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Mac NetWork Quality Measurements

Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

macOS Monterey’s networkQuality

from: https://www.macworld.com/article/605118/test-internet-speed-quality.html

The command-line networkQuality tool appeared first in Monterey and lets you run a simple command via the Terminal to test performance. The networkQuality tool produces a straightforward result if you simply enter networkQuality in Terminal and press Return. (Yes, that camel-cap Q must be uppercase.) While it’s running, you’ll see a line like this:

current download capacity: 139.731 Mbps - current upload capacity: 154.199 Mbps

When complete, the tool prints the following text (with your numbers):

==== SUMMARY ====

Upload capacity: 526.274 Mbps Download capacity: 514.126 Mbps

Upload flows: 16

Download flows: 20

Responsiveness: High (2823 RPM)

RPM stands for “round-trips per minute,” a measure closely related to latency. Latency tracks how long in seconds it takes for a data packet sent by a tool to be received by a service on the other end, a response generated, and then received back by the tool. Latency of a few to a few tens of milliseconds (ms) is ideal for interactive communications and games. Closer to 100 ms and responsiveness becomes low and video calls or gameplay may stutter or become herky-jerky.

RPM is another way to think about latency, as it’s the sequential number of operations that can be performed per minute. Measuring RPM requires a longer test than that typically used for latency. Thus latency may show you the round-trip speed average over a few seconds and RPM provides a total number of data round-trips performed one after another over a minute. If your network or Internet connection has a lot of hiccups and dropped packets, RPM offers better insight than a latency snapshot.

(A higher number is better I think)

I did some tests on my MAC on both WiFi and Cabled. You will have to do an 'ifconfig' to determine which port is LAN and which one is WiFi.

My WiFi (5Ghz) looks like this: (en0 is my WiFi port on an Eero Mesh)

mwalker@MacBook-Pro .ssh % networkquality -I en0 -s -v

==== SUMMARY ====                                             

Upload capacity: 18.916 Mbps

Download capacity: 84.789 Mbps

Upload flows: 16

Download flows: 12

Upload Responsiveness: High (1443 RPM)

Download Responsiveness: Medium (833 RPM)

Base RTT: 46

Start: 2022-04-19, 11:09:18 AM

End: 2022-04-19, 11:09:40 AM

OS Version: Version 12.1 (Build 21C52)

My LAN port looks like this (en6)

mwalker@MacBook-Pro .ssh % networkquality -I en6 -s -v

==== SUMMARY ====                                             

Upload capacity: 18.878 Mbps

Download capacity: 414.028 Mbps

Upload flows: 12

Download flows: 16

Upload Responsiveness: High (1995 RPM)

Download Responsiveness: High (1514 RPM)

Base RTT: 34

Start: 2022-04-19, 11:08:45 AM

End: 2022-04-19, 11:09:06 AM

OS Version: Version 12.1 (Build 21C52)

This reinforces what I have always said and that is that LAN is always more reliable than WiFi. :).

Feel free to give it a try on your MAC.



  • Michael N3LI
    Michael N3LI Member ✭✭

    Just tried it - and yes. there is quite a difference between WiFi and direct. Thanks much Mike!

    I have to come back here more often - I just found out about the networkquality command. I really like it with the verbose option turned on.