The Neubot project has been included in M-Lab platform

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Turin - January 11th, 2012. The Nexa Center for Internet & Society at Politecnico di Torino (DAUIN) is pleased to announce that the Neubot project on network neutrality has been officially included in the distributed measurement platform M-Lab (Measurement Lab). The free, opensource Neubot software can, therefore, now use over 60 M-Lab servers to perform neutrality measurements and to save raw results, pending publication on the project website. Until now, only eight other projects have been accepted on the M-Lab platform, which was launched in 2008 by a consortium of think tanks, businesses (including Google) and academic researchers.

"It's an important achievement", says prof. Juan Carlos De Martin, co-director of the Nexa Center and scientific director of the Neubot project, "an achievement that rewards years of work and will allow to reach a larger number of users, improving the quantity and quality of the data produced by the project. Network neutrality is one of the crucial issues for the future of Internet and we are glad to be able to contribute with help of thousands of Internet users throughout the world."

The opportunity to use M-Lab servers will allow for more accurate measurements, serving a larger numbers of users in a larger number of countries. "Until now, Neubot measurements were performed using a unique central server, hosted at the Top-IX (Torino Piemonte Internet Exchange) Consortium in Turin", recalls Simone Basso, PhD student at Politecnico di Torino, fellow of the Nexa Center and lead developer of the Neubot Project. "As a consequence, non-Italian Neubot users were typically too far away from the server to get very reliable measurements. Now, instead, the availability of over 60 alternative servers, placed in North America, Europe, Oceania and Japan, will allow to automatically redirect users to the closest server, improving measurements quality and providing a benefit to both the users and the project."

Neubot project data

The current version of the Neubot client, 0.4.5, contains two tests, which emulate respectively the HTTP (the standard protocol of the Web) and the BitTorrent protocols (used in many peer to peer connections) and which measure the delay between server and client as well as download and upload speeds. From the date of the first release (2nd November 2010), Neubot has been downloaded about eleven thousands times. On the project site (http://www.neubot.org/) 1,613,176 HTTP and 207,445 BitTorrent test results gathered from June to November 2011 are available. Currently, Neubot is actively used by about 300 persons every day. Results are published under the Creative Commons Zero license, a result made possible thanks to the contribution of the Nexa Center's legal experts, who solved the potential legal issues of the project and helped to write the project's privacy policy.

Future Neubot developments

"Future Neubot developments", Simone Basso says, "include a modified client release, which will use the same privacy policy of M-Lab. Now, indeed, only those users who have provided the permission to publish their IP address can use M-Lab. All others use just Neubot's central server, because their settings are not compatible with the platform's policy. Clearly, it is our interest that all users always use M-Lab, given the tremendous advantages, so we are going to harmonize the privacy policy of Neubot with M-Lab's one. In the next Neubot releases we're going to improve the robustness of the algorithm for measuring 100 Mbit/s connections; to write code to evaluate the impact of user activity on the measurements; to automate the collection, publication and analysis of results; to develop a test that emulates Skype."

Download the PDF version of press release.