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How to increase internet speed

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.

Here are 6 ways to improve your internet speed at home

If you would like to speed up your internet, there are several things you can do, from simple fixes such as moving the modem through to completely changing the connection type or internet provider you’re on. Here are six ways to potentially increase your internet speed for you to consider:

1. Consider upgrading your internet speed and plan

The most obvious reason as to why your internet is slow is that your internet might be… well, slow! If you have an inherently slow internet plan, it’s going to be a capped at a certain maximum speed. The most effective plan of attack in the long term is to shell out a little bit extra to make your internet experiences a whole lot faster.

Internet plans for faster speeds

If you’re after an internet plan with more kick, there are some great options on offer. NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans are a good place to look if you’re after a faster, widely available type of NBN, whereas NBN 12 and NBN 25 typically lags behind.

NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans can theoretically reach maximum 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 NBN connection type.

The following table shows a selection of sponsored unlimited data Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50), and Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) Plans

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

Unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) Plans

The table below shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of 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 referral partners.

2. Try to limit the WiFi range from your modem, or consider using a WiFi extender

The invisible magic of a WiFi connection works best when it travels in a straight line from point A to point B. You may have noticed in the past that using WiFi in a room on the other side of the house to the modem may have resulted in sluggish, unresponsive connection. Similarly, the more walls you put between your device and the modem increases this sluggishness, so try moving closer to the modem, or use a WiFi extender to potentially improve your connection and internet speed.

3. Remove any clutter from around your modem

Wi-Fi Modem

Having your modem blocked by big, bulky items can make your WiFi connection sluggish and unresponsive, with a similar principle to your WiFi connection having to travel through multiple walls. As a result, by limiting the amount of obstructions and clutter from around your modem, you may be able to improve your internet connection and speed.

4. Turn off your VPN (if you’re using one)

VPNs traditionally add to your WiFi’s workload, and slow down your connection due to the extra layer of protection they provide. While the additional security is obviously beneficial, VPNs can drain your internet speed by anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, so disconnecting from one can give you a nice bump in speed.

5. Upgrade your modem, or investigate your line for any potential damage

Internet plans get all the heat, but sometimes your modem can be the one at fault in your slow internet issues. There can be a variety of reasons why your modem might be on its final legs: dust buildup, wear and tear over time, or just general deterioration of the materials can lead to the device slowing down. Alternatively, you may need to check that your modem is running the most up-to-date software and firmware, as that may be adding to your slow internet speeds. Similarly, there may be an issue with the cords and connections lines, meaning a closer investigation into the ports and lines in and around your house may be worthwhile.

6. Consider the Technology Choice Program to upgrade to a faster NBN connection type

The Technology Choice Program is a government initiative aimed at giving Australians the fastest access possible to the NBN program. It aims at pushing houses to the FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) type of connection – which is the smoothest NBN connection to date. Getting a quote is free, so consider giving it a shot.

What is a good download speed?

A man looking at a laptop

Before taking steps to increase your speed, it’s important to first understand what a good download internet speed is. 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 they are as follows:

  • NBN 25: 25.5Mbps
  • NBN 50: 47.7Mbps
  • NBN 100: 93.6Mbps
Last updated July 2021

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.

Internet providers 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.


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