4 Key Metrics to Monitor in Your Network

Network performance isn’t just something you should keep an eye on. If you’re working with any sort of network–or providing a network for others to use–network monitoring is a must to ensure performance is up to snuff.

For those who don’t know, network monitoring is collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data from your computer network to keep an eye on its performance and health. This can range from public networks like the internet to private networks within a workplace. By staying on top of key metrics, you can avoid issues in the future, such as down time or slow connection speeds.

There are many areas that factor into network monitoring. For now, let’s look at four of the most common ones you should be aware of: Latency, Bandwidth, Packet Loss, and Throughput.


Latency is the measure of time it takes for data to reach its destination in a network. Latency is usually measured by its round trip delay, which is counting the milliseconds it takes for data to go to its destination and come back.

Funnily enough, most users don’t often even realized there’s a delay in latency, but that’s no reason to ignore it. Delays can ultimately have a big impact on performance—constant delays or spikes in delay times are a sign of problems in the network and should be fixed as soon as possible.


You’ve likely heard this term thrown around if you’ve done any work with computers. Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that a network can transmit within a specific time frame. It’s typically measured in bits per second (bps).

Often, bandwidth can be reduced if multiple devices are using one network. This can result in slower network speeds and loading times. If you download a tool to measure your bandwidth, it will likely focus on bandwidth usage or utilization. This shows you the percentage of available bandwidth that’s being used, and you can then see where most of your bandwidth is being used and adjust usage accordingly.

Packet Loss

When data is sent between computer networks, it’s organized in “packets” that are sent separately and then recombined when it reaches its destination. But not all packets end up making it from point A to point B, especially if there are issues in the network that need diagnosing.

Packet loss is what happens when a number of packets are sent out successfully but end up dropped during transmission, never reaching their destination.Of course, losing data packets is a sign that something is wrong with your network. Generally, over 3% packet loss means that your network is not working at optimal levels, but even 1% packet loss warrants an investigation.


When you see a provider offering “High Speed Internet”, they’re not actually focused on speed alone. Rather, they’re advertising the throughput traveling between computers over their network.

Like latency, throughput is a measure of data moving from one place to another in a certain amount of time. However, throughput measures the amount of data moving. It’s influenced by the three other metrics we mentioned above: latency, bandwidth, and packet loss.

There are a few different ways to measure throughput, but the easiest is with a speed test–which entails your device putting out as much information as possible through your network and seeing how quickly it makes it to its destination. 

Now that you know what metrics to monitor in your network, how do you continue to keep track of them? A fully dedicated IT team could monitor kpi’s for network health, but most people or companies don’t have the resources for an entire tech department.

You might want to consider investing in network monitoring software–that way, technology can do the work for you when it comes to maintaining your network. You’ll be able to better keep track of your own performance to ensure your getting–and giving–the best possible output on your network.

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