- There are a number of synthetic monitoring tools on the market. Synthetic monitoring is used to monitor web performance before your site, app, or API goes live to fix issues before they impact real users.
- Synthetic monitoring solutions, like the one we provide at Dotcom-Monitor, offer a variety of features including infrastructure monitoring, load/stress testing, web page and app monitoring, and allow you to simulate how real users will interact with your site throughout your development process.
What Is Synthetic Monitoring?
Synthetic monitoring is a means to monitor applications, pages, APIs, etc., from the user’s perspective so you can best understand how they perform for actual users. IT professionals use synthetic monitoring to run simple uptime checks and to monitor complex, mission-critical business transactions. Synthetic monitoring tools also allow you to test and monitor third-party applications, which can impact how your users experience your websites and web applications.
Synthetic monitoring allows teams to monitor and measure website and web application performance around the clock from every conceivable vantage point, and to receive alerts before issues begin to impact real users.
How Does Synthetic Monitoring Work?
To better understand and track the performance of modern web applications, synthetic monitoring can be the ideal solution. What users will do with your specific web page or application will determine the path they take. With synthetic monitoring, the behavior of end users is scripted. These scripts are then run at set intervals, and, if needed, from different checkpoints. In this way we can measure the performance, availability, functionality, and response time of a website or web application.
Best Synthetic Monitoring Tools for 2023
We’ve compiled this list of top tools for 2023 and beyond. There are hundreds of synthetic monitoring tools on the market, but these are the absolute best, starting with our own platform at Dotcom-Monitor. These tools offer a wide variety of features, software, and testing locations. With 20 options available and described briefly here, there is sure to be a synthetic monitoring tool perfect for your team. Let’s start with what we do at Dotcom-Monitor and explain why we should be your top pick for synthetic monitoring this and every year.
Dotcom-Monitor provides a comprehensive synthetic monitoring solution to suit any and all needs for your site, app, or API. The best on the market, Dotcom-Monitor provides developers with all the critical metrics needed to get a clear picture of end user experience. No matter your knowledge level there is a feature for you. Dotcom-Monitor’s synthetic monitoring dashboard is intuitive and easy to understand.
Dotcom-Monitor runs synthetics tests on everything your website takes to run, including but not limited to:
- Web services
- Web pages
- Web applications
- Internet infrastructure
Dotcom-Monitor couldn’t be easier. Simply set up an account and start monitoring within minutes. Dotcom-Monitor also offers a Private Agent feature for those looking to test from behind their firewall.
Dotcom-Monitor’s synthetic monitoring solution is tied to our load testing platform at LoadView. Monitoring and load testing often work hand in hand when trying to get a site, app, or API off the ground. Because our platforms are connected, you can easily create scripts in LoadView and transfer them to your Dotcom-Monitor dashboard. Dotcom-Monitor boasts all these advanced features, along with performance monitoring from real browsers from locations around the world. If you want an easy to use, comprehensive, and cost effective synthetic monitoring solution, Dotcom-Monitor is sure to impress with our unbeatable network and plans for simple monitoring through to enterprise solutions.
Kentik is relatively new to the world of synthetic monitoring, but growing every day with its easy to understand interface. Kentik is a monitoring solution for internet, cloud, and hybrid networks. They offer fully automated testing so you can spend time on fixing issues instead of looking for them.
Kentik gives you all the traffic analytics you need to ensure proper functionality for your site, app, or API. The Kentik essentials plan is $800 per month billed annually. There is also a 30-day free trial option.
Apica is a proactive synthetic monitoring tool to set benchmarks, and fix bugs before you launch your site. They offer SaaS-based, hybrid, and on premises monitoring in addition to transaction monitoring for ecommerce so you can easily see a customer’s journey and look for errors.
With Apica you’re able to simulate complex real user journeys through your site from locations around the globe. Apica lets you simulate browser tests from 60 countries and 180 locations worldwide, including mainland China.
Plans for Apica start at a steep $2,000 per month (can someone double check this?) with a free trial option available.
AppDynamics is a synthetic monitoring service created by Cisco. It tracks all types of web metrics in 26 geographic locations. AppDynamics is great for testing downtime errors and page load times, sending you notifications when something goes wrong.
AppDynamics uses something called waterfall graphs, which are easy to understand graphics showcasing your testing metrics. This, along with being a cloud based service, makes it easy for those with limited programming experience to use. This service allows you to watch synthetic tests beginning to end as simply as possible.
Plans start at $6 per month after a 15-day free trial.
AlertSite is a synthetic monitoring tool for websites, apps, and APIs built on top of Smartbear. For those newer to performance testing AlertSite is a good place to start. They offer free training and support for developers who need extra help. Combined with the simple dashboard, AlertSite is simple and straightforward. AlertSite lets you run tests from over 80 locations worldwide to catch bottlenecks before your users do.
AlertSite provides comprehensive monitoring for applications and APIs tailored to their needs. AlertSite pricing is on a sliding scale, you can learn more by getting a quote on their website after a free trial.
The uptime platform has two synthetic monitoring solutions, Uptime robot and better Uptime. Both platforms can run synthetic tests with intervals ranging from 5 to 60 minutes. Uptime runs tests on all forms, runs SSL tests, DNS checks, and keyword checks. All of these can help you spot hiccups before anyone else. Uptime sends you text and email alerts for issues on their paid plans.
Uptime plans begin at $67 per month after a 14-day free trial, no credit card required.
7. eG Innovations
eG innovations is a popular tool offering proactive synthetic monitoring for business transactions. If you plan on launching an ecommerce site, eG Innovations is a strong choice to get insight into end user experience. eG Innovations give you the option for cloud based or on premises monitoring for Client Session Simulations, Web App Simulation, Digital Workspace Log on Simulation, and of course, synthetic monitoring.
eG Innovation has all the standard metrics of a synthetic monitoring tool like proactive tests, response time breakdowns, end to end response times, and testing from multiple international locations. You can get a quote for eG Innovations pricing after your free trial.
Catchpoint is a tool that can help you detect potential user errors, analyze data, and set benchmarks before your site goes live to real users. They offer multiple tools, but their synthetic monitoring platform is among their best. It gives you a combination of synthetic and real user monitoring to test your site, app, or API.
Catchpoint helps you see and solve issues quickly, using their built in alert system that triggers when your set threshold is passed. It gives access to 210 locations all around the globe for the cleanest picture of how your service will function under the pressures of real users.
Catchpoint’s biggest catch is its good reputation. It has been used by companies like Slack, PagerDuty, and others since 2008, making it quite expensive. Their plans start at $15 for 10k tests, which can pass by before you know it.
If you like WebPageTest, a synthetic monitoring tool popular in the developer community, you may be interested in SpeedCurve. SpeedCurve is built on top of WebPageTest and offers a wider range of monitoring metrics. SpeedCurve can support multiple site testing continuously to get the most out for your synthetic monitoring. You can customize your dashboard to collect data on what matters most to you.
SpeedCurve offers unique features like mobile device emulation and CPU throttling. This is an excellent feature for those developing mobile apps or sites that expect large amounts of mobile traffic. Plans start at $114 per month after a 30-day free trial.
10. CloudQA by TruMonitor
CloudQA is designed to handle all the complexities developing a website brings. Before issues impact end users, CloudQA helps you catch any bugs in your site’s functionality. They assist in running tests on business critical custom journeys and make sure your apps are available and up to date. Cut down in hours of manual troubleshooting by running automated performance tests.
Get a quote on CloudQA by TruMonitor’s website to see which plan is right for your team.
AlertBot is a synthetic monitoring tool for teams of all sizes and skill levels. AlertBot is an intuitive tool that is easy to use ,and if you experience issues an expert from AlertBot will be happy to help. They personally assist users with monitoring setup and provide detailed email reports so you can know exactly what needs to be done.
Take advantage of the AlertBot web recorder to get insights into user experience and simulate multi-step processes using real browsers. You can receive a quote for pricing on their website after your free trial.
Sematext is a SaaS company that provides logging tools, data consultation, and performance monitoring. This includes Synthetics, Sematext’s synthetic monitoring tool. Synthetics helps you monitor websites and APIs across connection types, browsers, and locations. Sematext reports back website speed, page load speed, and other critical metrics to help you identify roadblocks in your site.
Plans start at $29 per month after your 14 day free trial. There is also a pay-as-you-go plan that starts at only $2 per month with access to fewer features and dashboards.
13. Website 24×7
Website 24×7 from Zoho is a synthetic monitoring tool that allows you to run period tests from 110 global locations to help you monitor your site’s speed and performance. Website 24X7 will alert you to issues with SSL Certificates, NDS servers, and mail servers. It also gives you the ability to monitor third-party APIs to prevent issues before they occur.
Website 24×7 begins with a 30-day free trial, from there plans move up to starting prices of $10 per month.
Dynatrace is a simple, all in one monitoring tool that makes synthetic monitoring easy for your whole team. Dynatrace makes critical business information clear, offering you a wide range of data to improve your website, app, or API. They use a web based recorder, so no need to write scripts or code, and can simulate tests from real browsers.
Dynatrace offers monitoring from locations around the globe, and executes monitors from public and private locations. Plans start as low as $11 per month with a free trial available.
As one of the most common performance testing tools in the industry, Datadog is a solid choice for those looking to run synthetic monitoring tests. It is a fully integrated monitoring system to help you find flaws in your site before users do. Because of its popularity with developers, the interface may be difficult to learn. If you are able to navigate complicated interfaces, Datadog is a great option. For the less tech-savvy however, it may require a steep learning curve.
Datadog offers simple monitoring tests run from a wide range of locations at different intervals. You have the option to run tests either from the cloud, or your private location to monitor the performance of your webpage or app from behind your firewall. This is also an opportunity to see how users experience your site both in and out of your network.
Plans start at $5 per month for 10k tests. There is also an option for a 14-day free trial. Datadog recently and notably experienced issues with their services, so we would recommend checking their current status before going further with them.
Checkly is easy to use. It uses a headless recorder, so you can record your web tests in under a minute without having to write any new code or tweak your site.
Checkly starts at $7 per month with the option of a 30-day free trial.
Uptrends goal is to provide a transparent and simple insight into your users end experience. Featuring 223 checkpoints, Upcheck lets you run simulated tests from all over the world. This makes it a strong choice for sites and apps that boast a large international audience. It will catch any issues that occur from any of these locations and even provide a screenshot.
After you sign up Uptrends provides a ready to go monitoring dashboard so you can get to work. Uptrends was founded in 2007 and has since been adopted by companies like Vimeo and Zendesk. Plans start at $15 a month with the option of a 30-day free trial.
Pingdom is among the most specialized tools on this list. While other platforms provide a range of services, Pingom only does synthetic and real user monitoring. With this specialization comes downsides. Pingdom requires a fair amount of programming knowledge to make their multi-steps test function. If you swing it, it’s a fine and popular tool for testing your website.
Pingdom has unique features like fast test intervals ranging from 5 minutes to 24 seconds and full transaction monitoring. If you choose to try Pingdom, you can use website transaction monitoring instead of traditional script.
Pingdom is a popular tool, used by companies like Slack, Pagerduty and VictorOps. Plans range anywhere from $45 to $249 per month after a 14-day free trial.
19. New Relic
New Relic Synthetics is a synthetic monitoring software that provides detailed tests that give you data on potential user error before it occurs. It uses a Java-like script language to build advanced tests and show you problems quicker. Make sure your most crucial transactions are running at top speed with tests alerting you of problems in seconds.
New Relic is able to test from eight locations around the world, including your private location to make sure things are functioning behind your firewall. New Relic is a popular tool with a robust community of developers for whenever questions arise.
After a free trial, plans for New Relic start at $59 per month.
20. ManageEngine Applications Manager
ManageEngine provides a wide assortment of synthetic monitoring features including synthetic transaction monitoring. This is good news for ecommerce businesses who expect to have users filling out complicated transaction forms. You can automate testing scripts making it easy to run tests while you get on with other tasks.
ManageEngine has a comprehensive dashboard that will send alerts to your team if any mishaps arise during the test. This dashboard gives live feedback and each action’s results are written on log files. They offer on premises and cloud based monitoring so there’s no need to waste time installing if you don’t want to. There are several plans to pick from, some free, some paid. Get a quote on their website after your 30 day free trial.
Choosing the Best Synthetic Monitoring Tool For You
With numerous options for synthetic monitoring solutions, it can be difficult to know where to start. We hope this list is able to provide some perspective and help you pick the tool that’s right for you. Synthetic monitoring is an excellent way to test business-critical functions on your site before it goes live to real users and throughout your development process. The benefits of proactive synthetic monitoring are clear, and synthetic monitoring can continue to take place alongside real user monitoring while your site is up and running.
If you think synthetic monitoring is right for your project, try synthetic monitoring with Dotcom-Monitor and see our comprehensive dashboard with everything you need to ensure success for your websites and web applications. Schedule a one-on-one demo to see how Dotcom-Monitor leads the monitoring industry.