Best Network Latency Testing Tools

Network latency testing tools help determine whether your network infrastructure is sufficiently capable of supporting your business goals by identifying any performance bottlenecks.

These network latency testing tools evaluate quality of service (QoS), which is an important and performance-limiting factor for network communications. Challenges to QoS and network latency drive the need to test network performance thoroughly across different locations, devices, and applications – so these testing tools play a key role. 

What is Network Latency?

Latency is the time it takes for data to travel between two points on a network. It includes both delay (the time between the sender sending out a packet and the receiver receiving it) and jitter (the variation in the time taken by successive packets) as well as other factors like queuing delays, transmission errors and bottlenecks in network components such as switches, routers, modems and servers.

It’s measured in milliseconds (ms) for the “round-trip time” (RTT), or the time it takes for a message to be sent, travel through a network, and then return to the computer that sent it, of a network transaction. Because of the physical limitations of the transmission process, some latency is unavoidable.

While latency is inherent in all networks, it should be kept to a minimum to ensure optimal performance. For example, the time it takes for data to travel from one computer to another over a wired network is usually much less than the time it takes to travel over a wireless network. The main reason is that wired networks generally have much lower latency than wireless networks.

Also see: 7 Enterprise Networking Challenges 

What are Network Latency Testing Tools?

Network latency impacts user experience, application performance, and statistical network analysis. Therefore, enterprises need to monitor network latency and test it frequently to identify fluctuations and sources of high-latency locations in their networks.

Network latency testing tools identify and track the time it takes for packets of data to travel between two locations on the internet or from one network device to another. This data gives network engineers valuable insights into the speed of their networks and helps them diagnose network issues related to speed and delays in data communication.

Also see: Best Network Management Solutions 

Top Network Latency Tools in 2022

NetScanTools

NetScanTools is a network latency testing tool designed for network engineers, security experts, administrators, trainers, and online crime investigators to monitor the quality of a network connection and provide diagnostic information. This tool can troubleshoot network connections, find potential bottlenecks, and identify interference.

NetScanTools is a windows-based application with a user interface that is easily navigable by beginners and experienced users.

Features

  • NetScanTools integrates various network functions into a single interface, including active, passive, Domain Name System (DNS), and local computer tools.
  • This tool can discover hidden IPv4 devices on your local area network (LAN) segment.
  • NetScanTools examines a device’s or firewall’s response to TCP, UDP, ICMP, or CDP packets.
  • NetScanTools detects misconfigured SMTP servers.
  • NetScanTools freeware features include DNS tools, ping, graphical ping, ping scanner, traceroute, and whois.

Cost

Parameter Cost
NetScanTools basic Freeware
NetScanTools Pro installed $249 for 1 license
NetScanTools Pro installed bundled with the managed switch port mapping tool $348 for 1 license
NetScanTools Pro USB version — End-user installed $259 per license (best for the non-U.S. customers)
NetScanTools Pro USB version — Pre-installed $299 + shipping per license (Available in the U.S. only)

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor

SolarWinds’ Network Performance Monitor is a tool for assessing the network’s health, bottlenecks, slowdowns, and outages. With this tool, network professionals can test, measure, and reduce network latency to improve their organization’s efficiency and security.

This network performance solution monitors latency across the whole network, so it doesn’t just show where there may be trouble spots. It also monitors the performance from end to end. Its map view allows users to visualize the networks, identify problems, and quickly locate issues. 

Features

  • Advanced network diagnosis for on-premises, hybrid, and cloud services, including critical path hip-by-hop analysis.
  • Fault, performance, and availability monitoring.
  • PerfStack: Cross-stack network data correlation.
  • Automated capacity forecasting, alerting, and reporting.

Cost

This vendor provides a free 30-day trial. There are, however, two licensing options. They are subscription-based (starting at $1,638) and perpetual (starting at $2,995). Users may request additional licensing tier quotes from the SolarWinds sales team.

Also see: Top Enterprise Networking Companies

ManageEngine OpManager

ManageEngine OpManager is a network device monitoring tool for enterprises and service providers. It can monitor routers, switches, load balancers, firewalls, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) devices, and other devices. In addition, its agentless monitoring technology means it doesn’t need any agents installed on monitored devices.

This tool monitors central processing units (CPUs), memory, interface traffic, errors and discards, packet loss, and response time. In addition, OpManager offers application-level monitoring of business-critical applications like Oracle Database or Microsoft SQL Server. With its comprehensive data center infrastructure management, this tool enables you to manage server, storage, virtualization, and networking resources all in one console.

Features

  • Physical and virtual server monitoring.
  • Wide area network (WAN) Link monitoring.
  • Customizable dashboards.
  • Ability to monitor network performance with multi-level thresholds.
  • Real-time network monitoring.
  • End-to-end visibility and analytics of network infrastructure.
  • WAN RTT monitoring.

Cost

OpManager is free to download and use, but for additional capabilities, users may choose one of three versions (Standard, Professional, or Enterprise edition) that best meets their network and server monitoring needs. Quotes are available upon request, and a 30-day free trial is available.

Site24x7 Network Monitoring

Site24x7 is an agentless, cloud-based monitoring solution that provides visibility into the availability and performance of your applications, networks, websites, and devices. It’s a simple network management protocol (SNMP)-based tool that monitors network components like routers and switches.

This application can collect information about utilization rates, bandwidth usage, and routing errors. In addition, Site24x7 will help you achieve optimum performance by reducing downtime on your website or network via sending alerts when any issues are found during testing or when their software detects an issue automatically.

Features

  • Automate network configuration and change management.
  • Multi-vendor support.
  • Process SNMP trap.
  • Automate discovery and mapping with Layer 2 maps.
  • Analyze data center traffic distribution and performance.
  • Monitor VPN latency, connections, pathways, and tunnels to secure the network.

Cost

Site24x7 offers a 30-day free trial for all plans with no credit card required.

Parameters Cost 
Website monitoring

  • Starter
  • Pro
  • Classic
  • Enterprise
  • $9 per month (paid annually)
  • $35 per month (paid annually)
  • $89 per month (paid annually)
  • $225 per month (paid annually)
Infrastructure

  • Starter
  • Add-on
  • $9 per month (paid annually)
  • Each add-on costs a fee
APM

  • Pro
  • Add-on
  • $35 per month (paid annually)
  • Each add-on costs a fee
All-in-one

  • Pro
  • Classic
  • Elite
  • Enterprise
  • $35 per month (paid annually)
  • $89 per month (paid annually)
  • $225 per month (paid annually)
  • $449 per month (paid annually)
MSP
  • $45 per month (paid annually)
  • Each add-on costs a fee

Paessler Router Traffic Grapher (PRTG)

Paessler Router Traffic Grapher (PRTG) is a network monitoring tool that helps you troubleshoot network latency issues and identify areas for improvement in your network. It overviews your network’s latency, traffic flow, bandwidth, utilization, and availability monitoring.

You can also use it to set up network alerts to let you know when network latency is rising or if a network connection has failed. The tool comes with a central management console you can use to configure alerts, view network health, and view graphical reports.

PRTG’s intuitive user interface and easy installation process make it a great option for beginners, while its robust feature set appeals to advanced users. It monitors the devices on your network, including servers, switches, routers, and printers.

Features

  • Maps and dashboards: For real-time network visualization.
  • Alerts and notifications: Get notified when there are problems or unusual metrics.
  • Distributed monitoring: Allows you to monitor your entire IT infrastructure from a single pane of glass.
  • Intelligent network discovery: Auto-detect all devices on your network infrastructure.
  • Customizable reporting.
  • Integrated technologies: Supports major technology, including SNMP, WMI, SSH, HTTP requests, and REST APIs returning XML or JSON, Ping, and SQL.

Cost

Parameters Costs
PRTG network monitor (on-premises) — Windows-based server Starting from $1,799 per license
PRTG hosted monitor (cloud-based) — no dedicated hardware needed Starting from $1,599 per year
PRTG enterprise monitor (on-premises) — Windows-based server Starting from $16,600 per year

NirSoft NetworkLatencyView Tool

NirSoft’s NetworkLatencyView tool is a free Windows-based network latency solution that can provide network latency information for a specific process on your computer. By default, it monitors TCP connections on your system and calculates the network latency in milliseconds for each connection. This tool supports most Windows versions from Windows 2000 to Windows 11, including 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

Features

  • Users can export latency information via text, CSV, tab-delimited, HTML, and XML file types.
  • Offers geographical information for every destination IP address.
  • This tool displays up to 10 network latency values, including their average.

Cost

This solution is freeware.

PingPlotter

PingPlotter is a graphical traceroute tool that allows you to measure latency and packet loss. This tool enables engineers, sysadmins and other network professionals to pinpoint any potential performance problems in their internet connection. For example, users can test for packet loss, bandwidth limitations, and latency.

If there are connectivity issues, the report will highlight these areas for the user to investigate further. In addition, the reports provide helpful visualizations such as graphs and maps, so you can get an overview of what’s happening with your connection. Additionally, ping plotter offers amateur troubleshooters Sidekick — an assistant that helps you gather data about your network’s health and optimize your network for better connection.

Features

  • Monitoring dashboard.
  • Alerts and escalation.
  • Real-time notifications.
  • Remote monitoring and management.
  • Troubleshoot remote worker internet.

Cost

PingPlotter is available in three editions for various user bases, including Sidekick for amateurs, starting at $20; Professional, starting at $29 per month; and Cloud for teams, starting at $60 per month (includes 5 traces).

MultiPing

MultiPing is a tool that monitors and graphically shows the performance of a network. It provides a graphical view of network performance, monitors hundreds of targets, and sends automatic alerts. It has a configurable interface to suit specific needs. Users can customize their own rules to resize, hide, undock, and reorder graphs to show only what they need. Alerts are sent when there is an abnormal change in latency or packet loss.

Features

  • This tool can be integrated with PingPlotter.
  • Supports IPv6.
  • It has a customizable interface.
  • Offers time graph.
  • Provides visual graphs with metrics such as packet loss percent and average, minimum, and maximum latency.

Cost

This tool costs $39.99 per user. This includes a 1-year free upgrade and a perpetual license.

Also see: Top Zero Trust Networking Solutions 

SolarWinds VoIP & Network Quality Manager

One of the most common ways network latency is identified is by testing VoIP. SolarWinds VoIP and Network Quality Manager can quickly and easily monitor the quality of your voice communication and any other data traffic on your network.

This tool can troubleshoot VoIP call quality problems and conduct visual VoIP call path trace routes to identify potential service disruptions or issues. You can also set up alerts to warn you if there are packet loss or jitter issues when monitoring VoIP quality, so you know if something needs to be fixed.

Features

  • Real-time WAN monitoring.
  • Automatically configure IP service-level agreement (SLA) operations.
  • Simulate traffic data to test the network.
  • Visually display WAN performance.
  •  Monitor VoIP call QoS metrics.

Cost

This provider offers a free 30-day trial period. There are two license options. They are subscription-based with prices starting at $963 and perpetual with prices starting  at $1,879. Users may contact the SolarWinds sales team for estimates on additional license tiers.

Ping

Ping (Packet Internet or Inter-Network Groper) is a network latency testing tool available on all operating systems. It uses the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) to measure how long it takes for a message to be delivered from one computer to another.

The lower the latency, the better. Network administrators use ping tools and quality assurance tools to diagnose and troubleshoot network problems. Ping tools will help you identify where your infrastructure is causing problems on your network and help you get them fixed quickly. It’s a simple way to check if connectivity issues exist between two devices or on any segment of your network.

To use ping, open a console or terminal window and type “ping” and a domain like google.com or an IP address. You should see some statistics, including TTL (time to live), which measures how many hops away the destination is, and round-trip time which gives an idea about how much lag is happening.

Features

  • It is the fastest way to monitor network latency.
  • Works on all operating systems with console or command line capability.

Cost

It’s free to use.

Traceroute

Traceroute, or tracert, is a computer network diagnostic tool for displaying the route (path) and measuring transit delays of packets across an IP network. Van Jacobson originally developed it in 1987.

It uses ICMP echo request messages to determine latency, packet loss, round-trip times, and other connection parameters from one host to another over an IP network. This method of testing latency is also available on all OS systems. For example, use the tracert command on Windows machines and the traceroute command on Linux and Mac machines.

Features

  • Traceroute utilizes IP packets’ TTL fields to find intermediary routers.
  • Traceroute implementations use ICMP echo reply messages.

Cost

This tool is free to use.

Key Features of Network Latency Tools

The best tools provide users with real-time visualization, alarm notification, and graphical reports. Practitioners can also integrate these tools into network management software, such as network monitoring, IT management, and network security.

Network latency tools typically have a wide range of features, including:

  • Automatic Discovery of Devices in a Network: You don’t have to configure the tool to collect data manually. It can discover devices on the network, collect data, and store it in a central database.
  • Continuous Monitoring: The tool can constantly monitor network traffic and identify trends in network latency, bandwidth utilization, and device health.
  • Customizable Alerts: You can customize alerts to let you know when network latency is rising or if a network connection has failed.
  • Graphical Visualization: Network latency tools provide real-time graphical visualization of data collected from different devices in your network.

Also see: Top Managed Service Providers

Why are Network Latency Tools Important?

With the recent growth of cloud storage, high-bandwidth video streaming, and cloud computing, there has been increased attention on the ability of networks to provide consistent performance. Network latency is an important factor in measuring the performance of any network, as minimum acceptable performance thresholds will depend on the applications you’re running over your network.

Latency is also important in measuring a network’s service quality or how well it performs. You’re primarily concerned with the latency of your network when you need real-time communication between applications or when you are transmitting data with strict performance requirements.

For example, with the rise of virtual and augmented reality applications, wireless network latency has become a big issue for businesses. In addition, enterprises rely heavily on instant messaging, video conferencing and other multimedia communications, which can slow down latency issues.

Network latency tools provide insight into many key performance indicators for your network, including network paths, network health, transmission errors, and network utilization. These tools help monitor the time data packets reach their destination. It measures the round trip time of messages transmitted from one node, such as one computer, on a network to another and back again. When used properly, this tool can help identify sources of lag within your network as well as help solve them.

Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi is an award-winning public speaker and a passionate writer. He writes to edutain (educate + entertain) his reader about business, technology, growth, and everything in-between. He is the co-author of the e-book, The Ultimate Creativity Playbook. Aminu loves to inspire greatness in the people around him through his actions and inactions.

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