All News Items (Newest First):

  • July 2020 — Are Network Speed Tests Reliable?

    It is likely that you have used one of the many network "Speed Tests".

    Are they trustworthy? Do they really give us a measure of our network provider's service?

    Here's a pointer to a piece that says "not really".

    Why You Shouldn't Believe Network Speed Tests

    The TL;dr is that the performance of the network link between your home (or office) and the provider can not be reduced to a simple bandwidth number.

  • July 2020 — Testing DNS over TLS (DoT) in Iran

    The Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the strong forces that holds the Internet together.

    There are many forces that wish to control or restrict the Internet. (See Internet: Quo Vadis (Where are you going?)) DNS has been found to be one of the more convenient places through which that control may be exercised.

    The DNS Security system (DNSSEC) is useful in that it allows a client to know that the DNS data it receives is authentic. But DNSSEC can be somewhat difficult to deploy and many applications do not handle non-authentic DNS data well.

    Absent DNSSEC DNS queries run the risk of man-in-the-middle attacks in which a masquerading DNS server misleads the client by providing misleading answers or by data-mining the client's queries.

    Two recent proposals have been made to help reduce the risks of these man-in-the-middle DNS attacks.

    These are DNS-over-HTTP (DoH) and DNS-over-TLS (DoT).

  • June 2020 — About Latency Claims

    Recently we have seen a small flood of articles and promotional materials that make claims about network latency.

    We find many of those claims to be hyperbolic and sometimes quite misleading.

    Let us begin, as we almost always will begin, by informally defining the terms "latency" and "jitter".

  • June 2020 — Elements of End-to-End Latency

    The press (tech and otherwise) is filled with grandiose claims of "zero latency".

    There is no such thing as zero latency in computer networks.

    Some new technologies - 5G and Wi-Fi 6 - may (and probaby do) reduce latency. That reduction is only for that limited portion of the full end-to-end communications path that is carried on 5G or Wi-Fi 6.

    In real life, a path between devices on a network is usually composed of many elements (which may change over time.) The name "Internet" itself means a a network of networks. Usually 5G or Wi-Fi 6 will make up only a very small piece of the overall path.

  • May 2020 — KMAX-MM Product Review

    Dan Nagle over at Packet Sender did a review of IWL's KMAX-MM product.

    https://packetsender.com/kmax-product-review

  • December 2019 — TCP/IP Test Tools Survey

    By Lyle Weiman

    Following is a survey of all the known available TCP Testing Tools. The survey includes both free and paid tools, and tools for network operators as well as TCP protocol developers. Some tools are primarily for debugging TCP operational issues, whereas others are full blown TCP protocol test suites for testing conformance and robustness for TCP client side and TCP server side operation. Some tools focus on TCP throughput and performance whereas others generate TCP traffic streams.

    If you have an item to add, please send a note to info@networkreporter.com

  • January 2016 — TCP Test Results - Windows 7

    We've been using a copy of IWL's Maxwell Pro TCP Test Suite.

    We've been exploring its capabilities by running it against various TCP/IP stack implementations. We intentionally picked old or open-source implementations.

    Here we have the results of a run against Microsoft Windows 7. This run is old and used an old version of Maxwell Pro's TCP Test Suite. Newer versions have more extensive tests.

  • January 2016 — TCP Test Results - FreeBSD

    We've been using a copy of IWL's Maxwell Pro TCP Test Suite.

    We've been exploring its capabilities by running it against various TCP/IP stack implementations. We intentionally picked old or open-source implementations.

    Here we have the results of a run against an old release of FreeBSD 10 (but one that is still found in many embedded systems.) This run is old and used an old version of Maxwell Pro's TCP Test Suite. Newer versions have more extensive tests.

  • January 2010 — Review of SNMP Testing Tools to see what product found the most failures.

    Not all test tools are created equal.

    Here is a comparision of SNMP agent testing tools.