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Faced with the task of testing the leftover bandwidth capacity for 100+ locations multiple times a day, I asked myself if there is some sort of software package you can install on these computers and have them make upload/download tests, then report back to a central server automatically. Does anyone know of a solution that can do that? Bonus points for a solution that runs on Windows and doesn't require me to install extra runtimes.

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I was going to provide a rather long and involved answer, but reading your question again makes me think that your interpretation of "bandwidth" testing is radically different from mine.

There is no tool available which does not require you to "install extra runtimes".

Perhaps if you gave a bit more information about how you currently test and what you think it tells you might be helpful.

Certainly I'd recommend strongly that you move away from active testing and use passive testing instead.

Do have a look at Network Vantage, pastmon, mrtg and Scutinizer


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Of course the reason to monitor the bandwidth is a preparation period just to estimate average leftover bandwidth availability in already crowded networks. It would help admins at the respective sites to make informed decisions whether they have to upgrade their connection lines . Passive testing is thus not an option, as estimates have to rely on real life down/upload performance. Thanks for the suggested tools, I will check them out immediately. – keyboardsamurai Jul 2 '10 at 10:10
If you want to measure actual bandwidth usage then host based metrics are a waste of time and the only way you should be monitoring these is using passive monitors (i.e. network sniffing) or measuring from routers/switches directly. – symcbean Jul 7 '10 at 12:03
Exactly what symcbean said. How can you test "leftover" bandwidth by measuring a new download running on a client machine? Run something like MRTG against all of your gateway devices, and you'll know exactly how much bandwidth you're using. Bonus points for making the graphs to scale against your provider's bandwidth you've purchased, and not the max speed of your router's physical WAN interface. – mfinni Sep 2 '10 at 14:06

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