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A person downloading things on their home internet

How to increase internet speed

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Experiencing slow internet speeds? This Canstar Blue article outlines what you can do to try and speed up your downloads.

The last thing you want when you’re using the internet is for the connection to get interrupted or to have slow download speeds. While it’s easy to just blame your internet plan or the NBN itself, there are some simple steps that you can take to try and improve your internet speed that don’t require too much effort.

What is my internet speed?

A good place to start is determining what your actual internet speed is versus the expected speed that would be outlined in your internet plan. You can check this with a free internet speed test tool, which will give you your results in a matter of seconds. These results will include:

  • Download speed: the speed at which your connection can retrieve information from the internet (for example, loading websites)
  • Upload speed: the speed at which your connection can send information to the internet (for example, sending messages or posting on social media)
  • Ping: otherwise known as latency, this is the response time of your connection and ideally should be as low as possible

Using these results, you can get a good idea if it is your internet that is slow or whether there is another issue that might be impacting your connection.

6 ways to improve your internet speed

If you come to the conclusion that your internet is slower than it should be, there are several things you can do that may help this. From simple fixes to completely changing your connection type or internet provided, here are six ways to try to speed up your internet connection.

1. Restart your modem

As obvious as it may sound, turning your modem off and on again allows the modem to clear out any glitches which might fix any connection issues that were causing your internet to be slow. You might also try turning your modem off at the powerpoint and waiting a minute or so before turning everything back on.

2. Remove any clutter from around your modem

Having your modem blocked by big, bulky items can impact your WiFi connection. A good way to think about it is the same principle as having to travel through walls to get the connection from the router to your device. As a result, by limiting the amount of obstructions blocking the modem, you could potentially improve your internet connection and therefore speed.

3. Use a WiFi extender or booster

If you notice that your internet is better in some parts of your house versus others, a Wifi extender or booster may be the way to go. These work by extending the range of your WiFi, so that you can access the same speeds in every room of your house.

The other option is just to move the modem around the house and see what works best, but if some areas of the house are particularly stubborn, an extender may be the solution.

Read More: What are the fastest internet plans in Australia?

4. Upgrade your modem

Sometimes your modem can be the source of slow internet problems. 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 connection lines, meaning a closer investigation into the ports and lines in and around your house may be worthwhile.

5. Consider upgrading your internet speed and plan

If the internet speed included in your plan just isn’t cutting it for you and your household’s needs, it may be time to consider an upgrade to a higher speed tier if you can.

6. Upgrade your NBN connection type

When the NBN first rolled out, it was a bit of a suburb lottery that decided which connection type you got. However, there is a government initiative, called the Technology Choice Program, which allows customers to upgrade their NBN connection type for a fee. The purpose of this program is to give 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 most reliable NBN connection to date. Getting a quote is free, so it might be something to consider if you’re not happy with the current state of your NBN.

You can also check to see if your home is eligible for a free NBN fibre upgrade as part of its ongoing upgrade rollout.

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 Home Standard (NBN 50) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited 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 Home Fast (NBN 100) Plans

The table below shows a selection of published unlimited 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.

What is a good download speed?

Before you jump in to fixing your internet speed, it is important to first consider what a good download internet speed is. The ACCC has collated data from Australian households and determined that the Australian average evening speeds for the three most popular NBN speed tiers are as follows:

  • NBN 25: 25.5MbpsMan looking at laptop
  • NBN 50: 48.5Mbps
  • NBN 100: 97.1Mbps
Last updated May 2023

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 conduct a speed test, then have a pretty decent internet connection. If not, it’s probably worth getting in touch with your ISP and discussing with them why speeds aren’t measuring up.

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.

Compare NBN Providers

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