PRTG Manual: HTTP Content Sensor

The HTTP Content sensor monitors a numerical value returned by a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) request. In the returned HTML page, each value must be placed between square brackets [ ].

Limited to 50 Sensor Channels

PRTG does not support more than 50 sensor channels officially. Depending on the data used with this sensor type, you might exceed the maximum number of supported sensor channels. In this case, PRTG will try to display all sensor channels. However, please be aware that you will experience limited usability and performance.

Add Sensor

The Add Sensor dialog appears when adding a new sensor on a device manually. It only shows the setting fields that are imperative for creating the sensor. Therefore, you will not see all setting fields in this dialog. You can change all settings in the sensor's Settings tab later.

The following settings for this sensor differ in the 'Add Sensor' dialog in comparison to the sensor's settings page:

HTTP Specific

Value Type

Define what kind of values your HTML file gives back. Choose between:

  • Integer: An integer is expected as return value.
  • Float: A float is expected as return value, with a dot (.) between pre-decimal position and decimal places. In this setting, the sensor will also display integer values unless they don't produce a buffer overflow.

Note: The sensor cannot handle string values.

Number of Channels

Define how many values your HTML file gives back. Each value will be handled in its own sensor channel. Each value must be placed between square brackets [ ]. Enter the number of bracket-value pairs that will be returned at the defined URL. Note: Do not enter a number less than the number of values returned. Otherwise you will get an error message.

Sensor Settings

On the sensor's details page, click on the Settings tab to change settings.

Note: If not set explicitly in a sensor's settings, it will connect to the IP Address or DNS Name defined in the settings of the parent device the sensor is created on.

Basic Sensor Settings

Sensor Name

Enter a meaningful name to identify the sensor. The name will be shown by default in the device tree and in all alarms.


Enter one or more tags, separated by space or comma. You can use tags to group sensors and use tag-filtered views later on. Tags are not case sensitive. We recommend using the default value. You can add additional tags to it, if you like. Other tags are automatically inherited from objects further up in the device tree. Those are not visible here.


Select a priority for the sensor. This setting determines where the sensor will be placed in sensor lists. Top priority will be at the top of a list. You can choose from one star (low priority) to five stars (top priority).

HTTP Specific

Timeout (Sec.)

Enter a timeout in seconds for the HTTP request. If the reply takes longer than this value the request is aborted and an error message is triggered. The maximum value is 900 seconds (15 minutes).

Script URL

Please enter the URL the sensor will connect to. If you enter an absolute URL, this address will be independent from the IP address/DNS name setting of the device this sensor is created on. PRTG uses a smart URL replacement which allows you to use the parent device's IP address/DNS name setting as part of the URL. For more information, please see section Smart URL Replacement below.

Value Type

The kind of values the HTML file gives back. Once a sensor is created this value cannot be changed. It is shown for reference purposes only. If you need to change this, please add the sensor anew.

SSL Specific

SSL Method

This setting is relevant only when using https in the URL field. We recommend using the default value. If you experience connection problems, please select another SSL method from the list. Choose between:

  • SSL V2
  • SSL V2 or V3: This is the default setting.
  • SSL V3
  • TLS V1

Note: Other TLS versions are not supported.

Note: This sensor type implicitly supports Server Name Identification (SNI), an extension to the TLS protocol.

Advanced Sensor Data

Content Changes

Define what will be done in case the content of the monitored web page changes. You can choose between:

  • Ignore changes: No action will be taken on change.
  • Trigger 'change' notification: The sensor will send an internal message indicating that the web page content has changed. In combination with a Change Trigger, you can use this mechanism to trigger a notification whenever the web page content changes.

Sensor Result

Define what will be done with the results the sensor receives. Choose between:

  • Discard sensor result: Do not store the results.
  • Write sensor result to disk (Filename: "Result of Sensor (ID].txt"): Store the last result received to the "Logs (Sensors)" directory (on the Master node, if in a cluster). This is for debugging purposes. The file will be overridden with each scanning interval. For information on how to find the folder used for storage, please see Data Storage section.



Define if the web page at the configured URL need authentication. Choose between:

  • No authentication needed
  • Web page needs authentication


This field is only visible if authentication is enabled above. Enter a username. Please enter a string.


This field is only visible if authentication is enabled above. Enter a password. Please enter a string.

Authentication Method

This field is only visible if authentication is enabled above. Please select the authentication method the given URL is protected with. Choose between:

  • Basic access authentication (HTTP): Use simple HTTP authentication. This is the default setting and suitable for most cases. Note: This authentication method will transmit credentials as plain text!
  • Windows NT LAN Manager (NTLM): Use the Microsoft NTLM protocol for authentication. This is sometimes used in Intranets for single sign-on.

We recommend using the default value.

Sensor Display

Primary Channel

Select a channel from the list to define it as the primary channel. In the device tree, the last value of the primary channel will always be displayed underneath the sensor's name. The available options depend on what channels are available for this sensor. Note: You can set another primary channel later by clicking on the pin symbol of a channel in the sensor's overview tab.

Chart Type

Define how different channels will be shown for this sensor.

  • Show channels independently (default): Show an own graph for each channel.
  • Stack channels on top of each other: Stack channels on top of each other to create a multi-channel graph. This will generate an easy-to-read graph which visualizes the different components of your total traffic. Note: This option cannot be used in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the Sensor Channels Settings settings).

Stack Unit

This setting is only available if stacked graphs are selected above. Choose a unit from the list. All channels with this unit will be stacked on top of each other. By default, you cannot exclude single channels from stacking, if they use the selected unit. However, there is an advanced procedure to do so.


At the URL a PHP script is giving back the current system status in a simple HTML page, as follows:

  Description: Script gives back current status of disk free (%) and CPU usage (%).

You would configure the HTTP Content sensor using the mentioned script URL, value type Float, and number of channels 2. The sensor will call the URL with every scanning interval and only regard the two values in square brackets [ ], handling each of them in one sensor channel. The additional description text and HTML tags are not necessary; in this example they are added in case a human calls the URL.

Note: If you define the number of channels as 1, only the first value will be read by the sensor; the second value will be ignored. Using 3 as number of channels will result in a sensor error message.

Inherited Settings

By default, all following settings are inherited from objects higher in the hierarchy and should be changed there, if necessary. Often, best practice is to change them centrally in the Root group's settings. To change a setting for this object, disable inheritance by clicking on the check mark symbol in front of the respective setting name. You will then see the options described below.

Proxy Settings for HTTP Sensors

HTTP Proxy Settings

The proxy settings determine how a sensor connects to a given URL. You can enter data for a proxy server that will be used when connecting via HTTP or HTTPS. Note: This setting is valid for the monitoring only and determines the behavior of sensors. In order to change proxy settings for the core server, please see System Administration—Core & Probes.


Enter the IP address or DNS name of the proxy server to use. If you leave this field empty, no proxy will be used.


Enter the port number of the proxy. Often, port 8080 is used. Please enter an integer value.


If the proxy requires authentication, enter the username for the proxy login. Note: Only basic authentication is available! Please enter a string or leave the field empty.


If the proxy requires authentication, enter the password for the proxy login. Note: Only basic authentication is available! Please enter a string or leave the field empty.

Scanning Interval

Scanning Interval

The scanning interval determines the time the sensor waits between two scans. Select a scanning interval (seconds, minutes, or hours) from the list. You can change the available intervals in the system administration.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

Note: Inheritance for schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows cannot be interrupted; the according settings from the parent objects will always be active. However, you can define additional settings here. They will be active in parallel to the parent objects' settings.


Select a schedule from the list. Schedules can be used to monitor for a certain time span (days, hours) throughout the week. With the period list option it is also possible to pause monitoring for a specific time span. You can create new schedules and edit existing ones in the account settings. Note: Schedules are generally inherited. New schedules will be added to existing ones, so all schedules are active.

Maintenance Window

Specify if you want to set-up a one-time maintenance window. During a maintenance window this object and all child objects will not be monitored. They will enter a paused state then. Choose between:

  • Not set (monitor continuously): No maintenance window will be set.
  • Set up a one-time maintenance window: Pause monitoring within a maintenance window.

Maintenance Begins At

This field is only visible if maintenance window is enabled above. Use the date time picker to enter the start date and time of the maintenance window.

Maintenance End At

This field is only visible if maintenance window is enabled above. Use the date time picker to enter the end date and time of the maintenance window.

Dependency Type

Define a dependency type. Dependencies can be used to pause monitoring for an object depending on the status of another. You can choose between:

  • Use parent: Pause the current sensor if the device it is created on is in a Down status, or if it is paused by another dependency.
  • Select object: Pause the current sensor if the device it is created on is in an Down status, or if it is paused by another dependency. Additionally, pause the current sensor if a specific other object in the device tree is in a Down status, or if it is paused by another dependency. Select below.
  • Master object for parent: Make this sensor the master object for its parent device. The sensor will influence the behavior of the device it is created on: If the sensor is in a Down status, the device will be paused. For example, it is a good idea to make a Ping sensor the master object for its parent device to pause monitoring for all other sensors on the device in case the device cannot even be pinged. Additionally, the sensor will be paused if the parent group of its parent device is in a Down status, or if it is paused by another dependency.

Note: Testing your dependencies is easy! Simply choose Simulate Error Status from the context menu of an object that other objects depend on. A few seconds later all dependent objects should be paused.


This field is only visible if the select object option is enabled above. Click on the reading-glass symbol and use the object selector to choose an object on which the current sensor will be dependent on.

Delay (Seconds)

Define a time span. After the master object for this dependency comes back to an Up status, monitoring of the depending objects will be additionally delayed by the defined time span. This can help avoid false alarms, for example, after a server restart, by giving systems more time for all services to start up. Please enter an integer value in seconds. Note: This setting is not available if you choose this sensor to be the Master object for parent. In this case, please define delays in the parent Device Settings or the superior Group Settings.

Access Rights

User Group Access

Define which user group(s) will have access to the object you're editing. A table with user groups and right is shown; it contains all user groups from your setup. For each user group you can choose from the following access rights:

  • Inherited: Use the settings of the parent object.
  • None: Users in this group cannot see or edit the object. The object does not show up in lists and in the device tree. Exception: If a child object is visible to the user, the object is visible in the device tree, though not accessible.
  • Read: Users in this group can see the object and review its monitoring results.
  • Write: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, and edit the object's settings. They cannot edit access rights settings.
  • Full: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, edit the object's settings, and edit access rights settings.

You can create new user groups in the System Administration—User Groups settings. To automatically set all objects further down in the hierarchy to inherit this object's access rights, set a check mark for the Revert children's access rights to inherited option.

For more details about access rights, please see section User Access Rights.

Smart URL Replacement

Instead of entering a complete address in the URL field of an HTTP sensor, you can merely enter the protocol followed by colon and three slashes (that means you can enter either http:/// or https:/// or even a simple slash / as equivalent for http:///). PRTG will then fill in the parent device's IP address or DNS name in front of the third slash automatically. Whether this results in a valid URL or not, depends on the IP address or DNS name of the device where this HTTP sensor is created on. In combination with cloning devices, the smart URL replacement makes it easy to create many like devices.

For example, if you create a device with DNS name and you put an HTTP sensor on it, you can provide values the following ways:

  • Providing the value https:/// in the URL field, PRTG will automatically create the URL from that.
  • Using the value /help in the URL field, PRTG will automatically create and monitor the URL
  • It is also possible to provide a port number in the URL field which will be taken over by the device's DNS name and internally added, for example, http://:8080/

Note: Smart URL replacement does not work for sensors running on the "Probe Device".


Knowledge Base article: How can I monitor internal values of a web application with PRTG?


Edit Sensor Channels

In order to change display settings, spike filter, and limits, please switch to the sensor's Overview tab and click on the gear icon of a specific channel. For detailed information, please see Sensor Channels Settings section.


Click on the Notifications tab to change notification triggers. For detailed information, please see Sensor Notifications Settings section.


For more general information about settings, please see Object Settings section.

Sensor Settings Overview

For information about sensor settings, please see the following sections: