The traditional tests that I found around the WEB were basically every times the same. Asking for a network mount point and doing a file copy on this network drive to test the Upload and the Download rate.
Wireless and Wired speeds have become so high for traditional disks and now they have the bottlenecks when you want to test your real network speed.

A better test will be without any writting on the hard drive and using only the CPU to be as fast as it can.
To do that we only need some commands line in the terminal.
Sure that this test is not good if you want the real performance of the bunch of the network and computers because we will not take care about the disks performance.

What will you need?

  • Two computers running on OS X
  • SSH enabled
  • Homebrew
  • PV


At fist you will need to install homebrew on your computer. Just past and run this command in your terminal.

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Homebrew is a packages manager, it allow you to install some Unix applications that Apple didn't put in their system.

When is installed you can follow by installing pv from homebrew with this command

brew install pv

Before to by ready to do our test we need to enable the SSH server. Go in the System Preferences and Sharing part. Check the box Remote Login.

Do all these steps in the both computers.

The speed test

The idea to test the connection is to use ssh to connect on the second computer and read a file from this computer on our computer. To doesn't use any real file and any hard drive we will use two special devices from /dev.

The null device is like to send the file in a hole without writting somewhere.
The zero device write only null characters.

Finally here is the command that we need:

ssh other-computer cat /dev/zero | pv > /dev/null

Here is an example with my configuration:

ssh cat /dev/zero | pv > /dev/null
 395MiB 0:00:09 [48.4MiB/s] [        <=>         ]

This test should be work without any problem on GNU/Linux systems as well. May be just need to install the command pv.

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