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I am interested in knowing the maximum bandwith of our network. Can I use some freely downloadable utility or tool to find out if my intranet is 100BASET or 1000BASET, etc. or what is the maximum traffic it will allow ?

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What operating system? –  ildjarn Mar 30 '11 at 0:28
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Run a simple file transfer over ftp, ssh or http. Your network will be a bottleneck assuming you have a decent computer. –  Zepplock Mar 30 '11 at 0:30
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Programmer do sometimes talk to LAN administrators. –  Hans Passant Mar 30 '11 at 1:04
    
will netperf work in windows, and from a non-admin user? –  fruit_trader Mar 30 '11 at 1:23

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on some operating sytems you can query the speed of the local NIC, but to know possible throughput of the rest of the network (switches, servers, internet conentcion, etc), you would need to speed test by doing a variety(*) of transfers.

The network admin may be also able to tell you and you may also be able to try and request a certain throughput using QoS, but both these methods in my experience tend to be unreliable

(*) eg, try non compressable data vs compressable data (VPNs often compress data). also try small blocks to see if there are latency issues, and of course try a simple large single stream. maybe also multiple streams .... etc.

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Before running something like a bandwidth test, make sure to ask the sysadmin first since you will light up flags on the monitoring software for bytes consumed and for bandwidth consumed. Here we get visits from them asking "Are you streaming? Are you using bit-torrent? Do you have a virus? Are you spamming..." Very good way to get the wrong kind of attention. –  Blackbeagle Mar 30 '11 at 2:40

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