Measure exact throughput of any TCP IP network

Jul 9, 2008
Updated • Mar 11, 2013

Wondering how much traffic can be pulled through the network you're working in during certain period of time or how quickly your network components work? Yeah, be a networking proffesional or a regular home user with a small LAN (like me :) ), it's always good to know what's your network capable of. But how do we find out? Well, some smart IT guys thought a utility capable of precisely measuring the amount of data flow within a period of time could come in handy and were so kind to share these tiny yet sophisticated utilities. Though, you do need to be able to access both endpoints between which you want to measure since the applications must be running on both sides in a server-client setting. Let the measuring begin!

NetCPS - the easier way

This little tool called NetCPS (a single executable file) is rather simplistic, no fancy features as the author (credits to Jarle Aase) says. It pumps 100MB of generated data (without accessing the HDD which could mess with the final result) and then displays the result in form of average speed stated in both KB/s and MB/s. Sourcecode is available for download as well in case you'd like to do some further tinkering with it. Freely usable unless you intend to use it on behalf of military or government.

Example of use:

Server-side end-point: netcps -server
Client-side end-point2: netcps *IP address/hostname of the host*

Additional switches to change the default port (4455) and default amount of transfered data (100MB) are supported. Use the -help switch for further instructions.

Iperf - the powerful way

This tool on the contrary is rather advanced while still maintaining its portability and small size. It can measure performance with many different settings but those are optional and not neccessary for the essential purpose of finding out what the network's throughput is. You can affect a lot of settings by changing them with various switches. Take notice of the example screenshot for instance, where the port used is changed to 1234, amount of sent data set to 200 MB, interval of reports set to 2 seconds for better accuracy and report format set to MBytes. Iperf can be run as a solid Windows service as well. Here's a download link to the compiled Windows version of Iperf (a single executable).

Example of use:

Server-side end-point: iperf -s -p 1234
Client-side end-point2: iperf -c *IP address/hostname of the host*

Many additional switches and settings are available for advanced use of this nifty utility. The usual -help switch brings up further instructions again.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Jenna B said on December 15, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    The 100 meg push could prove costly in a measured data environment. I’m trying to find out the current data volume going through my network over a specified period of time, rather than capacity or limits. Will this do that?

  2. vahid feizi eghlim said on October 16, 2012 at 10:27 am

    thank you :)

  3. Rob said on July 14, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Iperf has a companion program to make configs a little easier called Jperf

  4. Rarst said on July 9, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Hm, I like that they are command line. I am using passmark perfomance test for this and it requires remote access to GUI for setup.

    For CLI I might be able to start them remotely and in background with psexec.

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