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Introducing the ICSI Netalyzr

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Introducing the ICSI Netalyzr

Postby Overnet User » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:29 pm

Story :

There's no limit to the ingenuity employed by ISPs to shape, throttle cap and otherwise deliver bandwidth that's a little less than pure -- and it's not always easy for regular users without networking knowledge to test the quality of their connection. With that in mind there's been a growing number of tools and tests designed for regular users, one of the more recent being the Google-driven MLAB -- a suite of tools to which Google lent resources, helping them in their network neutrality battle against giant carriers.

Many users are oblivious to whether outbound services are blocked or whether there problems with their ISP's DNS servers. To that end, researchers at the International Computer Science Institute say they've developed a new java applet connection analyzer dubbed the ICSI Netalyzr.

Netalyzr allows users to probe their network to discover various properties and problems, hidden HTTP proxies and caches, port filtering, IPv6 connectivity, latency, bandwidth, buffer properties, and DNS server health.

The tools don't just help users -- they help ISPs as well by fact-checking user claims, and helping to eliminate cries of network neutrality wolf. For instance, Slashdot today directed their users to this post from a user claiming that Comcast was messing about with port 53 traffic to force customers to use Comcast DNS servers (and by proxy their DNS redirection ads). Except Comcast argues this isn't the case, and user tests using the new Netalyzr tool seem to confirm Comcast's side of the story.

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Re: Introducing the ICSI Netalyzr

Postby RSalister » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:42 am

An interesting product. Any tool that provides greater insight into bandwidth usage is welcome. It's easy enough for those in the know to test this, but making it easier for the masses would certainly apply pressure to the ISPs.
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