The name WANulator comes from "WAN" and "simulator. This pretty much describes what the software does: It simulates different Internet conditions such as delay or packet loss. Furthermore it simulates user access line speeds e.g. modem, ISDN or ADSL. For a full list of parameters which can be simulated please have a look in feature list.

For You?

  • Easily test and optimize the behavior of any network application in different network scenarios
  • E.g. see your web-page load performance when simulating a modem or DSL connection
  • Optimize streaming behavior and buffer handling (e.g. within Voice over IP or video streaming applications)

It Works! For any protocols!

WANulator is currently packaged as a ISO image based on Ubuntu LTS. This will give you a full out of the box experience. You can turn any PC into a test-system by booting the ISO. The package already includes useful client SW such as web-browser. Nevertheless if the PC has 2 network interfaces the system can run as an intermediate system between your server and your client – as a switch – without any configuration hassles (recommended setup - more information in the documentation).



Limit the bandwidth of the interface or a packetstream.


Delays the packet stream. You can choose between a static delay or jitter.


Simply throws away packets.


Duplicates Packets in the stream.


Overwrites the content of the packet with random data starting from offset len bytes.


Many options on applying the functions including chance, burts etc.


List of Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a virtual machine setup (e.g. Zen or VMware)?

Using a virtual machine to perform the simulation will work in most cases. However the scheduling of your virtual machine setup may result in an inaccurate timing. Functions like delay or traffic shaping which depend on timing may not work correct. Its strongly recommended to test your setup (e.g. with netperf and ping) for verification.

How can I create a bootable USB stick?

You can use any tool which supports the creation of live USB sticks. However, you need to make sure that Linux is supported by the tool (syslinux is what you are looking for). For creating the stick on Windows(tm) I can recomend using Rufus.

How can I simulate a DSL line or mobile network connection or similar?

As you may have noticed, shaping of traffic is only possible on the outgoing data stream (up-stream) of an interface. To shape in both directions you need to have 2 Interface cards available (using either routed or switched mode) and apply a traffic shaping function on both interfaces up-stream.

How is the traffic shaping working?

The shaping is done by a standard token bucket shaper.

I found a bug – what shall I do?

Please report to us using the Contact page.

If I assign a function to an interface which packets will be affected?

Every function is applied to the packets of the outgoing data stream on the interface it is assigned to.

The Hardware I have seems to be not not supported (e.g. boot problems) – what now?

This may happen as its hard to keep up with the pace of new HW and new drivers being released. There are 2 possible ways to handle this: You can try to tweak the boot params (e.g. to disable hotplugging) – please have a look into the appropriate documentation for a comprehensive list of possibilities. If this doesn’t help you can run the WANulator within a Virtual machine which should allways run fine even on the latest HW. In any case I would highly appreciate if you could send me a short notice which HW you found problematic.

Why is WANulator only available as a live ISO image?

One important criteria for the WANulator was to generate an easy to use, “out of the box experience”. A live ISO image solves problems like Linux kernel dependencies or other environment dependencies effectively. Furthermore test software like WANulator is may be not to be used on a day per day basis. A live ISO can easily turn any available PC into a temporary test-station within seconds.