Factors That Can Affect the Speed of Your nbn™ Internet Connection
High speed internet is amazing for so many reasons. Gone are the old days of 20-hour downloads and buffering, as the nbn™ ushers in a world of on-demand streaming. Or at least, that’s how it should be. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world, and there are a number of issues that can affect the speed of your nbn™ connection.
Got bandwidth blues? Check out these factors that can affect your high speed internet connection.
Quality and length of copper wiring
The first port of call when isolating any network-related fault is checking the customer’s internal network. Only after internal troubleshooting has been performed and unsuccessful with resolving the issue should other factors be raised as an incident with your ISP.
One of these factors is the copper wiring of your connection. Ideally, you wouldn’t have copper wiring in a high speed setup but, due to many related factors, Fibre to the Node (FTTN) is common, leaving copper to connect the home to the node.
The quality of the copper wiring and its length can alter the speed of your broadband internet drastically. Copper wiring that results in a network fault is generally repaired by NBNco., however if a service falls within specification then no action will be taken. And unfortunately, increasing your plan speed will not improve the service performance if you have a poor line; if anything, it may actually cause stability issues.
Water has a habit of getting into places it simply isn’t welcome. Under bad weather conditions, water that leaks into copper wiring can affect signal strength temporarily or permanently. If your building structure or the wiring itself is old, you might want to investigate the possibility that water damage is causing slow internet speeds. Consult with a professional to check for leaks, stress points, and test the copper wiring.
WiFi interference is one of the most common factors in jumpy, slow or underperforming internet. While microwaves, smartphones, TVs and some other electronics can technically affect your WiFi as they use radio waves, the biggest culprits are actually your neighbours. To better understand why and how to troubleshoot this, you first have to understand the difference between WiFi spectrums.
2.4 GHz spectrum
This is the most common WiFi spectrum. Every wireless router you’ll find on the market can transmit on 2.4 GHz. That also makes it incredibly crowded, especially in towers, apartment complexes and urban environments with lots of dwellings close to one another. There are 14 WiFi channels on the 2.4 GHz spectrum, but only three you should use. Each channel overlaps signal strength by two up and down. So, on channel 6, your WiFi covers channels 4-7.
It’s recommended that only channels 1, 6 and 11 are used to minimise overlap and keep all networks in these lanes. When scanning your local area for WiFi interference, you will want to pick which of these three channels has the lowest amount of other nearby networks.
This article can help you identify which channel is right for your devices.
5 GHz spectrum
5 GHz standards were developed partly in response to the congestion on 2.4. There’s a lot more room for different access points on 5GHz, but it’s not as able to penetrate solid walls and other barriers. It’s better for ‘indoor use’.
If you have a modem that outputs 5Ghz connections, keep in mind that while any standard output (i.e. 2.4GHz, 5GHz, etc.) can connect to it, the speed will be capped at the lowest standard connected at any given time.
So, if your super fast 5GHz connection has a wireless a/c standard device that suddenly experiences less than optimal performance, you may want to see if other devices have connected.
Just because you’re allocated 100 Mbps doesn’t mean your home network can actually supply it. Consider the various capabilities of your modem/router and any access points. If you’re not using Ethernet cables from your router to a device and instead relying on WiFi, then you probably won’t get anywhere near that 100. You don’t actually need that kind of speed to do most computing tasks. For example, Netflix only needs about 5 Mbps to stream a HD quality show.
Too many devices on the network
Network speed is actually bandwidth. Your router can only allocate available bandwidth to the devices connected, and the more activity, the smaller the portion for each device.
Under nbn™ speeds, you should be getting enough bandwidth to stream movies to a couple of devices while still using computers and phones casually. However, if your network experiences high network congestion, a couple of streams might be enough to slow down your network access. Additionally, other network intensive uses like long downloads, VPN clients, online gaming and big uploads can also clog up your internet bandwidth for considerable periods of time.
When Netflix first saw rapid adoption here in Australia, it also caused a spike in network congestion, as some ISPs weren’t prepared to deal with additional stress on their hardware. How ISPs shape their broadband allocations during peak times, especially after 6pm when a lot of us are home and using the internet, will affect the speed of our connections. If you’re experiencing poor performance at specific times during the week, it could be due to this.
Contact the experts at Aussie Broadband today and find out how we help aim to avoid congestion in our network.