Importance of IOT testing

By Kawshi Bandara

What is IOT?

In Internet of things, devices are connected through a network to exchange huge amount of data. Simply IOT is a giant network of connected things. When connecting, the relationships can be various. The things may also include people. Therefore, in IOT the relationships can be between people and people, people and things and also things and things.

IOT is a rapidly developing market, which is around for several years. Since the count of devices and software in IOT is increasing day-by-day, more testers and testing will be required to find the defects in IOT software.

IOT Testing

When testing internet of things we need to redefine the Software Quality Assurance engineers’ role. The testers need to focus more on the user centric testing. In addition, more than finding bugs they need to prevent them from occurring. The QA engineers need to influence both development and operational process. Testers should have more domain knowledge and the ones who do not have experience in testing hardware or embedded systems may need to develop their skills on those areas.

Building QA environment

When building a QA environment for IOT testing purposes should orient people to get amalgamation skills. The teams need to have a view towards performing integrated tests. For make things easy, the teams should look for tool build opportunities. If possible should build labs that serves the entire digital portfolio. The main thing is to build a culture within the team to “test as a user”. It is the best approach for IOT testing. Therefore, the QA team may have to leave the mindset to do the testing only against the requirements.

IOT Testing areas

  1. Connectivity

  2. Security

  3. Performance

  4. Functionality

  5. Compatibility

  6. User Experience

Connectivity testing

When testing connectivity the main thing the testers need to consider is the seamless connectivity. To share data among several devices it is necessary to have a continuous connectivity between them. When testing IOT, testers need to make sure that the connections between devices are always up and running. And the other important thing is that the devices should be able to restore the data when the connections are lost.

There are four challenging area testers need to consider when testing continuous connectivity in IOT testing.

  • Signaling

  • Presence detection

  • Power consumption

  • Bandwidth

Security testing

In IOT, there are more possibilities for cyber attaches. There can be more threats with financial data. In addition, IOT ecosystem provides multiple entry points for attaches. Another obvious thing is that the devices can be stolen. Because of these reasons, QA engineers who do the IOT testing need to pay more attention to the security aspects of the IOT software.

Performance testing

The performance testing plays a major part in IOT testing. It is because there can be device-to-device communication, device-to-server communication, server-to-server communication. Since we are mainly dealing with network, things like network bandwidth, latency, packet loss can affect the performance of the systems.

Functionality testing

In IOT also testers need to test the functionalities of the related web or mobile applications against the business requirements. Also as a functional test, the access control should be tested properly. It is mainly because when it comes to IOT accessing to the networks and devices should be authorized in a strict manner. Testing the capacity, security, reliability of the data storage comes under the functionality testing as well.

Compatibility testing

The device-to-device communication protocols are not compatible. This may lead the user to select devices that employ a common protocol. In IOT, lack of standardization can lead to incompatibility issues. Therefore, the compatibility needs to be validated for combinations of devices, protocols and operating systems.

User Experience

The systems should be clear and concise all the time. They should be user friendly and familiar. In addition, the IOT systems needs to be attractive and efficient. They should be consistent and forgiving. When testing the software from the users perspective testers need to consider all the above-mentioned characteristics in the system.

Challenges QA face in IOT testing

When testing an IOT related software, there can be so many challenges for the QA engineers. Below mentioned are the main challenges that the testers may come across while testing the systems.

  • Expensive to replicate the QA environment

  • Difficult accessibility

  • Lack of resources

  • Sensor quality and accuracy

  • Compatibility Issues

  • Complexity

  • Connectivity issues

  • Power problems

  • Security/Privacy issues

  • Safety Concerns

To do a perfect IOT testing the testers need to overcome all the above-mentioned challenges one by one. They need pay much attention to those areas that can go wrong.


IOT brings many new things to the table in terms of testing requirements. The Internet of things poses fresh challenges to developers and software testers that will stretch their skills. QA engineers may have to change their approaches in order to do a proper IOT testing. Learning about exact IOT testing can be a benefit for all the testers who wish for a bright future in the software industry.