IoT Testing Tutorial: What is, Process, Challenges & Tools

What is Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things popularly known as IoT is the network that consists of devices, vehicles, buildings or any other connected electronic devices. This interconnection facilitates collection and exchange data. The 4 common components of an IoT system are

  1. Sensor
  2. Application
  3. Network
  4. Backend (Data Center)

IOT is a connection of identifiable embedded devices with the existing Internet infrastructure. In simple words, we can say that IOT is an era of “Smart”, connected products that communicate and transfer a large amount of data and upload it to cloud.

In this beginners tutorial, you will learn

What is IOT Testing?

IOT testing is a type of testing to check IOT devices. Today there is increasing need to deliver better and faster services. There is a huge demand to access, create, use and share data from any device. The thrust is to provide greater insight and control, over various interconnected IOT devices. Hence, IOT testing framework is important.

Types of Testing in IOT

Testing for IoT devices broadly revolves around Security, Analytics, Device, Networks, Processors, Operating Systems, Platforms and Standards.

Let’s investigate the broad testing types

Usability Testing:

There are so many devices of different shape and form factors are used by the users. Moreover, the perception also varies from one user to other. That’s why checking usability of the system is very important in IoT testing.

Compatibility Testing:

There are lots of devices which can be connected though IOT system. These devices have varied software and hardware configuration. Therefore, the possible combination are huge. As a result, checking the compatibility in IOT system is important.

Reliability and Scalability Testing:

Reliability and Scalablity is important for buidling an IOT test enviorment which involves simulation of sensors by utilzing virtualization tools and technolgoies.

Data Integrity Testing:

It’s important to check the Data integrity in IOT testing as it involves large amount of data and its application.

Security testing:

In the IOT environment, there are many users are accessing a massive amount of data. Thus, it is important to validate user via authentication, have data privacy controls as part of security testing.

Performance Testing:

Performance testing is important to create strategic approach for developing and implementing an IOT testing plan.

Following chart gives applicability of different testing types for various components of IOT.

IOT elements Testing Types Sensor Application Network Backend (Data Center)
Functional Testing True True False False
Usability Testing True True False False
Security Testing True True True True
Performance Testing False True True True
Compatibility Testing True True False False
Services Testing False True True True
Operational Testing True True False False

IOT Testing Process: Example Test Conditions

Test Categories Sample Test Conditions

Components Validation

  • Device Hardware
  • Embedded Software
  • Cloud infrastructure
  • Network Connectivity
  • Third-party software
  • Sensor Testing
  • Command Testing
  • Data format testing
  • Robustness Testing
  • Safety testing

Function Validation

  • Basic device Testing
  • Testing between IOT devices
  • Error Handling
  • Valid Calculation

Conditioning Validation

  • Manual Conditioning
  • Automated Conditioning
  • Conditioning profiles

Performance Validation

  • Data transmit Frequency
  • Multiple request handing
  • Synchronization
  • Interrupt testing
  • Device performance
  • Consistency validation

Security and Data Validation

  • Validate data packets
  • Verify data loses or corrupt packets
  • Data encryption/decryption
  • Data values
  • Users Roles and Responsibility & its Usage Pattern

Gateway Validation

  • Cloud interface testing
  • Device to cloud protocol testing
  • Latency testing

Analytics Validation

  • Sensor data analytics checking
  • IOT system operational analytics
  • System filter analytics
  • Rules verification

Communication Validation

  • Interoperability
  • M2M or Device to Device
  • Broadcast testing
  • Interrupt Testing
  • Protocol

Challenges of IOT testing

  • You need to check both the network and internal communication
  • Security is a big concern in IOT platform as all the task are operated using via Internet.
  • The complexity of the software and system may hide bug present in the IOT technology
  • Resource considerations such as limitations in memory, processing power, bandwidth, battery life, etc.

Best practices for effective IOT software testing

  • Gray Box testing should be used with IOT testing as it allows to design effective test case. This allows you to know the OS, the architecture, third-party hardware, new connectivity and hardware device limitation.
  • Real Time Operating System is vital to delivering the scalability, modularity, connectivity, security, which is important for IOT
  • IoT Testing should be automated.

IOT Testing Tools:

Two most effective IOT testing tools are:


Shodan is an IOT testing tool which you can use to discover which of your devices are connected to the Internet. It allows you to keep track of all the computers which are directly accessible from the Internet.

Download link:

2. Thingful

Thingful is a search engine for the Internet of Things. It allows secure interoperability between millions of objects via the Internet. This IOT testing tool also to control how data is used and empowers to take more decisive and valuable decisions.

Download link:


  • IOT is a connection of identifiable embedded devices with the existing Internet infrastructure.
  • The complexity of the software and system may hide bug present in the IOT technology
  • Gray Box testing should be used with IOT testing as it allows to design effective test case.
  • IoT Testing ensures that the users get the improved user experience across all the connected IOT devices.
  • As there is no test plan, part of the properties to be tested cannot be measured. So, errors/bugs may not be detected easily.