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  >> Home Networking, Internet Connection Sharing, etc.


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Standard User joconnell
(experienced) Mon 30-May-11 20:57:36
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Measuring home network speed


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I never realised this could be so hit and miss!

I have a cat5e wired network at home and decided to try to determine the true network speed. I tried Ixia QCheck but this reported network speeds of 200Mbps but didn't work consistently and would crash, so I stopped using it.

Next up, I downloaded iPerf and tried that, but it reported speeds of 9Mbps.

Thinking something is seriously wrong, I plugged my two PC's NICs directly into my Netgear 5 port gigabit switch (it's a GS605) using 2m cat5e patch leads and re-ran the tests - little difference when testing with iPerf.

I decided to try some other testing utility so I downloaded LAN Speed Test and tried that using the LST client and LST Server.

Using LST version 1.x, I would occasionally see speeds of around 800Mbps using a 500MB test file, bit usually the speed was reported at around 230Mbps.

I tried LST version 2 which allows you to set the number of packets and packet size for the network write (to server) and read (from server) and got a reported speed of around 240Mbps as you can see below.

Text
1
23
45
67
89
1011
1213
1415
1617
1819
2021
2223
2425
2627
Packet Length      Write Speed        Read Speed
-----------------  -----------------  -----------------52,428,800  100   164.0118408 Mbps   294.8089371 Mbps
62,914,560  85    161.1970444 Mbps   295.0499115 Mbps5,242,880  10     154.5328293 Mbps   288.1078339 Mbps
5,242,880  10     158.5221329 Mbps   291.6319733 Mbps5,242,880  50     142.5855789 Mbps   282.5011215 Mbps
5,242,880  15     156.6718521 Mbps   288.5421829 Mbps1,048,576  25     159.1758652 Mbps   271.3827896 Mbps
1,048,576  25     159.4061890 Mbps   275.7951202 Mbps1,048,576  100    159.1510773 Mbps   274.8109436 Mbps
1,048,576  10     157.4700623 Mbps   277.1000748 Mbps1,048,576  10     157.8203354 Mbps   275.6318588 Mbps
1,048,576  10     160.0641785 Mbps   274.6975479 Mbps1,048,576  100    159.8181458 Mbps   274.7813950 Mbps
1,048,576  100    160.0971909 Mbps   269.0993423 Mbps10,485,760  10    160.9982986 Mbps   243.6563797 Mbps
10,485,760  100   163.2350769 Mbps   243.2745895 Mbps1,048,576  10     157.0954742 Mbps   211.3537216 Mbps
1,048,576  10     158.8932648 Mbps   216.5071106 Mbps1,048,576  10     160.9317627 Mbps   222.2300491 Mbps
1,048,576  10     160.9545670 Mbps   217.3642349 Mbps52,428,800  10    159.2238083 Mbps   236.5655975 Mbps
52,428,800  10    161.2564011 Mbps   236.9036484 Mbps10,485,760  10    162.1253204 Mbps   236.3230057 Mbps
10,485,760  50    163.0046539 Mbps   240.9702911 Mbps10,485,760  50    160.0156631 Mbps   237.9985428 Mbps


Remember, this is the network consisting of 2 PCs with gigabit NICs, connected to a gigabit switch with 2m cat5e patch leads, nothing else in the equation, so I'd expect performance to be a lot better than above.

I'm not sure if testing my LAN accurately is a possibility, but I guess that if I test the actual home LAN and get figures comparable to the above, then it's performance will be as good as I can get to my test LAN as described.

Has anyone else here tried testing their wired ethernet LAN? Any advice or recommendations?

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User MHC
(legend) Mon 30-May-11 21:35:19
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Re: Measuring home network speed


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
Do your NIC have a test facility? My desktop PC has NIC diagnostics and that tests the cable and link. It reports back 1Gb.

Not perfectly accurate but a good estimate is to o a PC to PC transfer of very large files - I use a set of images at around 1GB in size. That should take 8 seconds but was between 10 and 11 giving a speed of 700+ Mbps which is around the best the hard drives can sustain.





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M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Mon 30-May-11 21:55:26
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Re: Measuring home network speed


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
Could the read and write speeds be limited by the hard drive speeds, and not the network speeds.
Tony


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Standard User awoodland
(regular) Mon 30-May-11 22:14:38
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Re: Measuring home network speed


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Could also quite possibly end up being CPU-bound depending on the hardware.
Standard User joconnell
(experienced) Mon 30-May-11 22:27:03
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Re: Measuring home network speed


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MHC:
Do your NIC have a test facility? My desktop PC has NIC diagnostics and that tests the cable and link. It reports back 1Gb.

Not perfectly accurate but a good estimate is to o a PC to PC transfer of very large files - I use a set of images at around 1GB in size. That should take 8 seconds but was between 10 and 11 giving a speed of 700+ Mbps which is around the best the hard drives can sustain.

The network status dialog shows the connection as 1GB but that's probably not based on any test.

I copied 502 files totalling 1.32GB to the other PC's shared folder and it took 4mins 54 secs which is way way slower than your test result. A 1.94GB video file took 6.5 minutes, which seems very slow, but plays back over the network without any initial loading delay and I can navigate around the video as if it were a local file.

I'm wondering if the fact that the second PC has 2 network cards would impact perfromance, or that the second PC is quite old (circa 2001)?

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User joconnell
(experienced) Mon 30-May-11 22:28:39
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Re: Measuring home network speed


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Anonymous:
Could the read and write speeds be limited by the hard drive speeds, and not the network speeds.
Tony
The speed test writes and reads to a remote server process which doesn't create any file but just uses memory, so disk speeds shouldn't be an issue.

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User MHC
(legend) Mon 30-May-11 22:43:06
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Re: Measuring home network speed


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
Network Status means very little ... Is there not a NIC set up application with test capability?

Your results are around 35-40 Mb ... way down. Dual NIC should not have any impact, unless you are trying to read and write to the same disc from both NICs.

Use TBB meter or Windows Task manager to get a display of traffic and do another transfer. Watch the trace - is it stable/regular, does it peak and fall back? It will give you another indication of speed.

Have you checked the cables? Is there the possibility that there is a nasty noise source causing problems on the network? Or maybe a NIC is failing?





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User joconnell
(experienced) Mon 30-May-11 23:41:54
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Re: Measuring home network speed


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MHC:
Use TBB meter or Windows Task manager to get a display of traffic and do another transfer. Watch the trace - is it stable/regular, does it peak and fall back? It will give you another indication of speed.

Have you checked the cables? Is there the possibility that there is a nasty noise source causing problems on the network? Or maybe a NIC is failing?

Installed TBB Meter which shows peaks of 76 Mbps when copying a 541MB file - here's the graph snapshot - the relevant one is the rightmost graph with lots of peaks and troughs.
Standard User MHC
(legend) Tue 31-May-11 00:41:08
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Re: Measuring home network speed


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
That ties in with the speeds you were recording - 76 Mbps could be just the way it is reported and graphed, smoothing it out would show an average of around 40

Your big problem is going to be finding out what is causing the slowdown: Cable, NIC, interference, hard drive, CPU, router/switch





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User joconnell
(experienced) Tue 31-May-11 09:04:29
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Re: Measuring home network speed


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MHC:
Your big problem is going to be finding out what is causing the slowdown: Cable, NIC, interference, hard drive, CPU, router/switch

Yes, unfortunately frown

I can't see or think of any source of electrical interference, the NIC is a Realtek gigabit one integrated on the Asus P6TSE mobo of the newer PC (18 months old), the other NIC is a D-Link gigabit NIC on an old Dell PC circa 2001, so that could be an issue. I've read here and there that the mobo NICs are pretty poor though - would it be worth getting a PCI-e NIC?

Next things to try: use a fairly new laptop as a test endpoint to see if I get performance increase - thing is, the lappie only has fast ethernet but I guess if I see a performance increase over using the Dell, then that'd point to the older PC or the Dlink NIC being the issue.

Similarly, I could try using the 100Mbps switch built-in to my ADSL router (instead of the Netgear gigabit switch) and if performance increases there then that'd point to the switch being the weak link.

If I install a PCI NIC into the Asus mobo, I'm guessing that and the mobo NIC would operate on different IP addresses? If so I could do the test between those on the one PC, which would eliminate the other (older/slower) PCs as possible weak links...

Thanks for your feedback so far smile
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