Raspberry Pi : Network testing appliance

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A little while back, whilst at one of the evening Ipswich Makerspace nights, I was asked how easy it would be to design a plug-and-play speed testing tool from a Raspberry Pi. Thanks to existing libraries like “speedtest-cli” for python, the answer is – really easy.

So I started work on just such a device, but then after getting it to send emails daily and weekly – I thought – how can this be improved and what more can be done to make network administrators jobs easier.

Whilst working on this problem, I was again approached asking this very question. Well – after many days of sweat and tears – I would like to introduce the Pi Network Testing Appliance V1.
Currently this still only does a speed test – but it does it in a fancy way.

Don’t just take my word for it – watch the clip below:

The code for all of this is freely available on Github: https://github.com/vwillcox/speedtest-cron

So what is it doing and why?

This application will either manually or automatically run a speed test of your internet connection against the excellent speedtest.net systems. When it has completed it run, the results get stored in a file. Then once a day it will email this file off to you.

If you are using the excellent E-Paper hat from http://www.percheron-electronics.uk/shop/e-paper-hat/ you can make use of the buttons to run the test on demand and also output the results to the screen.

What’s next?

I plan on developing this further to do more lower level testing of switch/hub ports that network administrators normally carry out with expensive dedicated equipment.

3 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi : Network testing appliance

  • 18th July 2016 at 5:47 am
    Permalink

    Never did get buttons.py to work (had to run install.sh several times, installed Python 3 manually and changed all pip3 to pip-3.2). Anyway, now all I ever get is
    line 160 bus = smbus.SMBus(1)
    IOError: No such file or Directory

    Yes, I did enable SPI, if that mattered. Kind of stumped at this point. I want to feature this project on an upcoming video on my YouTube channel, but gotta get it to work first! 🙂

    Darrell L.
    Roanoke Hobby and Electronics

    Reply
    • 18th July 2016 at 12:58 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Darrell,

      This does look like an issue with a setting on the Raspberry Pi. I am working on an updated installer script that will install all the drivers and switch on the correct Raspberry Pi hardware options.

      I hope to have this ready by this weekend.

      I will also get back to you later tonight with an update as to how to resolve your issue.

      Can I check – are you using the full Raspbian, or Rasbian Lite of some sort? It could be that lite is missing some of the core components normally found in the full version.

      Vince
      AKA Talking @ Talk Tech . info

      Reply
  • 17th November 2016 at 2:13 am
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    Hi there, i am trying to create network speed test like yours however as i am new to python and not sure how to start, it would great if you can take me through the steps of creating this device.

    Reply

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