PRTG - Smart Setup

Transcript - Smart Setup

Hello, and welcome to PRTG.

In this video, we’re going to install and configure PRTG together, to get you up and running quickly.

Not surprisingly, the very first step is to download the PRTG software so we can install it.

However, there are two installers for PRTG, one for the free trial and freeware version, and a second one for the commercial version. So, you first need to know where to go to download the software. 

Let me start with the commercial version first.

If you already have a commercial license and would like the commercial installer, please go to our homepage,, and click on LOGIN to log into your Paessler account.   Then scroll down a bit and you’ll see the download button.

Alternatively, when you first purchased your commercial license, you received an email that looked like this ..., and these emails also include the link to download PRTG.

If you already have a trial version running and you are now installing a commercial version for the first time, you only need to install the commercial version over top of the trial version.  Don’t worry – installing over top is safe.  PRTG will retain all the configuration and history from your trial version.

So, that was the commercial version.  

If you’re looking for the free trial version or freeware version, then please go to our homepage,, and click on FREE DOWNLOAD, which will take you to a page with a free license key and a button to start the download.

Please take a second here to copy this key somewhere safe, because you’re going to need it later during the install process.

The download should start automatically, but if it doesn’t, for some reason, you can start it by clicking here ...

When the download has finished, open up the zip file, and extract all the files in the zip.

You now have three files:  the PRTG executable, a copy of our license terms and conditions, and the most recent release notes.  Please take the time to review the release notes, especially anything that’s marked in red or yellow, because those are important messages.  And please take the time to review the license terms, because you’ll be agreeing to these terms later in the process.  Both the release notes and license terms are also available on our website, as html and pdf, if you’d prefer to access them that way.

So, to start the installation, not surprisingly, just double-click on the executable.

Select the language to use during the installation.  This language will also be used for the user interface, but you can change the language for the user interface later if you’d like.

Accept the license agreement, which is the same as the file that was part of the download, and continue.

You now need to enter an email address.  This is the address PRTG will use for the main PRTG system administrator.
We recommend using a service address such as prtg-admin at my-company dot com, so you don’t have to keep updating the address inside PRTG as different people take over the admin role in your company.

You now need to enter your license key.  If you’re installing a commercial version, please enter the name and key that you received when you purchased your license.  If you’re installing a trial or freeware version, please leave the name as prtgtrial, and enter the key you were given on our website.  If you forgot to save the key, you can request a new trial key here:

If you ever need to add a new license key later, you can do this in the web interface or in the Administration tool.

Enter the directory where PRTG should be installed, and sit back and relax while the installation runs.

When the install finishes, PRTG will automatically open up the user interface in your standard browser, and it will automatically start discovering your network in the background.

I’m going to minimize the browser for a minute to see what else has happened.  

You will see two new shortcuts on your desktop, one to the browser with the main PRTG user interface, and one to the Enterprise Console, which is a native Windows user interface.  The enterprise console shows you the same information as the web browser, just with a slightly different look-and-feel.  The enterprise console also lets you view multiple PRTG instances in a single pane of glass, so if you have a large PRTG installation with more than one PRTG server, please take a look at the enterprise console.

Also, before we go back to the browser, let’s take a look at what else has been installed.  In the program folder, under PRTG Network Monitor, you can see what has been installed as part of the package.  

The PRTG Administration Tool is a separate tool for low-level configuration.  You don’t need it very often, but if you do, it’s here.   

Then there’s the enterprise console, which we just saw.

Next a link to the PRTG in your default browser, a link to the Paessler homepage, and an uninstaller. 

Let’s go back to the browser again…

While the initial auto-discovery runs, we can start configuring PRTG.

The first thing you’ll notice is my colleague Greg, who will guide us through the first configuration steps.

The orange popup box now offers you to skip the introduction, or to click OK to start the Smart Setup.  Unless you have a lot of experience with PRTG, we recommend letting Greg take you through the initial Setup, so let’s click on OK.

The next message tells you that PRTG is discovering your network, which you can see by the new green and grey sensors that are popping up.  PRTG will automatically discover the subnet that your PRTG server is in, and you can add additional subnets later.

But now Greg wants some credentials from us, so let’s do what he asks.  Please follow the little orange hand and click on the Settings tab.

This takes us to the main settings page, where the most important input fields are outlined in orange.

The first thing to enter is the Active Directory domain you’re in, and a usename and password for that domain.  Please enter a domain administrator name and password here.  At this step, if you don’t have an active directory domain, you can also enter the name of a single computer and the local user information for that machine, but active directory is the preferred method.

Next we have credentials for linux and unix based systems, with either a password or a private key, and then settings for WBEM (Web Based Enterprise Management) and SSH.

If you don’t have any linux or unix systems, then just leave this section empty.

Then, the credentials for your VMWare or Xen virtual server environments.  In this step we recommend entering the credentials for your ESX hosts or Xen server.  And you can add the vCenter server or XenCenter later.  For most data, the root account is necessary, so please use the root account.  If you’re using VMWare, then also specify whether to use HTTP or HTTPS to connect to the VMWare servers, and whether you would like PRTG to pool sessions or not.

Next comes credentials for SNMP.  SNMP needs the SNMP “community string”, which is like a password for SNMP.  The default community string for reading SNMP is the word “public”. If all your devices use the default SNMP community strings, then you don’t need to change anything here.

There are also three versions of SNMP, which you can select here.  The most common is version 1.  However, if you need 64-bit counters then you’ll need v2 and if you’re using secure authentication and data encryption for your SNMP you’ll need v3.  What you enter here depends on what your target devices support.  If you’re not sure which version you need, just leave it at the default v1 for now.

The default port for SNMP is UDP port 161, but if you are using a different port in your network you can configure the port here.

And if you need a longer timeout than the default of 5 seconds, you can also change this.  

Now that PRTG has your most important credentials, we can add additional sensors to your installation, so please click on “OK, do it” to start another auto-discovery.

Next, please enter the location of your PRTG server.  This will be used to place PRTG on a geographical map.  Later, you can add location information for all your other devices too, to show them all on a map.  You can enter either a regular postal address or geocode locations here.

At this point, you can either follow Greg back to the device overview, or you can take the time to fill out the rest of these settings.  For now, we’ll follow Greg, but we’re going to come back to this page later to fill in the rest of the settings.

We now see Andy, who’s the manager of QA and tech support here at Paessler.  And Andy would like us to change the password for the PRTG administrator.  This is a very, very good idea, because the default password is published on our website, so you definitely don’t want to leave it as the default.  

So, Andy shows us that we need to go to the Setup Menu and select Account Settings and then My Account.  And here we enter the new administrator password.  The new password must be at least 8 characters long and must include at least one number and one capital letter.

Then, double-check the email address that PRTG will use for the system administrator.  We’ll fill in the one you entered during the install process, but you can change it here if you need to.

Greg now takes us back to the device overview, and tells us that we’re done the setup.

You should now see a bunch of new sensors that PRTG has created for you.  Don’t worry if most of them are grey for now – new sensors get queued up to run, and they’re grey until they receive their first data.

And we are now done the very initial setup, but there are still several things we really should add, so we might be done Greg’s setup, but we’re not done with this video.

We’re going to go back to the settings tab, to go over all the other settings that we haven’t seen yet.

But before I do that, I’d like to explain that all of the settings we’re going to see today are automatically inherited through the PRTG device tree.  But you can override the inheritance at any point.  So, in this video we’re going to configure everything at the ROOT node, but this Settings tab is available at any level in the tree, so you can override all of these global settings if you need too.

For all of the settings in PRTG, if you hover your mouse over the input box, you’ll get a popup help.  If you’re not sure what some of the settings mean or not sure how you should configure them, then please leave them as the defaults.  If you need to, you can always change them later.

We’ve already done the most important initial settings, but I’d like to quickly show you what else is available on this page, so you know where to find them later.

If you would like to monitor SQL databases, then please enter the port number and the authentication for those databases here.

Next come your Cloudwatch keys, if you would like to use the PRTG Cloudwatch sensors.

The Windows compatibility options and the SNMP compatibility options should normally be left at the default values, and only changed later for individual devices, if you run into problems with those devices.

If PRTG needs to go over a proxy to monitor any HTTP URLs, then please enter the proxy name, port and credentials here.

The scanning interval is set by default to 60 seconds, which means that every sensor will poll for data every 60 seconds.  We recommend adjusting this scanning interval depending on the types of sensors you’re using.  Something like the amount of disk free doesn’t really need to check every 60 seconds – perhaps every half an hour would be reasonable?  So this is one setting that you will probably want to override later in your device tree.

Schedules and maintenance windows are used to temporarily disable monitoring, but we want everything turned on for now.

The access rights are used to control read and write access to parts of PRTG, later, once you have more users and user groups set up.

The channel unit configuration defines what units you would like to use as defaults for different types of sensors.

And the automatic monitoring data analysis lets you enable or disable Unusual detection and Similar sensors detection.  By default these should be on, but you can disable them later if you decide you don’t want to see this analysis.

And we’ve made it to the end!  Don’t forget to save your changes!

This takes us back to the device overview, where we can see that PRTG has discovered lots of devices and created lots of sensor for us.  Let me just go into one smaller branch of this tree so I can show you the settings tab there.

I’ve clicked on clients, and I still have the Settings Tab.  I now see the same settings as before, but they all say “inherit from” and then the next higher level in the tree.  If I would like to override something here, like say the windows credentials, then I just remove the checkmark, and I can now enter other credentials which would be used for all the devices and sensors in this branch of the tree.

And now you think we might be done, but we’re still not!

Since you almost definitely want to receive notifications when there’s a problem in your infrastructure, you’ll want to make sure that PRTG can send notifications.  To do this, go to 

Setup / System Administration / Notification delivery

And make sure that at least SMTP email delivery is configured.
You can use PRTG’s built-in email server or an SMTP relay server.

Once you’ve configured the email delivery, you can test that it works by going to Setup / Account Settings / Notifications.  The three notification types you see here are created by default, and you can add lots more later.  But for now, go to “email and push notification to admin” and click on Test.  This will send an email to the email address you entered earlier for the PRTG administrator.  Please check that this email arrives!

If it doesn’t arrive, you’ll need to check the SMTP delivery settings again.  You can also look under Logs / System events / notifications to see if there were error messages associated with this test email.

Once the notification is working, you can tell PRTG that you would like to receive notifications about issues.  To do this, at any point in your tree, click on the “Notifications” tab, where you can see what triggers are already defined, and edit these as necessary.

By default, you will receive an email when any of your sensors are down for 600 seconds, which is 10 minutes.  You can now edit this trigger, delete it, or add additional triggers.

These notification triggers are automatically inherited through your device tree, so if you change this default trigger, which is at the root level, you’ll change it for all devices.  If you’d like to override this for only some devices, please first switch to that part of the tree, and then edit the notification triggers there.

So, we have now downloaded and installed the software, entered enough credentials to have a reasonable auto-discovery, and set up notifications about problems.  That, then, brings me to the end of this video.  Now it’s your turn to work with PRTG, to tune it for your individual requirements.

If you have any questions about your configuration, please contact us at any time, under support.  And there are lots of other videos on our website, if you’d like to learn more about some other parts of PRTG.

Thanks, and goodbye.