Free Uptime Monitoring Services

After selecting a web hosting provider, it’s always best to continually monitor the uptime to verify the guarantee they are claiming to offer. If they don’t meet the uptime percentage, its common practice to request a refund or credit to the account.
Unfortunately, most webmasters and information technology personnel don’t have time to continually observe a website for uptime. Luckily, there are many services available that are in the business of uptime monitoring.

As the technology continues to increase, the uptime monitoring services are becoming more beneficial to those constantly on the move. Instant notification of site failures, statistical reports, multiple location checks and the specification of customized parameters are all now available. Since e-business is a 24 hour job and as more traffic hits the Internet every second, uptime monitoring technology is becoming increasingly important.
 
The Different Services
There are two primary types of uptime monitoring services: free and paid. Paid services tend to be much more robust, however, for those on a budget the free services might be a better option. This article will cover the free uptime monitoring services. Each free monitoring service markets different bells and whistles on their site, but the functions are essentially similar.

Free Uptime Monitoring Functions
There are several universal functions that are offered by free uptime monitoring services including:

  • A number of monitors
  • Limited time checks
  • Uptime reports
  • Statistic pages
  • Failure alerts
  • Control panels

Depending on the site, the number of monitors can be low, such as one, or it can be unlimited. This refers to the number of monitors observing the site globally. When dealing with free sites, there always seems to be a trade-off where one site has more of one feature and the other has more of another feature. Thus, it is essential to compare the services and determine what is most important to you.

Another site specific service is the frequency of time checks. Some sites only offer 30/60 minutes in their free plans. Others offer anywhere from 2 to 60 minutes depending on their setup. Also, almost all uptime monitoring services have printable uptime reports. Some sites email the reports with aesthetically pleasing graphs while others simply allow users to view them on the website.

Another feature most free uptime monitoring services endorse are the multiple mediums of communication for failure alerts. When an error occurs many of the free services can email, instant message and even text the failure notification to the user. The premise is instant notification of any issues causing potential downtime.

Many of the free services have easy to use control panels to customize the various functions such as reporting, failure alert methods, various parameters, time checks and monitors as well as account information and an upgrade to a paid plan button.

It’s common to see multiple paid plans advertise by the free services hoping that the customer will enjoy the free version so much, they’ll upgrade. As websites grow and expand, many users decide to upgrade due to the many additional features offered by paid services.

The best way to differentiate is in the beginning when it’s cost effective to utilize the free uptime monitoring services. However, as expansion inherently occurs, the needs of the website change, thus paid monitoring becomes the most efficient option.

How to Find a Quality Uptime Monitoring Service
It’s simple to find a uptime monitoring service; simply search the Internet. It takes research and understanding of the system to find a quality monitoring service. If you need basic options like alerts and time checks every 60 minutes, any free service should be sufficient. Since these are free services, it doesn’t hurt try out different sites and see which fit your needs the best. You want to be comfortable with the user interface and the different options they offer.

If you need a more customized system with multiple monitoring locations, 2 minute checks and various other options, utilizing forums and blogs is a great way to ascertain the information you need. A word of caution, don’t solely rely on other’s opinions, but since these are free services, your choices can be reversed at no cost. Another great researching method is to type the word “review” after the name of the uptime monitoring service in a search engine to get various perspectives on that specific site.

There are many benefits for both website owners as well as web hosting providers to utilizing uptime website monitoring. The abundant options available on the Internet allow for complete customization, even at the free level, based on business or individual need.

In summary, the free services are an excellent alterative to those on a budget. As website growth ensues, it might be a good idea to upgrade to a paid service. Many monitoring services offer multiple packages so finding the right balance with cost will be worthwhile.

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