5 2 project

Case Project 5-2: LAN Testing

A variety of software and Web-based tools are available to help you establish baseline measurements—and later, detect fluctuations and problems—in the efficiency of your network and Internet connections. This project walks you through two different tests you can do on your school’s lab network or at home on your own LAN.

TotuSoft’s LAN Speed Test is a small, free program you can download from totusoft.com. Because the program runs from your own Windows computer, it can be used to test connections on your LAN rather than being subject to speed limitations resulting from your connection to the Internet. It’s a very simple program that only needs access to a shared folder on the local area network. The Public Users folder on another workstation meets this requirement. Figure 5-56 shows the result of a sample test, which was run over a wireless connection.

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Figure 5-56

Another workstation’s Public Users folder

Another workstation’s Public Users folder

Source: TotuSoft

  • 1.To test the speed of your LAN, download the software LAN Speed Test (Lite) (Free version), and run the .exe file. The program will automatically detect your own computer’s IP address.
  • 2.Find a shared folder on another workstation or on a server (on the same LAN as your computer), select it as the target folder, accept the default settings, and run the test.
  • 3.How do your test results compare with the various Ethernet standards discussed in the chapter? Is this what you expected, based on the network media supporting this connection?
  • 4.If your test results differ from the standards you were expecting, how do you explain these results?

TamoSoft offers a free Throughput Test that works on both wired and wireless LAN connections.

  • 5.Look for the Throughput Test in the Download Area of tamos.com, then download and install it on two computers on the same LAN. One computer will act as the client and one as the server.
  • 6.To install the software, navigate to the folder containing the download and click thesetup.exe file.
  • 7.The program probably will not create a shortcut on your desktop, so you’ll need to open the Program Files (x86) folder in Windows Explorer (File Explorer in Windows 8.1) and double-click the appropriate executable for each computer. For example, the server computer will use the TTServer.exe file.
  • 8.On the computer acting as the server, leave the default settings. Nothing more is needed on this end of the connection because the server will listen for the client before doing anything else.
  • 9.On the computer acting as the client, enter the server’s IP address, then click Connect.Figure 5-57 shows the client and server consoles side by side.Figure 5-57Server and client consoles for Throughput Test. The client side is showing results after the test was run.Server and client consoles for Throughput Test. The client side is showing results after the test was run.Source: TamoSoft
  • 10.Let the test run for a while, then click Disconnect. Examine the results, and answer the following questions.
    1. On the Throughput chart, what was the highest reading obtained, and what kind of traffic was it?
    2. On the Loss chart, were there any significant loss results, and what kind of traffic was involved? What theories do you have about why this might be? Where would you look next to resolve this problem?
    3. On the RTT (round trip time) chart, were there any spikes? Do you notice any correlation between the timing of the spikes on this chart and the timing of problem indicators on the other two charts?