What do my results mean?

When assessing the performance of your network, keep in mind that there is always a difference between theoretical speed ratings, and 'real-world' throughput.  If your network is set up well, then this difference is relatively small but still significant. Otherwise, the difference can be extremely large.

Typical Results without LST Server

Network connected at...

  • 100Mbps -> 50-70 Mbps
  • 1000 Mps (gigabit) -> 400-600 Mbps
  • 802.11b (11 Mbps wireless) -> 2-4 Mbps
  • 802.11g (54 Mbps wireless) -> 20-30 Mbps

Typical Results with LST Server

Network connected at...

  • 100Mbps -> 60-80 Mbps
  • 1000 Mps (gigabit) -> 600-800 Mbps
  • 802.11b (11 Mbps wireless) -> 4-6 Mbps
  • 802.11g (54 Mbps wireless) -> 30-50 Mbps

The reasons for the difference between what a network is supposed to be able to do and what it can actually do are many.  

First, there is normal network overhead.  This is the data that is used to package and address the data, deal with data collisions, etc.  There is even more network overhead on wireless networks.

Second, there are external performance limiters.  These are your hardware devices on your network (network cards, hubs, switches, other users on the network, server hard drives, etc.)

Third, is the network configuration problems.  This is anything from a bad cable, bad hardware device, etc.

LAN Speed test is an excellent tool to use when troubleshooting or optimizing your network by making it easy to test your 'Real World' network speeds.  A good rule of thumb I follow is 'real-world' speed of 50% - 70% of your rated speed.  On larger networks with more users, your speed can drop considerably, so you should be doing your tests when network traffic is low.