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Often the throughput of home routers is becoming more important than in times past, given that more and more people are streaming video/audio from Network Attached Storage, or the like. When doing so, how can one test to see if a particular path is capable of handling X Mbps?

For example, examining a .mkv file under VLC's "Media Information" section (see Tools), one might see under metadata tell that the bitrate of a certain file would be "Bitrate: 1536 kb/s", and under the "Statistics" tab, we see the current bitrate. These would be the values one would be interested in (it seems to be) when determining whether or not certain hardware can be applied in streaming, say, video.

The question then is: how can we determine the throughput at the router level, or at the source level (the NAS or the windows share), and the level at the an end device (another computer, or some device such as the WDTV). With such information, one would be able to better diagnose playback issues in home streaming set-ups.

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You can get software to do this - basically transferring files between network devices and measuring throughput. LAN Speed test is the sort of thing. Clearly this is only a guide and may indicate issues with the endpoints rather than the router but it's somewhere to start.

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