Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all internet plan, there’s also no one perfect internet speed to suit all Australians. The internet speed you experience will depend on the type of broadband connection you have and the plan you choose, but knowing the speed you should be achieving can help you determine if your plan is underperforming. This is where running an internet speed test can come in handy.
Simply click or press the ‘Go’ button above, and our in-page tool will perform an instant speed test on your internet connection. In a matter of seconds, you’ll receive three key results: your download speed, your upload speed, and your ping (see below for what these terms mean and why they’re important).
Download speed: How fast your connection can retrieve information from the internet (for example, loading websites or streaming YouTube).
Upload speed: How fast your connection can send information to the internet (for example, posting on social media or making Zoom calls).
Megabits per second (Mbps): Units of measurement that indicate how much data can be transferred across a connection per second. The more megabits that can be sent, the faster your connection should be.
Typical evening speeds: The average download speeds experienced by customers during the busiest usage hours of between 7pm-11pm.
Ping & latency: Latency refers to the response time of your connection, i.e. the time between you performing an action or sending information, and that information reaching its destination. This is measured in milliseconds, and is often referred to as ‘ping’; ideally, your ping should be as low as possible.
Bandwidth: How much data your connection can send or receive per second.
The right speed for you will depend on several factors, including:
The more people in your home, and the more data-intensive your daily use is, the more likely you are to need a faster plan. To give you an idea of what the four standard tiers are best suited for, you can compare NBN 12, NBN 25, NBN 50 and NBN 100 uses below.
|NBN 12||NBN 25||NBN 50||NBN 100|
|Maximum available speeds||12/1Mbps: 12Mbps download, 1Mbps upload||25/5Mbps: 25Mbps download, 5Mbps upload||50/20Mbps: 50Mbps download, 20Mbps upload||100/40Mbps or 100/20: 100Mbps download, 40Mbps upload or 20Mbps upload|
|Average busy hour download speed||7Mbps-12Mbps||15Mbps-25Mbps||30Mbps-50Mbps||60Mbps-100Mbps|
|Recommended household size||1-2 people, light users||2-3 people light to moderate users||3-4 people, moderate to heavy users||5+ people, heavy users|
|Recommended use||Light web browsing, home phone||Moderate web browsing, social media browsing, sending emails, SD video streaming, music streaming||HD video streaming, music streaming, online gaming, sharing/uploading photos, video calling||4K video streaming, uploading/downloading large files, online gaming, heavy internet use over multiple devices simultaneously|
If you’re on an eligible FTTP or HFC connection, and want a premium speed experience, you may also be interested in NBN 250 or NBN 1000 plans. These plans are typically quite expensive — ranging from $110 to $180 per month on average — and are best suited to large households with big download demands.
But if you can afford to go super-fast, and feel like you’d benefit from the extra speed, you can now find NBN 250 and NBN 1000 options from most major NBN providers, including Telstra, Optus, TPG and more.
If you’re one of the millions of Aussies now on an NBN plan, you have a range of speeds to choose from — which can make it harder to figure out if you’re actually getting the best speed for your needs. Depending on the NBN technology type used to connect your home to the network, you could have up to six or more speed tier options available at your address.
Currently, there are six main residential NBN speed tiers commonly available to customers. These tiers are divided by the maximum download and upload speeds available; the higher the speeds, the faster your plan should be.
|NBN Plan||Maximum Speed||Average Speed 7pm-11pm (approximate)|
If you know which speed tier you’re currently using, you can then gauge whether your current speeds are up to par. The easiest way to check your internet speed is simply to run an internet speed test on your home NBN connection (especially during the popular usage times of 7pm-11pm). Use these results to see how close to your plan’s advertised and average speeds your service typically is.
Ideally, your results should be as close to your plan’s maximum download and upload speeds as possible. You may even find your download result is slightly higher than the advertised maximum for your NBN speed tier, as NBN Co often over-provisions network capacity to help guard against congestion. However, if your speeds are significantly less than what your provider advertises, it may be time to find a new plan.
If you’re on a home wireless or mobile broadband plan, you’ll be using a 4G or even 5G mobile network to connect to the internet. How fast your mobile broadband plan is will depend on the network you’re connected to, your location, the devices you’re using, and the plan you’ve signed up for.
If you’re on a 4G mobile broadband or home wireless internet plan, you can typically expect download speeds between 12Mbps and 100Mbps, so similar to what you’ll achieve on the four most common NBN plans. Your real-world speed will depend on the provider you’re with, as well as the network coverage and congestion in your area.
A handful of providers also offer 5G mobile and home internet, which is significantly faster than 4G, but much less widely available. 5G mobile can theoretically reach speeds of one gigabit per second and up, but the speeds you’ll actually experience are unlikely to be quite that fast.
Optus cites a typical 5G internet speed of 225Mbps in busy hours, while Telstra lists speeds up to 378Mbps. Depending on your plan and provider, you can expect a maximum speed of anywhere between 100Mbps and 400Mbps during the evening, but you should check with your telco to see what’s typically available in your area.
You can use the above internet speed test tool to check your internet speed on mobile broadband and home wireless plans, alongside NBN or fibre connections.
Not sure which NBN speed you have? You should be able to see your NBN speed tier listed on your latest broadband bill, or by logging into your NBN provider’s self-service portal or app. NBN providers will typically list a plan’s speed tier in that plan’s name or description; for example, iiNet’s NBN 50 plan is named ‘NBN50 Liimitless’. If you’re unsure, you can contact your provider directly for clarification.
If you’re not on the NBN, your bill will likely still provide information on the speeds available with your plan, especially if you’re on a fibre connection such as OptiComm. If you’re using mobile or home wireless broadband, your plan only offer the fastest speeds available at your location, but even then there’s no need to put up with a slow performance.
If all else fails, run our free speed test and use those results to figure out how fast your plan actually is on average. You can use your results to help figure out which NBN or fibre speed tier you’re paying for, or to take to your provider if you feel your connection is slower than it should be.
Switching to a faster internet plan is easier than you think, and can be the best way to supercharge your broadband performance. If you’ve tested your current connection, and your results just aren’t as fast as the plan you’re paying for, consider shopping around for a better plan and provider.
If you want to try some DIY speed boosters before reaching, you also have options. There are a range of factors that can impact your internet speeds, many of which can easily be fixed without the need to call your provider or switch plans. Issues that may cause your internet speed to slow down include:
If none of these factors apply but you’re still experiencing problems, it may be time to find a faster internet plan.
Related: 13 reasons why your internet is slow
One of the quickest and most effective ways to increase your internet speed is to switch to a faster broadband plan. If you’re on a lower NBN speed tier, you can easily upgrade to a faster plan from as little as $5 or $10 more per month. You may also want to compare and check internet speeds for your current NBN tier across different providers — moving to another telco could give you a significant speed boost, without the need to pay more for your plan.
If you’re not an NBN user, or don’t plan on paying more for your broadband plan just yet, there are also some quick DIY options to improve your home internet speeds. These include:
More advanced options include changing your DNS server, switching your WiFi channel, and disabling your router’s Quality of Service feature.
If you’re struggling with slow internet, it may be time to look for a faster plan. For most Australians, your best bet is upgrading to a better NBN speed tier — although the right option for you will depend on how you use the internet, the size of your home, and how much money you’re willing to spend.
We’ve compiled a range of fast NBN plans in the below table to help you compare options and prices.
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, 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 unlimited 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.
If you’re unsure about your NBN connection type, NBN Co’s online address checker can inform you of the technology type available at your home. Once you know the type of technology that services your address, you can determine if you’re eligible to upgrade to an ultra-fast plan, such as NBN 100, NBN 250 or NBN 1000.
There’s no one ‘fastest’ internet provider, but some telcos do typically out-perform many of their competitors when it comes to average speeds. A good indicator of which providers are consistently fast is the ACCC’s quarterly Measuring Broadband Australia report, which looks at the average performance of the most popular NBN providers in the country.
The ACCC’s most recent report in August 2021 cites Exetel as the ‘fastest’ included provider, but previous repeat winners include Optus and TPG. The report breaks down average download and upload speeds during busy evening hours, so it can be a good indicator of how a telco will perform in peak traffic periods.
Additionally, you may also want to compare telcos in our yearly Canstar Blue NBN Providers Ratings to see which names are the most highly-rated for speed. In our 2021 ratings, winner Mate was awarded five stars for speed and reliability. 2019 and 2020 winner Aussie Broadband also received five stars for speed this year, with SpinTel, Internode, Tangerine, Vodafone, AGL and MyRepublic each receiving four stars.
Your speed can vary due to a variety of factors, but one of the biggest causes is network congestion in your area. You may find speeds are much faster during the day or late at night, as there’s less people online to jam up the network. In comparison, speeds tend to be slower in the busy 7pm-11pm night time hours, as that’s when more people are online (and more likely to be using their connection for bandwidth-heavy activities).
When you’re comparing NBN plans, take note of a provider’s typical evening speeds rather than just the maximum speed available. The typical evening speed lists the average download speed experienced by customers during those peak evening hours, and can give you a more accurate idea of the performance you can expect from your provider.
Your speed will depend on a variety of factors, but for NBN customers your speed should be close to the typical evening speed cited by your provider for your NBN speed tier. If you’re on a mobile or home wireless broadband plan, ADSL, non-NBN fibre, or any other type of broadband, your internet service provider can advise you of the speeds to expect in your area. You can then run an internet speed test to ensure you’re getting the speeds you’ve paid for.
Internet - September 2nd
How do you know if your NBN speed is slow or not? Speed tests are easy to do and can reveal a lot about how good your internet is.– Read more