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With so many different synthetic monitoring tools available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to simulate user interactions with websites and applications to monitor their performance and availability but need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different synthetic monitoring software with a variety of teams and projects, with my picks of the best synthetic monitoring tools.

What Are Synthetic Monitoring Tools?

Synthetic monitoring tools are software designed to simulate user interactions with websites, applications, or services. These tools create and execute scripted actions and paths that mimic real user behavior, such as clicking links, filling out forms, or navigating through a website. The primary function of synthetic monitoring is to continuously test and monitor the performance and functionality of web services, ensuring their availability and responsiveness.

These tools are particularly useful for identifying and diagnosing issues related to website or application performance, availability, and user experience. By using scripted interactions, synthetic monitoring can provide consistent and continuous insights into how a system performs, regardless of actual user traffic. This approach is valuable for testing new features, assessing performance under different conditions, and ensuring that critical functionalities of web services are always operational and delivering an optimal user experience.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Synthetic Monitoring Tools

Here’s a brief description of each synthetic monitoring tool that showcases each software’s best use case, outstanding features, and some pros and cons. I’ve also included screenshots to give you a snapshot of their user interface too.

Best for real-time system monitoring and visualizations

  • Free plan available
  • From $3.52/node/month
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Rating: 4.6/5

Netdata is an open-source monitoring tool that simplifies the process of collecting, storing, querying, visualizing, and alerting for every metric in your infrastructure and applications.

Why I picked Netdata: As a synthetic monitoring tool, Netdata has the ability to stream metrics from every physical and virtual server, container, and IoT device to one dashboard in real-time, providing immediately actionable insights, which is crucial for high-fidelity monitoring. Additionally, its rapid setup, automation, and ease of use make it an ideal choice for those who need to start monitoring quickly and efficiently.

Netdata Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include high-resolution metrics with 1-second granularity, real-time visualizations, and reliable alerts for performance degradation or anomalous behavior. It supports vertical and horizontal scalability, making it suitable for various environments, including bare-metal servers, containers, IoT devices, and cloud infrastructures. Additionally, Netdata ensures data privacy by storing user data exclusively on their systems and offers easy installation with no configuration required.

Integrations include Squid log files, Windows, macOS, Virtual Machines, Apache, Consul, Containers, Kubernetes Containers, Elasticsearch, OpenSearch, MySQL, Redis, and hundreds more.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Interactive graphs for data visualization
  • Automated service discovery and configuration
  • Real-time, granular performance monitoring

Cons:

  • May take time to maximize its features
  • Reporting and analytics features could be more comprehensive

Best for comprehensive app monitoring

  • 30-day free trial
  • $395/year for monitoring up to 10 database servers
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Rating: 4.3/5

ManageEngine Applications Manager is a comprehensive application performance management solution designed to ensure optimal performance and availability of applications and servers.

Why I picked ManageEngine Applications Manager: ManageEngine Applications Manager employs machine learning algorithms to detect anomalies in application and server performance automatically. This feature allows it to learn from historical performance data and identify deviations that could indicate potential issues before they impact service levels. This proactive monitoring helps in preempting problems, which is not as extensively featured in many other similar tools.

ManageEngine Applications Manager Standout Features and Integrations

Key features include real-time monitoring of application performance, in-depth troubleshooting capabilities, automated anomaly detection, and root cause analysis. It supports a wide range of applications, databases, servers, and cloud services, offering detailed insights through intuitive dashboards. Additionally, it provides robust reporting tools, configurable alerts, and the ability to automate corrective actions, enhancing the efficiency of IT operations and ensuring continuous service delivery. This tool is particularly useful for IT administrators and operations teams looking to maintain high service levels in complex IT environments.

ManageEngine Applications Manager natively integrates with several software tools, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, VMware, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, MySQL, SAP, IBM Db2, Redis, and Docker. These integrations facilitate comprehensive monitoring and management of various IT services and infrastructure

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Flexibility to create and monitor custom scripts is a significant advantage
  • Provides detailed performance metrics and powerful diagnostic capabilities
  • Supports a wide range of applications, servers, databases, and cloud services

Cons:

  • While feature-rich, the user interface can be overwhelming for new users
  • Initial setup and configuration of the tool can be complex

Best for monitoring HTTP/HTTPS URLs, web sockets, and ICMP Ping

  • Free to use
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Rating: 4.6/5

Freshping is a free website monitoring software. It provides detailed monitoring reports that help you make sense of website downtimes or performance issues at a glance.

Why I picked Freshping: It’s free and capable of helping you monitor HTTP/HTTPS URLs, web sockets, ICMP Ping, TCP, UDP, and DNS from 10 locations globally. With this tool, you enjoy the flexibility of receiving alerts through the channels that work for your team. You can configure Webhooks to build a customized notification channel that your team works with or that suits your business.

Freshping Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features: Freshping provides detailed incident history and outage analysis reports. You don’t just get notified when changes happen, you also get to know where the performance issues lie and what exactly happened. This platform features status pages, which help you keep your customers informed about uptime and incidents. You can customize the status pages as you wish and display your website’s uptime history by embedding real-time Status Badges on a webpage.

Integrations include Freshdesk, Freshservice, Slack, Webhooks, Twilio, Freshstatus, Instatus, LeadMaster, Squadcast, Lightstep, and Zapier.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Helps you control false positives
  • Customizable alerting system
  • It’s available for free

Cons:

  • Some integrations are difficult to set up
  • Customer support needs to be more responsive

Best synthetic monitoring tool for testing your website’s availability across countries

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $15/month
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Rating: 3.5/5

Pingdom helps you offer an exceptional user experience by providing real-time insight into your website's uptime and performance.

Why I picked Pingdom: Pingdom gives you access to fast and reliable outside-in monitoring capabilities you need to keep tabs on how your website is performing. It provides everything you need to test your website’s availability across countries, assess and optimize the loading speed of key pages, ensure frictionless site flows, and integrate with your favorite apps. 

You get alerted through email or SMS as soon as your website becomes unavailable, a transaction fails, or something else happens.

Pingdom Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features: Pingdom helps you monitor webpage load times and provides detailed reports. With the reports, you can ascertain whether the slow loading speed is caused by the user’s device, network, or browser; or if your web components need to be optimized. The tool also has a developer-friendly API, which helps create new API queries within a short time with easy-to-use implementation.

Integrations include Slack, Rippling, Zapier, Pipefy, Grow, Klipfolio, Datadog, Office Chat, PagerDuty, and Talkspirit.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Easy to get started
  • Multiple monitoring features
  • Friendly pricing

Cons:

  • Reports can be complex to analyze
  • Slow response from tech support

Best software for running business monitoring

  • Free forever
  • Free to use
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Rating: 4.2/5

Zabbix, an open-source solution, provides a range of monitoring capabilities, including network, server, cloud, container, and database monitoring. It offers an all-in-one solution that helps you visualize or keep track of your whole IT infrastructure stack.

Why I picked Zabbix: This software stands out with business service monitoring. It helps you keep track of KPIs by providing visibility into your product’s performance. It comes with root cause analysis capability, which empowers you to detect where the problems lie so you can fix them quickly.

Zabbix uses automation solutions to offer high-performance problem detection in real-time. Its flexibility allows you to monitor whatever you want to ensure your customers’ user experience is optimal. When it comes to the security of your data, Zabbix lets you keep your sensitive information safe by saving it in an external vault.

Zabbix Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include container monitoring and data visualization. Zabbix provides the capabilities to monitor your Kubernetes cluster and other cloud-based assets. You can keep an eye on the health of your pods, nodes, and other Kubernetes components. The data visualization feature provides additional insights and higher observability. This gives you access to beautifully displayed metrics and reports in various formats.

Integrations: Zabbix integrates with a wide range of tools, such as Datadog, PagerDuty, OpsGenie, xMatters, iLert, ClusterControl, ONEiO, Galileo, and OverOps.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Available for free
  • Highly secure
  • Scalable

Cons:

  • Limited customization
  • More detailed tutorials or guides needed

Best tool for preventing downtime

  • Free plan available
  • From $30 per month

Better Stack is a synthetic monitoring system that lets you prevent downtime and performance issues by providing visibility into your stack. It comes with the capabilities you need to debug issues and resolve incidents reliably.

Why I picked Better Stack: Better Stack helps you prevent downtime by providing synthetic monitoring capabilities, including uptime monitoring and log management. The tool lets you monitor, log, and troubleshoot anything. You can visualize your entire stack, categorize your logs neatly, and gain the clarity you need to debug issues and fix incidents quickly.

There are observability dashboards, which help you make sense of monitoring data from summarized metrics that are presented in beautifully designed dashboards. The tool monitors everything and provides actionable alerts that help you resolve issues faster. In addition, Better Stack allows your team members to collaborate effectively.

Better Stack Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include incident management and status pages. Incident management capabilities provide you with all the debug data you need to resolve issues and collaborate with your team members. Status pages are designed to help you to keep your customers in the loop, enabling you to build trust and keep them informed. The pages are very customizable so you can use custom CSS to change the design to suit your product.

Integrations include MongoDB, Ubuntu, Apache2, Redis, Docker, Vector, Google Cloud, Heroku, Microsoft Azure, Datadog, and New Relic.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Customizable features
  • Resolve incidents faster
  • Get started for free

Cons:

  • There are some complex configurations
  • Documentation needs more content

Best tool for monitoring and testing with real browsers

  • Free plan available
  • From $30/month

Checkly provides one monitoring as code workflow that lets you unite E2E testing and monitoring. This synthetic monitoring software allows you to code, test, and deploy monitoring at scale.

Why I picked Checkly: It provides reliable synthetic monitoring for important user journeys with Playwright. The tool helps you get rid of false positives and provides detailed insights to help you ensure your project is performing optimally. You can use the Playwright testing framework to test your apps and websites to ensure they are performing as expected.

Checkly stands out because it lets you monitor and test with real browsers. You can run checks in actual Chrome browsers, enabling you to perform synthetic tests with real-world conditions.

Checkly Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features: The software allows you to debug with ease by automatically assembling defects or bugs and presenting them in formats that enable fast debugging. Checkly provides performance reports on web vitals and load times for every page, giving you visibility into how your product is doing at every point in time.

Additionally, the tool boosts developer experience by letting users write their browser checks in TypeScript.

Integrations include GitHub, Webhooks, Slack, Pagerduty, OpsGenie, FireHydrant, Discord, Microsoft Teams, Telegram, and Splunk On-Call.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • It’s very user-friendly
  • Seamless integrations
  • Freemium version available

Cons:

  • More customization required
  • Lack of good documentation for reusing code snippets

Best for supporting multiple languages

  • Not applicable
  • Free to use

Prometheus is a monitoring system and time series database. This open-source monitoring platform helps you gain visibility into your product's code quality or performance by providing reliable monitoring solutions.

Why I picked Prometheus: With this tool, you get access to multiple modes for visualizing data, including a Grafana integration, a built-in expression browser, and a console template language. Prometheus features many client libraries, which make the instrumentation of services easy. It supports more than ten languages and easy-to-use custom libraries. In addition, there are many integrations so you can extend its capabilities with your favorite tools.

Prometheus Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include precise alerting and efficient storage. Prometheus alerts are defined based on its flexible PromQL and they maintain dimensional information. With this tool, your monitoring data is stored in memory and on a local disk in an efficient, reliable custom format.

Integrations include Docker, HAProxy, StatsD, JMX metrics, Asana, AWS SNS, Better Uptime, Canopsis, DingTalk, and Discord.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • It’s free and open-source
  • Seamless integrations
  • Good data visualization

Cons:

  • Some configurations are difficult
  • Requires more customizations

Best open-source synthetic monitoring tool

  • Free to use

Upptime is an open-source uptime monitor and status page that is powered by GitHub. It helps you keep track of multiple web pages and provides actionable reports you need to run interventions accordingly.

Why I picked Upptime: It allows you to monitor uptime at short intervals — every 5 minutes. Powered by GitHub, you can keep track of unlimited web pages using GitHub Actions. Upptime notifies you as soon as any web page goes down and also saves version-controlled response time stats. With in-built alerting support for Slack, Telegram, and other communication tools, you enjoy the flexibility of selecting how you want to receive notifications.

Upptime Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features: Upptime offers a modern status page, which is a statically generated status website that displays your website’s live status, incident history, and response time graphs to users. The status page is customizable; you can add a logo and other branding elements to make it reflect your brand image.

Integrations include Slack, Telegram, Webhooks, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, Google Sheets, Discord, Trello, and Asana.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • It’s free and open-source
  • Monitor unlimited web pages
  • Reliable and scalable

Cons:

  • Documentation needs more content
  • Slow response from support

Best software for web performance monitoring

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $18.01/month

Uptrends offer synthetic monitoring solutions, including website monitoring, web application monitoring, and API monitoring. The software lets you test your website from up to 233 global locations.

Why I picked Uptrends: This tool helps you improve your web performance with its real browser web performance monitoring. It allows you to run website performance tests from 233 locations across the globe. Uptrends opens up a real browser from a location you have chosen and simulates user journeys on your websites exactly like a real user would use your website.

It provides detailed performance data, showing the root cause of issues and which element on your page caused the problem. Uptrends lets you see how your website performs on mobile devices. You can simulate user behavior on mobile devices using popular browsers.

Uptrends Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include a Transaction Recorder, custom metrics, and concurrent monitoring. With Uptrends’ Transaction Recorder, you can record and keep an eye on shopping carts, payment providers, and opt-in forms. The custom metrics features allow you to track API metrics according to your needs. You can get custom data from API responses and get a good understanding of your total API performance.

Concurrent monitoring enables faster business transaction monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, troubleshooting, and problem resolution. This capability empowers you to perform a single check and get results from multiple locations.

Integrations include Slack, Microsoft Teams, PagerDuty, StatusHub, VictorOps, ServiceNow, StatusPage, AlertOps, Grafana, and Opsgenie.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Real-time user insights and notifications
  • Excellent customer support
  • Good value for the cost

Cons:

  • User management capabilities need improvement
  • The UI needs to be more intuitive

The 10 Best Synthetic Monitoring Tools Summary

Tools Price
Netdata From $3.52/node/month
ManageEngine Applications Manager $395/year for monitoring up to 10 database servers
Freshping Free to use
Pingdom From $15/month
Zabbix Free to use
Better Stack From $30 per month
Checkly From $30/month
Prometheus Free to use
Upptime Free to use
Uptrends From $18.01/month
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

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Other Options

Here are a few more worthwhile options that didn’t make the best synthetic testing tools list:

Selection Criteria For Synthetic Monitoring Tools 

Here’s a summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best synthetic monitoring tools for this article:

Core Functionality

The core functionalities I considered when I was evaluating synthetic testing tools for this article include:

  • Smart alerting system
  • Customizable workflow
  • Various forms of monitoring
  • Cloud, on-premise, or self-hosted options
  • Monitoring across multiple environments

Key Features

I considered some key features before adding any tool to the list. All the solutions recommended above have the following major features (and more):

  • Website monitoring: With this capability, you can keep track of your website’s maintenance with real-time visibility and alerts. The parameters that can be monitored include downtime, bandwidth consumption, bounce rate, and time spent on each page.
  • Page speed monitoring: A capability that helps you monitor webpages to ensure they load as fast as expected. And when there is a page with a low loading speed, you will be notified according to your settings.
  • Transaction monitoring: This enables you to monitor your website’s transactions. You can reliably monitor shopping carts, login forms, check-out forms, and more.
  • SSL monitoring: SSL certificate monitoring keeps you in the know about your product’s security and notifies you about any SSL certificate issues.
  • Container monitoring: Involvs the monitoring of your Kubernetes, while keeping tabs on the state of your pods, nodes, and other Kubernetes components.
  • Server monitoring: This feature helps you monitor your servers and entire infrastructure for important performance metrics.

Usability

I picked tools that are easy to learn and use. The tools I recommended come with features that make the software very usable, including an intuitive user interface, detailed documentation, third-party tutorials, responsive customer support, and an active user community. Even though new software comes with a slight learning curve, your team will find the tools on my list very easy to get started with.

Software Integrations

Integrations allow you to connect your toolset with the synthetic monitoring system. This helps you to integrate the tool into your workflow without disrupting your processes. That said, I recommended tools that let you enhance their capabilities by integrating your favorite tools.

Pricing

When I was researching this article, I prioritized solutions with transparent and flexible pricing models. All the tools I picked have flexible pricing tiers, enabling you to settle for the tool and plan that suit your needs and budget.

People Also Ask

Here are some frequently asked questions:

What are the benefits of synthetic monitoring tools?

The benefits of synthetic monitoring software include finding and fixing issues early, baselining and benchmarking, tracking complex transactions and business processes, and maintaining user experience.

Who uses synthetic monitoring tools?

Software testers and quality assurance teams use synthetic monitoring solutions to monitor applications to ensure they are performing as expected. And if there are issues, they rely on synthetic test results to fix issues and optimize the product’s performance.

What are the 3 types of synthetic monitoring?

The three major types of synthetic monitoring are web performance monitoring, availability monitoring, and transaction monitoring.

Other Testing Tools

If you’re looking to learn more about software testing tools, check out the following reviews.

Final Thoughts

Synthetic monitoring systems help you fix issues early.  With the help of machine learning-powered automation, these tools enable you to spot flaws automatically, resolve issues quickly, and avoid user experience disruptions.

Deliver beyond your customers’ expectations with the help of one of the tools I recommended. Do you want to learn more about quality assurance? Sign up for The QA Lead newsletter to get the latest insights from top thinkers in the QA industry.

Anyalebechi Elisha
By Anyalebechi Elisha

I’m Anyalebechi Elisha, a tech blogger and cybersecurity expert. For more than 3 years, I’ve been researching and writing short-form and long-form articles across many tech niches – with major focus on cybersecuty.