New Whitebox feature: Instant Test!

The new Instant Test, launching on Monday 22nd July, gives you the power to measure your fixed-line performance whenever you like. As soon as you think something's up, go straight to your SamKnows One dashboard and run an Instant Test to see what's going on. Thank you to everyone who has given us feedback on our products - let us know what you think!

Postcards from the Western States 100-Mile-Endurance-Run

Postcards from the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run

The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world's first and most iconic ultramarathon. Competitive, hot, and covering formidable terrain, this Californian race is no easy feat. So when Sam Crawford, our CTO and founder, went off to take part, we were proud, curious, and not a little anxious. Thankfully, he came back to tell the tale!

The Digital Opportunity Data Collection Program

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently suggested crowdsourcing data could be the best way to gather information on U.S. internet coverage: the Digital Opportunity Data Collection program. Here, SamKnows proposes the solution that will enable the FCC to create the largest and most reliable dataset possible, at the lowest cost.

SamKnows Website Performance Test: Part 1

Introducing the new way to measure your website's performance - the SamKnows Website Performance Test! This test shows you exactly how long your web page takes to render, and what's slowing it down, using the engine of a real web browser. The first of a three-part series, today we're explaining the problems with conventional testing and how we overcome them.

Measuring Broadband Canada: project update 

Two months ago, we asked you to help us improve the future of Canada's internet. We received an overwhelming response, thank you! Today, we're providing a quick update about our progress so far, which is excellent, and encourage those of you who would like to get involved to sign up for a Whitebox - it's not too late.

Life as an Android Developer

Inspired by the woman in charge of writing the on-board software for Apollo 11, SamKnows developer Samira has set up an exciting new project to teach young women how to code and overcome unhelpful "myths" about working in tech. We're fully supportive of this initiative, and today we're asking her all about her life as an Android Developer, part of the project's "myth busters" series.

Proud to be different

Three years ago, we set out on a mission to learn what we could do to make our team more diverse. Since then, we have found that even the smallest changes, such as using gender-neutral language, can have a significant affect on our hiring processes. Today, we want to share some of our experiences in the hope that we might help other technology companies do the same.

Bonjour Canada… prêt à tester votre Internet ?

Inscrivez-vous dès maintenant au projet de Mesure de la large bande au Canada - une étude nationale qui permettra de porter un regard approfondi sur la situation des performances d'Internet au Canada et d'en apporter les mesures nécessaires à leur amélioration.

Defeat bad internet in a snap!

When performance goes down, the stakes go up. The clock is ticking and the pressure is on. Happy customers turn into angry, Hulk-like monsters. With 27 tests and 65 metrics, we can show you exactly what to do to resolve your issues, whether they're Thanos-sized, or so small you'd need an Ant (Man) to identify them.

ISPs, lower your support costs with 5 easy steps

ISPs, lower your support costs with 5 easy steps

Unhappy customers can put a significant strain on your support teams, costing you time and money. By working closely with some of the world's leading service providers, we have developed a solution to help you have more happy customers, faster resolution times, a lighter support burden, and dramatically save on your costs.

Hello Canada… let's get testing

Now is the chance to help improve Canada's internet performance! Join the Measuring Broadband Canada program - a nationwide study that's taking a deep look into the state of the country's internet to find out what needs to be done to improve it for the future.

Prove your 1Gbps speeds with SamKnows

Prove your 1Gbps speeds with SamKnows

Don't let LAN spoil the party. If you're struggling to prove your 1Gbps+ speeds to customers, SamKnows has the solution! Embed the SamKnows Router SDK inside your fleet of routers and overcome the router bottleneck. Show your customers with a 1Gbps LAN interface that you're delivering on your ultra-fast advertising claims.

Product development at SamKnows

SamKnows started as a small, highly-skilled team where everyone knew what was going on. Communication was easy, and we scaled fast. But to ensure our rate of change was sustainable, we decided to adapt our internal workflows. Particularly since we're still scaling! Here's what we've learned so far.

Why is it so important to eliminate cross traffic?

At SamKnows, we place great emphasis on the importance of accuracy. A key element to achieving such high levels of accuracy is that we avoid running tests when you're using the internet - we call this cross-traffic detection. Today, we're telling you all about cross traffic, why its important, and how it contributes to your scientific dataset.

It takes a village to raise a child

Little Village are a small organisation doing great things. By providing second-hand baby clothes and equipment to families experiencing hardship, they aim to ensure that no child in London starts life without the essentials. We're excited to support Little Village, and encourage you to support them too.

The speedy way to build national performance apps

The Rapid Build Framework is a system for launching internet performance apps very quickly. Designed for long-term national measurement studies, the app is a cost-effective solution for regulators facing strict budgets and limited technical resources. It's easy to adapt, maintain, and can be ready for testing within a single day.

ARRIS and Virgin Media test new 10Gbps speeds

In September 2018, Virgin Media contacted us about trialling their new 10Gbps FTTH product, testing both the access technology and in-home connectivity.  We were delighted to assist Virgin Media and Arris measure these super-fast speeds, using our new 10Gbps Whitebox prototype that we had developed the year before.

The SamKnows Cloudflare Platform

We're excited to be expanding our fully-managed test server platform, with the help of Cloudflare's clever Workers. Cloudflare's Workers allow us to run code directly on their network, and incorporate them as part of our internet measurement platform. All the while, we maintain accurate measurement results without breaking the bank.

Wondering who we are? Meet the Sammies

Wondering who we are? Meet the Sammies.

We asked the Sammies a bunch of questions about what it's like to work at SamKnows. Learn more about what we do, why we do it, and what they had to say… And if you spot one of our job openings, we'd love to hear from you! With offices in the UK and USA, we're a company with a global reach and international reputation.

SamKnows web test for super-fast speeds

SamKnows web test for super-fast speeds

A behind-the-scenes look at how we develop new measurements. Here's our response to traditional web tests struggling to keep up with faster internet speeds. Read all about how we ensured the new SamKnows Web Test consistently provides accurate results for any speed tier on any browser - laying the groundwork for speeds greater than 1Gbps.

Be the first to know with automated alerts

Using the SamKnows alerting feature, we spotted a significant drop in YouTube tests across North America, Europe, and Asia. It's rare to see failures on this scale so we assessed its impact on customer experience using the data we generated. We also monitor other critical services, and can even spot minor performance degradation.

Upscaling our big data platform

Upscaling our big data platform

Very, very large-scale internet measurements generate a lot of data. Two years ago, we prepared ourselves for a sudden increase of SamKnows measurement agents in the world - from thousands to millions. Meaning a huge increase in data. So, we built an entirely new cloud-based platform to handle our measurement results: SamKnows One.

Connect America Fund reporting requirements

In July 2018, the USA's FCC released an updated order, detailing the auditing requirements for ISPs participating in the Connect America Fund (CAF). In this post, we summarise the CAF measurement requirements and how ISPs can meet them. SamKnows also has a solution to help ISP's prove they comply - read on to learn more.

Restoring internet with the Cell Audit app

The Cell Audit app is designed for surveying cellular performance in a particular area, such as disaster zones. For Android only, the app runs tests in a continuous cycle, checking for signal availability and collecting environmental data from connected cell towers. Track performance levels by time and location and identify damaged cell towers.

Benchmarking Dropbox, Google, and Microsoft

In this article, we put three online storage services — Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft Office 365 Sharepoint — to the test and compare how they perform on different UK broadband providers. All the online storage measurements we reference are available on our Whiteboxes and Router SDK right now.

SamKnows sponsors the London Vue Conference

We’re excited to sponsor this September’s Vue conference in London, running 20th - 21st. Come and join us at the SamKnows stand on the 21st — we’d love to talk to you about our upcoming projects and celebrate all things Vue! Vue is integral to what we do because it’s the main driving force behind our flagship, SamKnows One.

Beyond speed tests: Steam performance

Zen and the art of your Steam library maintenance. Today we’re taking a look at how well the UK’s largest ISPs perform when users download games from Steam. Using our measurement client for Steam, that runs on SamKnows Whiteboxes and the Router SDK, we generated data for analysis in SamKnows One. Here's what we found.

Reporting on the state of Australia's internet

The ACCC is using SamKnows One to measure the quality of Australia's internet and encourage reform. Find out how Australia's internet is faring in their latest report. Following the Initial Findings Report of March 2018, this second instalment gives a more granular analysis on the performance of Australia's internet services.

Solving poor Netflix performance

Speed tests don't always tell the whole story. An unhappy user contacted us about their poor Netflix performance, despite their 100 Mbps connection. Turns out the problem extended far beyond this user! Using SamKnows One, we discovered a routing issue spanning two continents. We quickly alerted the ISPs so they could deploy a quick fix.

Beyond speed tests: CDN performance

In this article, we're taking a look at the technologies used to deliver live TV streams over the internet by the BBC and ITV - the UK’s two largest terrestrial broadcasters. To do this, we ran performance measurements from nearly 700 UK homes during prime time, and then took a look at how the broadcasters, ISPs, and CDNs faired in SamKnows One.

Updating internet regulation in the UK

Ofcom are updating their Voluntary Codes of Practice (VCOP) to benefit home and business internet users in the UK. The aim of VCOP is to aid and protect internet users when buying broadband products. ISPs volunteer to follow the codes and need a measurement solution to prove their performance levels. Here's a guide to VCOP how we can help.

Dishing the DIRK

Dishing the DIRK - your open source dashboard

Your new open source dashboard. We’re open sourcing a library for you to build customisable dashboards, called DIRK. We built DIRK for the Enterprise dashboard in SamKnows One. DIRK provides an intuitive drag and drop interface, using Vue.js and the HTML5 Drag and Drop API. Let us know what you think!

Oh hello Oceania... let's measure your internet

We're proud to announce two new internet measurement projects with the Australian and New Zealand regulators! Both projects aim to better the internet for everyone. And both projects are using SamKnows data to help increase transparency, direct policies, and update infrastructure. Find out how you can get involved.

Improving customer care with SamKnows

Improving customer care with SamKnows

We've had an epiphany about how we can help your internet experience. SamKnows creates measurement tools to help ISPs and regulators improve internet performance and customer care. And while we've dramatically improved the richness and accuracy of internet performance intel, we believe we can do more. Time to think differently.

Intelligent page preloading with Futurelink

Intelligent page preloading with Futurelink

This article was written by one of our front-end web developers, Callum Macrae, about a website performance project he’s been working on recently. Frustrated with images taking a long time to download on the SamKnows website, Callum carried out some research and focused his efforts on finding the perfect solution.

We're celebrating all things Kotlin

Celebrating all things Kotlin in honour of our Android team (who really love it). We've been using Kotlin as our language of choice for the prototype of our internet performance app for Android. Kotlin suits our needs because it allows us to rapidly model, build, and release our applications, and much more. We couldn't recommend it highly enough!

Creating the ultimate performance app for Ofcom

Last year we launched a home Wi-Fi checker for the UK telecoms regulator Ofcom. Since then, we collaborated with Ofcom and UK ISPs to build the ultimate performance app that's great for all technologies. And today, we're thrilled to launch an update that adds way more features. Read this article to read all about it. And download the app - it's free!

Fixing annoying home Wi-Fi with Bell

Fixing annoying home Wi-Fi with Bell

We built a web test for Bell. We love it. It shows Bell users what's affecting their internet speeds. And it's as accurate as can be! This test discounts all in-home factors, like an under-performing PC or a bad in-home Wi-Fi connection - showing you whether there's a problem with Bell's provisioning or an issue inside the home.

Measuring Broadband America's 2016 report

We're proud to announce that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has published its Measuring Broadband America report, which is entirely based on SamKnows data. The USA saw internet speeds increase in 2016 - but with plenty of exceptions. In this article, we give you a quick overview of the report's key findings.

SamKnows releases SDK

SamKnows releases router manufacturer SDK

Mega update! You can now embed our full suite of internet performance tests directly inside your CPE. Conduct millions of tests from customer homes and analyse the results in SamKnows One. Popular with ISPs and equipment manufacturers, the SDK is suitable for anyone who wants to install our software inside their products.

BBC and SamKnows join forces for better internet

We were on BBC Watchdog last night. This week’s episode asked the all-important question: are you getting value for money when it comes to your internet? BBC Watchdog found that 35% of those who contacted their ISP with their SamKnows speed test results, saw an improvement. And 13% were offered a discount.