Frequently Asked Questions

Nielsen is a global research company providing the market standard in audience and consumer measurement. We have been a trusted leader in media measurement for over 90 years, and we currently study consumers in more than 100 countries!

The Nielsen Broadband Panel was developed to assess Australian consumers’ Internet services and determine the status of broadband service performance across Australia.

They say knowledge is power! In fact, you're likely to know more about your connection than anyone else. By using the internet as you do every day, we invite you to make a difference and earn redeemable rewards points! You do not need to change anything you do, we do not monitor how you use the internet such as what websites you visit. Instead, this is a set of automated tests designed to check performance, independent of how you use the internet. We will however ask, in the form of surveys, what your experience is like. This in turn will help improve and optimise internet performance across the network.

To ensure fair representation and accuracy in our data, we need to have equal coverage all over the country. If you fit our needs, we will send you a Whitebox, also known as the SamKnows Whitebox, at NO charge! The SamKnows Whitebox is a dedicated device for measuring your internet performance, which has been developed and built by the Technology Vendor, SamKnows. For more information about the SamKnows Whitebox please refer to the “What is the SamKnows Whitebox” section in this FAQ. All you need to do is plug it in and get tracking. To be eligible to sign up, all you need is:

  • A subscription to fixed Internet service over the nbn® network
  • Some space next to your router for the SamKnows Whitebox
  • Availability of a seat on the Panel. What is a Panel? Panel is a smaller group that shares same traits- like gender, race, age and technology- as a larger population. We develop these panels to help us understand what’s happening in the larger population without having to interact with each and every person in the larger population individually.
  • Additionally, Panel Members need to be compliant of the Nielsen Broadband Panel guidelines, by this we mean connecting your SamKnows Whitebox, and engaging in panel activities (for e.g., participating in surveys at least once every 8 weeks)

Find out if you qualify for free enrollment here

The SamKnows Whitebox is a dedicated device for measuring your internet performance, which has been developed and built by the Technology Vendor, SamKnows. The SamKnows Whitebox does not directly improve your internet. It provides information about the performance of your internet in the form of automated tests which are independent of what you are doing on the internet. This in turn helps nbn understand performance and experience through the surveys, to help improve internet performance. For more information about what is collected please refer to the privacy policy and the section on what is collected in this FAQ.

24 cm (L) x 15 cm (W)* x 18 cm (H)

* Depending on the device model, some of the SamKnows Whitebox would be in the width of 32 cm

No, the SamKnows Whitebox does not directly improve your internet.

The SamKnows Whitebox is…

  • capable of highly accurate internet performance tests available
  • A specially developed Test Kit, which is used by internet service providers and government regulators

The SamKnows Whitebox is NOT…

  • a way to improve your internet speed or performance by itself
  • a replacement for your router and/or modem
  • a replacement for any other Wi-Fi access points in your home
  • a smart meter for energy and gas usage.

The SamKnows Whitebox is easy to install.

If your SamKnows Whitebox is black and have 3 aerials - Please refer to the installation instructions here or the installation video here

If your SamKnows Whitebox is white and have 4 aerials - Please refer to the installation instructions here or the installation video here

No, the SamKnows Whitebox should never interfere with your enjoyment of the internet! The SamKnows Whitebox only runs tests when you're not online, or are using the internet at such a low level that running the tests won't make an impact. We'll hold off until you've finished that box office movie!

To test your broadband performance, the SamKnows Whitebox uses some of your bandwidth while you’re not using the internet. It shouldn’t be using much of your data, but its data usage really depends on the test schedule your SamKnows Whitebox is running. If you’re concerned your SamKnows Whitebox is using too much data – particularly if you have data caps on your home broadband service – we will be happy to assist you

The SamKnows Whitebox tests a wide network and application-specific properties. These are:

  • Download speed - The download speed is the speed at which data can be transferred from the internet to your computer (measured in megabits per second Mbps)
  • Upload speed - The upload speed is the speed at which data can be transferred from your computer to the internet (measured in megabits per second Mbps)
  • Packet Loss - when data is sent over to a network it is broken down into “packets”. Packet loss is when a packet was unsuccessful in reaching their destination
  • Latency - is the amount of time it takes for a packet of data to travel to and from a server and your computer
  • Jitter - a measure of variance in latency. Jitter indicates how much data packets are being disrupted when travelling to and from a server and your computer
  • DNS - when going to a website landing page, the DNS server translates the domain name into a computer friendly IP address. The test here involves how long it takes for the DNS infrastructure to make this translation
  • Website loading time – the time it takes to load a website. This is based on automated tests run by the SamKnows Whitebox, it does not monitor the websites visited by users on the network
  • Video streaming, online gaming stability – with particular metrics of performance that are specific to video streaming and gaming as a form of jitter and volatility. These are tested with automatic tests to a gaming or video streaming server to understand performance. We do not monitor what games are being played or have access to any personal information such as your player name.
  • We do not collect, analyse or view any content you are sending or receiving with your devices, the internet destination or source.

This is to understand the key metrics of internet performance and is based on a series of standardised automated tests measuring those metrics and is independent of how you are using your internet service.

You can learn more about SamKnows tests at the following pages

We will not be able to collect or see:

  • The websites you are visiting or viewing online.
  • Streaming or gaming services that you use.

The SamKnows Whiteboxes don’t collect any information on how you use the internet or what you are using it for. The Samknows Whitebox also does not collect any of your personal information, or information such as account passwords or banking information. We are not permitted to share specific details with our client (nbn) about members of the Panel. In addition, nbn will not seek to know the identities of Panel Members.

The SamKnows Whitebox is programmed to execute background performance tests including download and upload speeds; response times; and tests that mimicuser experience covering gaming latency, streaming video, website responsiveness and video conferencing. The SamKnows Whitebox checks that your internet connection isn’t too busy before running its tests, to make sure the tests fairly reflect the internet connection’s performance.

For more information on the type of data being collected and privacy practices, please click on the links to read our Privacy Policy and Member Agreement

We combine the information that comes from our Panel Members with data and research tools from other sources. We use this information to perform research and to prepare reports and analyses.

The nbn® network will continually evolve to help meet the needs of Australians. In order to meet this aspiration we need to understand how the nbn network is performing, where there is a need for infrastructure upgrades, stability and performance issues; with the aim of the nbn network and their partners (such as Internet Service Providers) providing a better experience

There are many things that can impact performance of the network. This can be due to ongoing maintenance, unexpected outages, the way it was setup in your home, the technology infrastructure that supports a given area and whether that is enough capacity. Even the weather can have an impact on performance.

Nielsen and the SamKnows Whitebox collect the information listed under “What does the Nielsen Broadband Panel collect” which is then de-identified (so the information is anonymous and cannot be linked to you) and passed on to nbn in accordance with the Nielsen privacy policy. Nielsen also collects your survey answers (including personal and sensitive information listed in Nielsen’s privacy policy) which aims to understand more about your experience and needs. Your de-identified survey answers are also shared with nbn.

nbn uses the de-identified information provided by Nielsen to understand:

  • Internet performance
  • How you rate that performance; what you think about it, how you use it and what you need from it

By way of example of how nbn might use the information as a result of your participation in having a SamKnows whitebox in your home, along with others in aggregate as part of this panel:

  • to assess whether the nbn network performance is improving or degrading and how this impacts customers - whether this is via average download or upload speeds, latency or jitter.
  • Using the automated tests to simulate, measure and track performance to popular consumer internet services such as websites, streaming providers and gaming servers.
  • review and capture how major events (such as weather, power outages, major sporting event being streamed or even damage to a submarine fibre optic cable) can impact Australian internet performance to both individual customers and network infrastructure.

nbn won’t use any information to identify you as an individual or contact you to improve your internet performance but instead make holistic changes, such as changes in infrastructure and marketing campaigns to impact an aggregated group of customers that are experiencing similar issues.

Your contribution in both the monitoring box and participation in surveys is critical. Ultimately this helps create a better network across Australia, and with your help we can create a better, stronger and more stable network that will continue to evolve in accordance with the needs of Australians.

Your demographic information allows us to analyse and report trends amongst particular demographic groups. None of your personal information or individual usage information will be shared with third parties, but rather, your usage behaviour data is combined with that of thousands of other Panel Members like you to provide aggregated insights to our clients. We care about your privacy.

Your information is protected and used as described in full in our Privacy Policy

Joining the Nielsen Broadband Panel won't cost you a thing and we will never ask you for your credit card details. We thank you for your participation by offering rewards which can be redeemed for gift vouchers.

We're sorry to see you go! We do want you to participate in the Nielsen Broadband Panel and answering surveys, but your participation in our research is at your discretion. Should you ever decide to stop participating, you may contact our helpdesk via our website by clicking on Contact Us at the bottom of the page. If you have already received the Samknows Whitebox, you must return it to complete the opt-out process.

You may contact our helpdesk via our website by clicking on Contact Us at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can send an email directly to or call us at 1800 334 440.

To thank you for being an active member of the Nielsen Broadband Panel, we offer you a points-based reward system. As long as you stay active, you will accumulate points which can be redeemed for gift vouchers from Coles, Woolworths, JB Hi-Fi, Myer, David Jones, Kmart, Caltex and many other stores (subject to availability). Just log into your Profile, go to Rewards to select the voucher you want to redeem. You will need to have at least 300 points before you start redeeming!

By joining the Nielsen Broadband Panel you have the chance to be rewarded for:

  • Registration
  • Installation of the SamKnows Whitebox
  • Monthly incentives for being an active member of the Nielsen Broadband Panel
  • Quarterly bonus for completing the survey when sent to you and being active for 3 months
  • Entry to be the lucky winner of 10,000 points which is equivalent value of AUD 1000 in the monthly raffle just by being active, complete surveys for extra entries!

Eligibility Rules:

  • The SamKnows Whitebox must be first connected for more than 15 calendar days before the raffle date. User set will be finalised on 27th of every month - Where First log is received before 12th of that month
  • SamKnows Whitebox connected and sent data log for at least 10 days in the respective month
  • One entry for each active Panel Member per month
  • One additional entry for each survey response completed on or before 25th of the respective month. If survey response was completed after 25th of the respective month, the additional entry will be applied for the next calendar month

Method: Randomly computer generated

Frequency: Every month

Raffle date: Every month- Starting from 27th Aug 2020

Number of winner: 2 Panel Members

Amount: AUD 1000 for each Panel Member (i.e. 10000 points)

Redemption: 10000 points will be added in the account ( for Panel Members. Panel Members can place a redemption request as per the availability of the vouchers


  • Repeated winnings are allowed
  • The Prize is not transferable, assignable or refundable and cannot be substituted for cash

Winning Panel Members will be notified via the registered email address. First name and state will be displayed on the website and newsletter as well for the rest of the Panel Members

Your chances of winning the raffles are based on the total number of valid entries that we receive each month. You receive entries by simply being active on the Nielsen Broadband Panel and completing the survey! We have 2 winners each month, and both will get an AUD 1,000 e-voucher!

During the Panel's recruitment and registration process, you would have received multiple communication about the panel onboarding status. Nielsen periodically requests that you participate in research surveys and gather any additional information that you voluntarily provide. We will share your rewards and raffle winner status via your registered email address. These types of communications are essential to maintain panel operations however if you wish you can opt-out of the non-mandatory communications listed below. To opt-out of all the communications, you will need to opt-out of the complete panel and return the SamKnows Whitebox back to Nielsen.

What kind of communication will I receive? Can I opt out of this communication and still continue to be part of the panel?
Nielsen support team will reach out to via phone/SMS/Email for panel engagement No
Onboarding status emails such as registration, T&C, etc. No
SamKnows Whitebox delivery emails (Delivery status) No
Incentive email (Points crediting, Raffle entry, etc.) No
CX survey (short survey once every two months) No
Bespoke survey (once every 4 months) No
Inactivity emails (SamKnows Whitebox is disconnected for more than 3 days) No
Newsletter (once every two months) Yes
Promotional email (referral/announcement) Yes

To unsubscribe from all communications, you will need to opt out of the Nielsen Broadband Panel by contacting our helpdesk by clicking on Contact Us

To unsubscribe from any promotional emails or newsletters, you can select the opt-out/unsubscribe button within the emails you receive.

Our support team will be happy to assist you. You may contact our helpdesk via our website by clicking on Contact Us at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can call us at 1800-334-440.