One of the most important measurements of any online service is it’s uptime or availability, to that extent we’ll be taking a look at uptime robot a deceptively simple service with an excellent pricing structure. I have been using the service since 2014 and it has only improved, including the launch of a new app during the writing of this review.
Uptime robot is a simple service that offers checks against an IP or port to verify connectivity and response time, with the capability for a wide variety of notifications. I’ve utilized the port monitoring capability extensively both at work and home to monitor things such as my personal FTP site, and this website. This combined with remote access tools allows me to respond to failures quickly should they occur.
Setup is simple and quick, you sign up with an email and verify your address a rather common procedure for online services. Once you’ve done this you’re presented with a blank dashboard, the interface that brings everything together I find this UI neat and brings almost all the desired information up at a glance. Adding a system is very easy through the “add monitor” tool presented at the top of your monitor list, I haven’t taken a chance to use the keyword monitor for anything yet and primarily use the HTTP and Port monitors they require an IP or hostname for the system in question and are straightforward.
Default checks are in 5 minute increments, as a free service with up to 50 monitors this is an impressive offering, faster checks(down to 1 minute) and more monitors are available as premium plans which start at increased checks only for 4.50/month and scale up to 20000 independent monitors with 1 minute checks for 746/month. Most users will be comfortable with the free 50 monitors as home or small business deployments both at home and work I currently have less than 20 monitors in both situations although i do leverage the increased frequency premium plan for business use.
Notifications are handled well with a wide variety of options, Alert contacts are managed under a users settings and can be assigned to monitors for notifications after being created, first party options include Email, Twitter, Web-Hook and Email to SMS(this leverages a carriers [email protected] gateway to send notifications as SMS for free) as well as Premium sms for unsupported carriers. There’s also a selection of third party notifications methods including slack boxcar pushover pushbuller and hipchat, these are added to on a regular basis and the developer is responsive if you don’t see your prefered method listed. The notifications themselves are simple and to the point including the monitor name and status, http monitors will also include the resulting error code received.
Overall the service is fantastic and the creator is responsive(I have spoken with him directly) things have continued to improve at a steady pace adding new notification mechanisms as well as more test servers(a complete list is available if you have to whitelist traffic from them) I would like to see some minor management improvements for bulk addition editing and grouping of systems within the UI however these are things that will surely come as the service grows.