Neubot is a “software application that runs automated tasks over the Internet” in order to quantify network neutrality. The software is aresearch project on network neutrality of the NEXA Center for Internet & Society at Politecnico di Torino. The project is based on a lightweight open-source program that interested users can download and install on their computers. The program runs in background and periodically performs transmission tests with some test servers and with other instances of the program itself. These transmission tests probe the Internet using various application level protocols. The program saves tests results locally and uploads them on the project servers. The collected dataset contains samples from various Providers and allows to monitor network neutrality.
Monitoring network neutrality is crucial because it enables a deeper understanding of operators behavior. This is paramount at a time when there is a broad discussion regarding changes in network neutrality policies. The availability of quantitative datasets collected by independent researchers should rebalance, at least in part, the deep information asymmetry between Internet Service Providers and other interested stakeholders (including regulators and citizens), and should provide a more reliable basis for discussing policies.
It is distributed as: a .deb package for Debian and Ubuntu; a zipped application for MacOSX; an installer for Windows XP SP3+. It is also available in source format.