# Probes, Hosts, Anchors & Sponsors

# What exactly is a probe?

A probe is a small hardware device that runs measurements in the RIPE Atlas system and reports these results to the data collection components.

# What's a host?

A host is someone who hosts a probe for RIPE Atlas; that is, someone who applies for a probe, connects it to their network and leaves it running. Find out more about how to get involved (opens new window).

# Why would I want to host a probe?

Hosting a RIPE Atlas probe benefits the entire Internet measurement community. It's also beneficial for you, since you'll continually earn credits for the time that your probe is connected. You can use these credits to conduct your own user-defined measurements using the entire RIPE Atlas network, which can provide valuable information about the performance of your own network. Find out more about user-defined measurements.

# Can I access the data collected by my probe?

Yes. You can find detailed information about your probe, including the measurements it runs, by clicking on your probe under the "My Probes" tab on the probes page (opens new window). Note that you must be logged into the RIPE Atlas website in order to access your probe's detailed page.

# What are credits and how do they work?

All RIPE Atlas hosts earn credits for each of their active probes. These credits accumulate automatically as long as the probe is connected to the network. A continuously running probe earns 21,600 credits each day.

Hosts can redeem their credits for their own user-defined measurements, which can employ other probes in the RIPE Atlas network. Credits are awarded daily and hosts can check their credit balance in their RIPE Atlas accounts. Learn more about the credit system.

# How do I host a probe?

Everyone is welcome to apply to host a RIPE Atlas probe. We will evaluate your application to determine whether the RIPE Atlas network would benefit from having you host a probe. Learn more (opens new window) about what it involves.

# Can I host more than one probe?

In order to create the most topologically diverse network possible, regular RIPE Atlas users are currently only allowed to apply for one probe unless they have a special reason for wanting a second one. If a current probe host tries to apply for additional probes, they need to include an explanation in the "Notes" field on the application form in order to be considered.

# What's an anchor?

RIPE Atlas anchors are both enhanced RIPE Atlas probes with more measurement capacity, as well as regional measurement targets within the greater RIPE Atlas network. Anchors provide valuable information about the local and regional connectivity and reachability of the Internet, and the large amount of data they collect is made available to everyone. Learn more about RIPE Atlas anchors (opens new window).

# What's a sponsor?

A sponsor is an individual or organisation that financially supports RIPE Atlas. In exchange, sponsors enjoy special benefits. Learn more (opens new window) about becoming a RIPE Atlas sponsor or email atlas [at] ripe [dot] net.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 July 2022