Slow computer? Have you checked your NBN service lately?

Slow computer? Have you checked your NBN service lately?

Like the majority of the Australian workforce, you'll be finding yourself settling back into a home office environment once again. Although many of us now have all the right IT equipment in our home offices, an inferior WiFi network might be decreasing productivity (i.e. dropping out on important work conference calls, slow downloading of large files etc). Here are a few straight forward tips you can do yourself to see if your NBN system is literally up to speed....

A quick check you can do immediately:

  1. Check what NBN speed tier you are paying for.
  2. Connect to the internet via your NBN home WiFi connection on any device.
  3. Click the Start Speed Test button.
  4. Allow roughly 30 seconds for the speed test to run.
  5. Check the speed test results (Mbps) and compare them against the speed you are paying for.

It's important you check what NBN speed tier you are paying for. There are several speed tiers (Basic I NBN 12, Basic II NBN 25, Standard NBN 50, Fast NBN 100, Superfast NBN 250 and Ultrafast NBN 1000), and the speed you are paying for will inform the quality of your results.

Also, you might want to think about upgrading your tier level now that more people are working from home. For instance, if you had initially bought a Basic package when you may have worked the odd day from home and to watch Netflix etc, this tier will no longer be sufficient if the whole family is now accessing coverage for school, work and lifestyle reasons. Everyone's households are different and this will be reflected in what NBN speed tier you now require to support them. 

At T4A, we have noticed a surge in helpdesk tickets on weekdays around 10 o'clock in the morning when all family members are trying to access WiFi for their daily responsibilities. Unfortunately, we won't be able to help you with the NBN coverage you have chosen to purchase but some easy checks can show you if it's enough for you and your household to operate from properly. 

Simply make sure you’re connected to the internet via your home NBN WiFi modem with the device you plan to test it on and hit the big “Start Speed Test” button at the top of this page. If you are testing from your smartphone and you’re not connected to WiFi, the speed test will return results from your mobile network (also handy to know).

Allow around ten seconds for the internet speed test to run. Once completed, you’ll be given your download speed result, and if you click "More info", you can find your ping/latency and upload speeds.

How do internet speed tests work?

Basically, an internet speed test works in a few stages.

First up, it’ll send a request to a server and wait for a response. The time between making the request and getting a response (in milliseconds) is what we call ‘ping’. Ping won’t be a major consideration for most everyday internet users.

Second, and most importantly, the test will measure your download and upload speeds. This works by the test tool opening multiple connections to the test server and downloading small bits of data. While this is happening, the tool will measure how quickly it downloaded that bit of data and how much of your network’s resources were used in the process. Using this information, it will then optimise the size of that bit of data and the number of connections to accurately measure download speed.

Testing upload is essentially the same thing, but instead of requesting data, you’re the one sending those bits of data to the test server. Using the same method, the tool establishes the right number of connections and the right data size to accurately measure your upload speed.

A “good” internet speed test depends on what NBN speed tier you’re paying for. There are several available NBN speed tiers:

  • Basic I NBN 12: Potential 12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload
  • Basic II NBN 25: Potential 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload
  • Standard NBN 50: Potential 50 Mbps and 20 Mbps upload
  • Fast NBN 100/20: Potential 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload
  • Fast NBN 100/40: Potential 100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload
  • Superfast NBN 250 (available in eligible areas): Potential 250 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload
  • Ultrafast NBN 1000 (available in eligible areas): Potential 1000 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload

When your Internet connection is experiencing trouble, restarting your modem is usually the easiest way to correct the issue. While it may seem as simple as flicking the power switch off and on, properly restarting your modem requires that you pay attention to timing and how your devices connect to one another. The next time your modem goes on the blink, use the following steps to properly restore your connection.

Restarting your NBN Modem

Step 1

Shut down your computer.

Step 2

Disconnect your modem from your router if you're using one, and then check the modem for a power switch.

If there is a switch, switch it to "Off" and wait 10 seconds then switch it back to "On."

If there isn't a power switch, disconnect the modem's power supply from the electrical socket for about 10 seconds, then reconnect it.

Follow the same procedure with your router.

Step 3

Allow your modem to run its regular startup procedure. Once the modem has completely powered back on and all lights are on, wait about 30 seconds and start up your computer.

Step 4

Connect your computer directly to the modem using an Ethernet cable and test the connection. If the connection works, reconnect the router to the modem and test the connection. If it doesn't work, contact your ISP's tech support specialists.

After doing these simple speed and connection tests, you'll be able to properly determine if your current NBN speed tier is handling your household needs. If the speed results are inadequate, it might be time to upgrade your current plan or consider creating a business account if working from home becomes more permanent. 

However, even after performing these checks you believe there's a greater IT issue at play beyond NBN coverage, please give us a call immediately and we'll get you back to work as soon as possible!