M-Lab is one of many projects exploring ways to help users more clearly understand the performance of their broadband connections. If you’re interested in exploring further, here are a few other active projects that we know about. (Note that these projects are not associated with M-Lab.)
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Test Your ISP” project and Switzerland client: “[Switzerland is] an open source software tool for testing the integrity of data communications over networks, ISPs and firewalls. It will spot IP packets which are forged or modified between clients, inform you, and give you copies of the modified packets.”
- Northwestern University’s Aqualab Project and Network Early Warning System plugin for Azureus: “Passively monitor[s] your BitTorrent performance and check[s] for changes that might indicate problems with the network.”
- Harvard Berkman Center‘s & StopBadware.org‘s Herdict: “Herdict Web aggregates reports of inaccessible sites, allowing users to compare data to see if inaccessibility is a shared problem.”
- BroadbandCensus.com: “A user-generated census of broadband speeds and availability.”
- SamKnows Broadband: Provides broadband information in the U.K. and runs a performance testing program in collaboration with individual users.
- University of Washington’s Web Tripwires: “Measur[ing] how often web pages are changed [by an intermediary] after leaving the server and before arriving in the user’s browser.”
- NNSquad: “An open-membership, open-source effort, enlisting the Internet’s users to help keep the Internet’s operations fair and unhindered from unreasonable restrictions.”
- GCTIP Forums: “a free discussion environment to act as a clearinghouse for all stakeholders (technical, consumers, ISPs, government-related, etc.) to interact on the range of “network transparency” and associated topics.”
- A group of researchers at Georgia Tech have created NANO, a Linux-based application that identifies performance degradations resulting from differential treatment of specific classes of applications, users, or destinations by a network operator. Future versions of NANO plan to make use of the M-Lab platform.
- The Netalyzr analyzes various properties of your Internet connection that you should care about — including blocking of important services, HTTP caching behavior and proxy correctness, your DNS server’s resilience to abuse, NAT detection, as well as latency & bandwidth measurements — and reports its findings in a detailed report.
Measurement Lab was founded by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, Google Inc. and academic researchers. They collectively make up the steering committee that will lead development of the organizational policies and structure of the platform going forward.
This effort also includes a number of supporting partners who have contributed to the project. In order for M-Lab to achieve its objectives, it depends on the support and participation of additional companies, institutions and researchers.