Pingdom Introduce Free Server Monitoring

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Last month, I did a side-by-side review of five of the big uptime monitoring services. Since then, Pingdom announced a major change that changes the game completely.

Pingdom (previously a paid-only service, now offers free accounts. Most amazing is that the free accounts come with 20 free SMS alerts (more can be added if desired) and also allows users to set the interval for their checks to as little as one minute. Most services offering free server monitoring offer intervals of 30 minutes or more.

The only drawback of the free Pingdom account is that it can only track one site at a time. If you want to track more sites, you have pay to upgrade your service, either $10/month for a basic account, which allows up to five sites, or $40 per month to check up to 30.

Pingdom has drastically changed the server monitoring field by going from one of the more expensive, premium services, to offering a compelling free alternative that is actually more powerful than many paid ones.

Is the Free Server Monitoring Plan Right for You?

Most Webmasters, bloggers and others that run a single site or a single server probably won’t need to use any other service beyond Pingdom’s free account. One check is more than adequate and the check itself is very robust in terms of customizability including the means to check any port, including both secure connections and email servers, log into a protected Web site, look for a specific text string in the HTML (to track tampering) and even create a custom User-Agent for the bot.

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The checks from from ten different locations all over the world, which are used to check the site in sequence and, all in all, it offers a more robust uptime monitoring service than some paid ones.

Many, including myself, are a likely going to drop their paid checks in favor of Pingdom as it offers more features, smaller intervals and a better reputation, now at the perfect price.

Are My Sites Up Launches iPhone Apps

Also on the topic of server and site monitoring, another company has also made waves with a new iPhone app. Are My Sites Up has launched an upgraded iPhone app, version 2.5.1, which now comes in two flavors, Lite, which is for free users, and full, which is for those with any paid account.

The full version removes ads and adds Push notifications, eliminating the need for SMS text alerts to be sent out to iPhone users for instant notification. The Lite version, does not have this feature.

The Are My Sites Up app is the first server monitoring application for the iPhone to use Push technology and may open the door for other applications to try a similar scheme. Currently though, even the highest level of paid account at Are My Sites Up only offers 15 minute intervals on their monitoring, meaning that many will still want to use Pingdom’s free account and deal with Pingdom’s more limited iPhone app.

Bottom Line

It’s an exciting time for server monitoring. The tools are becoming more powerful and more affordable every day and above are just two examples of this.

For me personally, I’m going to unsubscribe from my paid monitoring services in favor of Pingdom’s new free one and I’ve also installed their iPhone app to help me keep on top of my site’s uptime.

Many will do the same but this trend of better tools at cheaper prices will only continue. We already have one of the most powerful monitoring systems available for free so it will be interesting to see where things go from here.

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