Slow Internet letting you down? Here’s how to check your broadband speed

Apr 14, 2020
It's easy to check your Internet speed and many things you can do resolve any issues you may be experiencing. Source: Getty

Aussies are relying on their Internet more than ever before, with the outbreak of the coronavirus pushing many towards technology to keep them entertained while in isolation at home.

It’s put huge pressure on the broadband and NBN network across the country, as more people utilise streaming services such as Netflix and Stan while others are spending more time on social media than usual. So, if you’ve found your Internet is a bit slower than usual, you’re probably not alone. But how do you check your speed? And what can you do if you’re not getting what you were promised by your provider?

What impacts Internet speed?

There are many reasons why your Internet could be experiencing a lag, but the main cause is likely due to a poor connection between your device and the server, which could be located some distance away. With so many people plugged into the Internet, the connection could potentially be passing through hundreds of devices on its journey to the server. If one of those points of connection is damaged it could impact your browsing speed. The network is also likely experiencing an overload of traffic and the server could be congested, which in turn puts pressure on your experience online.

How do you measure Internet speed?

If you’re signed up with one of the major telecommunication companies such as Telstra or Optus, you can check your Internet speed through their testing options online. However, there are plenty of other speed tests available if you’re with a smaller telco, or would like to do a secondary test.

Websites such as Finder have their own speed tests, while other options include the Oz Broadband Speed Test, Speed of Me and Speedtest.net. All of these speed tests will check how long it takes to transfer data to and from a server and how fast your device can upload and download information with results usually given in Mbps (Megabits per second). From here, you’ll need to check what speed your provider promises with your current plan and compare it to the speed calculated in the test. If the number is significantly lower than what you’ve signed up for, you’re not getting value for money.

What if you’re not getting what you paid for?

If you’ve noticed your speed is significantly slower than what your plan promises, there are some things you can do to fix this. The easiest solution is to simply switch your modem off and on again. It seems too simple, but in some cases, it can help boost the speed again and get it back to where it should be.

If this doesn’t work, it’s a good idea to run a virus scan to see if there are any nasty viruses causing the problem. They can slow the speed significantly, so once removed the issue could be resolved quickly. Another solution is to check your cables. If the wrong cables are being used to connect your phone line to your modem it will prevent signals from transferring properly and in turn affect your browsing speed.

If you’re still having problems after all of this, it’s best to contact your telco for advice. They might be able to provide some guidance over the phone to fix the problem or in some cases, a technician may be required to come out and take a look themselves. If all else fails and your provider still can’t give you the speed you were promised, then it might be time to search for a new provider.

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Are you spending more time on the Internet? Have you noticed that it's a bit slower than usual?

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