Bandwidth testing with iperf

Iperf is a tool to measure the bandwidth and the quality of a network link. Jperf can be associated with Iperf to provide a graphical frontend written in Java.

The network link is delimited by two hosts running Iperf.

The quality of a link can be tested as follows:

  • Latency (response time or RTT): can be measured with the Ping command.
  • Jitter (latency variation): can be measured with an Iperf UDP test.
  • Datagram loss: can be measured with an Iperf UDP test.

The bandwidth is measured through TCP tests.

To be clear, the difference between TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is that TCP use processes to check that the packets are correctly sent to the receiver whereas with UDP the packets are sent without any checks but with the advantage of being quicker than TCP. Iperf uses the different capacities of TCP and UDP to provide statistics about network links.

Finally, Iperf can be installed very easily on any UNIX/Linux or Microsoft Windows system. One host must be set as client, the other one as server.


  • Last modified: 2019-12-20 14:21