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Wednesday, 26 Apr 2023 | 5 min read

6 reasons why your nbn® connection is slow

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One of the most common issues that customers come to us with is that they are experiencing slow internet. The truth is that there are multiple factors that can contribute to slow nbn® speeds, and the good news is that some can be fixed in your own at home!  

Got bandwidth blues? Check out these factors that can affect your high-speed internet connection. 

Wi-Fi interference 

Microwaves, smartphones, TVs, and some other electronics can affect your internet as they release radio waves, which operate at the same frequency as your modem/router does. It’s best if you situate your modem/router well away from conflicting appliances to limit interference. 

Interestingly, the biggest culprits are actually your neighbours. Let's understand this by getting to know the difference between Wi-Fi spectrums.  

2.4GHz spectrum 

This is the most common Wi-Fi spectrum.  The downside to this spectrum is if you happen to live in a crowded space, such as an apartment building or an urban area, then there is a higher chance of interference from the number of devices that also use the 2.4 GHz channel (e.g., baby monitors, Bluetooth devices). 

To reduce this interference, you can select a lesser-used channel of the 14 that are within the 2.4GHz spectrum. Check how to access your router’s settings via this article.  

5GHz spectrum 

5GHz standards were developed partly in response to the congestion on 2.4GHz, with the former providing higher speeds at lower range. While less congested, the 5GHz spectrum is not as good at penetrating solid walls and other barriers as 2.4GHz.  

5Ghz is better if you’re near your modem – your Smart TV that’s right next to your modem/router could benefit more from 5GHz compared to a laptop situated upstairs.  

Technology capacity 

You should ensure that your current modem/router can accommodate the speeds you’re paying for. A common problem that customers ask about is why they’re not hitting the advertised speed on their high-speed plan, only to realise their modem/router is capped at a lower speed. 

If you live in a big house and find you don’t get even Wi-Fi coverage, a mesh router system can solve your problems. Where the mesh system differs from a traditional Wi-Fi extender is that there are multiple mesh devices – your main router and other “points” - that all offer a signal for the same network. 

If you place your mesh devices correctly around your home, it should make for comprehensive Wi-Fi coverage. We offer the Netcomm NF20MESH WiFi system so you can ensure Wi-Fi is spread evenly throughout your premises.

Too many devices on your network 

Network speed is actually bandwidth. Your router can only allocate available bandwidth to the users connected. The more devices doing more things, the smaller the portion for each. 

Each type of activity uses some of that bandwidth. In most cases, it's 5 Mbps (25 Mbps for Ultra HD), 25 Mbps for gaming, 10 Mbps to scroll social media, and 20 Mbps for video calls. Having too many users performing activities that exceed your available bandwidth can slow your connection.  

It’s good to understand how you use your Wi-Fi when selecting a suitable internet plan. If you live alone, a 25/10 plan might be enough for you. But if you’re living with other people and find that you’re overloading your network, you might want to upgrade to a faster speed tier such as a 100/20 to cope with demand. 

Check out what NBN plans your address is eligible for at this page.  

Copper wiring 

Fibre optic cables are superior to copper wiring as it can carry more bandwidth, accommodate faster speeds, and is more durable. This is why ISPs can offer higher-speed plans to those with Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connections. 

Outside of FTTP, there are numerous other types of connections that use copper to get you connected to the internet. Read more about the different connection types that use copper, being Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) and Fibre to the Building (FTTB).  

If you’re experiencing slow speeds, it could be due to the use of copper in your network. If your address is eligible for a free FTTP upgrade by NBN, then switching should mean that you can access higher speed plans and a more reliable connection.  

Network congestion 

There are periods throughout the day where more people are online. Peak time for network traffic is usually between 7pm and 11pm, which means that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must be equipped to handle this.  

ISPs (like us!) purchase a wholesale amount of bandwidth from NBN that services their respective networks. It’s up to ISPs to manage this bandwidth or purchase more when demand outstrips supply. 

If there are lots of users online and ISPs don’t have enough bandwidth available, it can cause congestion. Think about it like driving in peak hour traffic – the more cars (users) there are, the harder it is to move quickly, slowing down traffic. If there are more lanes (bandwidth) added to the road, then more cars can get through, easing congestion.  

At Aussie, we minimise network congestion by actively purchasing more bandwidth – or Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) space - via a bot if usage reaches the threshold. You can check your area’s CVC graph here to see the patterns of usage throughout the day. 

If you’re finding that at peak times your average speeds are slow, there is a chance it’s because of network congestion. Whilst this is an uncommon occurrence, it can happen occasionally during peak times, like if there’s a big TV show premiere (can’t miss out on those dragons!).  

Weather conditions 

Adverse weather can impact your home’s NBN speeds. Water can get into places where it isn’t welcome, with water that leaks into copper wiring able to affect signal strength temporarily or permanently.  

If your building structure or the wiring itself is old and you’re experiencing slower speeds/dropouts, it might be that a wire is damaged. Consult with a licensed cabler to check for leaks, stress points, and test the copper wiring. 

If you’re experiencing slow network and need a hand, contact our helpful support team by either phoning 1300 880 905 or logging onto our website and using the LiveChat feature.  

Tags:InternetTroubleshootingNBN

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Aussie Broadband

Editorial team

The Aussie Broadband Editorial team consists of copywriters, marketers, and subject matter experts across multiple fields. We aim to bring you the latest news, insights, and guides regarding everything internet, mobile, technology, and more...

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