September 18, 2002

New Open Source bandwidth measurement software

Ragnar Lonn writes: TPTEST is a server-based bandwidth measurement software recently released on under the GPL/LGPL licenses.

The initiative for TPTEST was taken by the Swedish ICT-commission, working on assignment for the Swedish government. They developed a first version of TPTEST with the ambition to provide a useful and accurate tool for measuring Internet throughput between two points. The work resulted in a Unix client/server program that measured throughput, latency and packet loss between the client machine and a dedicated server machine. The
program source was available for free with no restrictions and anyone could setup a server but the servers were few and usually not publicly
advertised so the program was mostly used by network engineers to test their own networks.

The Foundation for Internet Infrastructure ( realised there was a demand for a more easily accessible software that mostly anyone could use. Several web-based bandwidth measurement systems existed but none as accurate as TPTEST. After some time, a Windows client program was released - TPTEST 1.0. A master server function was also added at the time, to allow the Windows client program to find a test server automatically without requiring the user to type in its address. TPTEST 1.0 was more user-friendly than its predecessor and that contributed much to its success.

TPTEST 1.0 got very popular and many Swedish Internet Service Providers set up public TPTEST servers that anyone could use to measure their
Internet bandwidth to/from. The Danish National IT and Telecom Agency ( also developed a Danish version of TPTEST 1.0, which was
released in Denmark.

However, TPTEST 1.0 only measured throughput using the UDP transport protocol and many people wanted a TCP-based test also so eventually,
the Foundation for Internet Infrastructure got together with the Swedish Consumer Agency ( and released TPTEST 2.0 which
featured TCP-based aswell as UDP-based testing. It was also a success and to date, TPTEST 2.x has had several hundred thousand downloads and thousands of tests are being made every day by people wanting to check the performance of their Internet connections. Most major ISPs
in Sweden run their own TPTEST 2.x servers today.

Realising that TPTEST might have a great future outside of Sweden too, if it got widespread and accepted enough, the Foundation for Internet
Infrastructure and the Swedish Consumer Agency spoke to the Swedish National Post- and Telecom Agency ( and got their support too
in the task of releasing TPTEST as an open source software. This summer, work have been done to separate the platform-independent test logic from
the platform-dependent code and create a "test engine" with a well-defined API that others could easily use to create TPTEST-compatible clients
and servers. A TPTEST client for Macintosh has also been released, based on the new test engine.

The TPTEST project is now looking for more people and organisations to support it, in whatever way they can, with the ultimate goal of making
the software a de-facto standard for measuring Internet network performance. Go to for more info, or
visit the project page

You can also mail Ragnar Lonn (, the project coordinator, for more information.



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