BISmark FAQs

What does the Bismark gateway do?

For now (and yes, we hope to continue this as long as we can sustain it), we will be happy to ship you an OpenWRT box with the Bismark firmware. The firmware currently takes only active measurements of your access link performance. We are working on a portal through which you can view your measurements (at, but that is still under development. In the future, depending on user demand, we would like to develop some other applications for the box, such as a visualization that helps users better manage usage caps, better interfaces for QoS and security in the home, etc. Those things are all in the works. Please submit feature requests!

When can I get a device?

At present, the requests for devices far outstrips our capability to satisfy the requests, so we may not be able to satisfy all requests. Please stay tuned for announcements.

How will you select participants?

We are looking for participants in regions close to measurement lab servers. We will initially ship gateways to users in these regions that allow us to achieve reasonable coverage across Internet service providers and service plans. We are also looking for participants in "interesting" places (e.g., foreign countries, developing regions).

Can I help develop or test BISmark?

Yes. Please contact us at

Who is funding this effort?

We are currently funded by the National Science Foundation, primarily. We have funding from Google once the NSF funding runs out. If you would like to donate to the project, or know of potential donors, please let us know!

How did this project start?

This project started when we wanted to learn more about properties of Internet access links and realized that there wasn't much good data about it available. We wanted to develop an open-source platform for taking these kinds of measurements. As we've been developing the platform, we've been realizing the general usefulness of having a programmable gateway in the home.

I have a question you didn't answer!

We have an additional FAQ about the BISmark routers themselves here. If those FAQs don't help, please contact us at