Don't sit there and complain about bottlenecks on the Internet. Do something about them! Georgia Tech's [email protected] project needs volunteers.
Typically, industry experts and academicians measure performance from data taken at routers throughout the Internet, long before material reaches end users. A better solution, though, according to professor George Riley of the school's electrical and computer engineering departments and graduate student Robby Simpson, would be to measure Internet performance from the end user's point of view.
Their [email protected] open-source software application measures average response time, average round trip time, connection times, and download times, as well as the number of packets and bytes sent and received. It then reports these statistics to the [email protected] server at Georgia Tech. Data collected from the computers of volunteers will illustrate performance trends as well as spotlight security problems, such as worm-fueled activity spikes. Then, the researchers can begin to develop solutions for poor performance and malicious activity.
"We need thousands of computer users to use our free [email protected] software to help us gather this data," says Riley.
This unobtrusive system runs in the background with little or no user intervention. Reports are stored on the user's computer, so it's possible to view statistics if desired. Users can determine the software's privacy level, limiting the level of detail that the software collects. The software is free, and it can be downloaded at www.neti.gatech.edu. Program participants also can receive an optional application that displays a geographical map of where their computer is connected on the Internet.
For details, go to www.gatech.edu.