graphic of a computer monitoring network metrics

Discover the Basics of NetFlow and How to Monitor Network Traffic like a Pro!

What is Netflow?

NetFlow, a protocol created by Cisco to measure and track the data traffic passing through a network device, is now widely used for monitoring networks. With it, one can quickly assess what types of information are entering or exiting their network and how much bandwidth they consume. This technology allows you to better understand your own infrastructure and gives administrators more significant insight into potential security threats.

The 3 Components of A NetFlow Protocol

NetFlow introduces a smooth yet efficient process to surpass other network monitoring systems, providing a deeper understanding of bandwidth usage. Three components collaborate to build the protocol of NetFlow, forming an all-encompassing portrait of your system’s traffic flow:

Through NetFlow’s exporters, packets are aggregated and their records are delivered to a flow collector. After the collector acquires this exported data, it is stored and pre-processed for further inspection.

Our advanced flow analytics application then evaluates the processed information in order to provide users with detailed insights about network traffic – from scrutinizing specific ports to determining bytes sent between two hosts!

How can NetFlow reveal the unseen to you?

Various types of information can be revealed, including:

  • View your network traffic with flow monitoring across all devices
  • Analyze your data by application, protocol, domain, and IPs for both sources and destinations
  • Top addresses, conversations, and autonomous systems.
  • Geolocation insights of all sources and destinations.

What are the Benefits of using Netflow Protocol?

NetFlow provides network administrators with the tools to identify, analyze and troubleshoot network performance problems. By monitoring traffic in real-time or over a given period of time, they can quickly detect and address any anomalies that could lead to security threats or bottlenecks. Additionally, it allows them to prioritize important applications and optimize their networks for improved performance.

Moreover, NetFlow helps network administrators to know what type of traffic is being used on their networks and its frequency. This insight can be combined with other security monitoring tools to prevent sophisticated attacks from happening in the future. With it, administrators can track user activities and identify any potential malicious or mischievous behavior before they cause significant damage to a system.

NetFlow for Cybersecurity

NetFlow is also useful for cybersecurity purposes. It can help organizations detect and monitor malicious activity on their networks, identify the source of attacks, and take appropriate action to prevent them from occurring in the future. With NetFlow’s data-driven approach, administrators can gain full visibility into who is accessing their network and which ports are being used. This can help them detect any suspicious activity such as:

  • Port scanning
  • Malware infections
  • Attacks based on IP address

How does NetFlow compare to SNMP?

IT professionals used to rely solely on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) for network monitoring and capacity planning. While SNMP is still widely utilized, it is not as effective at real-time management or providing detailed information about bandwidth usage like who’s using what and how much bandwidth they are consuming. Enter NetFlow: a more powerful tool with the capability of collecting data in real-time while giving visibility into which sources/destinations are communicating over the network, IP addresses that consume most traffic, application performance metrics, etc., allowing organizations to make informed decisions regarding their networks quickly.

If you’re dealing with a high volume of network traffic, NetFlow is the way to go. This push technology guarantees that your data will be available right away, so there’s no need for manual checks or waiting for set intervals like in SNMP pull technology. Plus, it offers greater detail on applications and IP sources which makes performance analysis more efficient and effective. With such impressive scalability capabilities, NetFlow is an ideal option when managing complex networks full of IP traffic.


In conclusion, NetFlow is a powerful network monitoring tool that provides administrators with detailed insights into the performance of their networks. It allows them to identify and troubleshoot any issues quickly and efficiently while also providing visibility into malicious activity on their systems. Compared to SNMP, it offers greater scalability capabilities as well as real-time data collection for more accurate analysis. If you’re dealing with high volumes of traffic or complex networks full of IPs, then leveraging the power of NetFlow is highly recommended in order to ensure your system remains secure and functions optimally at all times.