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Are there reliable tools that can simulate real life-like network conditions e.g. networks with different bandwidth, different latencies, packet loss etc...?

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Also take a look at Simulating high latency / intermittent network connections –  Justin Nov 2 '12 at 11:42
    
@Justin But is it possible (on Windows) to route application traffic through virtual machine? I mean running a second box for the app is in my case kinda out of the question... –  mrpyo Nov 2 '12 at 12:25
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http://www.netlimiter.com isn't bad. The free version allows you to put different bandwidth limits on the connections in your machine. Not sure that it can do packet loss though.

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RakNet's FAQ has some recommendations for such tools:

How do I simulate lag?

In a hurry, use RakPeer::ApplyNetworkSimulator. But I recommend http://www.netlimiter.com/ instead. There is also Network Emulator Toolkit (NEWT) from http://blog.mrpol.nl/2010/01/14/network-emulator-toolkit/ or http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lkruger/archive/2009/06/08/introducing-true-network-emulation-in-visual-studio-2010.aspx

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