Bandwidth testing for superior user experience – here’s how?

bandwidth testing

The bandwidth Testing process simulates a low internet bandwidth connection and checks how your application behaves under desired network speed.

Considering a scenario where a specific application’s home page always loads in milliseconds in office premises this may not be the case when an end-user with low network speed accesses the application. To enhance user experience and get to know the application load times at specific network bandwidth speeds, we can simulate it and identify specific component/service call which is taking more time and can be improved further.

Prerequisites:

Bandwidth testing using Chrome browser. You should set your ‘Network’ panel in the chrome browser as per the below requirements.

Setup:

  1. Go to Customize and control Google Chrome at the top right corner and click More tools, then select Developer tools
    • Or press keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + I
    • Or press F12
  2. Then click the ‘No throttling’ dropdown and choose Add… option under the Custom section.
  3. Click Add custom profile
  4. You will need to enter profile name in order to click on Add button. For example, ‘TestApp 1 MBPS’.
  5. Fill in the Download, Upload, Latency columns as below and click Add.

Example for 100Kbps:

Download (kb/s)Upload (kb/s)Latency (ms)
10050300

Example for 1Mbps:

Download (kb/s)Upload (kb/s)Latency (ms)
102451250

Example for 2.5Mbps:

Download (kb/s)Upload (kb/s)Latency (ms)
2600150030

Configuring Chrome is a one-time affair. Once Chrome has been configured for bandwidth testing, use the same settings by selecting the profile name [TestApp 1 MBPS] from the No Throttling drop-down.

Metrics to be collected for bandwidth testing:

  • Data transferred (KB)
  • Time taken for data transfer (seconds)

Using Record network activity option in the Chrome browser, you can get the above attributes.

Note: Toggle button “Record network log”/”Stop recording network log” and button “Clear” are available in the network panel.

It is best practice to close all the non-testing applications/tools in the system and other tabs from Chrome where the testing is performed.

Steps for recording network activity:

  1. Open Developer Tools and select the Network tab.
  2. Clear network log before testing.
  3. Make sure Disable cache checkbox is checked.
  4. Select the created network throttling profile (say ‘TestApp 1 MBPS’).
  5. Start recording for the steps to be measured as per the scenario file.
  6. Wait for the completion of step and page is fully loaded to check the results
  7. Data transferred size for each recorded step will be displayed down in the status bar as highlighted. The size will be in byte/kilobyte/megabyte. Make note of it.
  8. Time taken for data transfer will be displayed in the timeline graph. The horizontal axis represents the time scale in a millisecond. Take the
  9. Maximum time. Take approximate value from the graph and make note of it.

Here is the sample screenshot taken for login process of snapdeal application page in which specific js component (base.jquery111.min.js) loading took 4.40s and also while searching for any product searchResult.min.js took 4.08s which can be improved further for better user experience.

This Bandwidth Testing Process helps in every possible way to improve user experience by identifying specific component or API calls which are taking more time to load and it helps developers to fix those specific components.

Your application’s performance is a major differentiator that decides whether it turns out to be a success or fails to meet expectations. Ensure your applications are peaked for optimal performance and success.

Trigent’s experienced and versatile Quality Assurance and Testing team is a major contributor in the successful launch, upgrade and maintenance of quality software used by millions around the globe. Our experienced responsible testing practices put process before convenience to delight stakeholders with an impressive industry rivaled Defect Escape Ratio or DER of 0.2.

Author

  • Bharath Reddy Sodinapalle is a Senior Test Engineer in Trigent Software Inc. He has over 8 years of experience in functional,automation,performance and big data testing. When he is free, he explores new software/tools and contributes to the open-source community.

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