Being aware of the speed in which data can be moved by your network is important when testing wireless networking technologies, and speed is of the essence for all businesses these days, particularly those in the B2B industry.
A CAT 6 cable - which can be found at RS Components - has tighter specifications to meet than is the case with a CAT 5 cable and those performance specs need to be up to 250 MHz, as opposed to 100 MHz.
However even though the specs may be clear, many cables actually fail to live up to those standards, which makes it harder for businesses to test their network speed to ensure they are getting what they paid for, and major issues can also be caused by defects caused during installation or assembly.
There are a variety of different instruments available to test your cable network speeds, which vary in terms of both cost and performance, going from $3500 for solid lower-end models and more than $15,000 for really high-end models.
However, there are cheaper ways to test your network speed.
The first thing you need to do for any network speed testing method is to begin by setting a benchmark measurement via your Ethernet LAN, which provides a standard which you can make a comparison to. Internet-based tests should not be used due to the sheer amount of variables involved.
The LAN speed test
The fastest and simplest way to test your network speed is to make use of LAN Speed Test from Totusoft, which just needs Windows and a target network share with which to operate. The LAN speed test runs on the very computer it is actually being run on from memory, meaning that hard drive speed will not limit it. It is also able to clear the cache between the writes and the read to make certain that the file is really read.
On the downside this test has a lesser degree of accuracy than is the case with some other methods, but is still vastly superior to the manual method of copying, measuring and calculating, and is perfectly acceptable for relative measurements.
NetMeter from ReadError offers another way of measuring network performance, by monitoring what is happening during the streaming of video and audio or the transferring of files or folders.
Once you are aware of the bandwidth required by your content, then you will also be knowledgeable of what needs to be delivered by your network.
Make sure your profile lasts for a long enough period of time, particularly for the streaming of video clips with fast-moving scenes, which cause a spike in bandwidth.
NetMeter allows users to select the adaptors they want to monitor, as well as display units and to play with visual niceties such as display colours, although the information that is actually displayed is a tad sparse.
However, NetMeter is very accurate, and can even keep pace with the likes of a Gigabit connection. Bandwidth consumption can also be monitored with this free software.
Testing your network speed will ensure your business is getting the service it needs to maintain a competitive edge.