Network Throughput: How to Monitor, Test & Improve it

When people describe their web browsing (or general Internet) experience, they usually speak in terms of speed, saying something like, “My Internet connection is really slow!” However, this thing they call “speed” is a result of many networking-related elements including bandwidth, throughput, latency, packet loss, and so on. In this article, we will be looking at one of those factors that affect the speed of a network – Network Throughput.

What is Throughput in Networking?​

Network Throughput is how many units of information a system can process in a given time. The speed at which data may be transferred, received, and processed between two places on a network is, thus, determined by throughput. It is widely used in systems ranging from organizations to different components of computer and network systems. Latency, bandwidth, and protocol overhead are a few factors that can affect throughput. To improve network performance, it is crucial to guarantee the maximum throughput rate feasible.

The speed at which a particular workload may be finished and response time, which is the interval between a single interactive user request and receiving the response, are related measurements of system productivity.

As a result, when discussing network throughput, the units of measurement are frequently bps, Kbps, Mbps, gigabits per second (Gbps), and so forth.

Thus, network users desire to receive high-quality responses as soon as possible while making requests, such as viewing a website, utilizing an application, placing a call, or downloading a file. Thanks to high-speed networks, employees can complete their tasks quickly and deliberately. A high-throughput network generally operates efficiently, meaning it transmits a lot of data per second and responds quickly to user requests. A network with low throughput does not transmit a lot of data per second. It is a sign of poor network performance and may be the result of excessive jitter, packet loss, and delay.

network throughput

Why is Network Throughput Monitoring important?​

One of the first things you should check if your network is sluggish and slow is your network throughput. It is as important to network performance as bandwidth.

You can determine whether removing specific users and programs is sufficient by keeping an eye on statistics or whether you need to buy more bandwidth.

Network throughput measurement is essential for managing and improving network performance. Administrators learn a lot about a network’s performance and capacity by measuring the data transfer rates inside it. They can use this information to solve problems, make expansion plans, guarantee service quality, and meet performance goals.

You can track the efficiency of your network infrastructure by measuring network throughput. You can locate any performance bottlenecks, congestion locations, or inefficient places by routinely analyzing throughput. You can use this information to enhance your network settings, address problems, and guarantee lag-free data transfer.

Network administrators and IT specialists can proactively control and improve network performance with the help of network throughput measurement. It ensures SLA compliance while facilitating troubleshooting, capacity planning, and QoS control. Organizations may maintain dependable and effective network operations, improve user experience, and support the seamless operation of essential applications and services by regularly monitoring throughput.

In general, the benefits given below should help us understand why it is crucial to have high network throughput monitoring:

  • increased data transfer reliability and speed.
  • decreased latency, or the time between sending and receiving data.
  • greater bandwidth utilization for faster streaming and downloading rates.
  • improved support for internet activities such as VoIP conversations, streaming video, and gaming.
  • faster and more secure data transmission results in improved network security.
  • decreased chance of packet loss or other mistakes as a result of slow transmission rates.
  • increased output since jobs may be finished more quickly with more throughput.

Factors affecting Network Throughput

  • Bandwidth. The maximum rate of data transfer across a given path. Limited bandwidth can act as a bottleneck, constraining the network’s throughput. Sometimes internet service providers (ISPs) intentionally throttle the bandwidth available for online activities like streaming video content.
  • Network congestion. The more traffic there is on a network, the lower the throughput tends to be. This is due to more data packets being lost or delayed (which then need to be re-sent), slowing down the overall data transfer rate.
  • Hardware limitations. The speed and capacity of network devices like routers, switches, and cables can limit throughput.
  • Software performance. The efficiency of the protocols and software used for data transfer can also affect throughput.
  • Network architecture. The way a network is structured can have an impact. For instance, star networks may have higher throughput than ring networks because data can be sent directly between nodes.
  • Interference. Especially relevant for wireless networks, where interference from other devices or physical barriers can decrease the network’s throughput.

Understand the Difference: Network Throughout vs. Speed vs. Bandwidth

Network throughput, bandwidth, and speed are often confused and used interchangeably in the world of networking, but they’re not the same. While all the terms refer to the amount of data that can be transmitted over a network, they are measured in different ways and serve different purposes.

  • Network Throughput refers to the actual amount of data that is transmitted over a network or communication channel in a given period of time.
  • Network Speed, which is the most commonly spoken about metric when it comes to network and application performance, refers to the speed at which data is transferred between two devices on a network.
  • Network Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data that can be transmitted over a network or communication channel in a given period of time.

Understanding the difference between network speed, bandwidth, and throughput is important for network administrators and anyone involved in managing or troubleshooting network performance issues.

network throughput

Network Throughput Optimization

The most significant thing that can be done to optimize throughput is to minimize latency. Latency reduces the throughput which, in turn, leads to bad network performance. The most popular reason behind latency is the existence of several people simultaneously using the network. Latency increases even when many people download at the same time.

The counterpart to roadway traffic jams in I.T. is network bottleneck. The network traffic gets congested throughout the day and reduces the network’s performance. For instance, the network performance is found to be bad after lunch in a big organization because all the employees return to work. Bottlenecks may be addressed in various ways, such as upgrading routers to cope with traffic, decreasing the number of nodes used by your network to reduce the distance that needs to be traveled by the packets, etc.


Every day, traffic flows over your network. Problems are building and manifesting themselves without your knowledge. Monitoring throughput and bandwidth simultaneously will provide the most comprehensive picture of your network’s performance. It allows you to monitor network resources to ensure they are being used as efficiently as possible while preparing you to cope with issues like latency and packet loss. Create a baseline and a plan for how to begin working through your challenges. Sift through your network, then start measuring it with throughput network testing. From there, you’ll be able to avoid slow network performance and optimize your throughput.


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