Test your Router

Are you one of those geeks that likes checking out the capabilities of your router?  Do you run the various Internet Speed Tests available just for fun?  If so, head over to the new Microsoft Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool.  You will only be able to run the test on a computer with Windows XP or Windows Vista (it uses an ActiveX Control).

Tests include:

Network Address Translator Type

One primary function of most home Internet routers is Network Address Translation (NAT). Routers providing NAT support assign private IP addresses on the local network. NAT maps these private addresses on the inside network to a public IP address on the outside network so that computers behind the Internet router can communicate with the rest of the Internet. Since Network Address Translators can work in different ways, this test uses Microsoft servers to identify your router's NAT type. Some protocols work better through routers that act as cone-type NATs than routers that act as symmetric-type NATs.

Traffic Congestion Test

Internet routers sometimes lose information that is being transferred across the Internet when they experience congestion (full router queues). This loss of information is known as packet loss. Internet protocols like the Transport Control Protocol (TCP) can use packet loss as a congestion indicator. Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) is a mechanism that provides routers with an alternate method of communicating network congestion. This notification effectively reduces TCP retransmissions and increases throughput. This test attempts to download a short Web document, first with ECN enabled and then again with ECN disabled. If both downloads succeed, the test passes, which indicates that your Internet router successfully allows packets through with ECN options set.

TCP High Performance Test

Window scaling is a Transport Control Protocol (TCP) option introduced for addressing performance problems. Some Internet routers cause TCP data transfers that use window scaling to fail, particularly when there's a mismatch between the scales chosen by two computers transferring the data. This test downloads a series of Web documents of increasing length until either an incomplete download is encountered or all downloads succeed. Success indicates that your router allows Windows Vista to negotiate the best data transfer rate and help improve download speeds.

UPnP Support Test

Many applications need to open ports (allow incoming traffic) through an Internet router, particularly when both communicating endpoints are behind different NATs. Modern routers allow hosts to create such open ports using Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). This test ensures that the router has UPnP enabled, can support a reasonable number of open ports, and can maintain these settings.

Multiple Simultaneous Connection States Test

This test creates 80 concurrent TCP connections to external Web servers and keeps them alive over the period of two minutes by attempting continuous data download using HTTP. Passing this test indicates that your router robustly supports multiple computers or programs accessing the Internet simultaneously.

Comments (5)

  1. Anonymous says:

    A brand new tool has been released to http://www.windowsvista.com that allows you to analyze your network’s

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think the UPnP Test needs work.

    My network consists of a Microsoft MN-700 acting as the internet-facing gateway, and a Microsoft MN-100 and Linksys BEFSR41 as bridges. All support UPnP. The router test detected all 3 devices, but incorrectly used the MN-100 rather than the MN-700 for the port mapping test (though it makes 3 mapping attempts, it seems it’s for the same incorrect device). The computer I used for the test is directly connected to the MN-700 and only uses the other devices for communication with some other computers on the LAN. Results below:


    The operating system is Windows Vista

    The firewall is enabled

    Exceptions are allowed by the firewall

    UPnP is enabled by the firewall

    UPnP services are running

    UPnP Discovery is enabled

    Detecting Internet Gateway Devices on the network

    3 IGD(s) found

    IGD Device Information:

    Manufacturer Name : Microsoft

    Model Name : Microsoft Wired Base Station

    Model Number : MN-100

    get_StaticPortMappingCollection() returned NULL IStaticPortMappingCollection

    get_StaticPortMappingCollection() returned NULL IStaticPortMappingCollection

    get_StaticPortMappingCollection() returned NULL IStaticPortMappingCollection

    Failed to get port mapping from the IGD

  3. Cybot says:

    The Microsoft Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool is no more!!!!! all going to link does is bring up page for Windows 8. I used this tool frequenntly in my line of work and am now out of luck

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