Loopback Test

What Does Loopback Test Mean?

A loopback test is the process of sending digital data streams from a source back to the same point without any intentional modifications. It’s generally performed to determine whether a device works properly and whether there are failing nodes in a network.

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Techopedia Explains Loopback Test

Loopback testing is a diagnostic procedure in which a signal is transmitted and returned back to the same sending device after passing through all or a portion of a network to test transportation or transportation infrastructure. A comparison of the returned signal with the transmitted signal conveys the integrity of the transmission path. A loop plug, called a wrap plug, is inserted into the port of a communication device to facilitate the loopback test.

Loopback tests can readily be used to test computer serial ports and radio interfaces, and are one of the easiest ways to verify RS-232 communications.

Interfaces such as aggregated Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet, fast Ethernet, etc. can also be configured to execute a loopback test to verify circuit connectivity. The loopback test isolates circuit segments so that they can be tested separately.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.