Broadband Research = Free Wireless Router!

Techies wanting to play a part in research that will provide US consumers with accurate broadband statistics (and maybe receive a free wireless router in the process!) should consider joining the Test My ISP project.

The Federal Communications Commision (FCC) and SamKnows are joining forces to test, measure, and provide reliable US home broadband connection statistics by placing 10,000 routers in homes across the country. They're actually distributing 10,000 free Netgear WNR3500L wireless-N routers pre-loaded with testing firmware to participants.

Current Testing:

  • Multi-threaded HTTP download speed test
  • Multi-threaded HTTP based upload speed test
  • Availability of the connection
  • Jitter
  • Latency (both ICMP and UDP)
  • Packet loss (both ICMP and UDP)
  • DNS query resolution time
  • DNS query failure rate
  • Web page loading time
  • Web page loading failure rate
  • Video streaming performance

  • You have a fixed line broadband Internet connection to your residence.
  • You use a standalone device to connect to your broadband service - i.e not a USB ADSL modem.
  • You have a stable broadband connection (i.e. it doesn't disconnect frequently). Note that this is just referring to the connection - not the speed.
  • You are not a heavy downloader. Our tests can only run when your line below a certain traffic threshold, therefore we would not be able to run any tests if your line is in constant use.

  • If you have a cable/DSL modem and an existing separate router we will ask you to replace it with the Netgear WNR3500L.
  • If you cannot replace your existing router (due to it being an integrated DSL/cable modem and router, for example), then we will ask you to install the Netgear WNR3500L behind your existing router and reconnect all of your devices to the Netgear WNR3500L (both wired and wireless).
  • A&T U-Verse customers will be asked to connect the Netgear WNR3500L to their U-Verse gateway and do nothing further.

The FCC's program website includes the sign-up form, more information on requirements, and privacy details.
The SamKnows program website, includes details on the research program's recruitment, testing, and sampling methodologies.


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