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Tom Arbuthnot MCSM Communications

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Testing Your Internet Connection for Skype / Skype for Business: 8 Free Tools and Services

Published 10/08/2014 - 5 Comments

Skype and Lync do an excellent job of coping with poor / variable network conditions, but ultimately the quality and consistency of your internet connection will play a big part in your experience when working from home/talking to other users/companies over federation.

Sometimes with quality issues it is hard for users to understand if the problem is their connection. Event for users with “good connections”, it’s worth testing to see if the connection is contented or someone else in the house isn’t hammering the connection.

There are a number of tools admins/users can use to test the quality of an internet connection.

Testing Sign in/Signalling on Lync:

Remote Connectivity Analyzer

First off, if you can’t even sign into Lync, you can test your connectivity and ports with the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyser (https://testconnectivity.microsoft.com/)

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This has a number of tests for Exchange, Lync and Office 365

Microsoft Lync Connectivity Analyzer (mobile app connectivity)

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36535

Microsoft Lync Connectivity Analyzer helps Lync administrators find out if the deployment and configuration of their Lync Server environment meets the requirements to support connections from Lync Windows Store app for Windows 8 and Windows RT and from Lync mobile apps.

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Testing Session / Connection Quality Apps:

Lync / Skype Test Call

Both Lync and Skype have the ability for you to do a test call that is recorded and played back to you. This is in the box and can give a very quick and easy assessment of the quality of your connection:

Lync has a check button on the dial pad, Skype has an Exch / Sound Test Service Bot

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Lync Connectivity Analyser

A free app from Microsoft that literally signs into your Lync System and relays media from the edge. This is useful as it is testing the exact path between your endpoint and the Lync System (be it online or Server). It shows Network MOS, Packet Loss and Jitter in nice visual graphs. This is nice because it will do a true VoIP Test, some of the other tools get stuck with NAT routers a they have no ICE/STUN/TURN.

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Testing Session / Connection Quality Online Services:

These Services and test tools can give a lot more detail, but often require Java (to create a two way connection to test and give feedback

SpeedTest.net / PingTest.net

This is usually my default starting point, nothing to install, no need for java for the basic speed test. It gives ping and throughput

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Pingtest.net (sister site) Does require Java looks at more than throughput, but also at consistency (packet loss, Jitter), which is key for VoIP/Video. It even gives a MOS score

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Microsoft TRRIPP / Office 365 Fast Track Network Analysis

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Microsoft use software from Visualware to provide a good selection of network testing (requires Java).

These are provided as the TRIPP (Transport Reliability IP Probe) / Office 365 Network Analysis tool Cloud app

Edit: The Tripp links have now been replaced with FastTrack

Amsterdam, NL: http://trippams.online.lync.com
Blue Ridge, VA: http://trippbl2.online.lync.com
Dublin, IE: http://trippdb3.online.lync.com
Hong Kong: http://tripphkn.online.lync.com
San Antonio, TX: http://trippsn2.online.lync.com
Singapore: http://trippsg1.online.lync.com

North America: http://na1-fasttrack.cloudapp.net/

EMEA: http://em1-fasttrack.cloudapp.net/

APAC: http://ap1-fasttrack.cloudapp.net

Unfortunately these tools seem to conflict with Java’s heightened default security stance (the apps are not signed), so you may have to reduce the desktop java security level/ create exceptions.

These tools provides lots of detail and tests. Best of all users can go to advanced, view test and paste the results to you in an email/IM (requires browser pop up).

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You can also go direct to Visualware to run a superset of these tests. You can also buy them to install in your own datacentre.

http://myspeed.visualware.com/index.php

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Got a favourite tool or technique I have missed? Let me know. Also be sure to subscribe via RSS or email for updates to the blog

Tom Arbuthnot

Tom Arbuthnot

Principal Solutions Architect at Modality Systems
Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger, has a regular podcast with UCToday at tomtalks.show and is a regular speaker at events including Microsoft TechEd and Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London.

5 comments

Tobie Fysh - 10/08/2014 Reply

And for those of us still on 2010 you’ll need to use the Office Communication Server 2007 R2 PreCallDiagnostic in the resource kit:

32bit: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=164769

64bit: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=145159

    Tom Arbuthnot - 10/08/2014 Reply

    Thanks Tobie, will add these to the list.

    cheers

    Tom

Matt - 12/02/2016 Reply

In using the EMEA tool we’re seeing great everything but Consistency of Service and QOS are both reporting in as red.
We have large amount of bandwidth available (higher ed institution), but for some reason still see this.
One thing I suspect is we are NAT’ing our traffic via a firewall at our perimeter. Is it possible NAT’ing is causing issues? ALGs? We’re at a loss here.

    Tom Arbuthnot - 12/02/2016 Reply

    NAT could cause an issue, likely not the NAT itself, but the router doing it might be a bottleneck. Is the router powerful enough to cope with the bandwidth? Which test are you getting the reports from? do other tests show similar issues?

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