I’ve been using Pingdom for at least 3 years already because they provide really good service and also the 1 minute checks from locations all over the world. I used to have problems sending SMS as notification and Pingdom’s support team fixed the problem really quick plus they even compensated more SMS credits to my account. I’ve always been using the Basic account because that is the cheapest plan they had back then. It’s pretty much a waste since I only have one blog site to monitor when the basic account offers checks on 5 websites.
My Pingdom account has just expired end of February and was billed $119.40 for a new invoice. I’ve just paid few thousand dollars for a years’ dedicated server at NetDepot and is really feeling the pinch for fork out another hundred bucks for a monitoring service. Moreover Adsense has stopped serving ads to this website and the revenue that is generated from other advertising companies is barely enough to cover the cost of this server. So I canceled my Pingdom account temporarily and thought that maybe I will re-sign up again at a later time when I have enough funds.
To my surprise I found out that Pingdom has started offering FREE accounts along with 20 SMS but limited to only monitor ONE website. Pingdom Free account is fine with me because I only have 1 website to monitor and can save money.
What I like about Pingdom is the control panel is easy to use and understand and most importantly it does 1 minute checks from different locations around the world. For me, I set Pingdom to check for a certain keyword on my blog site every minute and only notify me via SMS and email if detected 11 consecutive check errors (10 minutes).
Other than checking for downtimes, Pingdom can also check how responsive is your website. Even if you only have FTP or mail server, Pingdom can check TCP ports (21 for FTP) and also SMTP, POP3, IMAP. The TCP port check makes it possible to check nearly everything including a game server such as Counter-Strike that is normally on port 27015.
The important requirement to keep your free Pingdom account alive is to log in to the Pingdom control panel at least once every 90 days. If you’re not good at remembering things, the easiest way is to install a free app by Pingdom called Pingdom Desktop Notifier that runs in the background and notifies you if your website is down. This application connects to your control panel so you can get more information about an outage and access more Pingdom features such as our various reports.
If you think about it, you can register 5 free accounts and you’re able to monitor 5 websites. It’s doable but it’s wrong under Pingdom’s terms of service. One of the terms is “Only one free account per person or legal entity is allowed“. If they catch you using two or more free accounts, you will risk your accounts being terminated. Blacklisting your account is fine because you can always use a new email address and contact information, just don’t blacklist the IP or website that you want to monitor…
So far I can’t find any better free uptime monitoring service than Pingdom. Sign up FREE Pingdom account from this link.