The SamKnows method of measuring internet performance

SamKnows has been pioneering internet performance measurements for over 10 years. Our reputation is built upon our methodology, we go above and beyond to ensure that the data we collect is a reliable true representation of actual end-to-end performance. This is an insight into the testing principles that make SamKnows the global leader in our field.

Moving the data pipeline

Find out more about how we're accommodating our data in a more efficient, fast-paced and scalable way with Google BigQuery.

Gaming test update framework

Schedules are important. But when it comes to making necessary software updates to keep up with fast paced applications and other servers, we don't like waiting! ISPs upgrade their router firmware on a tight schedule that can take up months to be pushed through. To stay ahead of the game, find out how we're developing frameworks that can be used to update our 40 million+ Agents worldwide almost instantly.

Monitoring uptime and downtime

Our double test solution is our way of tackling unreliable monitoring of disconnections. Find out more about our foolproof test methodology and how we're upgrading our UI to intuitively display uptime and downtime on our Disconnections Chart with both current and historical data.

SamKnows Router Agent – another year wiser

Here’s our celebration of the software that brought our performance analytics into over 40 million homes.

Measuring the performance of game stores

One of the most important elements of the online gaming experience is downloading games. Online gaming markets for consoles like Xbox Live and Playstation Network and for PC games like Steam now make up the majority of new game purchases and can work up enormous levels of network traffic, all operating varying speeds depending on each players location. Read more to find out about digital game markets and our method behind developing game store tests.

New Whitebox 9 is breaking the speed limit

As the need for speed increases in broadband products, they've outstripped the physical limitations of router hardware and cannot be measured using traditional web-based speed tests. Whitebox 9 is the solution we've created for super-fast broadband monitoring all the way up to 2.5 Gbps.

Spot issues, identify the root cause, assess the impact on your customers, all in realtime

FaultFinder monitors network performance from the perspective of the end user. It builds a dynamic model of normal performance, constantly learning and re-learning to adapt to trend shifts. It compares real-time measurements against these models. When an anomaly is detected it can trace the root cause and also measure the impact of the fault in terms of performance and the volume of customers affected.

The E-Universe of Gaming

Within the next 5 years, the gaming industry is expected to double in value to an estimated worth of almost 300 billion dollars. As the gaming market rapidly excels, SamKnows is encouraging its rise with gaming tests that help game developers, ISPs, and governments understand their performance. Here's a closer look at the world of online gaming, our role within it, and our meticulous approach to building gaming tests.

Turn your Internet up to 11

Now millions of people worldwide are working from home, video conferencing demands are maxing-out the upload limit of domestic broadband connections. That's why SamKnows has designed the Internet TAP™. Simply attach the TAP (Tweak Available Performance) to your network port and plug in your router. Dial up your upload or dial down your download, find the perfect balance, improve the quality of your internet experience!

Router box on a side table next to a blue cat on a dresser

Resolving the most common ISP customer support calls with SamKnows

ISPs are responsible for delivering broadband to the home, so what happens beyond the router is largely out of their control. But problems with in-home Wi-Fi account for over 50% of the support calls ISPs receive. So even though it’s out of their control, it’s an expensive problem that ISPs need to be able to empathise with and help resolve. Join us on a user journey showing how SingleView and RealSpeed can streamline support calls and improve customer experience.

Know your internet inside and out

Know your internet inside and out

Resolving network issues quickly is the key to keeping your customers happy and loyal. SamKnows Single Home shows the network, Wi-Fi, and device performance of a single home all in one place so your support agents can do exactly that. Troubleshoot issues quickly, demonstrate home Wi-Fi issues to customers, and provide a seamless customer experience.

Accelerating the SamKnows data pipeline

Accelerating the SamKnows data pipeline

Our new data pipeline has dramatically improved the time between collecting detailed test results and making them available to our customers for analysis in SamKnows One. In the past, this process took 30 minutes. Today, it takes around 5 seconds! This acceleration will pave the way for new products acting upon real-time data. Find out what makes it so fast and how it's evolved over the years in the face of increasing demand.

Old house, new home, better Wi-Fi

When Cookie, our Head of Design, moved into his new house, he was determined to inspect his in-home Wi-Fi. Using SamKnows RealSpeed 2.0 as a guide, he used his speed test results to help improve his connectivity by 76.6Mbps! Cookie also recently appeared on George Clarke's Old House New Home, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring both projects together.

ISPs, give your customers accurate performance testing with RealSpeed

Don't let home interference spoil how your customers' perceive your network performance. With SamKnows RealSpeed, your customers can run an independent speed test from the edge of their home network (at the router itself) out to a test server, accurately recording the fastest speeds available, eliminating any Wi-Fi degradation from the results, and avoiding customer confusion.

Virgin Media launches SamKnows RealSpeed

Back in March, we spoke about how internet service providers (ISPs) are using the SamKnows Router Agent to overcome the limitations of conventional speed tests and accurately measure 1Gbps+ speeds. Since then, we've been hard at work, developing the perfect solution that allows you to do the same from the comfort of your home, without using any special equipment. Find out how easy it is to use!

Website Performance Test: Part 3

This is the third of a series of articles about our new SamKnows Website Performance Test. Today, we're telling the story of how we used it to detect a hidden problem that was impossible to find any other way. We contacted Sky straight away who where then able to restore good performance for all their consumers. Read on to find out about our investigation.

DNS-over-HTTPS performance

DNS-over-HTTPS promises to prevent eavesdropping and manipulation of DNS traffic. But this has side-effects that has many ISPs concerned. One of their concerns centers on performance and the impact on their CDN relationships. We've conducted an initial study of DNS-over-HTTPS performance from homes across Europe to help separate fact from fiction.

SamKnows Website Performance Test: Part 2

At SamKnows, we have been hard at work developing a new website performance test, called the SamKnows Website Performance Test (we’re pretty “out there” with the name!). In our previous blog post, we covered the overall concept. In this blog post we look at the technology behind it.

ISPs, create a customer pledge with EasyInstall for field engineers

EasyInstall is a simple way for installation engineers to provide quick, timely, and successful home visits that leave your customers feeling happy and confident with your service. After connecting a home to the internet, your engineers can use EasyInstall to accurately measure performance, create a customer pledge, and prove you are delivering the internet speeds your customers expect.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.