool that can be used to measure latency, loss, jitter, discards, and MOS. It simulates VoIP calls from over 175 Cloud Agent locations.
The best VoIP monitoring tools
SolarWinds VoIP & Network Quality Manager is a real-time VoIP monitoring platform that can monitor the performance of VoIP calls. With this tool, you can monitor jitter, latency, packet loss, and Mean Opinion Score (MOS). The software is easy to set up and automatically discovers Cisco IP SLA-enabled devices in your network.
To speed up the resolution of call performance issues, the tool uses a call path trace. The path trace shows you the entire network path (from origin to destination), which can help you to discover the cause of latency, and jitter, much easier.
Monitoring with VoIP & Network Quality Manager is easy. Through the PerfStack dashboard, you can monitor call availability and activity. Then, you can search VoIP Calls and filter for calls classified as Failed, Successful, Without Zero Duration, Call with Issue, and Conference Call.
If you’re looking for a VoIP management tool with lightweight deployment then SolarWinds VoIP & Network Quality Manager is worth considering. The software starts at $1,695 (£1,285). You can download the 30-day free trial.
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a network monitoring tool that can monitor the quality of VoIP calls. PRTG’s QoS Round Trip Sensor enables you to run the quality of service monitoring. The sensor measures latency, jitter, packet loss, MOS, and duplicate packets.
The platform also offers IP SLA monitoring capabilities through the Cisco IP SLA (Service Level Agreement) Sensor. With the Cisco IP SLA Sensor, you can monitor Cisco device data. Metrics you can measure include average jitter, average latency, average/minimum/maximum round-trip time, MOS, number of lost packets, percentage of lost packets, percentage of late packets, and more.
All of your performance data is displayed through graphs, dials, and tables making it easy to read and discover performance issues. For example, if calls are cutting out then you can look up the minimum, average, and maximum jitter to find out if this is a constant issue. You can also configure alerts so that you receive notifications about call performance via email, SMS, push notification, Slack, and more.
PRTG is free for the first 100 sensors. If you require over 100 sensors then you can purchase a paid version. Paid versions range from 500 sensors to unlimited sensors. Paid versions start at $1,600 (£1,199). You can download the 30-day free trial.
SolarWinds Call Detail Record Tracker is a free VoIP monitoring tool that lets you monitor network jitter, latency, packet loss, and MOS. The platform is easy to navigate with a filtering system that allows you to sort calls by call time, status, termination reason, phone number, and phone IP.
The user interface is easy to install and configure. All you need to do is enter the FTP Server that has the CDR files produced by your Cisco call manager, the directory name, and login details. You can then choose the time period you want to investigate. Options include the last 15 minutes, last 30 minutes, last hour, last two hours, last 12 hours, last day, and last two days.
The tool pulls data captured from your network’s CDR files and displays it in a format that’s easier for you to make sense of (with a grid to monitor performance). The software stores up to 48 hours of CDR data.
It’s an excellent option for enterprises looking for a free VoIP monitor to go alongside a network monitoring solution. However, the features are quite limited, so if you want a more comprehensive monitoring experience you’re better off with a tool like SolarWinds VoIP & Network Quality Manager. It is available for download as a free tool.
Site24x7 APM, which I also called APM Insight, is a cloud-based monitoring service that is part of a wider platform of system administration tools. One of the functions built into this tool is a VoIP monitor.
The VoIP monitor is particularly concerned with the Quality of Service (QoS) statistics that can be derived from traffic analysis. These factors include the speed and regularity (jitter) of VoIP traffic patterns and also the amount of dropped packets. All of these factors can impair sound quality on VoIP connections.
The Site24x7 system is resident in the cloud. All of the processing for the service is performed on the Site24x7 servers and the console is also resident there. Technicians access the dashboard through any standard Web browser. There is, however, an element of the system that needs to be installed on-premises. This is a data collector and it transfers collected performance statistics up to the Site24x7 server for processing. The results of this data processing are displayed in the dashboard of the VoIP monitor.
The VoIP monitor works with thresholds that denote acceptable performance. If any of these levels get crossed, the monitor generates an alert. This is shown in the system dashboard, but it can also be forwarded to technicians by SMS or email. The notification draws staff to the VoIP monitor and gives them time to take action before performance issues become noticeable to the user community.
Site24x7 APM Iis a subscription service and it is offered as a base package with add-on services available. Useful additions available include a network monitoring tool and a log management service. You can get a 30-day free trial of Site24x7 APM.
ManageEngine OpManager is a network monitoring tool that can monitor VoIP calls for packet loss, latency, jitter, MOS, and Round Trip Time. It uses Cisco IP SLAs to monitor the Quality of Service (QoS). The software allows you to monitor the performance of calls and view paths in a WAN environment.
The bulk of the monitoring experience in ManageEngine OpManager is happening through customizable dashboards. Here users can monitor performance data. For instance, you can monitor the Top 10 Call Paths by latency, packet loss, jitter, and MOS. Pulling these metrics up allows you to quickly find the biggest problems affecting your service.
You can also set threshold-based alerts. You can configure thresholds for VoIP performance so that you only receive an alert when a performance value matches certain parameters. Notifications are sent through email, SMS, and modem so that you can react to evolving incidents promptly.
ManageEngine OpManager is available for Windows and Linux devices. There are three versions available to purchase: Standard Edition, Professional Edition, and Enterprise Edition. Prices start at $245 (£183) for 10 devices up to 1,000 devices. You can download the 30-day free trial.
ExtraHop is a performance monitor that can measure VoIP call performance. The tool monitors VoIP and video traffic in real-time to discover performance issues. It’s also easy to deploy, with an autodiscovery feature that discovers devices throughout your network.
There is a VoIP monitoring bundle that you can download from the Bundle Library to monitor Call / Session Status and Volume, Load Balancing and Routing, Call Quality, and Non-VoIP Protocols.
When using ExtraHop, you can capture SIP sessions and monitor them through the SIP VoIP Call Dashboard, making the tool suitable for users with Cisco Call Manager, Avaya Call Manager, MiTel, and Skype for Business. The dashboard displays information such as Call attempts, Successful Calls, Call Failures, Active Calls, and Status Codes.
One of the most useful features included by ExtraHop is anomaly detection. Anomaly detection automatically detects performance issues that deviate from normal VoIP performance. Detecting issues early helps you to respond quickly before service disruption.
ExtraHops is one of the top VoIP monitoring tools for diagnosing performance issues. The software correlates traffic across users and devices to help diagnose issues early and minimize the impact on your end-users. To view the pricing information you will need to contact the sales team directly. You can check out the demo.
ThousandEyes is a network monitoring platform with VoIP monitoring that can capture metrics including latency, jitter, loss, discards, and MOS. It can simulate the VoIP call lifecycle, from the SIP handshake to authentication. Simulating your VoIP environment allows you to discover performance issues before and after deployment.
To use the tool you can run a SIP monitoring test. Monitoring tests allow you to monitor the availability and performance of SIP servers in a virtual environment. You can also simulate calls between Enterprise agents across WAN, with over 175 Cloud Agent locations.
More broadly, ThousandEyes aims to monitor VoIP systems and the conditions of the network (which can have a substantial impact on call performance). To do this, the tool correlates VoIP performance with the latency, loss, and jitter of the network. Use Path Visualization to find the root-cause of performance issues and view your network from a hop-to-hop perspective.
It’s great for enterprises that want to not only scrutinize call performance but an entire VoIP system. Simulating VoIP calls helps you to find performance issues that you might have missed with other more reactive tools. If you want to know the pricing information for ThousandEyes you will need to contact the company directly. You can start the 15-day free trial.
VoIP Monitoring Tools: Talk Freely!
There’s nothing more frustrating than communicating over a phone call and being cut off by packet loss. Using VoIP monitoring tools makes sure that employees can communicate with each other and customers. Monitoring network and VoIP performance reduce the chance of disruption to your network.
SolarWinds VoIP & Network Quality Manager, Paessler PRTG Network Monitor, and ManageEngine OpManager are all affordable options for monitoring VOIP performance. However, what tool is right for you comes down to your environment so we recommend you try at least one free trial before you buy.