How to Measure Wireless Packet Loss

By Mike Benson

Anytime your computer is making a connection with another computer or device, a continuous stream of data is transferring between the computer and the device. This data is broken up into individual packets and reassembled once they have reached their destination. When a packet fails to reach the intended destination, it is known as packet loss. You can measure the level of packet loss between your computer and a wireless device using the Windows Command Prompt.

Determine Wireless Gateway IP Address

Step 1

Press the "Windows" and "R" keys simultaneously on the keyboard.

Step 2

Type "Ncpa.cpl" in the "Open" field and press the "Enter" key. This loads a "Network Connections" window.

Step 3

Right-click the "Wireless Network Connection" icon and click "Status."

Step 4

Click the "Details" button on the "Wireless Network Status" window.

Step 5

Write down the address listed to the right of "IPv4 Default Gateway." This address is the Internet Protocol address of the wireless host. If the host is from a local device such as a router, the address will be similar to "192.168..." If your wireless host is from a remote service such as an Internet service provider, the address will vary.

Perform Latency Test

Step 1

Press the "Windows" and "R" keys simultaneously on the keyboard.

Step 2

Type "CMD" in the "Run" box and press the "Enter" key. This opens the Windows Command Prompt.

Step 3

Type "Ping --n 50 192.168.0.1" and press the "Enter" key. Replace "192.168.0.1" with the actual gateway IP address. This command sends 50 "pings" to the wireless provider. This process measures the amount of time taken between the packet leaving the computer and returning.

Step 4

Look at the "Ping Statistics..." line once all 50 pings have completed. The information next to "Lost=" is the total measured packet loss.