How To Use Your Raspberry Pi To Monitor Internet Speed


Testing speed on a regular basis allows you to pinpoint performance trends, isolate which devices may be causing issues for your wireless network, and ensure no one is stealing your bandwidth.

This tutorial is made for you if you’re interested in monitoring how your download speed, upload speed, and ping are affected over time.

In order to measure your speed and log this information you will need the following hardware and software;

  • Raspberry Pi 3 or 4
  • Internet Connection
  • Ubidots Account ( It’s free )
  • No coding skills needed

How does a Raspberry Pi Internet Speed Monitor work?

With your raspberry pi connected to the internet, the pi is able to run a speed test using special software from Ookla, this data is then sent to a wrapper script that will parse the information and send the relevant information like download speed, upload speed and ping to a central server in the cloud which will allow you to see the data.

In short, what you need to do is;

  • Install the Speedtest CLI on the Raspberry Pi
  • Pipe the result of this to a Python Script
  • Upload this data to a Ubidots

We will build the following Speedtest Dashboard

Ubidots Speedtest CLI Dashboard in depth tutorial

How to install Speedtest CLI on the Raspberry PI

Built for software developers, system administrators, and computer enthusiasts alike, Speedtest CLI is the first official Linux-native Speedtest application backed by Ookla®.

You can run the following commands in the terminal connected to your Raspberry Pi, you can use Putty on Windows to run the following commands.

SSH into your Raspberry Pi

ssh your_username@ip_address_of_pi

Make sure your Pi is up to date

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Install Speedtest CLI

sudo apt-get install curl
curl -s https://install.speedtest.net/app/cli/install.deb.sh | sudo bash
sudo apt-get install speedtest

Run Speedtest for the first time.

When you first run the speedtest software on your Raspberry Pi for the first time then you will be asked to agree to some terms and conditions.

To proceed passed, Run the command below in your terminal and then type in “YES” followed by the ENTER key. All subsequent runs will be headless without any prompts.

speedtest

Writing the Python Script to pipe the information to Ubidots

Luckily Python is already installed on the latest Raspberry PI OS, you can run the following command to test it.

erik@pi:~ $ python --version
Python 3.9.2
// If that command fails then run the following to install it
// sudo apt-get install python3

You will now need to create a file and paste some python code inside of it, the only thing you need to change in the code is the API key to your Ubidots account.

You can use this link to get your API key on Ubidots

Create the Python file

sudo nano speedtest_monitor.py

This creates a file named speedtest_monitor.py in your home directory (/home/your_username) and starts editing it with the nano program.

In this file, paste the following, but be sure to update your API key first, I would recommend you paste this into notepad first and then change the API key and then paste it into nano on your Raspberry Pi.

#!/usr/bin python3

import sys
import json
import requests

def ubi_upload():
    data = json.load(sys.stdin)

    type = data['type']

    if type == 'log':
        # some error use print below to see response, alternatively run $ speedtest -f json
        pass
    elif type == 'result':
        # success, upload to ubidots
        upload_to_ubi(data)
    else:
        # uncaught error use print below to see response, alternatively run $ speedtest -f json
        pass

def upload_to_ubi(data):
    try:
        payload = {
            'download': round(data["download"]["bandwidth"] / (1024*1024) / 0.125, 2),
            'upload': round(data["upload"]["bandwidth"] / (1024*1024) / 0.125, 2),
            'ping': round(data["ping"]["latency"], 2), # 0ms to 20ms is considered good 
            'jitter': round(data["ping"]["jitter"], 2),
            'packet-loss': round(data["packetLoss"], 2),
            'bytes_used': round((data["download"]["bytes"] + data["upload"]["bytes"] ) / (1024*1024), 2),
        }

        r = requests.post('http://industrial.api.ubidots.com/api/v1.6/devices/raspberry-pi/?token=your_api_key_here', data=payload)
        r.raise_for_status()

        # Print the server's response Uncomment the next line for debugging purposes
        # print(r.content)

    except Exception as identifier:

        print(identifier)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    ubi_upload()

Save and exit (ctrl+x followed by y and then enter).

Back in the Linux command prompt, enter the following command

speedtest -f json

After about 15 seconds you should see something similar to the below ( your values might differ )

erik@pi:~ $ speedtest -f json
{"type":"result","timestamp":"2022-04-15T12:42:21Z","ping":{"jitter":1.129,"latency":2.3380000000000001},"download":{"bandwidth":12625799,"bytes":48122172,"elapsed":3812},"upload":{"bandwidth":13035767,"bytes":48316380,"elapsed":3703},"isp":"Seacom","interface":{"internalIp":"192.168.1.3","name":"eth0","macAddr":"03:01:04:04:0P:0I","isVpn":false,"externalIp":"13.31.12.21"},"server":{"id":33719,"host":"cpt-speedtest.frogfoot.com","port":9090,"name":"Frogfoot","location":"Cape Town","country":"South Africa","ip":"10.20.192.74"},"result":{"id":"6d339538-3db6-ad04-b686-89dv1aaff4x2","url":"https://www.speedtest.net/result/c/6d339538-3db6-ad04-b686-89dv1aaff4x2","persisted":true}}
erik@pi:~ $ 

Now pipe this data to the Python script you just created and then you will see it show up in your Ubidots dashboard

speedtest -f json|python3 speedtest_monitor.py

When the data shows up as variables in Ubidots you can make this script run every hour by creating a cron job on your Raspberry Pi

crontab -e

Scroll down and add the following line

0 * * * * speedtest -f json|/usr/local/bin/python3 /home/your_username/speedtest_monitor.py

Your crontab file should now look like this

GNU nano 5.4               /tmp/crontab.xxxGgt/crontab                        
# Notice that tasks will be started based on the cron's system
# daemon's notion of time and timezones.
# 
# Output of the crontab jobs (including errors) is sent through
# email to the user the crontab file belongs to (unless redirected).
# 
# For example, you can run a backup of all your user accounts
# at 5 a.m every week with:
# 0 5 * * 1 tar -zcf /var/backups/home.tgz /home/
# 
# For more information see the manual pages of crontab(5) and cron(8)
# 
# m h  dom mon dow   command

# Upload Speedtest results to UbiDots
0 * * * * speedtest -f json|/usr/local/bin/python3 /home/your_username/speedtest_monitor.py

Press ctrl+x to Save and Exit

By now your Raspberry Pi will be automatically running internet speed tests on your connection and uploading that data to your Ubidots account on an hourly basis.

This same principle can be used to create a speedtest.csv file for you if you prefer to use Excel to make graphs, feel free to let me know if you want me to create an Internet Speedtest to CSV tutorial for you.

I also have a tutorial on how to set up Pi-hole on your Raspberry Pi to block Ads, this also greatly improves your internet browsing experience by freeing up a lot of chunk traffic on your network.

How is internet speed measured?

  • Download: The time it takes to pull data, measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
  • Upload: The time it takes to send data, measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
  • Ping: The time it takes between sending a request and receiving a response, measured in milliseconds (ms) and also referred to as Latency.

What is a good download speed?

  • ADSL (1-24 Mbps)
  • VDSL  (15-130 Mbps)
  • Fiber (100 Mbps and beyond)

Regarding what speeds you need for these common activities;

  • 1-5 Mbps for checking email and browsing the web
  • 15-25 Mbps for streaming HD video
  • 40-100 Mbps for streaming 4K video and playing online games
  • 200+ Mbps for streaming 4K video, playing online games, and downloading large files

Broadband speed results are typically broken down into different numbers representing upload and download speed and delay or latency. This might sound complicated, so if you’re looking for benchmarks to compare your broadband performance against, here are the numbers to look for.

Cisco – an industry-leading manufacturer of networking and telecommunications hardware – says that for a good quality of service:

  • Ping (or latency shouldn’t go over 150 ms or 300 ms for a round trip)
  • Jitter should remain below 30 ms
  • Packet loss should be less than 1%.

Your download and upload speeds should match the rates specified by your broadband provider for your plan unless you’re on ADSL or VDSL and live far from a cabinet or exchange. ADSL and VDSL are generally offered as a best-effort service due to the extensive copper wire infrastructure required to carry the signal.

Popular Categories

Ad Blockers AWS Bitcoin CMD cPanel crypto Dark web Google IoT MikroTik Python Reviews SmartDNS Sonoff Tor VPN Windows WordPress Xiaomi Youtube Raspberry Pi

Subscribe (It's Free)


Featured Articles

How to monitor the power usage of devices using a Sonoff Pow R2
How to monitor the power usage of devices using a Sonoff Pow R2

Sonoff Pow R2 is a 16A WiFi smart light switch that allows you to remotely manage and control your appliances and monitor your home energy usage. The WiFi light switch works like a power monitor, which allows you to keep track of 99% accurate real-time current, voltage and power on your app.

Read The Article
Xiaomi Mijia 1080P 170 Degree Smart IP Camera with AI Human Detection
Xiaomi Mijia 1080P 170 Degree Smart IP Camera with AI Human Detection

I know this review is long, but I wanted to include all the details to help you decide. This smart security camera from Xiaomi had so much going for it, I still believe there a route for Xiaomi to redeem themselves and make this camera available to its full potential by issuing a firmware update to remove the restrictions and allow RTSP access from the Xiaomi camera.

Read The Article
A smart bulb that works with the eWelink app
A smart bulb that works with the eWelink app

The Sonoff lightbulbs are very affordable and provide you with the basic functionality that a smart home needs. If the budget is tight and you don’t need all bells and whistles of the more expensive lights, Sonoff lightbulbs will do the job just fine. The prices start from $9.90 for the (plastic, White + color temperature) B02 B A60 and $12.90 for the fancy, pear-shaped B02-F-ST64 (glass, retro look, White + color temperature). As far as connected lights go, the prices are very attractive and Sonoff lightbulbs indeed are as inexpensive as you can get.

Read The Article


Some articles you might also be interested in...

Xiaomi Mijia 1080P 170 Degree Smart IP Camera with AI Human Detection
Xiaomi Mijia 1080P 170 Degree Smart IP Camera with AI Human Detection

I know this review is long, but I wanted to include all the details to help you decide. This smart security camera from Xiaomi had so much going for it, I still believe there a route for Xiaomi to redeem themselves and make this camera available to its full potential by issuing a firmware update to remove the restrictions and allow RTSP access from the Xiaomi camera.

Read The Article
Sonoff SNZB-02 Zigbee Temperature & Humidity Sensor
Sonoff SNZB-02 Zigbee Temperature & Humidity Sensor

Enclosed in the same shell, SNZB-02 Zigbee temperature & Humidity sensor reports back every couple of minutes. The sensor is powered by CR2450 3V battery. The extra capacity means that the sensor will last a really long time. I have a heater connected to eWeLink app and, once I added a hub (absolutely required) this thing has performed well. The heater is controlled within +- 1°C. That's another thing, eWeLink only provides temperature readings in °C with no option for °F. I'm thinking about placing another sensor on the outside of the window so that I can control based on outdoor temperature as well.

Read The Article
How to transcribe video files to text files using Amazon AWS Transcribe for Free.
How to transcribe video files to text files using Amazon AWS Transcribe for Free.

Transcribe a video to text using AWS. In this tutorial we will create a Word Document from a YouTube Video using the automatic speech recognition service from Amazon called, AWS Transcribe. Amazon Transcribe is an automatic speech recognition (ASR) service that makes it easy for developers to add speech to text capability to their applications.

Read The Article