On my working desk I wanted to have an always-on screen with the current status of the systems and KPIs that I am monitoring all the time. Of course I did not want to run a PC all the time, so I needed something “lighter”.
I also wanted something made from out-of-the-box systems, not an arduino system that I would need to solder together with the risk of hurting myself.
In this post I will share how I created my little desktop dashboard for around €350.
Today I have set up a custom sensor that reads out the wifi signal strength from the system, so I can now monitor the quality of my wireless network in 4 different areas of my house when I distribute the tablets in different rooms.
The sensor can be used with all Windows 10 PCs, laptops, or tablets, as long as they are connected to the network via wifi. It also displays the transmit and receive rate which the wifi module has chosen to connect to the access point and the wifi channel.
Many IT admins maintain not only one copper-based network, but also remote sites and wifi networks. To monitor these (more-or-less) remote locations our monitoring software PRTG Network Monitor offers the “remote probe” feature (other vendors call this polling engine, poller, agent, etc.). The user can create as many of them as desired at no additional cost.
The idea is to install a small piece of software on a PC at the remote location. Then it connects to the central monitoring server, receives its configuration, starts monitoring and sends results to the monitoring server.
When you need a cheap and simple system to run a remote probe for PRTG Network Monitor there are a neat option: Buy a €169 Mini-PC that comes with a Windows 10 Home license! Setting up a Probe takes only minutes and with the latest PRTG version it is almost completely automated. Over the weekend I did exactly this at home in my living room and filmed it.