Frequently Asked Questions

For more detailed information, please take a look at the SamKnows Help Centre, or get in touch.

Who are we measuring?

We're looking to measure the largest ISPs and fastest products in Canada. If you'd like to take part then sign up, letting us know the ISP you are with and the current speed plan you purchase from them (you can find this information on your bill from your ISP if you're not sure). We can't accept anyone who doesn't know what speed plan they purchase so please make sure you have this information when you sign up!

What kind of internet performance data will I get to see?

The Whitebox will run tests to all your favourite and most used sites including testing Netflix, YouTube, Facebook as well as video conferencing services and gaming providers.

Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Twitter
Video Streaming: Netflix, YouTube
Gaming: League of Legends, FIFA, Fortnite, Apex Legends, DOTA 2
Video conferencing: Google Meet, Skype, Teams, Webex, GoToMeeting
Reliability: Latency, Packet loss, Jitter
Speed: Download, Upload
Website Loading Time

All of the test results from your Whitebox can be viewed on your personalized SamKnows One dashboard. On SamKnows One, you can analyze your results, customize your charts, monitor performance over time, export reports to share, and so much more. Each month, you will receive a personalized e-report card, which gives you an update on your internet performance results over time as well as internet performance-related news and updates.

Will my monthly data cap be affected?

The tests the Whitebox runs are considered as "active tests" so the will use some of your data when running. If you're worried about how much data the Whitebox is using get in touch with our community support team and they can suggest some alternative testing plans for you.

What are download and upload speeds?

The download speed is the speed at which data can be transferred from the internet to your computer. The upload speed is the speed at which data can be transferred from your computer to the internet. They are measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

The download and upload speeds correspond to the package your internet service provider (ISP) listed when you purchased your broadband service. You'll have a figure for your download speed (e.g. up to 20Mbps) and one for your upload speed (e.g. up to 5Mbps). These can be the same or different. Upload speed is generally lower than download speed.

What are latency and packet loss?

When your data is sent over a network it is broken down into little ”packets”. Latency is the total amount of time it takes for a packet of data to travel from your computer to the test server and back to your computer. The lower the latency the better.

Packet loss is the number of packets sent over a network that were unsuccessful reaching their destination. It is like sending over a document composed of several pages, one page at a time. If you don’t receive all the pages, you won’t understand the content of this document. 

High packet loss will severely impact media services and online gaming applications.

For most use cases, packet loss above 2% will be noticeable by users.

How do I install my Whitebox?

The Whitebox is easy to install. Please refer to the installation instructions here.

Does the Whitebox fix my internet problems?

No. The Whitebox accurately measures the performance of your internet under a variety of metrics. All of your test results can be viewed in your SamKnows One dashboard. You can also export and download these metrics as a report, which you can then share with your ISP. Your ISP can use these metrics to identify areas of weakness and investigate into the source of the problem and fix it. This way, you can always be sure you are receiving the quality of service you expect. 

How do I view my test results?

You can view your test results on the SamKnows One dashboard.

When you sign up, you share your email address and create a password. These are your SamKnows One login details.

You will also be emailed a monthly e-report card, which will summarize your internet performance results.

What about my privacy?

We take privacy seriously. Rest assured, the only things we can see about your internet are its service quality in numbers. Nothing more. All we know about you is what you provided us with.

Any personal data that you provide us with - such as your name, email, address, ISP and package - is held in complete confidentiality and is entirely anonymized in any analysis or reports. We will only be using the metrics from your test results.

Improving Canada’s internet is a team effort, and we all work together under a strict set of rules.