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FAQ: Routing Information Services

Show or Hide answer What is a Remote Route Collector (RRC)?

A Remote Route Collector is a software router, running on a Linux platform, that only collects default free BGP routing information. We use the BGP daemon from Zebra/Quagga to interface with BGP peers. The collected raw data is regularly transferred via rsync to a central storage area at the RIPE NCC in Amsterdam.

Since September 2002, the RRCs announce a small number of prefixes, known as "Beacons". The prefixes can help researchers to study the properties of BGP routing convergence. Please click here for more information.

Show or Hide answer Are the RRC boxes also Route Servers?

No. A Route Server is usually used at an Internet Exchange Point, eliminating the need of managing a full mesh of EBGP sessions. It reduces operational costs for maintenance and/or configuration at an Internet Exchange Points. Our Remote Route Collectors only gather BGP data from peers, which is then transferred to and centrally stored at the RIPE NCC in Amsterdam. With the notable exception of the RIS Beacons, the RRC boxes do not forward or announce BGP routing information to peers.

Show or Hide answer How are the RRC boxes synchronized?

All of our Route Collectors use UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) as their time standard and NTP (Network Time Protocol) for synchronization.

Show or Hide answer When peering with neighbors, do you set MEDs or any other BGP attributes?

No, with the exception of the RIS Beacons, the RRC boxes do not forward or announce any BGP routing information to peers.

Show or Hide answer How much traffic does a Remote Route Collector generate?

Max. 4 MB data per peer, daily (compressed).

Show or Hide answer How can RIS data be used?

here is practically no limit to how RIS data can be used.


  • "Internet weather", i.e. end-to-end connectivity issues that users actually experience
  • Route flaps
  • Historic development of the default-free routing routing table
  • Monitoring illegitimate routing entries, e.g. Martians, prefix overlaps etc.

See URL for research based on RIS data:

Show or Hide answer How can I use ASInuse?

ASInuse's fundamental objective is providing a means of seeing if and how a particular AS number (ASN) is announced on the Internet. The query response lists the last update from peers, where the ASN was seen in the AS_Path. One should note that the 'views' are from the perspective of our Route Collector in Amsterdam and its peers.

Show or Hide answer What data is queried by ASInuse?

The data is collected by all of the Remote Route Collectors deployed by the RIPE NCC. The routing tables and BGP updates are gathered every eight hours and every five minutes respectively. The data is subsequently inserted into our database and stored there for three months.

RIS raw data has been available to the Internet community ever since the beginning of the project and can be downloaded from URL: .

Show or Hide answer Does the RIS collect full routing tables from its peers?

Yes, but not always. The RIS route collectors receive both full routing tables and partial views, depending on the peer. We try to maintain a balance between full tables and partial views in every location where RIS is present. This means that a broad view of the routes seen at that location is available while not overloading the route collector. The Route Collector in Amsterdam (RRC00) receives only full routing tables from its multi-hop BGP peers.

Show or Hide answer I cannot read the raw data format from Can you please help me?

The raw data has been compressed and is in MRT, a binary format. You can use the libbgpdump library to read the files.

Show or Hide answer Why can't I extract gzipped raw data files downloaded with MSIE 6.x?

If you use Netscape 6.x instead of MSIE 6.x and "save link as..." then you'll find that the file can be decompressed as normal. In the case of MSIE, the archive has already been extracted and can therefore not be extracted once again.

Show or Hide answer Why do I see missing or corrupted IPv6 message content in RIS raw data?

This is a known bug in Zebra v. 0.93 that will hopefully be fixed in later versions.

Show or Hide answer I need a NTP time server. Where can I find one?

Install a NTP server on your local network or look at for a public NTP time server in the geographical proximity.

If you are interested in installing a NTP server, then it might be of interest knowing that the Test Traffic Measurements service's probes, the "Test-Boxes", have a GPS clock and can therefore be used as stratum-0 NTP servers. For more information, go to .

Please do NOT use RRCs as NTP servers, they were not intended for this purpose.

Show or Hide answer How should I interpret the names of raw data files?
  • BGP routing table dumps:
  • BGP updates:

URL to the raw data:

Show or Hide answer I would like to peer with a Remote Route Collector at an Internet Exchange. What is your peering policy?

All Internet Exchange (IX) members are welcome to peer with our Remote Route Collectors (RRC). Participating peers will be listed on the RIS web pages. All BGP traffic will be recorded, stored in the RIS database and made available to the Internet community. If in any doubt about details, then please do not hesitate to contact us for guidance.

You can see our current peering policy at:

For Peering Requests, please use our on-line form

Show or Hide answer Do I need to update the RIPE RPSL database after setting up a peering with a Route Collector?

We do recommend that you update your AUT-NUM object for 'correctness'.


 import: from AS12654 action pref=100; accept NOT ANY 
export: to AS12654 announce AS-KQ AS-QWEST
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