Typical evening speeds: What are they and why do they exist?

Man using laptop on rooftop at night sunset

Are you searching for a home broadband plan and finding yourself confused by the difference between how speeds are advertised? Ever wanted to know how your NBN service can hold up under heavy stress on the network?

We’re here to break down the difference between your plan speed and the typical evening speed as advertised in your plan and tell you why both numbers are important.

What is a typical evening speed?

Most plans are advertised by their maximum download speed that can be achieved, but you’ll also find a ‘typical evening speed’ advertised somewhere in the information for the service.

A plan called ‘NBN 50’ is indicative that you can reach maximum speeds of 50mbps throughout the day, but during the busiest period of the day your provider may see a slight drop in speeds due to traffic on the network. The average speed you’ll see during the busiest period of the day, traditionally 7pm-11pm, is referred to as the typical evening speed of the plan, so this number may mean more to you if you’re someone who relies on their internet heavily during those hours.

For example, an NBN 50 plan may be advertised with typical evening speeds of 40mbps. This means throughout the 7pm-11pm period of the day you can expect speeds of 40mbps, while the rest of the day you could see a maximum of 50mbps with less traffic on the network.

Some providers may see a bigger drop in speed during these peak hours than others, so you should always check each individual plan you’re investigating to see what speeds you can expect during those peak hours.

Why is there a typical evening speed?

The typical evening speed is what you’ll see on your plan from the hours of 7pm-11pm, when there are the most users on the NBN network. The reason speeds drop across these hours is the amount of users on the network causing congestion. The less users on the network, the higher speed you’re likely to see.

Some providers see speeds drop more than others, so it may be worth shopping around if you require a fairly high typical evening speed. You can also run a speed test for yourself to see how your current internet performs.

If you’re searching for a provider offering higher typical evening speeds, take a look at our handy NBN comparison tool to find a plan that suits you. If you’re finding typical evening speeds too slow on your current plan, it may be worth considering a jump to a higher speed tier.

What are typical evening speeds used for?

Typical evening speeds are used for any internet access during the hours of 7pm-11pm. As this is the busiest period of the day, the NBN sees a lot of users all vying for access to the network at once.

Whether you’re trying to stream a movie with your family, or just browsing social media on your own, you’ll see your data speeds sitting around these typical evening speeds during the hours of 7pm-11pm rather than the maximum speeds available on your plan.

Any internet access at all during those hours will see these speeds, but activities that use large amounts of data that can cause these drops across the network include video streaming, online gaming, video chatting programs, social media and music streaming.

Looking for a new broadband plan to suit your internet needs? Check out some popular NBN plans below.