Do I qualify for FREE enrollment?
To ensure fair representation and accuracy in our data, we need to have equal coverage all over the country. This means we will be keeping an eye out for volunteers with certain zip codes and packages. If you fit our needs, we will send you a Whitebox for FREE! All you need to do is plug it in and get tracking.
Who are we measuring?
Please find below the Measuring Broadband Canada sample plan:
While some providers do offer advertised speeds of 1 Gbps or faster, services above 940Mbps cannot be measured with a conventional speed test. As such, speed tiers of 1 Gbps or faster are excluded from the 2019 Measuring Broadband Canada project. Consumers should visit each of the participating ISP’s websites for details about the availability of higher or lower speed tiers.
- The number of free Whiteboxes is limited. You might have one of the packages listed above, but if we have already filled the necessary quota, you might not be selected.
- This sample plan is an ever moving document. Final reporting packages may differ from those listed above.
What tests does the Whitebox run?
The SamKnows Whitebox focuses on your internet performance metrics only. It runs tests on a regular schedule and is not affected by outside factors.
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.
Measuring Broadband Canada runs the following SamKnows Whitebox tests:
- Download Speed
- Upload Speed
- Packet Loss
- Website Loading Time
Want to learn more about the engineering behind the SamKnows tests? Check out: https://samknows.com/technology/tests/metrics
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?
The focus of this project is to improve Canada’s internet performance. To do this, we need to research and understand how Canadians all over the country are experiencing internet performance. This means we need to collect internet performance data, specifically. That’s it.
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.
Will my monthly data cap be affected?
If you decide to join the Measuring Broadband Canada project, participating ISPs have agreed to uncap your data so that your Whitebox can run tests without incurring any extra charges. Please note this does not apply to Northwestel volunteers. Northwestel volunteers who sign up run a less frequent test schedule to ensure less data is used.