nettest

Copyright 2006, Stuart Udall

overview
important bits
installation
configuration and startup
controls and methods
issues and limitations
planned improvements
revision history
download

version 1.00: March 12, 2006


 
  overview next section top of page

nettest displays and optionally tests Windows' TCP/IP network settings. It is intended to simply, quickly and easily check internet connectivity on client workstations.

nettest combines parts of NET.EXE, IPCONFIG.EXE and PING.EXE to do its work. It autodetects all the required settings, thus requiring no input from the user.

nettest supports an optional INI file, which can be used to define SMTP, POP3 and HTTP servers to test, in addition to the standard tests it runs.

nettest supports optional logging, which can be used to record the outcome of failed tests. The logfile contains the machine's name and IP address, permitting a single log to be used across a LAN.


 
  important bits next section top of page

  • Requires Windows 95 or higher.

  • the following points are this program's terms and conditions of use:
  1. This program is hereinafter known as "the Software".
  2. The Software comes with no warranty and is used at your own risk.
  3. The Software is not (and will never be) complete and as such may behave strangely.
  4. The Software is the copyrighted property of the author.
  5. The Software may be distributed freely.
  6. The Software may NOT be incorporated into a commercial work without prior written permission from the author.
  7. The Software is "donateware" - you can choose your amount, and pay with Paypal! Donating will encourage me to create more tools. If you do decide to donate, thankyou in advance; the form is here.

There is a feedback form here.


 
  installation next section top of page
  1. run the self-extracting distribution archive


 
  configuration and startup next section top of page

NETTEST.INI is optional, however it can be used to define extra servers to test, as well as the location of the logfile.

nettest will search for NETTEST.INI in the current directory. If you wish to place your INI elsewhere, use this syntax:

nettest /INI:path_and_name_of_INI_file

Where path_and_name_of_INI_file is the name of the INI file such as c:\INIfiles\nettest.ini

If you choose to create an INI file, the settings are as follows:

variablefunctionexample
logfilewhere to log test resultsc:\logfiles\nettest.log
smtpserverthe address of your SMTP server (used to send mail)smtp.yourISP.com
pop3serverthe address of your POP3 server (used to receive mail)mail.yourdomain.com
httpserverthe address of your HTTP server (used to serve your website)www.yourdomain.com

To turn logging off, leave the logfile setting blank.


 
  controls and methods next section top of page

  • type NETTEST from the command line

This will display your network settings. Settings which are possibly incorrect and should be checked by you will be highlighted in yellow.

Pressing Enter on the setting display screen will test the settings. The tests are run as follows:

  1. ping 127.0.0.1 (fail here = incorrect local TCP/IP configuration)
  2. ping gateway (fail here = possible dead network cable, switch, or router)
  3. ping primary DNS server
  4. ping secondary DNS server
  5. ping knowngoodHTTP server (fail here = dead internet connection)
  6. ping SMTP server
  7. ping POP3 server
  8. ping HTTP server

nettest uses ICMP (echo test or "ping") for all tests. This has several ramifications:

  • A successful test result does not necessarily mean your servers are defect-free, it simply means they are online. It is possible for a server to pass nettest's tests and still fail to serve mail or webpages. This situation does not normally arise however, unless the remote server in question is faulty.
  • If your firewall or service provider blocks ICMP, nettest will work incorrectly.
  • When nettest runs for the first time, it may generate a personal firewall alert reporting that PING is requesting access to the internet. This is expected, and you should allow the traffic.


 
  issues and limitations next section top of page

  • only supports first ethernet card
  • bug: only gets last name of username
  • anomaly: an local IP address of <undefined> or 0.0.0.0 may still test as OK. This is due to the underlying test pinging 127.0.0.1, rather than the local IP address. 127.0.0.1 and the local IP address are interchangable, except that using 127.0.0.1 permits testing of the TCP/IP stack only, whereas testing using the local IP address may also involve DHCP and thus is not a good test, as more than one result is possible depending on the exact configuration.


 
  planned improvements next section top of page

  • test custom servers (ICMP only)
  • test SMTP server with SMTP, POP3 server with POP3 and HTTP server with HTTP, rather than ICMP as used at present on all servers
  • testing of NTLM/SMB servers with SMB
  • keys to permit release/renew of DHCP leases
  • key to open Network control panel applet


 
  revision history next section top of page

March 10, 20060.01initial development; basic implementation
Match 12, 20061.00created documentation, published


 
  download top of page

nettest.exe  library