PingPlotter Feature Comparison
All versions of PingPlotter run under Windows. The most recent versions are supported under Windows XP, Vista, 2003, 2008, 2012, Windows 7 and 8. If you’re curious about a Mac version - click here.
Diagnostic & Troubleshooting Capabilities
PingPlotter has the capability of showing the route data takes between you and the target server. Often, problems occur not at the final destination, but because of a route problem closer to you (like your own ISP, or maybe even your own wireless network). PingPlotter lets you see where the problem is occurring.
All versions of PingPlotter default to using ICMP packets to collect data.
PingPlotter Standard and Pro both allow you to use UDP or TCP packets to track performance. This gives you more options, in case packets are being blocked, plus gives you the ability to more closely simulate the data stream you're troubleshooting.
PingPlotter Pro and Standard's timeline graphs let you scroll back and forth over time, and zoom in on any specific time to find out where problems occurred. This capability is key in helping you understand what happened - as well as when, where, and why.
Often, a problem will occur after a tracing session has begun. When a problem occurs, the route your data takes might change. PingPlotter Standard and Pro let you keep track of these route changes to give you the information you need to understand (and take action to solve) any problems that occur. You also have the ability of comparing routes to see what router was participating in one route, but not another.
PingPlotter Standard and Pro allow you to customize packets; including cargo contents, packet size, packet rate, timeout period, TOS, and other settings. This can help you more closely approximate the data problems you're troubleshooting.
You can query the Internic servers by name, or the ARIN servers by IP address to see who owns and runs a particular router/hop/IP address.
PingPlotter Pro gives you the capability to trace to multiple targets simultaneously, then show just the final targets on a summary screen. There are a number of advantages to this, but one great advantage is that PingPlotter Pro coordinates sending of data to multiple targets so the data quality stays high.
Voice over IP requires a stable network, with a solid, consistent latency. Several metrics are popular to measure network stability, namely Jitter and MoS (mean opinion score). PingPlotter Pro has significant capabilities in reporting and/or alerting on these two metrics.
Both PingPlotter Standard and Pro allow you to set parameters where you want to be notified of a condition. If the conditions fire an alert, you can log that data to a text file, play a wave file, or send yourself an e-mail with the pertinent information included.
PingPlotter Standard and Pro allow you to save collected data for later analysis. This data is saved in a .pp2 file which includes all route information, timing information, and everything you see in the PingPlotter display.
PingPlotter Standard and Pro will automatically save data and/or image files at the interval of your choosing - allowing you to load it from another machine, review it later, or other similar tasks. We have some more information about long term monitoring strategies that rely on this here.
PingPlotter Standard and Pro allow you to annotate timeline graphs - allowing you to keep track of things such as planned outages, configuration changes, or anything else that you may need to keep track of during your troubleshooting/monitoring efforts.
PingPlotter Standard and Pro let you pick a time period and show the statistics for that period. PingPlotter Pro even lets you make up your own statistics and formulas!
In PingPlotter Pro, your workspace consists of the targets you're monitoring, the interval you're tracing, the screen layout, plus a variety of other factors. You can save this, and then reload it later to resume your monitoring session (or have that happen automatically).
Need to use multiple different settings for different groups of targets? PingPlotter Pro's named configurations allow you to quickly switch between your favorite settings on any target (ie: ICMP and TCP port 80).
You can load a series of saved sample sets, and PingPlotter Pro will automatically merge them together. Keep your running memory footprint small, but then combine data to get a bigger, clearer picture of any potential problems in your network.
All PingPlotter products are built to minimize CPU use. This gives you the capability of continuous monitoring while you're doing other things; such as playing a game, or trading stocks. When a problem occurs, you can look to see what's happening on your network.
All PingPlotter products use multiple threads to increase performance and accuracy. A complete 1 sample trace can be done in about 5-10% of the time that it takes to do a trace with the Windows "TRACERT" command (usually less than 1 second for PingPlotter vs 15-45 seconds for TraceRT).
When collecting data for long periods of time, you probably don't need to keep all data in memory. If you tell PingPlotter to "prune off" old data, your memory footprint can stay low, so you can have monitoring/troubleshooting sessions of unlimited length.
PingPlotter Standard and Pro will both compose an email for you (in your email client - using MAPI), and include a screenshot, a collected data capture file, or both! This is an easy way to get data to someone else who might be interested in the problems you're having, and sends enough data for them to effectively analyze a problem.
When you zoom in to the perfect picture, you may want to save it - so you can post it someplace, send it in an email, or create a web page. All versions of PingPlotter save images in .BMP, .GIF and .PNG format.
PingPlotter Standard and Pro allow you to copy collected data in text or image format, and then paste it into another application (email, spreadsheet, word processing application, etc).
When doing long-term monitoring, you want your network troubleshooting tool to do its thing, but you don't want it to get in your way. Moving the icon to the tool tray can unclutter the task bar.
In PingPlotter Pro you can arrange your graphs however you'd like! Each target lives in its own dock control - just grab a tab, and drag it away from the main PingPlotter Pro application, and you'll have a stand-alone display for that target.
PingPlotter Pro can display a listing of all of the targets its tracing to (or even the intermediate hops) on one easy to read summary screen - giving you a one-glance summary of all of the important parts of your network.
PingPlotter Pro can collect a lot of data, and there are built in mechanisms for reporting on this data, allowing you to access collected data programmatically, report on target data over time, or export raw data to a .csv file.
PingPlotter Pro allows remote viewing of active targets and ability to change target settings via web interface. You can use the built-in PingPlotter Pro web server, or Microsoft's IIS.
PingPlotter Pro can interface with a remote agent installed on another machine. This allows PingPlotter Pro to trace from that remote machine. This has a variety of uses, not the least of which is the ability to show a trace from both ends of a connection. This is also useful if you're working behind a firewall, but there is a machine (reachable via any TCP port) that can "proxy" the trace.
PingPlotter Pro has the capability to run as a Windows service, starting when you load Windows automatically.