Skip to main content

Host a Probe

Volunteers from across the world help RIPE Atlas reach new places every day by hosting probes, the building blocks of our measurement network. Hosting a RIPE Atlas probe is easy. You can either apply to host a hardware probe, which we will ship to you for you to plug it into your router, or a software probe, which you can install and run on your own infrastructure.

You’ll earn credits you can use for your own customised measurements. Probes perform the active measurements RIPE Atlas uses to collect data on Internet connectivity and reachability.

RIPE Atlas probes come in three forms: hardware devices, software installations and anchors. Anchors have different requirements and do more than regular probes.

Hardware probes

  • Need less technical knowledge to install and operate because they are install and forget
  • Once the device is in place, it automatically connects and in general 'just works'.
  • They automatically updated to use the newest available firmware.
  • They are not always in stock, you may have to apply and wait for one.

You can apply for a hardware probe in four easy steps:

  1. Create a RIPE NCC Access account
  2. Apply for a hardware probe through your account
  3. If your application is approved, we'll send you a probe
  4. Register your probe through your account and plug it in

Software probes

  • They need more technical knowledge to install and operate - since you’re installing and running the software yourself.
  • They are likely to become co-tenants on a device; they share resources with other services and software on that device
  • They can be installed on a number of Linux variants (Debian, RedHat, OpenWrt, Raspberry)
  • You supply the hardware (can be a VM as well) to run on a home router, a Pi laying around, your own server, etc...
  • You will need to upgrade the software every now and then, when new versions of the firmware become available

Note: To meet availability expectations, we recommend installing a software probe on a device that is generally online 24/7, as opposed to a laptop, for example.

You can set up a software probe in three easy steps:

  1. Create a RIPE NCC Access account
  2. Install the software package suitable to your environment
  3. Apply for a software probe through your account

Learn more

You can read more about probes in our RIPE Atlas documentation.