Network connections are a part of our life. A decade ago when only a few people were aware of the Internet then there was a social connection. But now life is social only on the internet. Internet is so common that if we have not a connection for a few hours then life got tough.
Nowadays Internet is also cheap. You can easily connect your devices to a network. Network connections are not only used in corporate environments but at home as well. As Internet Service Provider offers affordable broadband connection.
Nowadays even a cheap computer also come with a built-in network adapter. Setting up a local area network is so much easier today thanks to the multiple port router. You just need to plug in the network cable and it will work right after going through a simple wizard configuration. Even a wireless connection can be quickly and easily established by pressing the WPS button that is found on most newer generation routers.
And when you find that something wrong with the performance of a network. Whether you are an engineer or technician or a normal user it is your duty to check your network connection is working properly or not. It is also important for fast downloading or transfer speed. And, for that, you will require a stable connection.
To ensure all the above important point you will require to run some tests. Run the following tests and try to fix the problem. There are many network performance testing tools available.
Testing Network Performance
As a normal user, we hardly think about any process or test to perform on our computer. But, when you get any symbol of improper functioning then it is better to check on yourself. Sometimes problems are big that we can not resolve them easily. For that, we have to go to a technician but for normal issues, you can resolve the issue on your behalf.
The next best thing is using a network performance testing system that uses probes deployed at the strategic location throughout your network. And that can run actual simulation tests between each other to measure true performance using specific types of traffic. This, however, can also tend to be impractical as it requires some preliminary setup. It would not be of much assistance to help troubleshoot a sudden issue.
It may not be helpful if you are facing a sudden troubleshoot. A simple application that you can quickly deploy or install at either end of the segment you need to test and that will let you manually configure and run simulation tests.
Here are some free network benchmarking tools that can be used to test speed
Our wireless network adapter may report the signal strength of our access point. This strength can be -53 dBm or -65 dBm or -73 dBm or any other number. Or, our RF spectrum analyzer displays a -74 dBm interference peak in the middle of channel 6. Or, we and our neighbor or the business next door have our access points configured to use channel 11. Is this good? Bad? Doesn’t matter?
Ultimately, the bottom line and what we care about most is throughput. That is, how many bytes-per-sec can be transferred from one node on the wireless network to another. The dBm and RSSI numbers do not mean much if you can not somehow relate them to a performance metric. The most relevant being ‘ bytes/sec‘.
In order to properly troubleshoot a wireless network, we need a way to benchmark its performance. So as modifications are made we can determine whether or not they really make a difference in the network’s performance.
- LAN Speed Test
- LAN Bench
- NetIO- GUI
- Performance Test
LAN Speed (Network) Test
LAN Speed Test is easy to use the tool. It is basically used for measuring the speed on your LAN by copying a file to another computer that is located at the same local network. Just browse the location of another computer on the network where you have to write access and click the Start Test button.
Here you will be directed to set the file size of the dummy file to be transferred. The best part of the tool is that you will not require to set up a master and client connectivity. You can also print the results at the end of the test.
Although the Test is available for free with some basic features. But if you are searching for more strong network tester. Then go for its paid version.
If you are belonging to IT Field or you are an Engineer then this tool is for you. SolarWinds is a name in the field of network administration.
Its Network Performance Monitor is generally recognized as one of the best network bandwidth monitoring tools available. Along with this tool SolarWinds also offers some free tools and every product address a specific need of network administrators. Such tools include the famous SolarWinds TFTP Server and the Advanced Subnet Calculator.
Although it is not a network performance testing tool but very useful if you will use it with some other tools. Its sole purpose is generating network traffic. It allows administrators to use other performance testing tools for testing performance under high traffic situations. Something that not many tools do by themselves.
The primary use of this tool is for tasks such as testing traffic prioritization and load balancing. You can also use it to make sure that your network is correctly set up and that huge amounts of unimportant traffic. The level of fine-tuning the tool allows will let you simulate almost any type of situation.
As this application is a combination of several other applications. And this is set of 60 different tools which are mainly used for Engineering purpose. The toolset includes a mix of the most important free tools from SolarWinds combined with many exclusive tools that you will not find anywhere else. And most of the tools are integrated into a common dashboard from where they can be easily accessed.
The SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset includes several dedicated troubleshooting tools. Tools like Ping Sweep, DNS Analyzer and TraceRoute can be used to perform network diagnostics and help resolve complex network issues quickly. For the security-oriented administrators, some of the tools from the toolset can be used to simulate attacks.
Like LAN Speed it is also free and portable application. It is used for networking by using TCP only. For this test, you have to run LANBench on both computers. Your first system will work as a server and the other will work as a tester.
The server part will only need to click on the Listen button. While at the client-side will require a bit of configuration such as specifying the server’s IP address from File > Configure. You can also define the test duration, packet size, connection, and transfer mode. During benchmark, you can see the live transfer rate and also the average performance.
It supports almost all type Windows whether 32-bit or 64-bit.
GUI stands for Graphical User Interface. It is actually a command-line application for benchmarking the network throughput. And there is a portable GUI version that works as a frontend.
First of all, you need to download NetIO-GUI. You can download it as a portable 7-zip or as a setup file. After downloading, run the extractor and followed by running NetIO-GUI.exe. NetIO will test the connectivity based on different packet size.
As like LANBench you will need to run NetIO-GUI on both computers that you want to test. One as client-mode and the other as server-mode. The server will only require to click on the Start server button. While for the client you will need to enter the servers’ IP address. And optionally selecting the choosing the protocol (TCP or UDP) that you want to test.
It is a simple and free network benchmarking tool. NetStress is created as an internal tool by Nuts About Nets but is now being released to the public. It also requires to run on both computers that you want to test but the good thing about it is it can automatically find the receiver IP address.
Here is the ideal scenario: You install a new wireless network and it works perfectly. Run NetStress and record the benchmark results for later reference. Sometime in the future when either you or other suspect performance has declined then run NetStress again and compare the latest results with those you gathered when the network was first installed and working “perfectly”.
To run a test, click on the 0.0.0.0 beside the Remote Received IP and select the IP address that is listed in the window and clicks OK. The start button will then be enabled and clicking on it will start sending and measuring the TCP and UDP throughput.
The results of that comparison will indicate whether or not there really is a problem and dictate which steps to take next. Regardless of your technical expertise or how expensive your diagnostic tools, if you are modifying a wireless network or making decisions to modify it. And, you are not testing throughput then you risk wasting time and resources going down the wrong path.
A unique feature found in NetStress is the ability to change the MTU size where you can find in most internet optimization tool. My only gripe with NetStress is the inability to resize the window because it takes up the whole screen.
It’s first and free version AIDA32 was one of the famous tools. Now AIDA32 is known as AIDA64. I have already published an article on Hardware information in which AIDA32 was also mentioned. It is a popular hardware information and a benchmarking tool known as EVEREST and now AIDA64.
It comes with Network Benchmark plugin that is weirdly no longer found in EVEREST nor AIDA64. To run the network benchmark, download, unzip and run aida32.exe. Then click on the Plugin menu bar followed by AIDA32 Network Benchmark. Just like most of the network benchmarking tools, you need to run the network benchmark plugin on both computers that you want to test.
On one computer, select Master from the drop-down list located at the bottom of the window, go to the Bandwidth tab and click on the Start button. On another computer, select Slave, enter the IP address of the Master, go to Bandwidth tab and click Start. The Save button allows you to save the bandwidth chart in bitmap format.
The latest AIDA64 update introduces SHA3-512 cryptographic hash benchmark and AVX2 optimized benchmarks for the upcoming AMD Zen 2 Matisse processors, adds monitoring of sensor values on BeadaPanel LCD displays and supports the latest AMD and Intel CPU platforms as well as the new graphics and GPGPU computing technologies by both AMD and Nvidia.
AIDA64 can display vital system data on a variety of LCD/VFD devices connected to the computer. The latest AIDA64 release supports over 50 LCD and VFD screens and introduces wireless remote monitoring of sensor values on smartphones and tablets.
There is another network benchmarking tool found in the popular Performance Test by PassMark software that comes with an advanced network testing tool. It can test both IPv4/IPv6 and allowing you to set the data block size and enable UDP bandwidth throttling.
The advanced network test tool can be accessed from the Advanced > Network in the menu bar. Although PerformanceTest is a shareware, it can actually be used without limitations for 30 days. The status area shows the amount of data sent to the server, CPU load, average/minimum/maximum speed which is enough to determine the consistency of the network speed.
Note: You may get confused with AIDA32. AIDA is now known as AIDA64 rather than AIDA32. But, there are some features that only AIDA32 had. Those features you will not find in any other upgraded version. Neither in Everest or nor in AIDA64. This is all about the tests for the Network Speed.
Check your system speed as it is the most important part of our daily life. When system gets slow down we get frustrated. So, before this happens to your system check the device.