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196 comments

First post! (4, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668342)

Do I win a free router?

Re:First post! (1)

derspankster (1081309) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668502)

I've been running one of their free routers for months now. Is this some kind of time warp?

Re:First post! (5, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668634)

Well if the news is only reaching us now, that should tell them that the latency is pretty bad...

Re:First post! (1)

TrentTheThief (118302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669204)

I've been running one of their free routers for months now. Is this some kind of time warp?

Must be. I've had one for quite awhile. It has better wireless than the telco router. Easier to configure, too.

Re:First post! (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668586)

Just what I want, my gateway to the internet given to me by a government agency..because they have SUCH a good track record for not snooping around right??

/tin foilhat

Re:First post! (1)

Rasperin (1034758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669198)

Yes you did! Now, just give me your full name (as seen on your credit card), address to ship it to, and 3 forms of government issued identification to prove you are who you say you are, a passport or social security card will work great! This is for verification, I promise!

Be Afraid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668362)

Google, errrr the FCC will be giving away Wireless N routers.

Nothing to collect here sir - please move along

stupid (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668370)

eventhough its one of the cheapest crap routers out there I am just going to take a wild guess and say there is more important things we could be pissing our money away on. Besides the FCC is so stupid they couldn't even compile a fkin map do we want their spyware loaded routers broadcasting god knows what to who knows where eating at out caps

Re:stupid (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668410)

Money has been pissed away to bring broadband to the US because at one time people saw the utility of it. Someone is now looking into why it never materialized but the checks were cached.

Re:stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668612)

I'm glad they were cached, I'd be pissed if they were actually cashed.

Re:stupid (2)

mtmra70 (964928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668632)

Money has been pissed away to bring broadband to the US because at one time people saw the utility of it. Someone is now looking into why it never materialized but the checks were cached.

Well there is the problem. Had they cashed the checks, instead of caching them, we might actually have some good broadband throughout this country.

Re:stupid (2)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668802)

God damnit. Thats what I get for actually working today.

Re:stupid (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668980)

I do the same thing all the time, but I usually correct myself. It's a natural result of working in IT. So much cache and so little cash.

Re:stupid (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668492)

Old news. This is already ongoing. It's a pretty darn decent Netgear (almost $100 on Newegg).

Re:stupid (1)

synthparadox (770735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669208)

Agreed. I'm participating in this and I've had my router since around November.
Also they're not "giving them away" per se. The routers have custom firmware on them and they come with a letter saying when we're done we want the routers back otherwise we're sending you a bill (as agreed on when you signed up for the program).

Re:stupid (3, Informative)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669002)

eventhough its one of the cheapest crap routers out there

Ahem. The WNR3500L they're giving away [wikipedia.org] is a linux-based (openwrt [openwrt.org] ) high-end wireless router. It was $150 when new, now can be had for $80 [newegg.com] . Its successor the WNDR3700 retails for $185 and it's freaking awesome. A customizable linux-based router is precisely what I'd choose if I wanted to do an experiment like this.

caps! (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668372)

Making sure everyone has fast, reliable access available is great; but the FCC also has to worry about internet caps! Now that AT&T is cutting people off after a certain amount of bandwidth use, someone with the power to stop this monopolistic abuse needs to flex some muscle. What is the FCC doing about internet caps?

Re:caps! (5, Insightful)

yelvington (8169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668404)

Making sure everyone has fast, reliable access available is great; but the FCC also has to worry about internet caps! Now that AT&T is cutting people off after a certain amount of bandwidth use, someone with the power to stop this monopolistic abuse needs to flex some muscle. What is the FCC doing about internet caps?

I'm just guessing, but perhaps it would be wise to first measure and document what the carriers do, as opposed to what they say?

Re:caps! (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668944)

What is the FCC doing about internet caps?

Nothing while the bribes keep coming in.

$50 for your privacy (5, Funny)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668374)

My privacy is worth much more then a crappy router that will accidentally send all my browsing information.

Re:$50 for your privacy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668456)

My privacy is worth much more then a crappy router that will accidentally send all my browsing information.

They're the Feds. If you won't turn your browsing activity over for a free gadget, they'll just go to ATT and get it from them.

Re:$50 for your privacy (3, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668472)

My privacy is worth much more then a crappy router that will accidentally send all my browsing information.

So... What type of sites do you browse that you don't care for the feds to know about? Anime Tentacle Porn usually isn't illegal, you know...

Re:$50 for your privacy (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668538)

So... What type of sites do you browse that you don't care for the feds to know about? Anime Tentacle Porn usually isn't illegal, you know...

It's not the legality that worries me (all my illegal fun happens behind an encrypted VPN) it's that my neighbors will know I'm into Anime Tentacle Porn, for that kind of shame $50 is too low.

Re:$50 for your privacy (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668606)

Nah, that's too mainstream -- looks like he's into topless, baby-oil covered bombshells playing Wii [slashdot.org] .

Re:$50 for your privacy (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668710)

Why do you link to this during work hours!? T_T

Re:$50 for your privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669124)

The video is no longer available.

Re:$50 for your privacy (4, Insightful)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668796)

So... What type of sites do you browse that you don't care for the feds to know about?

All of them.

Re:$50 for your privacy (5, Insightful)

Askjeffro (787652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668510)

I find it cute that you believe you have privacy as it is.

Re:$50 for your privacy (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668548)

Yes, the FCC is sending out routers to ten thousand random people because the FCC wants to spy on, uh, ten thousand random people. The government is out to gitcha! RUN! Fucking moron. The government does tons of terrible shit, like giving all the wealth generated by the middle class to about 400 well connected guys, but guess what? This is not one of those terrible things. When you act like a paranoid schizophrenic, and tell everyone the government is ALWAYS out to screw EVERYONE over, ALL THE TIME, you are doing the work those 400 well connected guys want you to do. They want everyone to mistrust the one thing, the only thing that can possibly stop them: the power of people working together, i.e. government. So thanks for that. You do know that even if you were to fellate them 24/7 for the next fifty years, they won't let you into their little club, right?

Re:$50 for your privacy (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668604)

Hey, I know somebody who knows someone whose ex-wife was once married to one of The 400, so that must make me pretty special!

Re:$50 for your privacy (2)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669004)

I received my router from SamKnows back in January. I connected the thing through a spare Linux box, and set it up as a free and open wifi access point for the apartment next to me. I then sniffed all the packets going into and out of this connection to see if they were truly using the router to collect information on the volunteers. No dice. This router accesses the SAME urls, protocols, and IP addresses every day, most of the data being openly available to view; RTP streams are garbage from what I can tell. Not once did I see information being uploaded that was content from the apartment complexes browsing habits. The only strange behavior the router exhibited was when five or more clients were connected, the router would perform some speed test; even that's not too strange as it's testing the internet performance when the connection is stressed.

Furthermore, the information the router provides is exceptional. It really does a thorough test of the connection and the website to view the data is designed very well, utilizing a slew of my favorite FLOSS JavaScript and flash tools (jQuery, jQueryUI, Open Flash Charts,etc).

Re:$50 for your privacy (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669182)

actually, it does some terrible shit, and a lot of shit people don't understand so they assume it's bad. Most of what they do is good.

Re:$50 for your privacy (2)

misxn (901438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668788)

My privacy is worth much more then a crappy router that will accidentally send all my browsing information.

Your local grocery knows more about you than the government.

Duplicate from June 1, 2010 (1)

rminsk (831757) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668382)

Re:Duplicate from June 1, 2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668578)

No that was the beta test... this is new. (You'd know that if you RTFA.)

Re:Duplicate from June 1, 2010 (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668984)

No, no it's not.

Waiting for people to use these routers on P2P.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668384)

Waiting for people to use these routers on P2P....

Proper Heading (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668388)

FCC buys wifi routers using taxpayer money for people that can afford broadband connections.

Why not instead just do a voluntary program with existing routers people own? (Think far-simplified SETI@Home.)

Re:Proper Heading (3, Informative)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668568)

Simple: the router must use custom firmware that performs bandwidth tests during idle periods and reports the results. Can't do that with any old random router off the shelf.

Re:Proper Heading (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668668)

Well, technically one could, but as to getting 10,000 "average user" volunteers to load a custom firmware and reconfig -- that's another matter.

Re:Proper Heading (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668798)

It comes pre-loaded with the necessary firmware, silly.

Re:Proper Heading (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668712)

Which leads to wondering: what happens when a few of those geeks "jailbreak" those routers? does the swat team come in and kick down the door because you flashed it with DD-WRT firmware?

Or did the fed team pick a model that is not [yet] supported by the DD-WRT firmwares?

Re:Proper Heading (2)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668834)

Since the actual agreement leaves open the door that participants might not get to keep the router, I'll bet that jailbreaking it with other firmware before the project is complete is one of the exceptions that would have SamKnows knocking on your door wanting it back....

They won't give a crap if you jailbreak it AFTER the program is over.

Re:Proper Heading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668730)

Simple, they need a control in their experiment. Having 10,000 different bandwidth connections with 500 different routers, running Bandwidth@Work or some some such, would not render consistent results due to the variances in data handling between routers.

Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668390)

They already gave me one last year, a nice Netgear. Can I get another one?

Packet loss? (1)

Gary Perkins (1518751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668394)

Ok, once in a while I see latency that actually impacts quality (mostly on DSL), but when's the last time anyone had packet loss that wasn't on their own network?

Re:Packet loss? (1)

Audguy (736134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668450)

me, right now (well the last 2 days) grumble grumble.

Re:Packet loss? (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668684)

when's the last time anyone had packet loss that wasn't on their own network?

Today. Seriously, I see packet loss on intercontinental links all the time. Not my ISP's network, and not my network, but it still affects me.

Re:Packet loss? (1)

Gary Perkins (1518751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668758)

Ok, I stand corrected. LOL Guess I've just been lucky!

"It's a trap!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668428)

...was my first reaction. However, it seems [testmyisp.com] that there is a relatively decent privacy policy.

I admit that I remain suspicious, however: a "free" device and all sorts of tantalizing data available for analysis. This is a significant temptation for any corporation or government. Furthermore, since the testers have received material "consideration" and have opted-in, I suspect that there is little legal recourse in terms of privacy violation .(and perhaps some implicitly waived rights?)

Anon in case, well, you know... it's a trap. Haha.

Re:"It's a trap!" (3, Insightful)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668686)

Once it is yours (after the test) just nuke the custom firmware and load your favorite WRT flavor. I mean, unless you are paranoid enough to think they have custom hardware in there just to spy, and if you are that paranoid, you probably already think they have it in commercially sold routers.

Re:"It's a trap!" (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668878)

Same thought here, but there are some things to be aware of:

"What effect will this have on my monthly download cap?

Our units involved in the FCC project transfer a large amount of data, which varies according to the speed of your connection. The usage on a 10Mbps connection will be around 20GB/month, and will likely be around 60GB on a 50Mbps connection. The amount that's downloaded is speed dependant (so a slower connection will use less traffic than a faster connection).

If you're on a product with a low cap then we'd advise against signing up, or at least informing us beforehand so that we can apply a different testing profile (we can run smaller speed tests on a per-device if necessary)."

"How long will the testing period last?

The initial testing period is scheduled to last three years."

http://www.testmyisp.com/faq.html [testmyisp.com]

"Information collected
We may collect personal information about you which you give to us when you use our website, for example, to receive our exchange updates and regular website updates. For the purpose of the FCC and Ofcom studies we will collect your personal information and information about the performance of your internet connection."

"Your data
Users of SamKnows.com have certain rights under the your country’s Data Protection Legislation. You can, for instance, ask to be told what information we hold about you in our databases. SamKnows.com will provide you with all of the details that we hold about you, both online and offline, upon request. In order to request this information, please contact us by sending an email to team@samknows.com."

http://www.samknows.com/broadband/privacy [samknows.com]

"Heavy Downloaders" (2)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668446)

Every slashdot user is disqualified:

They have extended their research efforts to the public, but there are some minor requirements which need to be met. For example, your connection must be consistent (suffer very few disconnections), users must be considered average Internet browsers and not heavy downloaders [...]

Re:"Heavy Downloaders" (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668644)

The reason for that qualification isn't pejorative, it's practical: the device needs useful idle periods during which it can perform tests and report the results. If the router is constantly active 24/7 with, say, BitTorrent traffic, then the router never gets to "get a word in edgewise" and there'd be no data to report.

Re:"Heavy Downloaders" (1)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668814)

I'm not exactly versed on what is considered to be a "heavy downloader". I can see if you have a ton of BitTorrent traffic constantly traveling on your connection, but what about video game playing, streaming movies, etc. That's not 24/7, but it is generally during peak traffic. Isn't that when you would want to run your tests?

Re:"Heavy Downloaders" (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668966)

Nope. It just needs idle periods. It doesn't matter what time of day those periods are. The router performs its own tests; it doesn't monitor or use the actual user traffic in any way, AFAIK (and I'm a participant).

Re:"Heavy Downloaders" (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668862)

Heavy is such a vague term. I'm not doing any torrenting, and plan not to download Ubuntu 11 ISO's this quarter.

Even then, I just installed DD-WRT last friday night and was the bandwidth counters show 0.5 to 1GB incoming out of daily flash video, mostly youtubing from the non-geek living with me. I seem to recall /. comments that our USA smartphones are normally capped at 2GB / MONTH. So do they really want only old-lady type users who only write e-mails and never even 'listen to music'? (which unbeknownst to older folks means NOT low-bandwidth mp3s, but youtube's live-stage videoclips with the performance of the song, or boring slideshows with the soundtrack in the background.)

Now excuse me while I go break down and download that Ubuntu 11.4 ISO was holding back on trying. And I'm not as twitchy as teens torrenting DAILY dvd rips and TV shows and keeping open upload slots for anyone who cares.

Re:"Heavy Downloaders" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669112)

I don't generally download more than 1 or 2 GB per day (except when a new version of Ubuntu is released)

warning (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668448)

its a trap

Old news.... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668518)

Geez, somebody is late to the party... I've had one for months now. I still haven't figgered out what to do with my old DGL-4300 router, though.

BTW, if you read the actual agreement you will notice that it doesn't guarantee that participants will be allowed to keep the router. The text of the agreement clearly leaves open the possibility that SamKnows might repossess the routers, though it is probably impractical for them to do so (thus the extra-contractual assurances about keeping them).

Re:Old news.... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669162)

I still haven't figgered out what to do with my old DGL-4300 router, though.

Use it as a repeater or a second roamable AP to extend the range of your wireless network. Or install HSMM-MESH on one and join your WLAN into a mesh if there's one nearby.

Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668522)

I don't think so. I will my buy my own; thank you very much. They want to improve my speeds? They want to give you these routers so that they can control internet connections. If it was their choice they would require that everyone have these routers. Paranoid?

Re:Yeah right (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668756)

Paranoid?

Apparently you are, if you think the purpose is to "control internet connections."

Re:Yeah right (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669226)

Paranoid?

Not at all. You're just being a diligent, alert American.

- Glenn Beck

I'm involved with this (5, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668532)

It is a simple program. I plugged in the Netgear router in between my firewall and my cable modem and configured it as a bridge. It analyzes the traffic and sends the information to the FCC.

I love how some people here are whining about privacy. I think those people will whine about anything. What is the alternative? The data needs to be collected. Either you want the government to step in and regulate the telcos, or you don't. If you don't, then STFU and stop whining about the crappy service they are giving you. If you do, then realize you have to be part of the solution. Whining about it never fixed anything. At some point, someone has to collect some data.

If you don't want to participate in the program, don't. On the other hand, I'm happy to know that the FCC is getting some real data to show that when I fire up my VPN client from home to do some work, everything else on the network (NetFlix, et al) gets throttled back to next to nothing. I'm happy to be a guinea pig so that the FCC an see that the supposedly "faster" connection that I'm paying for is not really any faster than the basic package.

If you're doing something with your internet connection that the government cares about, they already know about you. Participating in some research is not going to suddenly put you on their radar. Your browsing history is a lot less interesting to most people than you think it is. The country is involved in two wars and the economy is crumbling around us. Do you really think the government cares if you want to wank off to www.fatmomfetish.com, or whatever other "super secret private" stuff you are doing with your internet connection? Running a Tor exit node? Seeding the latest movie rip? Ooooo, you crazy rebels you!

Re:I'm involved with this (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668664)

For anyone interested, Their privacy policy is here [testmyisp.com] . They have done a good job of explaining what they are doing.

Re:I'm involved with this (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668748)

I had to quickly replace my router last year when it died and I'm not terribly happy with the one I ended up with. What model did they give you?

Re:I'm involved with this (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668822)

I can check the model when I get home. It's their high-end home / small office router. GigE, Wireless-N. It's stable. I've never had to reboot it.

Re:I'm involved with this (1)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668894)

Thanks for the heads up! I signed up this morning and my friends are giving me flak for it now. Your post is reassuring...

Re:I'm involved with this (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668994)

The program seems to be a good one. If you want to, you can completely replace your router with the one they send you. I decided to put mine outside of the firewall because I don't like the idea of having some random device inside the perimeter.

Re:I'm involved with this (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669054)

Mine was a Netgear WNR3500L

Re:I'm involved with this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668816)

Either you want the government to step in and regulate the telcos, or you don't. If you don't, then STFU and stop whining about the crappy service they are giving you.

The crappy service is because the FCC is regulating the telcos. If they weren't, I could have multiple ISPs to choose from, and they could be forced to compete on service.

They don't have to compete, thanks to regulations from the FCC ensuring that no one will compete, so I get crappy service at inflated prices instead.

But, sure, the solution to overregulation is even more regulation. Why not.

This seems ridiculous (1)

GigaHurtsMyRobot (1143329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668536)

Why wouldn't it be the ISP collecting these statistics (as part of end-to-end monitoring and customer support reduction), and the FCC perhaps requiring that they be given a copy to stay aware of and create these regulations from?

Re:This seems ridiculous (1)

greywire (78262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668652)

Do you really trust your ISP to give you the full bandwidth they are overselling, er, I mean, selling you? And then you think they would collect statistics voluntarily and hand that over to someone else who might then tell them they are not providing the service they advertise?

Yeah, I believe in fairies too. I do believe in fairies, I do believe..

PS yeah its a cheap Netgear router. But it can run dd-wrt. Haven't decided yet if I'm going to flash it, since I do I want them to get the information they are after first. And I'm on Time warner cable. I'm pretty sure they use fairy dust..

Re:This seems ridiculous (1)

GigaHurtsMyRobot (1143329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668790)

Just depends how many levels you want to take it. The FCC could require them, via legislation, right?

Do you trust the ISP to identify these routers very quickly, either by traffic analysis or MAC address, and provide a special Quality of Service just for them?

Re:This seems ridiculous (1)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669076)

I was going to ask the same question but then I answered my own question. It is not a bad idea to have a system that keeps the ISPs honest.

One would hope the FCC already gets usage stats from ISPs and that this additional data will just be a reality check to make sure the data is legit.

Re:This seems ridiculous (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669228)

Because that really wouldn't be a trusted source now, would it?

Why don't we just ask the fox how many chickens we have?

Still ignoring the duoploy (2)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668594)

The FCC is making much fuss and noise about "digital inclusion" and whatnot, but no one at any level is willing to talk about the fact that most of the country has two or less options in broadband. During the summer of love (2002, IIRC), the big telecoms took advantage of deregulation to divide up the broadband market by city, and it's been higher prices, lower caps and no new pipe in ten yearsever since. Verizon FiOS is dead. Wireless is consolidating. It's permanent monopoly time, and the FCC just keeps talking about broadband maps and Internet literacy training (?!) as the solution.

Here's a better answer: bring back common carrier rules for backbone service rates, and let the local ISPs (remember those?) come back to life. Pass network neutrality. Ban the ownership of both content services and pipes. Lay some city-owned dark fiber and let the private sector bid to operate it. It ain't rocket science, but it will require standing up to Comcast and AT&T.

Re:Still ignoring the duoploy (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668722)

Verizon FiOS is dead.

It's still working for me. Best service I've ever had.

OMG... FCC to be slashdotted (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668596)

I am sure it is already happening, but 10,000 applications have probably already been filled out.

I have one of these (2)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668598)

I have one of these devices. It's plugged into a port on a managed switch and doesn't see any of my traffic; basically it has access to the Internet connection and that's it.

There's a site at http://reporting.samknows.com/ [samknows.com] that I can log into and see graphs of the test results, which are:

  • Website load times in seconds
  • Latency in milliseconds
  • Packet loss in %
  • Web Downloads Multi-Threaded in Mbps
  • Video streaming in seconds to buffer and seconds of delay
  • Downstream throughput in Mbps
  • Upstream throughput in Mbps
  • DNS response time in milliseconds
  • Failed web requests in %
  • Failed DNS requests in %
  • RTP Packet Loss in %
  • RTP Jitter in milliseconds

All these stats are graphed daily.

I have U-Verse, and the instructions state that with U-Verse you just plug the device into a switch port and plug nothing else into it. They probably don't want the U-Verse video traffic running through it. I also disabled its wifi, since it wasn't necessary.

Forgot... (1)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668622)

Forget that it also graphs VoIP Call Jitter, up and down in milliseconds.

Presumably these stats are the results of its own testing, as I'm not using VoIP.

How much data does it use? (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668600)

How much data is sent/received for the tests? I wouldn't want to hit my monthly cap...

Also, how long before the ISPs are able to uniquely identify traffic from/to these particular routers, and will "traffic shape" accordingly? I'm guessing more than one ISP employee has one to experiment on...

Re:How much data does it use? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669102)

Could try reading the linked page.

From the FAQ [testmyisp.com] :

Our units involved in the FCC project transfer a large amount of data, which varies according to the speed of your connection. The usage on a 10Mbps connection will be around 20GB/month, and will likely be around 60GB on a 50Mbps connection. The amount that's downloaded is speed dependant (so a slower connection will use less traffic than a faster connection).

If you're on a product with a low cap then we'd advise against signing up, or at least informing us beforehand so that we can apply a different testing profile (we can run smaller speed tests on a per-device if necessary).

Re:How much data does it use? (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669180)

apparently, its quite a bit but they say they'll reduce it for slower speeds. I saw something like 20GB per month.

Re:How much data does it use? (1)

rjhall (80887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669210)

if only there were some answers to frequently asked questions
http://www.testmyisp.com/faq.html#faq-14 [testmyisp.com]

Google Fiber (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668614)

Not really related (well, sort of), but it looks like Kansas City, Kansas are the lucky winnars! [blogspot.com] of the Google Community Fiber project.

It's.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668666)

a trap!

FCC is not giving them alway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668676)

You're giving them away and footing the bill.

Re:FCC is not giving them alway (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668836)

TEABAGGER SPOTTED.

How does it work? (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668680)

Lots of comments about waste of money, etc., but it depends on what and how it works.

First off: without some independent metrics, how is the FCC to gain an understanding of the status of broadband quality? Sure they can infer somethings from stats provided by ISPs but I am sure there are all kinds of issues with using secondhand data from parties with vested interests.

Given that the FCC should have an independent understanding of broadband deployment and quality in the US, then sticking 10,000 data collectors out there is not a bad idea. I would guess that the routers have custom firmware and call home to a server on a regular basis. Putting the metric collector on the router instead of a program on a local PC is obviously the way to go: always on, known behaviour, and relatively free from user fiddling.

It seems like a damn good idea to me.

Re:How does it work? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669250)

If only someone had an article and a link to where this information can be found~

Firmware upgrade (1)

bhengh (2029204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668726)

Are the routers DD-WRT compatible?

Re:Firmware upgrade (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668818)

RTFA. You can't alter the router or you'll have to give it back.

hmmm.... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668888)

while I dont like the idea of a government router, I do like the idea that the government is trying to measure the speed consumers are actually receiving. So I'm going to say this is a good thing. If you're concerned about your privacy, don't sign up. If not, do us all a favor and help them do this measurement.

Slashvertisement (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668912)

This has been going on for quite a while now [broadband.gov] , they've already shipped a bunch of routers, mines been hooked up for a few months already.

I have one of these (2)

Galaga88 (148206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668932)

I have one of these already. It's a NETGEAR WNR3500L. I've not seen any impact on my connection quality. Quite the contrary, I've used its reporting functions twice already in trying to get my ISP to track down connection quality issues at their end.

It keeps a running log of your ping, throughput, packet loss, etc. which you can access freely through their website. I was able to use this to document periods of latency spikes and massive packet loss.

I guess if you think the FCC is taking a particularly convoluted route to spy on me, rather than just, tapping in at the ISP itself, you're free to do that. I'll just think you're probably more than a bit daft.

Depends on how you define it (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668946)

If by "given away" you mean spending tax dollars on...

Not Free... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669024)

Read the TOS you agree to. they want them back when done of if you dont set it up for them. and you agree to not hack it or reverse engineer it.

Old news, but the router and tracking is awesome (3, Informative)

Frozen-Solid (569348) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669050)

Old news, and it was even posted on Slashdot when the program started last summer. I've been running an FCC White Box for several months now and love it. The router is a high quality Netgear with QoS filtering and all the bells and whistles you expect out of a $100+ router. It beats the ever living crap out of my old Belkin Wireless N. The tracking software doesn't monitor actual sites or any actual private information. Just packet loss, ping times, download and upload speeds, streaming stability, voip stability, etc. The graphs and charts it spits out are extremely useful and I've been using them for the past 2 months when complaining to Mediacom about my slow speeds, packet loss, and horrible ping times. It keeps 2 weeks of hourly data, and after that just tracks it as an average/min/max for the day. http://i53.tinypic.com/35bt5ro.jpg [tinypic.com]
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