How to Test Your “Local Network” Speed With a LAN Speed Test Tool
If the speed and stability of your home network has recently become more important than ever, you will need to learn how to test your local network speed with a LAN speed test tool.
What is a Speed Test Tool?
When sending and receiving files, documents, and other data becomes critical, you need to make sure your network is running as smoothly as possible. The thing is, it goes beyond the connection speed your ISP promises to provide, and is also based on other factors, such as:
- Where your router is in the house. (Don’t place your router in a corner behind bulky furniture if you want the best connection speeds).
- Whether you are using a wired or wireless connection to your system. (Wired over Ethernet is usually, but not always, faster).
- Local contention rates. (If you’re on DSL and 30 of your neighbors are also online on the same exchange, you may experience slower speeds).
- Network congestion. (Wireless networks use different channels, so if you and four neighbors all have routers set to broadcast on channel 8, you may experience slow performance).
- The speed of the network itself. (What we are looking at here).
In other words, your connectivity has two main components: your external components, usually defined as your router and broadband connection; and your internal network, defined as your Wi-Fi hub, router, extenders, wired network, etc. It’s the LAN, and that’s what we’re checking.
How to check your broadband speed
You can check your broadband connection speed (and get an idea of local contention rates) using one of the many online connectivity test systems, such as this excellent, detailed test from sourceforge. As a general rule, a good fiber connection will almost always beat standard ADSL.
How to Check Your Local Area Network (LAN) Speed
The speed of your LAN (lan) is different from the speed of your broadband connection because it reflects the speed at which data moves on your internal network. In an ideal world, you would have both a fast internal network and a fast broadband connection.
I find that one of the best tools to check the LAN is Network speed tester (about $4.99). Available for iOS, Mac, tvOS, and Android, it gives you the information you need in the form of nice, clear diagrams that deliver a ton of useful data in logical formats. Another good tool for the task is the Oka Wi-Fi Speed Test (free).
These tools will offer a wealth of data. Usually this will show a discrepancy between your promised 1 Gbps connection to your local ISP and the performance you are getting on your network, but you should consider that your network speed may be affected by the slower Wi-Fi devices you are using. have on the network (802.11b slows everyone down), as well as the quality of the Ethernet cables and routers you use.
How Network Speed Tester Works
- You must have at least 2 devices running on your local network to use the app.
- One becomes a server, the other becomes a client to view the results.
- Open the app on both devices, one will be the server (it doesn’t matter which one).
- The client device will display the results.
- On the client device, open the app and select the other device (server).
- Press Start and it will start determining network performance.
- After a few minutes you will be able to see what kind of performance you are getting,
What can you do with this information?
Understanding the efficiency of your local network is useful because the information can give you the information you need to:
- Optimize the location of your router: If you find that your network performance is not meeting your expectations, try moving the position of your router, as other electronics, walls, and household furniture can degrade it. Move it to find the optimal point.
- Optimize the use of Wi-Fi range extenders (if you have any): The same logic applies to any Wi-Fi range extenders you may have installed in your home – move them around to identify the best network performance you can get.
- Optimize high throughput applications: If you’re using a MacBook, MacBook Pro, iPad, or iPhone and need to transfer large files, join a video conference (high bandwidth), or move lots of data as efficiently as possible, using a Network Speed Tester will help you find the best possible position in your home/office to do this. It also becomes the best place to stream movies, of course.
- Check your hardware: The tool also helps you check your network components, such as network switches or routers that you may have set up where you are.
You will now be able to determine if there is a problem on your network.
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