Australia’s internet speeds are the 12th fastest in the world and the 5th fastest in the Asia Pacific, according to new research.
The findings come from global internet performance testing firm Ookla, which ranked Australia 12th out of 200 countries for average fixed-line broadband speeds during the first quarter of 2021.
Australia had an average download speed of 81.46 Mbps during the period, which was behind countries including Singapore (153.85Mbps), Hong Kong (135.27Mbps), South Korea (108.63Mbps) and Taiwan (93.67Mbps).
Ookla said that Australia’s average mobile download speed was 46.62Mbps during the first quarter, which made it the 13th fastest country in the world.
In this blog, we will try to give you a better understanding of internet speeds in Australia and how you can check why your speed might be slower than it should be, and the way it can be improved.
What is a good internet speed in Australia?
The National Broadband Network (NBN)Co defines a minimum download speed of 12Mbps as ‘basic broadband’. This is the slowest possible speed that you can get on an NBN connection, and depending on your location and technology type, you may only be able to receive these speeds. However, many users find that they need much faster speeds than this for tasks like streaming video or playing online games without lag.
According to the ACCC, the average actual download speed that Australians are currently receiving on the NBN is 50.8Mbps – this number will continue to increase as more users connect to higher-speed plans. If you want to compare your speeds against the average, you can use the Speedtest below to see how fast your internet connection really is.
What factors affect my internet speed?
There are a few different things that can affect your internet speeds, both at a network level and within your home.
At a network level, the type of technology that you are connected to will make a big difference to your speeds. For example, users on FTTN (fibre-to-the-node) or HFC (hybrid fibre-coaxial) NBN plans will generally get much lower speeds than those on FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises), FTTC (fibre-to-the-curb) FTTB (fibre-to-the-building), fixed wireless or satellite connections. FTTN and HFC utilise ‘last mile technology that is still using much of Telstra’s and Foxtel’s old cabling that has been in the ground and up on the poles for many years. While FTTP is obviously the best of the best because you have a fibre cable coming directly into your home. NBN announced in 2021 that FTTN and HFC users will be upgraded to FTTP, but this rollout will take many years to complete. You would think they would have done this as originally planned, but trying to save money, they cut many corners in the initial rollout, so now the taxpayer is on the hook for many more billions of dollars.
Within your home, the number of devices that are connected to your internet connection will also affect your speeds. The more devices that are using your connection at the same time, the slower your speeds will be. This is why it’s important to make sure that you have a good quality router that can handle multiple devices being connected at the same time.
Another issue that is common inside your home that can affect your internet speed is your home’s cabling. Many existing homes in Australia were wired by an electrician many years ago for POT’s line services and ADSL. The way these circuits are wired is NOT compatible with many of the NBN technologies. One of the most common of these problems is called a bridge tap.
What is a bridge tap?
A bridge tap Is when your NBN internet service has to pass through multiple sockets to reach its destination, your router. This has been a big problem for many NBN users who have FTTC, FTTN, or FTTB. We have removed thousands of bridge taps for our clients since the NBN rollout. Once this has been removed then the NBN signal coming from the street will have a direct line to your NBN connection box or router/modem. Find out more about bridge taps.
Other things that can affect your internet speed inside your home can be your sockets, cables and lead. This is another problem that needs to be looked after by the homeowner. NBN contractors will not fix problems with your home cabling or sockets as this falls outside the training, certification and skill level. NBN contractors are only responsible up to the NBP (network-boundary-point) anything past this point you will need to engage an ACMA technician.
If you are experiencing slow internet speeds we recommend first calling your ISP. They will be able to check for internet outages in your area and test your NBN network connection using their exchange testing tool kit. If the test comes back as NFF (no-fault-found) this is because they are only testing what they can see on their network.
The internet is not a one-size fits all kind of thing. You’ll experience different speeds depending on your type and plan, but knowing what speed you should be achieving can help determine if the service provided to you by providers meets up with expectations or falls short in some way – this was running an “internet test” comes into play!
How to check your internet speed
- Use our speed test above.
- Click on the ‘Begin Test’ button
- Wait for the test to complete
- Check your results
How to compare your speed against the average
When you sign up for an internet plan with your ISP you will be paying for a certain internet speed e.g. 50/20 100/50 etc. If you are unsure what plan you are currently on you can check your bill or call your ISP to find out. If you have just performed the speed test and it falls below the average speed you are paying for, then you may have an issue with your internet connection.
You can also use the NBN’s Speed Checker tool to see what speeds you should be able to get on your connection. Just enter your address into the tool and it will tell you what technology you are connected to and what speeds you should be able to get.
What to do if your internet speed is below average
If your internet speeds are significantly below what you should be getting, there could be a problem with your connection. If the results of the test show that your speeds are lower than they should be, you should contact your internet service provider and let them know. They will be able to investigate the problem and try to improve your speed.
How to get the most out of your internet connection
Here are a few tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your high-speed internet connection:
- Use a wired connection whenever possible – A wired connection (such as an Ethernet cable) will always be faster than a wireless connection. So if you have the option of using a wired connection, make sure you take advantage of it.
- Connect your devices directly to the router – If you have multiple devices that are all connected to your router, they will all be sharing the same internet connection. This can slow down your speeds. To get the best possible speeds, connect your devices directly to the router using an Ethernet cable.
- Use a quality router – A good quality router will be able to provide fast speeds for multiple devices at the same time. If you find that your speeds are slowing down when multiple devices are connected, it could be time to upgrade your router. If your router is more than 3 years old it could be a router issue. If you think this may be the problem and need to upgrade then we have another blog detailing the best routers for NBN.
Another common problem is connectivity. This has to do with the wifi range. Most people just have a single router inside their home. The best position for this router would ideally be in a central location in your home or office. If you have a large home then you may be getting good speeds when you are close to the router but the internet speed gets much slower the further you move away from your router. This will have nothing to do with the NBN network or the cabling of your home, but instead, it will be a connectivity problem.
The best way to fix this problem is two-fold. Firstly you can add data cabling to your home, this will send the internet through CAT6 cabling over ethernet and then you can connect your devices directly to this cable, or add a wifi access point. This is probably the most permanent solution to this problem. If you would like to wire your home for blazing fast internet speeds then you can book our data cabling service here.
Secondly, you can install a Mesh Wifi system inside your home or office. Mesh is a new technology that uses mesh nodes that are installed around your home, these nodes then create a new wireless network that all your devices can connect to. This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to fix issues inside your home or office. If you believe you have a connectivity issue, then Mesh might be the perfect solution for you. Go here if you want to find out what the best mesh wifi units are that will work great with your NBN internet service. If you want to have someone like us supply and install these units for you, then click here to find out about our Mesh Wifi service.
- Keep your software and operating system up to date – Outdated software can often lead to slow internet speeds. So make sure you keep your software and operating system up to date by downloading the latest updates.
- Restart your devices regularly – Restarting your devices regularly can help to improve your internet speeds. This is because it clears out any temporary files or data that may be causing problems.
- Check for viruses and malware – Viruses and malware can often slow down your internet connection. So make sure you have antivirus software installed on your devices and run regular scans.
- Optimize your web browser – There are a few things you can do to optimize your web browser and improve your internet speeds. These include clearing your cache, disabling extensions, and using a faster browser.
- Use a VPN – A VPN (virtual private network) can help to improve your internet speeds by encrypting your data and routing it through a server in another location. This can often bypass congestion and speed up your connection.
- Upgrade your internet package – If you find that you’re still not getting the speeds you want, it might be time to upgrade your internet package. This will give you access to faster speeds and more data.
- Contact your ISP – If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still not getting fast speeds, contact your ISP (internet service provider) and let them know. They may be able to help you troubleshoot the problem or upgrade your package.
The benefits of having a fast internet connection Standard benefits:
– Download movies, music, and games faster than ever before.
– Upload photos and videos in a snap.
– Stay connected with friends and family around the world.
– Never miss another episode of your favourite show.
– Keep up with the news as it happens.
– Chat with friends and family face to face, no matter where they are in the world.
– Save time by being able to do things more quickly.
– Reduce stress by not having to wait for things to load.
– improve your mood by being able to access the content you want, when you want it.
Tips for streaming videos and gaming online
If you’re looking to improve your streaming and gaming experience online, here are a few tips to help:
- Make sure you have a fast internet connection – This is the most important thing if you want to stream or game online. Make sure you’re using a wired connection if possible, and connect your devices directly to the router.
- Use a quality router – A good quality router will be able to handle multiple devices at the same time without slowing down your speeds. If you’re having problems with slow speeds, it might be time to upgrade your router. If you are looking to upgrade your router then we have written a blog with recommendations for the best gaming routers here.
- Close any programs that are not in use – Programs that are running in the background can often slow down your internet connection. So make sure you close any programs that are not in use while you’re streaming or gaming.
- Adjust your video settings – If you’re having problems with buffering or lag, try adjusting your video settings. This can often improve the quality of your stream or game.
- Try a different web browser – If you’re using a browser that’s not optimised for streaming or gaming, try using a different one that is specifically designed for these activities.
- Use a VPN – A VPN can help to improve your streaming and gaming experience by encrypting your data and routing it through a server in another location. This can often bypass congestion and speed up your connection.
- Upgrade your internet package – If you’re still not getting the speeds you want, it might be time to upgrade your internet package. This will give you access to faster speeds and more data.
- Contact your ISP – If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still not happy with your streaming or gaming experience, contact your ISP and let them know. They may be able to help you troubleshoot the problem or upgrade your package.
By following these tips, you can improve your internet speeds and enjoy a better streaming and gaming experience online.
Whether you’re trying to improve your streaming and gaming experience or just want to make sure you have the fastest internet speeds possible, these tips will help. Make sure you try all of them for the best results and don’t hesitate to contact us or your ISP if you’re still not getting the speeds you want. With a little effort, you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your internet connection.
What are your top tips for improving internet speeds? Let us know in the comments below!
Head Internet Technician
Jason Kearney is the Head Technician at SECURE A COM, with qualifications spanning NBN, ADSL, phone, and data cabling. Starting as an electrician, Jason quickly delved into the telecommunications sector, leading crucial projects like the rehabilitation of the Telstra network. With credentials in both managerial and technical aspects, he now specialises in phone line and NBN fault location and repair, serving both homes and businesses with effective and personalised telecommunications solutions