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9 Best Real User Monitoring Tools and How to Choose One [2023 Review]

The most important thing we can do as software-based businesses is stay in control of our user’s experience. This means knowing how users are interacting with our sites and tracking the end-users level of satisfaction.

But this is impossible to do without a monitoring strategy and the proper tools. The tools you need to accomplish this are called real user monitoring solutions, or RUM

RUM tools give you data directly from the users’ sessions. This helps us understand how our web app or website is performing in the real world.

RUM tools can help you find slow pages or screens that make your customers run in the direction of your competitors.

In this post, we will explore what are the best RUM tools available today and explain what you need to know before investing in one.

8 Best End User Experience Monitoring Tools

If you’re in the market for a RUM solution, here is a list comparing 8 of the best real user monitoring (RUM) tools:

1. Sematext Experience

Sematext Experience is a real user monitoring solution that offers 100% visibility into your website or web app that affects your users’ experience.

Here is what puts Sematext on the top of our list:

Sematext Experience allows you to inspect individual sessions to get page-level specifics. This helps assess the user’s satisfaction to prevent customer loss due to poor performance.

Furthermore, you can set up alerts for Apdex score, script errors, and page load time and receive real-time notifications whenever performance anomalies are detected. this, in turn, will enable you to troubleshoot issues faster.

Sematext Experience

Analyze real user session data and increase customer satisfaction

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Sematext Experience was designed so DevOps and BizOps can work together. Having easy access to all your actionable data provides your whole team with in-depth insights. With this data, effectual decisions can be made with ease to ensure your customers are always satisfied.

Pricing

  • From $9/mo

Pros

  • Combine the power of metrics, logs, and end-user monitoring under one roof with Sematext Cloud
  • First-class support for popular frontend frameworks such as React, Ember, and Angular
  • URL grouping for both page-load events and HTTP requests
  • Powerful cost control using data sampling
  • Has a solution for synthetic monitoring
  • Error tracking

Check out the video below to learn more about Sematext’s real user monitoring tool, Experience:


2. Dynatrace RUM

Part of Dynatrace’s digital experience monitoring toolset, Dynatrace RUM is a powerful website monitoring service that offers complete real-time visibility of customer experience. You can monitor the activity of all mobile and web application users across all devices and browsers to assess and improve user satisfaction.

With Dynatrace RUM you can also collect business-relevant metrics, allowing you to correlate performance issues with potential business impact.

Features

  • Map the whole user journey
  • Replay individual customer sessions
  • Business-relevant, user transaction monitoring
  • Real-time AI-based analysis

Pricing

  • Available on request

Pros

  • Intuitive non-technical dashboard usability
  • Interactive interfaces and visual reports for ROI tracking
  • Mobile monitoring breakdowns

Cons

  • Reportedly pricey
  • The UI can be overwhelming at first

3. AppDynamics Browser RUM

AppDynamics’s RUM tool tracks customers’ journey to provide full visibility into their interaction with your webapp. You receive browser-user insights to help you optimize web experiences. Self-learning algorithms use the app’s behavior to dynamically baseline web metrics with automatic anomaly detection and resolution.

Features

  • Real-time intelligent alerting
  • Backend and frontend monitoring in same solution
  • Business transaction correlation
  • Browser snapshot waterfalls
  • Dynamic performance baselining

Pricing

  • Available in two options: Lite (free) version and Pro version. Pricing available on request

Pros

  • Free training
  • Self-learning platform

Cons

  • Reportedly pricey

4. New Relic Browser

New Relic is mostly known for their APM tool, but they completed their monitoring tools set with a RUM solution, New Relic Browser.

New Relic Browser has advanced RUM features that give you access to insights from the users’ perspective by focusing on browser performance. It monitors the entire life cycle of a page or a view, from the moment users enter the app until they disconnect.

Features

  • Browser Pageviews and Page Load Times
  • Java Errors and Instance details
  • AJAX Timing and Call Reports
  • Browser Session Traces
  • Filterable Geography Analytics
  • Route changes in apps with single page application (SPA) architecture
  • Individual session performance

Pricing

  • Pricing information available on request. Also has a free (Lite) version with fewer features

Pros

  • Synthetic monitoring option available

Cons

  • Most features are available for Pro accounts only
  • Reports are not very comprehensive
  • Missing detailed HTTP resources metrics

5. Pingdom

Pingdom is a unified performance monitoring tool that brings together transaction, uptime, and real user monitoring.

Pingdom allows you to filter data from specific users to get greater insights on the regional performance of your website and make optimizations to deliver a better experience to your most valuable users. It’s highly scalable, allowing you to monitor millions of pageviews without compromising your data.

Features

  • Tailored incident management
  • Real-time data and alerting
  • Website and server monitoring
  • Mobile accessibility

Pricing

  • The basic setup starts at $10/month, up to $199 – $15,000

Pros

  • Customizable, fast and comprehensive alerting and reporting
  • Synthetic and end user monitoring
  • Notifications to multiple destinations (text message, email)

Cons

  • Expensive if you increase volume or scale up as there is no data sampling available
  • No error tracking or error management

6. Akamai mPulse

Akamai mPulse (former SOASTA) lets you dive deep into performance and error analyses to understand their impact on user experience metrics such as conversions or pageviews. That way, you can discover website performance issues, as well as optimization opportunities using data straight from the user’s browser.

Features

  • Real-time alerting
  • Advanced and custom metrics monitoring
  • Single page application support
  • Third-party visibility

Pricing

  • Available on request

Pros

  • Single page application support

Cons

  • Tends to be slow at times
  • No support for error tracking

7. Raygun Real User Monitoring

With Raygun’s RUM tool you can see how visitors are interacting with your applications, as well as detect, diagnose, and solve performance bottlenecks they encounter along the way. Raygun works with real-time data from every user session and suggests the most “profitable” improvements you can make to ensure a smooth web experience.

Features

  • Error tracking support
  • User tracking
  • Single page application support
  • Insights

Pricing

  • Starts at $80/month

Pros

  • Individual session traces
  • Detailed user-centric profiles
  • Simple and easy to use interface

Cons

  • No log management solution that would allow you to bring RUM and logs under one roof

8. TeamViewer Web Monitoring (former Monitis)

TeamViewer Web Monitoring is a real user monitoring solution will give you detailed information on the users’ browser and platform performance, page load times, geographic user breakdown, and more.

This solution stands out from the crowd by featuring a fully customizable pricing scheme that allows its users to pick and choose what features they want to use. While they do have a Basic plan with fixed monthly fees, they also offer a custom plan, meaning the final monthly price will be based on the total number of customizations you choose.

Features

  • Generous amount of Basic Monitors
  • Multiple Check Locations
  • Multiple Check Frequencies
  • Support for HTTP, HTTPS, ICMP protocols
  • Webpage content check
  • Instant alerts

Pricing

  • Fixed monthly fee

Pros

  • Ensure business critical processes like your web shop and registrations are working
  • Get detailed information for every step of your process funnel
  • Check your transactions automatically from 30+ locations

Cons

  • Bulk creation of alerts could use some improvements
  • The tool could use some additional optimization
  • Email alert handling could be improved

9. Datadog Real User Monitoring

Datadog’s real user monitoring tool provides complete visibility into individual users’ real-time behavior and activity. The solution addresses four sorts of use cases for web and mobile application monitoring. It allows you to monitor individual user journeys and how users interact with your application, tracking performance and all of the information related to a user session such as duration, visited pages, loaded resources etc.

Features

  • Explorer and visualizations
  • Integration with logs, APM, and profiler
  • Error tracking and crash reporting
  • Web and mobile vitals
  • Web view tracking

Pricing

  • Pricing based on usage

Pros

  • Simple interface that is very clean, useful and effective
  • Dashboard screens packed with graphs
  • Dependency mapping

Cons

  • Navigation can sometimes be counterintuitive
  • Finding the right metric or dashboard can be challenging
  • Documentation is lacking in some places

How to Choose a Real User Monitoring Tool

Now that you’ve compared what each RUM tool offers, here are some points you need to consider before making a decision and a process you can follow on how to decide what end user experience monitoring tool is a good fit for you:

Features

As with any other tool, make it a priority to compare RUM solutions by features and functionalities. The most basic RUM tool should be able to:

  • Capture user journey (logical transactions)
  • Capture standard W3C Navigation metrics
  • Track errors and crash reports
  • Monitor your Apdex score
  • Monitor HTTP requests
  • Monitor HTTP resources
  • Measure the Core Web Vitals

Advanced RUM capabilities help to optimize business processes. If that’s your goal, look for a tool that can:

  • Capture user data, including geolocation, device type, browser, OS, etc.
  • Identify performance trends and outages
  • Generate intuitive alerts to reduce MTTR (Mean Time to Resolve)
  • Notify teams in case of performance anomalies
  • Detect application processes in need of improvement.
  • Combine the power of logs, RUM, infrastructure, and application monitoring under one roof.

Ease of Use

RUM solutions are maturing, adapting to the rapid growth of the software industry thus becoming more and more complex.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be just as complex to use and understand. Usually, all you need to do to implement RUM is add a small JavaScript snippet to your website, for example to the head tag on your pages.

Before deciding on a tool, understand how you can integrate it with your app, what are the requirements for implementation, what environments are supported, and if you can use it with mobile apps as well.

Standalone vs. Integrated Solutions

There are many processes that you can monitor to ensure end-to-end visibility into how your application or website performs and just as many tools. RUM is one of those tools. It helps keep an eye on your end users’ digital experience in real time and provides actionable insights into every aspect of your website or webapp performance. Discover what exactly can RUM tools can monitoring from our blog post about key real user metrics you should measure.

Each tool down the line has its purpose, but you can choose any combination that makes more sense to your monitoring strategy – you can use RUM alone or integrate it with other monitoring tools, such as synthetic monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, or application performance monitoring tool. We do recommend you choose a tool that encompasses more than one observability product.

Data Reporting and Visualization

The built-in reporting functionality of a RUM solution is critical. It makes a world of difference if you have various report types you can choose from, as well as other custom reporting functions that help you build meaningful and comprehensive reports.

At the same time, check how easy it is to work with RUM data. It should allow you to export data in a format that can be easily integrated and displayed by other external tools such as dashboards.

Along with the reporting feature, a RUM tool should also come with data visualization capabilities. Without mapping out data in charts and graphs, it’s difficult to spot performance trends and anomalies.

Data Handling

RUM tools are different in terms of how often they collect data, how long they store it, and how exactly they capture and report it.

Frequency can vary from 24 hours to under 5 minutes. While daily updates have historical value, near real-time data is relevant for active operations management.

Being able to view data over long periods of time is very valuable to performance analysis as it enables you to evaluate historical and current trends.

You should also learn how the RUM tool collects data. For instance, if it’s capturing and reporting every visit, or it’s reporting only a certain number of visits. Being able to use data sampling can also have a big impact on costs.

Licensing Options

There are various RUM license models available on the market. Understanding the differences between them will help you choose one that covers your monitoring needs and saves you money.

Depending on your monitoring needs, you can opt to use a RUM solution alone or in combination with other tracking tools, like synthetic monitoring tools or different types of website monitoring services. On that note, some vendors offer standalone RUM solutions, while others include RUM for free as part of a digital experience monitoring tools package.

Other RUM services are based on end user defined sampling to reduce license costs. They collect a subset of data instead of every page in the app.

What RUM Tool Will You Use?

It’s not enough to deliver a great app or website if you don’t make sure your users also have a pleasant experience. That means no performance issues, as they can easily turn around and go back the way they came, thus affecting your goals. There are many website optimization tips you can apply to improve the experience, one of them being using a RUM tool such as Sematext Experience.

Investing in a good RUM solution will pay off in no time. However, RUM doesn’t replace traditional synthetic testing. Instead, it complements it by adding another facet to monitoring and giving DevOps teams more complete visibility.

Real user monitoring, along with logs and metrics helps paint a more complete picture of what your website or webapp is doing at any time. By combining them under one roof, you cover all the angles prone to performance anomalies and get in-depth, actionable insights faster. If this is your use case, you should look for a full-stack observability solution, such as Sematext Cloud, that helps you stay in control of how happy your customers are.

Sign-up for the 14-day free trial to see what Sematext Experience can do for you. And if you want to explore the benefits of a full-stack monitoring solution, adding logs and metrics to your dashboard is as easy as a few clicks away.

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