Summary
Throughput of a network can be measured using various tools available on different platforms. This page explains the theory behind what these tools set out to measure and the issues regarding these measurements. Reasons for measuring throughput in networks. People are often concerned about measuring the maximum data throughput in bits per second of a communications link or network access. A typical method of performing a measurement is to transfer a 'large' file from one system to another system and measure the time required to complete the transfer or copy of the file. The throughput is then calculated by dividing the file size by the time to get the throughput in megabits, kilobits, or bits per second. Unfortunately, the results of such an exercise will often result in the goodput which is less than the maximum theoretical data throughput, leading to people believing that their communications link is not operating correctly. In fact, there are many overheads accounted for in throughput in addition to transmission overheads, including latency, TCP Receive Window size and system limitations, which means the calculated goodput does not reflect the maximum achievable throughput. The Maximum bandwidth can be calculated as follows: where RWIN is the TCP Receive Window and RTT is the round-trip time for the path. The Max TCP Window size in the absence of TCP window scale option is 65,535 bytes. Example: Max Bandwidth = 65,535 bytes / 0.220 s = 297886.36 B/s * 8 = 2.383 Mbit/s. Over a single TCP connection between those endpoints, the tested bandwidth will be restricted to 2.376 Mbit/s even if the contracted bandwidth is greater. Bandwidth test software is used to determine the maximum bandwidth of a network or internet connection. It is typically undertaken by attempting to download or upload the maximum amount of data in a certain period of time, or a certain amount of data in the minimum amount of time. For this reason, Bandwidth tests can delay internet transmissions through the internet connection as they are undertaken, and can cause inflated data charges.
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Bandwidth (computing)
In computing, bandwidth is the maximum rate of data transfer across a given path. Bandwidth may be characterized as network bandwidth, data bandwidth, or digital bandwidth. This definition of bandwidth is in contrast to the field of signal processing, wireless communications, modem data transmission, digital communications, and electronics, in which bandwidth is used to refer to analog signal bandwidth measured in hertz, meaning the frequency range between lowest and highest attainable frequency while meeting a well-defined impairment level in signal power.
Goodput
In computer networks, goodput (a portmanteau of good and throughput) is the application-level throughput of a communication; i.e. the number of useful information bits delivered by the network to a certain destination per unit of time. The amount of data considered excludes protocol overhead bits as well as retransmitted data packets. This is related to the amount of time from the first bit of the first packet sent (or delivered) until the last bit of the last packet is delivered.
Measuring network throughput
Throughput of a network can be measured using various tools available on different platforms. This page explains the theory behind what these tools set out to measure and the issues regarding these measurements. Reasons for measuring throughput in networks. People are often concerned about measuring the maximum data throughput in bits per second of a communications link or network access. A typical method of performing a measurement is to transfer a 'large' file from one system to another system and measure the time required to complete the transfer or copy of the file.
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