The RIPE NCC is building what they call the biggest Internet measurement network ever made, with the RIPE Atlas project. Small probes are made available ā€“ tiny hardware devices you connect to your network. The probes (of which currently about 1000 are on line) periodically take a few metrics and reports them to RIPE Atlas. Metrics include uptime and round-trip-time measurements to a number of predetermined destinations.

My probe (photo above) arrived today. I configured DHCP to give it a static address, powered it up by plugging it into a convenient USB port from which it draws power, and immediately had the required blinkenlights. ;-)

Together with all the other probes currently in operation Atlas probe is shown on the map, and my probe shows up there too.

If you are interested in hosting an Atlas probe, you can register for one. I feel all warm and fuzzy because Iā€™m helping to improve the internets. ;-)