SYSLOG Vs SNMP – A detailed comparison review


SYSLOG and SNMP are two information systems that are designed to serve similar purposes, but do this with different end results. Which of the two would be a better pick for your organization?

SYSLOG and SNMP collect and monitor data in relation to the systems they are connected to, but take different approaches in handling the data. SYSLOG acts as more of a troubleshooting tool, making the data available for auditing and review purposes, in the vent that a query on the data is provided, while SNMP works as a tool for dealing with real time events, because of its active reporting nature. It is this major difference in functionality that forms the basis for most of their underlying differences, which makes them appeal to different users.

What are the differences between SYSLOG and SNMP?

Mechanism used
End device configuration
Sharing of data and events
Plain text
Binary format
Monitoring and troubleshooting
Monitoring and management
Centralized logs
Real-time SNMP traps
No mechanisms for authentication
More secure through SNMPv3
Port number
514 (UDP)
161 and 162 (UDP)

SYSLOG Vs SNMP- How do they compare?

Pull versus push mechanism

SYSLOG uses the push mechanism to operate which makes it a repository of information, which passively stays stored in the system until it is queried. This query has to be made by a user in order to receive more detailed information. On the other hand, SNMP uses the push mechanism, which makes the system active. This allows the SNMP server to send a request to the device in question immediately the information is made available, this makes it a better option because it is constantly updating and has great detail

Notification time

Its passive nature allows SYSLOG to collect data and store it in a centralized format got its log information. This data is not reported on to the user and is rather stored in the servers for historical purposes, and is released in the even that a query is made for detailed information. On the other hand, SNMP is an active system and sends requests to the device in use for information. It then alerts the user of any events in real time, making SNMP the better pick.

Security and reliability

SYSLOG and SNMP both have default TCP ports, which are known to be unreliable and insecure, compared to TCP. However, SNMP has as active system that which constantly polls the device in use to get real time information, hence it does not lose data compared to SYSLOG which is passive and has no ability to ensure that the data in transit reaches the server. Additionally, SYSLOG messages are unmonitored and do not give notifications on changes, hence can easily be tampered with, unlike SNMP messages which cannot be tampered with. Therefore SNMP is more reliable, ensuring that messages reach the server, and its data is far more secure than SYSLOG.

SYSLOG Vs SNMP- A comparison review


SYSLOG is a platform that works the message logging of even messages. It defines a standard for collecting the event information in regard to the system it is connected to, spanning various appliances and systems then storing it on a central server. The companies then use an SIEM solution to analyse the data and stay alerted on critical events within the system. It however lacks the ability to give continuous and consistent updates to the users. Its primary functionality can be stated as gathering logs for monitoring and troubleshooting.


  • Its user interface is easy to navigate
  • It has the ability to store file entry logs from multiple devices at a ago
  • It has a simple and fast implementation process
  • Its interface is easy to install
  • It offers a cheap solution to central logging


  • Its on demand reporting is a bit difficult
  • Its set up menu could be simplified and improved


SNMP is short for Simple Network Management Protocol. The system protocol was specially designed to use IP networks in order to monitor devices over a given network. It collects information from network devices such as switches and routers and can be used for both modification and configuration. SNMP allows companies to have the ability to respond to events in real time, because it is an active system and has constant reporting to the users. This factor makes it a must have for companies that have functionalities that result in events that would require real time and otherwise time sensitive responses.


  • It is widely accepted
  • It works well for fault management
  • Its MIBs are well implemented across its devices
  • It works well for device monitoring
  • Vendor specific MIBs are well defined, offering additional support


  • It is difficult to scale upward, making large retrieval slow
  • It is difficult to roll back configurations
  • It is complex to implement its MIBs compared to command line interface commands
  • Its MIBs have sketchy descriptions, making them difficult to understand


SNMP is preferred by companies who desire to be proactive in their response to evens in real time and without delays. It does this by offering users the ability to poll for a given event and react based on the response received, which in turn allows the users to take steps to correct any event that occurs, immediately it does and without delay.

SYSLOG is better suited for companies who intend to store their data and events for audit purposes. The system works by housing the event data, waiting for a query that would allow it to be reported to the user. This can be improved by using monitoring solutions such as SEIM to alert the user on a specific event or to automatically initiate a response to a given event, which mitigates the overall risk but does not equate its response time and reporting ability to SNMP.

Verdict – So which is better, SYSLOG or SNMP?

In a situation where a user has to choose between the two, SNMP would definitely be the better pick because not only is it more secure and reliable, but it also updates and informs the user of changes in real time. However, it would be more helpful and beneficial for a user to find a way to incorporate the two by having monitoring solutions that support both formats, which in turn increases the security and performance of your system.


What is the port for SNMP?

Its default port number is 161. This is used to activate the SNMP-agent protocol, which is the means of communication for the SNMP agent. It is also notable that the default protocol for SNMP is UDP.


The default port number for SYSLOG is port 514, which is a default UDP port. It is well known that UDP protocols are unreliable and not secure. In the case that SYSLOG is employed to be used for data transfer that involves important security logs or in situations where log loss cannot be tolerated, TCP can be used with the same port number 514, which is a more reliable option than the default UDP.

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Mathew Blake
Hi my name is Mathew Blake. My love for technology stemmed from a curiosity and fascination is small gadgets ever since I could remember. The Globe is a hotbed for rapidly advancing technology that has brought us a multiple gadgets, appliances and devices and I am here for it. is a blog that is very enjoy writing and researching for. My passion for tech led me to specialize in several technology-related fields, the main being IT. As an IT specialist, my main job is to cater to technical needs in many businesses. I enjoy working all tech related- fields especially ones that allow me to interact with the consumer.


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