What is IoT Testing? Types & Tools

What is IOT Testing?

IoT testing involves executing QA tests to check IoT devices’ functionality, security, and performance. It is crucial to ensure that your IoT devices can transmit sensitive information wirelessly before going to market because every IoT device sends and receives data over the Internet. Because of this, many IoT businesses rely on IoT automation, penetration, and performance testing tools to detect defects before reaching consumers.

IoT testing aims to ensure that IoT devices comply with specified requirements and work as expected.

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.

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 Scalability is important for building an IOT test environment which involves simulation of sensors by utilizing virtualization tools and technologies.

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.

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.


  • 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.