Measuring the performance of user traffic in home wireless networks

Srikanth Sundaresan, Nick Feamster, Renata Teixeira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Scopus citations


This paper studies how home wireless performance characteristics affect the performance of user traffic in real homes. Previous studies have focused either on wireless metrics exclusively, without connection to the performance of user traffic; or on the performance of the home network at higher layers. In contrast, we deploy a passive measurement tool on commodity access points to correlate wireless performance metrics with TCP performance of user traffic. We implement our measurement tool, deploy it on commodity routers in 66 homes for one month, and study the relationship between wireless metrics and TCP performance of user traffic. We find that, most of the time, TCP flows from devices in the home achieve only a small fraction of available access link throughput; as the throughput of user traffic approaches the access link throughput, the characteristics of the home wireless network more directly affect performance.We also find that the 5 GHz band offers users better performance better than the 2.4GHz band, and although the performance of devices varies within the same home, many homes do not have multiple devices sending high traffic volumes, implying that certain types of wireless contention may be uncommon in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPassive and Active Measurement - 16th International Conference, PAM 2015, Proceedings
EditorsYong Liu, Jelena Mirkovic
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319155081
StatePublished - 2015
Event16th International Conference on Passive and Active Measurement, PAM 2015 - New York, United States
Duration: Mar 19 2015Mar 20 2015

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other16th International Conference on Passive and Active Measurement, PAM 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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