Ports are numerical identifiers in host to host communications. Most users have probably heard of TCP and UDP ports before, likely when they had to configure their router or firewall to allow or block specific ports on a computer system.
This can for instance be necessary when you are hosting or playing multiplayer computer games or trying to set up a server of sorts in a network.
Port Alert is a freeware port monitor that can be used to constantly monitor specific ports and notify the user if a port is not accessible. The program supports both local and remote systems.
You have to enter a host name or IP address, a port and a description for each computer and port combination that you want to monitor using the Port Alert application.
Common ports like port 80 or 21 can be selected directly from the selection menu but you can also add any other custom port number not listed directly by the program to monitor it.
The port monitor will send a query to each url that you have added every 10 seconds by default, a value that can be changed in the program's settings. This should probably be changed to less frequent checks if ports on a third party server are checked with the program.
The alert settings hold the configuration for email and sms alerts as well with email alerts requiring mail server information and sms alerts a membership at the developer's site.
You can furthermore add a program or script that you want executed whenever a port check fails. This can be among other things a script that restarts a server.
A click on the Start Monitor button will start the port checks in the defined interval. Port Alert placed the wrong program shortcut in the Windows Start Menu during our tests. We had to run it from the program directory instead.
The TCP port monitor worked fine otherwise. It can be downloaded from the developer's website.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.