How to Test LAN Speed

Local Area Network hardware can be expensive. Therefore, it is important to test the infrastructure to ensure the expected bandwidth is being achieved. This has the additional benefit of troubleshooting connectivity issues. For example, the network may be mostly functional, yet a bad cable can impact the bandwidth of a single computer.

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Test LAN speed

LAN Speed Test

Step

Run LAN Speed Test (see Resources). This is a "portable" program, which means no installation is necessary.

Step

Click "Start Test."

Step

Choose the location for the temporary file. This file needs to be on a different computer on the network. Click "OK."

Step

Enter the size of the file with which to test. 100 MB is the default size. Use a larger file size if you have a faster network and/or want a better data result. Click "OK."

Step

View the results. The completed test will show the sending and receiving statistics, including the number of packets, transfer time and data rate.

Windows Vista or 7 Resource Monitor

Step

Run the "Resource Monitor" program by clicking the "Start" button and typing in "Resource Monitor." Click the "Network" tab. This displays Windows Vista and Windows 7's built-in network bandwidth monitoring software.

Step

Locate a large file on a different computer on the network. The file should be larger than 100 MB for a more accurate test.

Step

Copy the large file from the remote computer to the computer where the test is being performed. View the networking monitor to see the speed of the LAN connection.

Windows XP Task Manager

Step

Right-click the Taskbar. Click on "Task Manager." Click the "Networking" tab. This displays Windows XP's built-in network bandwidth monitoring software.

Step

Locate a large file on a different computer on the network. The file should be larger than 100 MB for a more accurate test.

Step

Copy the large file from the remote computer to the computer where the test is being performed. View the networking monitor to see the speed of the LAN connection.