Configuring and Monitoring Hosts

When you start the program the first time, you can see that all program views are empty. To monitor network connections, you need to specify the hosts that should be monitored. The Free and Professional editions of the program allow you to monitor up to 5 or 250 hosts respectively. The Enterprise edition of the program has no licensing limitations regarding the number of hosts to monitor, but the actual limit depends on the hardware performance. A modern PC allows monitoring 2500 or more hosts. To start using the program, you need to specify the hosts you plan to monitor.

Configuring Hosts

You can add new hosts to the program using different approaches. For example, you can press the button to add a host on the Ribbon, or select the same action in the context menu of the Hosts Browser view. As a result, you can see the dialog where you can configure a host and its settings Pic 1.

Host configuration dialog

Pic 1. Host configuration dialog

As you can see, the host configuration dialog allows you to add a single host or multiple hosts to the program. We can specify a host by the name or by the IP address. If the host has a dynamic IP address, we can specify it by the name and enable the corresponding option to resolve the entered name to an IP address before executing every ping, so the correct host is reached even if its IP address changes during monitoring.

If you need to add multiple hosts, you can specify them by means of an IP range. There is an option to resolve IPs to host names and an option to skip the hosts that cannot be resolved to host names, so you can use both of them, if required. Besides, you can add hosts by importing them from a file previously exported from another copy of the program. You can find the exporting and importing options in the context menu of the Hosts Browser view.

You may notice that the Add Host dialog has multiple configuration options on the left side, so you can switch them to provide additional host settings. For example, on the Monitoring section you can configure custom monitoring settings for the host Pic 2.

Host configuration dialog

Pic 2. Providing custom settings for a host

By default, all hosts share the global settings configured in the Preferences dialog, but you can override the global settings and provide the custom settings to be used for the host.

Configuring Gateway Options

In the host configuration dialog, you can find Gateway Options that allow you to specify a gateway for the configured host. What is a gateway and when should it be specified?

When you monitor a remote host located somewhere in the Internet and pings to that host start failing, the program reports an outage. The outage means that there is no connection between the PC where Ping Monitor is installed and the monitored host. Usually, there are two possible reasons for this problem. The first reason is that the monitored host is down, so it isn't available for you and other clients. The second reason is that you have lost an Internet connection, so the host isn't available for you, but it is available for other users. Gateway Options allow you to distinguish between these two cases.

Gateway Options allow you to specify a host to be used to check the ping results reported by the monitored host Pic 3. For example, if you monitor a host located in the Internet, you can specify a trusted, always-on host located in the Internet to check the Internet access status. In this case, if a ping to a monitored host fails, the program will check the gateway host and will report the ping as failed if the gateway is reachable. This means that the program has access to the Internet, but the monitored host is unreachable.

Gateway Options

Pic 3. Gateway Options

In the program's Preferences, you can specify a gateway to be used for monitoring of all hosts. It is helpful, for example, if you monitor hosts located in the Internet, so you can specify a single global gateway to check that the program has Internet access. This prevents the reporting of outages for monitored hosts if your Internet connection is lost. If you wish, you can use a custom gateway for a host or a group of hosts by overriding the global settings and specifying the Gateway Options for them.

Start and Stop Monitoring

Once hosts are added to the program, you can start monitoring their states. If you have added more than one host, in most cases you need to start monitoring all the hosts simultaneously, so you can use the Quick Launch option. Note that the hosts in the Hosts Browser view have the Quick Launch option enabled by default, so the program starts monitoring all those hosts when you click the Start button on the Ribbon. To stop monitoring, you need to press the Stop button on the Ribbon, and monitoring of all the hosts will be stopped.

Using of the Quick Launch option is very convenient if you have many hosts, because you can start and stop monitoring all of them with a single click. If you prefer to manage hosts individually, you can select a host and choose the Exclude from Quick Launch option in the context menu or use the corresponding action on the Ribbon. As a result, the Quick Launch option will be disabled for this host, and monitoring of this host will not be started when you use the Start operation from Quick Launch. To manage a host individually, you may select it and choose the Start Monitoring and Stop Monitoring options in the context menu or on the toolbar Pic 4.

Host configuration dialog

Pic 4. Monitoring options

If you have added different types of hosts, you can combine them into groups, so that you can start and stop monitoring all hosts in a group with a single click, when required. Using groups is demonstrated in the Using the Advanced Features chapter.