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Slow broadband speeds: What can I do?

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Let’s face it - at times dealing with a slow home broadband connection can be frustrating. Whether your Wi-Fi keeps cutting out or your internet speeds just don’t seem up to scratch, there are a number of little issues that can interrupt your daily browsing and streaming.

Thankfully, there’s a number of little things you can do to make sure your internet is running as it should be. We’ve collected the steps you should take to check your home broadband is up to scratch, and fix issues with slow speeds.

Firstly, run a broadband speed test

Whether your internet is feeling slower than usual or your connection speed just doesn’t seem to be hitting the heights that were promised on your nbn plan, your first step should be checking exactly how your broadband is performing. 

Using our speed test tool below, you’ll be able to see what upload and download speeds your home internet is hitting right now. Just make sure your device is connected to whichever network it is you want to test.

Compare your speed test results with your broadband plan information

Great, now that you know how your home broadband is performing you can compare that to the speeds your NBN plan is meant to achieve. 

Take a look through your emails, or head on over to your broadband provider’s website, and find which internet plan you signed up for. Once you’ve found the plan look for the typical evening download and upload speeds advertised - these are the speeds you should be seeing at the busiest periods of the day when most users are connected to their internet. 

You might notice these can be a number of Mbps (megabits per second) below the speed you signed up for due to the fact that congestion can slow down your internet at the busiest periods of the day, however they won’t differ enough to put you into a different speed tier of internet plan. 

If you’re seeing a big discrepancy between your speed test result and what your plan is meant to offer, get in touch with your broadband provider. Otherwise, check out some of our most common slow broadband speed solutions below.

Check your broadband hardware is working correctly

One reason you could be experiencing slow broadband speeds is due to loose wiring in your modem or router. Firstly, check that your hardware is plugged into the wall socket securely to provide power, and that your modem is plugged into the internet outlet in your home.

To check that everything is working within your modem and router, try connecting a device directly with an ethernet cable and accessing the internet this way. If you can connect to fast speeds with an ethernet cable and not wirelessly, it could be that your router is having issues broadcasting your signal via Wi-Fi, or you may have too many devices connected in your household that are causing congestion. 

If you’re experiencing issues with your modem or router, it’s also worth rebooting the device and trying again. If your internet is still slow via ethernet, then you may have to take your issue to your provider to determine why you aren’t receiving the internet speeds you’re meant to.

What to do in widespread NBN outages

While not a particularly common occurrence, there are times when portions of the NBN network can go down - either intentionally (for maintenance) or as a result of an issue. 

These outages will occur in more than one home at a time, and you will often be able to find an alert mentioning the outage on NBN Co’s website. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to resolve this issue other than alert your internet service provider, or reporting an outage on NBN Co’s site. Either way, an NBN Co technician will be in charge of resolving the issue and getting your home back online.

Quick fixes to improve your internet speed

  • Check your router, modem and all other internet cables
  • Test your speed with our speed test tool
  • Consult your plan information for your typical evening speed
  • Reduce the number of devices connecting to your internet
  • Check for outages listed by NBN Co
  • Consider upgrading your plan

Still got issues after testing your internet? You’ll need to get in touch with your internet service provider and have them sort it out directly.

Want faster broadband speeds? Consider an upgrade

If your broadband speed is too slow for your day-to-day usage, but meets the speeds promised in your NBN plan information, then you may want to consider an upgrade. 

Faster NBN speed tiers offer faster typical evening speeds, and can usually handle more connected devices at once. If you need help understanding which speed is right for your home, head over to our guide on the NBN speed tiers

If you’re ready to make the switch, head over to our broadband hub to find and compare providers in your area, or check out some popular plans below.

Mozo may receive payment if you click to the website of one of the products below currently available via our partner, WhistleOut. They do not compare the entire market, but you can see more options by clicking on the View Full Results link in the table.
Last updated 21 July 2024
Cooper Langby
Cooper Langby
Money writer

Cooper writes across all aspects of personal finance here at Mozo. With a double degree in Journalism and Communications & Media from the University of Wollongong, Cooper has previously written sports content for the Fansided network. He is now turning his focus to finances and is always looking for new ways to educate himself and our readers on the best ways to save money, and budget effectively.