As there are a number of open-source or freeware tools available for IP impairment, why should one use a commercial tool? We get this question a lot, and it is a good question with a lengthy answer. Freeware impairment tools have their uses, and so do commercial solutions. It all depends on what you want to do, and how do you want to do it.
At first, for those not yet familiar with the subject: what is IP impairment testing and why would someone want to do such a thing? A live network will always have some challenges. Packets will be lost on the way, they will be delayed, fragmented, arrive in the wrong order, or become corrupted. The line may be completely down at times. Also, there may be times with bursts of traffic or network overload. IP impairment is done in order to create these live network conditions to test a network’s robustness.
As a rough summary, freeware tools are a feasible option when you are doing manual testing with basic impairments to a limited amount of traffic in an environment that is not time-critical. If this is not the case, you will need to go for a commercial tool. Please check the infographic guide for more details.