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How to test Ethernet capability

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎09-22-2009

How to test Ethernet capability

Message 1 of 2

I have an Ethernet cable from where my router is situated to a different location in my house.  This was installed by a local electrician, but lately I'm concerned that this may not be optimum. On the other end of this I have a switch with several of the busiest devices in my house. I'm considering adding more devices and a bigger switch, but I also want to make sure I'm not overloading that link.


The switch is a Gigabit switch, and I believe the cable is Cat-6e (at least, that's what I asked for). I did have a problem trying to make a splitter work on the cable., so I an atarting to wonder if it really is a gigabit-capable Ethernet connection.


Of course, then there is the limitation of the FIOS LAN port speed, but that's for when I can prove thet there isn't an issue with my internal wiring.


Anyone here have any insight in how I can test the capability and capacity of such an ethernet link?



Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 7,574
Registered: ‎12-15-2010

Re: How to test Ethernet capability

Message 2 of 2

The quick and dirty way to do this would be to connect two Gigabit hosts on each end of the run and see if they both negotiate a Gigabit connection properly. From there, you can use network stressing programs (there are plenty of them out there online that are free and malware-free, like NetStress) and set up both machines on Static IPs to see if both PCs, assuming everything is set up correctly can accurately gauge the cable and how well it is running.


The quicker way and more reliable way would be to use a telecommunications meter capable of testing the type of cable in use. There are plenty of products out there that do this. Sunrise meters for example do this, but they do come at a price. They won't determine how much data you can send through it reliably, but if you can piece together the information the meter is giving, it will tell you what the cable will support. If it passes, it will generally handle 1Gbps, and if it's a high enough grade of cable, 10Gbps once the price of those switches and NICs come down drastically.

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