[LINK] Access test tools

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Wed Apr 1 23:19:39 AEDT 2009

Welcome to Measurement Lab  


Use tools running on M-Lab to test your Internet connection:

* Network Diagnostic Tool
  Test your connection speed and receive sophisticated diagnosis of
  problems limiting speed.

* Glasnost
  Test whether BitTorrent is being blocked or throttled.

* Network Path and Application Diagnosis
  Diagnose common problems that impact last-mile broadband networks.

* DiffProbe (coming soon)
  Determine whether an ISP is giving some traffic a lower priority than
  other traffic.

* NANO (coming soon)
  Determine whether an ISP is degrading the performance of a certain
  subset of users, applications, or destinations. 

Introducing Measurement Lab

Posted by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, and Stephen Stuart, 
Principal Engineer

When an Internet application doesn't work as expected or your connection 
seems flaky, how can you tell whether there is a problem caused by your 
broadband ISP, the application, your PC, or something else? ..

Last year we asked a small group of academics about ways to advance 
network research and provide users with tools to test their broadband 

Today Google, the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, the 
PlanetLab Consortium, and academic researchers are taking the wraps off 
of Measurement Lab (M-Lab), an open platform that researchers can use to 
deploy Internet measurement tools.

Researchers are already developing tools that allow users to, among other 
things, measure the speed of their connection, run diagnostics, and 
attempt to discern if their ISP is blocking or throttling particular 

These tools generate and send some data back-and-forth between the user's 
computer and a server elsewhere on the Internet. 

Unfortunately, researchers lack widely-distributed servers with ample 
connectivity. This poses a barrier to the accuracy and scalability of 
these tools. Researchers also have trouble sharing data with one another.

M-Lab aims to address these problems. 

Over the course of early 2009, Google will provide researchers with 36 
servers in 12 locations in the U.S. and Europe. All data collected via M-
Lab will be made publicly available for other researchers to build on. 

M-Lab is intended to be a truly community-based effort, and we welcome 
the support of other companies, institutions, researchers, and users that 
want to provide servers, tools, or other resources that can help the 
platform flourish.

Today, M-Lab is at the beginning of its development. To start, three 
tools running on servers near Google's headquarters are available to help 
users attempt to diagnose common problems that might impair their 
broadband speed, as well as determine whether BitTorrent is being blocked 
or throttled by their ISPs. These tools were created by the individual 
researchers who helped found M-Lab. 

By running these tools, users will get information about their connection 
and provide researchers with valuable aggregate data. Like M-Lab itself 
these tools are still in development, and they will only support a 
limited number of simultaneous users at this initial stage..

No matter your views on net neutrality and ISP network management 
practices, everyone can agree that Internet users deserve to be well-
informed about what they're getting when they sign up for broadband, and 
good data is the bedrock of sound policy. 

Transparency has always been crucial to the success of the Internet, and, 
by advancing network research in this area, M-Lab aims to help sustain a 
healthy, innovative Internet.

You can learn more at the M-Lab website. If you're a researcher who'd 
like to deploy a tool, or a company or institution that is interested in 
providing technical resources, we invite you to get involved.



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