QualNet Network Simulator Software

QualNet® software (QualNet) is a tool for scientists, engineers and network planners to create virtual models of all types of data, voice and video networks which “mimics” the behavior of a real communications network. Simulation is a cost-effective method for developing, deploying and managing network-centric systems throughout their entire lifecycle. Users can evaluate the basic behavior of a network, and test combinations of network features that are likely to work. Our network simulator software tool provides a comprehensive environment for designing protocols, creating and animating network scenarios, and analyzing their performance.


Product Description

Key features of QualNet

  • Speed

QualNet can support real-time speed which enables model developers and network designers to run multiple “what-if” analyses by varying model, network, and traffic parameters in a short time.

  • Scalability

QualNet can model thousands of nodes by taking advantage of the latest hardware and parallel computing techniques. QualNet can run on cluster, multi-core, and multi-processor systems to model large networks with high fidelity.

  • Model Fidelity

QualNet uses highly detailed standards-based implementation of protocol models. It also includes advanced models for the wireless environment to enable more accurate modeling of real-world networks.

  • Extensibility

QualNet can connect to other hardware and software applications, such as OneSAF Testbed Baseline (OTB), real networks, and third party visualization software, to greatly enhancing the value of the network model.

QualNet is composed of the following tools:

  • QualNet Architect: A graphical experiment design and visualization tool. Architect has two modes: Design mode, for designing experiments, and Visualize mode, for running and visualizing experiments.
  • QualNet Analyzer: A graphical statistics analyzing tool.
  • QualNet Packet Tracer: A graphical tool to display and analyze packet traces.
  • QualNet File Editor: A text editing tool.
  • QualNet Command Line Interface: Command line access to the simulator.

Qulanet for Teaching and Research:

  • Easy to use GUIallows users to simply drag and drop devices, links and applications
  • Results analysis with graphs and statistics database
  • Packet animation to visually understand protocol working.
  • Faster speed enables model developers and network designers to run multiple “what-if” analyses by varying model, network, and traffic parameters in a short time.
  • QualNet supports a Wide Range of Technologies including the latest in 802.11, 802.15.4, LTE, WiMax etc
  • Easy installation and licensing
  • Delivers sophisticated software products and professional services, backed up by comprehensive customer support.

How QualNet is different from other Simulator?

  • Supports dual-core, quad-core, multi-processor and cluster systems
  • Faster simulation speeds through smart architecture and optimized memory management
  • Supports Terrain Models (DEM and DTED)
  • Supports Underwater communication
  • Provides 3-D animation capabilities
  • Provides stat file node by node, packet by packet and layer by layer

QualNet enables users to:

  • Design new protocol models.
  • Optimize new and existing models.
  • Design large wired and wireless networks using pre-configured or user-designed models.
  • Analyze the performance of networks and perform what-if analysis to optimize them.

Design Mode

Design Mode is used to create virtual network models via an intuitive point-and-click drag-and-drop graphical user interface. Nodes representing various types of network elements and endpoints are placed on a canvas. Each node is configured with wired or wireless network interfaces and communications characteristics. Nodes are then interconnected with the appropriate network links. Virtual network models can include subnets, mobility patterns of wireless users, other functional parameters of network nodes, and physical characteristics such as terrain and structures. A wide array of different application layer traffic and services that run on the network can be applied.

Statistics Database (Stats DB)

EXata provides for the generation of numerous statistics tables in a statistics database. These tables contain information in much finer detail than in the standard statistics file. You can specify which tables are generated and can configure the information contained in each table.

Visualize Mode

Visualize Mode gives the user opportunities to perform in- depth visualization and analysis of a network scenario created in Design Mode. As simulations are running, users can watch packets at various layers flow through the network and view dynamic graphs of critical performance metrics. Real-time statistics are also an option, where users can view dynamic graphs while a network scenario simulation is running.


Analyzer is a statistical graphing tool that displays hundreds of metrics. You can customize the graph display. All statistics are exportable to spreadsheets in CSV format.

This video highlights the co-simulation capabilities of QualNet and STK which allow for better performance in operational environments by establishing highly realistic mission scenarios. The integration allows the user to tailor design and operations of the communication systems to meet the specific needs of each mission while improving the levels fidelity in the analysis of mobile communications. This helps clarify the network performance effects on the mission and enables the user to make proper modifications resulting in increased confidence and comprehensive field test planning and analysis.


Any network device, protocol, configuration, effect, or technology can be modeled in SCALABLE simulation, but starting from scratch can be an involved exercise. To dramatically speed up the process, SCALABLE has developed a family of libraries containing models of the typical network component building blocks. They have been engineered and verified to accurately represent specific behavior.

QualNet platforms come with a default set of libraries of component models. Licenses for optional model libraries may be added.

Each of the available libraries is also available in source code form (C/C++) in the SCALABLE Developer’s Kit. They conform to a flexible OSI architecture, allowing engineers to easily build custom protocol stacks, waveforms, devices and interfaces.

The QualNet platform has three libraries of component models included:

  • Developer Model Library
  • Multimedia and Enterprise Model Library
  • Wireless Model Library

The libraries which are available as options include:

  • Advanced Wireless Model Library
  • Cellular Model Library
  • Federation Interfaces Library
  • LTE Model Library
  • TIREM Propagation Library [1]
  • Sensor Networks Model Library
  • UMTS Model Library
  • Military Radios Library [2]
  • Underwater Communication Networks Model Library
  • Urban Propagation Model Library

[1] This library requires code from a third party.

[2] This library is subject to export restriction under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) 22 CFR 120-130. International sales of these modules require authorization from the US Department of State.

Technical Partnerships

QualNet can be integrated with a wide range of third- party simulation and analysis tools, such as:

  • Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) System Toolkit (STK) for advanced mobility and satellite behavior models
  • VT MAK VR-Forces for interaction with computer generated forces models
  • Presagis STAGE for interaction with computer generated forces model

Use cases:

Autonomous Mining

  • Mining equipment is frequently on-the-move and must rely on wireless communication technologies to report status and receive commands. The wireless communications must work reliably in a hostile environment that includes ever-shifting terrain, an expanding underground labyrinth of shafts and levels, and interfering radio signals from other equipment.
  • A major manufacturer of mining equipment used QualNetto model communications in a mining environment. 
  • Onboard sensors on the equipment continually report hydraulic pressure, temperature, RPM, filter status, to monitor machine health, maximize uptime, and reduce cost per ton. The wireless network relays the data among constantly moving equipment to a central monitoring system.
  • QualNet was used to model signal to noise, interference, channel usage, packet loss and packet delivery, and was used to optimize network parameters. This helps the equipment manufacturer to ensure reliable network connectivity, thus improving productivity and minimizing equipment down time and associated costs.


Intelligent Transportation

  • Intelligent Transportation Systems, which included vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, is a new technology to improve safety on the road and avoid accidents by relaying information between vehicles in the same areas using applications on Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) radios over 802.11p.
  • Wireless communication among vehicles, and between vehicles and infrastructure, promises to greatly reduce collisions and loss of life in the future. 
  • Our network modeling capabilities will help with researching security, interoperability of devices, radio interference or network congestion that could affect safety, cyber vulnerability, performance, liability, and others issues.

Network Simulation Models for the Virtual World

  • The Korean Automotive Technology Institute (KATECH) has selected QualNet to integrate with their driving simulator.
  • QualNet will provide simulation models of the communications, using its built-in Wireless Access in a Vehicular Environment (WAVE, 802.11p) protocol model, and also models interference, fading, and path loss in rural and urban environments.
  • Wireshark is used with QualNet for packet sniffing, and to check the performance and interoperability of actual WAVE devices.
  • The system makes use of QualNet’s scalability and simulation modeling and analysis capabilities and can represent scenarios with thousands of vehicles.
  • QualNet is helping KATECH investigate and solve many vehicle communications development issues in their lab with our network tools, by representing multiple real-world environments without the risk of accidents using computer network models.

It comes with source C++ code and allows users to

  • Design new protocols and technologies, as well as evaluate changes to existing ones
  • Test and demonstrate designs in realistic scenarios
  • Optimize protocol and application performance
  • Results dashboardprovides appealing simulation performance reports with graphs statistics database.

Microsoft Windows

Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro 64-bit editions

Linux 64-bit Systems (x86)

  • CentOS versions 7.6
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) versions 7.6
  • Ubuntu versions 16.04 LTS and 18.04 LTS

Hardware Requirements


  • 64-bit (x86-64 compatible)


  • 512 MB free for LAN-size simulations without GUI
  • 2 GB free for LAN-size simulations with GUI
  • 2 – 4 GB free for a large network (1000+ nodes)


  • 1 GB disk space


  • 1024 x 768 or better screen resolution
  • Discrete graphics card with at least 128 MB memory supporting hardware 3D acceleration


A compiler is required if you modify source code to add customized models or include certain add-on libraries.


  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2017
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Community 2017 for Windows Desktop


  • gcc 4.8 with glibc 2.17 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.6 and CentOS 7.6
  • gcc 5 with glibc 2.23 Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • gcc 7 with glibc 2.27 Ubuntu 18.04 LTS


  1. Professor at a Premier Educational Institute of India.

    Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are nowadays implemented in so many fields. In order to guarantee an optimum use of this technology, one need to test different routing protocols like AODV, DSR and DYMO performances for IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee. The evaluation is based on network throughput, average end to end delay and average jitter for Various simulation scenarios are simulated with varying various properties. The network simulator QUALNET is used for the detailed simulation results and analysis, one can excavate the routing protocol that performs better depending on the number of nodes.

  2. Researcher at an Overseas Premier Educational Institute.

    This research aims to represent the ZigBee mesh routing and the performance under simulation environment for smart home. In the realistic smart home, researcher does not get some of the analysis and results. Hence, we designed and developed ZigBee best virtual smart home environment on Qualnet simulator. Finally, we suggest mixed-mode simulation methodology that integrates the smart home environment with realistic wireless sensor network tested hardware to get optimized system performance.

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