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Having a healthy network is essential for any online business. Downtime can be costly; if you're not monitoring your devices, you could have more downtime than you realize. Routers, in particular, are essential for keeping a network running. Routers are critical equipment for any business that relies on the Internet to communicate with customers or clients.
A slow or faulty router can grind business to a halt, which is why keeping an eye on your router's performance is essential. Understanding how they work and monitoring their performance can help you keep your network running efficiently. This article will explore routers and how MetricFire can help you monitor your router's health to avoid costly downtime-related problems.
MetricFire focuses on monitoring systems, and our user-friendly product lets you quickly and easily gain detailed knowledge about your various environments. If MetricFire interests you, please sign up for a free trial today or schedule a demo with one of us to learn more!
What is a Router?
A network router is a piece of hardware that connects two or more computer networks and forwards data packets between them. Data packets are small pieces of data that are sent across a network from one device to another. They are typically composed of a header and a payload. The header contains information about the source and destination of the data packet, as well as other control information.
Routers typically use two methods to connect to the network: wired Ethernet or wireless WiFi. Most home and small business routers are equipped with both types of connections. Routers are typically used to share an internet connection with multiple devices on the same network. They can also connect two networks: a home network and a business network.
Routers are essential in connecting devices on a network; however, they can vary significantly in size and features. Home routers are typically small devices equipped with Ethernet and WiFi ports. Enterprise-level routers can be much more extensive and may have additional features such as multiple Ethernet ports, WAN (Wide Area Network) ports, VPN (Virtual Private Network) capabilities, etc.
How do Routers work?
Routers communicate with each other through specially designed routing protocols, either interior gateway protocols or exterior gateway protocols, to disseminate the best path to take when forwarding traffic destined for a given remote network.
A router links two or more data lines from different networks. After a router receives a data packet on one of its incoming lines, it reads the network address information in the packet header. Using this information, the router directs the packet to its next destination according to the routing table or routing policy.
Routers maintain connections with their immediate neighbors and routers one or more hops away, with whom they exchange routing information to select the best paths between any two nodes on the Internet. Beyond that, routers are unaware of Internet topology and do not participate in Internet path discovery. Instead, that function is performed by special-purpose internet working devices such as gateways and switches.
However, because almost all traffic on the Internet eventually passes through a gateway—the exception being intra-network communications within an autonomous system—routers play a fundamental role in networking.
Why should you monitor your router?
Monitoring your router's health is essential because it can help you avoid downtime and keep your network running smoothly. By monitoring your router, you can identify problems early on and take steps to fix them before they cause significant disruptions. Additionally, monitoring your router can help you troubleshoot problems that occur and plan for future capacity needs.
There are many reasons why you should monitor your router with a tool like MetricFire. For one, routers are mission-critical equipment, and if your router goes down, your entire network could halt. That's why it's essential to have visibility into router performance so you can identify issues before they cause problems for users.
Many potential problems can plague a network, but some of the most frequent ones have to do with performance, including:
- Poor network visibility: Without quality monitoring, you may not notice network problems until your system malfunctions.
- Misconfigured devices: The Internet of things (IoT), or widespread connectivity, has improved business workflows but can complicate your IT infrastructure if you do not install and configure the devices correctly. New additions to your system, for example, can impede network function
- Reactive measures: To maintain a strong network, you must manage it proactively and not just reactively. By being reactive, you're adding hours of downtime each year.
- Not resolving root problems: Resolving problems as they come along is a fruitless endeavor because you will never get to the bottom of why they keep happening in the first place. It's like putting Band-Aids on symptoms instead of addressing the root cause of the issue. To truly fix an issue is to understand what caused it in the first instance.
In addition, with MetricFire, you can remotely access your router's interface from anywhere in the world, which makes it easy to troubleshoot issues as they arise. Finally, MetricFire offers features like email alerts, which can notify you of potential problems even when you're not actively monitoring the system.
How can MetricFire help you monitor your router?
MetricFire is a cloud-based monitoring solution that helps network administrators keep tabs on their routers 24/7. It provides real-time visibility into router performance and can help identify issues before they cause user problems. In addition, MetricFire offers features like real-time notifications and alerts, which make it easy to troubleshoot issues from anywhere in the world.
MetricFire's Monitoring tool is a comprehensive solution that gives users visibility into various aspects of their network. With MetricFire, users can monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as:
- Throughput: A system's throughput is a speed indicator that measures how many units of information the system can process in response to inputs over a given period.
- Bandwidth: Bandwidth is a term that describes a network's maximum data transfer rate. It's measured in bits per second and denotes the amount of information sent over the network in any given period.
- Uptime: the number of hours or days the network is operational.
- Latency: a measurement of how long it takes for a data packet to travel from one specific point to another.
- Packet loss: The number of packets that fail to reach their assigned destination.
MetricFire uses ICMP and SNMP protocols to monitor networks. ICMP is the protocol that allows hosts to communicate messages, and SNMP is the protocol that provides for exchanging management information between network devices. By using these two protocols, MetricFire can monitor networks and provide data that you can use to troubleshoot problems.
MetricFire also has Grafana dashboards for network monitoring. Grafana is a tool that allows you to visualize data. The dashboards provided by MetricFire will enable you to see data such as network latency, CPU utilization, and memory usage. This data can be used to identify bottlenecks in your network or to find problem areas that need to be addressed.
Another great feature of MetricFire is that it supports multiple data sources. This includes data from routers, switches, firewalls, and more. As a result, users can get a complete picture of their network at all times. MetricFire also offers many benefits of using MetricFire for your network monitoring needs, such as:
- MetricFire's platform is easy to use and lets you start quickly.
- A highly scalable platform to add as many devices as you need without any problems.
- A proactive support team is available to help you every step of the way so you can be sure that your network is always up and running.
MetricFire is a powerful network monitoring tool that can help you troubleshoot problems in your network. By using ICMP and SNMP, MetricFire can provide data that can be used to identify bottlenecks or other issues. Additionally, the Grafana dashboards provided by MetricFire allow you to visualize data to identify problem areas.
Routers are critical networking equipment that must be monitored 24/7, which is why it's important to have a reliable router monitoring solution. Metricfire offers just such a solution with its Monitoring capabilities. Metricfire allows users to monitor vital KPIs in real-time and tailor the answer to their specific requirements. In addition, Metricfire supports multiple data sources and gives users complete visibility into every aspect of their network. If you are looking for an efficient way to monitor your network, then MetricFire is worth considering.
MetricFire offers a Hosted version of Graphite with complete data visualization tools such as Grafana, extended storage options, and more. To get started, you'll need a minimum configuration to quickly gain insightful information about your environment. If you're interested in learning more, please sign on to the free trial with us, or book a demo today.