How to increase download speeds

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The last thing you want when you’re using the internet is slow download speed. While it’s easy to assume there’s nothing you can do, and write it off as a problem with your ISP or the NBN itself, fret not: there are some simple steps to take that can improve your internet speed without putting in that much effort. Today we’ll be jumping into exactly what you can do to speed up your downloads.

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What is a good download speed?

Depending on what internet plan you have, a good internet speed varies greatly. The ACCC has collated data from Australian households and determined the Australian evening average for the three most popular NBN speed tiers (and ADSL) and they are as follows:

  • ADSL: 7.3Mbps
  • NBN 25: 22.4Mbps
  • NBN 50: 42Mbps
  • NBN 100: 84.5Mbps

Typical evening speeds refer to averages recorded between the hours of 7pm and 11pm across Australia. If your broadband plan is reaching these speeds, or higher, when you speed test, then you have a pretty decent internet connection. If not, it’s probably worth getting in touch with your ISP and sorting out with them why speeds aren’t optimal.

Most telcos list their typical evening speeds for each NBN speed tier and you’ll find these may vary between providers. However, these figures are a great way of determining what your average peak-hour speed will be on each plan.

The ACCC has also collated data on the average performance percentage of internet types across Australia, and they are as follows. These figures calculate how fast each connection typically is as a percentage of its maximum possible speed.

  • FTTC: 90.5%
  • FTTP: 89.1%
  • HFC: 89.3%
  • FTTN: 80.9%

So, for example, Fibre to the Curb connections typically achieve 90.5% of their maximum speed, while Fibre to the Premises plans achieve 80.9%.

According to the ACCC, the fastest NBN providers for evening download speeds in May were:

  • Optus performed at 89.6% of its maximum plan speed
  • Exetel performed at 87.0% of its maximum plan speed
  • TPG performed at 86.7% of its maximum plan speed
  • Aussie Broadband performed at 86.1% of its maximum plan speed
  • iiNet performed at 83.9% of its maximum plan speed

A man looking at a laptop

How can I speed up downloads?

There’s several very simple tricks you can try to rev up your download speeds that won’t require much time, money, or effort. Here’s some things to try:

  • Try disconnecting unnecessary devices from your home internet, like your phone, laptops or any other things that could be downloading in the background without your knowledge.
  • Try to use an Ethernet cable whenever you can, or if you’re in a large house, consider using a WiFi range extender.
  • Turn off any background or automatic downloads on your computer.
  • Consider using a different modem, as it could be throttling your downloads, or could be simply be too slow for your plan.

How can I speed up my internet?

If you would like to speed up your internet, there’s several things you can do, including completely changing the type of broadband that you’re receiving at your property. Consider these options:

  • Consider upgrading your internet speed and plan (see below for examples of fast NBN options from a range of providers).
  • Try to limit your WiFi range from your modem, or consider using a WiFi extender.
  • Upgrade your modem, or investigate your line for any potential damage.
  • Consider the Technology Choice Program to upgrade to a faster NBN connection type.

Internet plans for faster speeds

If you’re after an internet plan with more kick, there’s some great options on offer now. NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans will be what you’re after, as NBN 12 and NBN 25 are the typical standard in Australia. These faster plans can reach speeds of 50Mbps and 100Mbps respectively. Alternatively, there’s NBN plans now that can reach 250Mbps and even 1000Mbps that you can sign up for, but you’ll need to be on an eligible connection.

The following table shows a selection of published cheap Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of published cheap Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

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