Why is My Internet So Slow?

Having a slow internet connection can be painful, so it’s important to understand why that might be and how to fix it.

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, updated on October 4th, 2023       

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HFC is a unique technology within the National Broadband Network, one of seven currently available in Australia. If you have a HFC connection available at your address, it’s essential to understand its ins and outs before you dive into buying your NBN plan.

In this comprehensive Savvy guide, we'll break down what HFC NBN is, how it differs from other NBN technologies and what you can expect in terms of speed and reliability. Read more with us today!

What are some of the reasons why my internet is so slow and how do I fix them?

A slow internet plan can be a major headache, but identifying and addressing the underlying issues can greatly improve your online experience. Here's how to tackle common causes of slow internet:

Network congestion

  1. Issue: too many users on your local network, particularly during peak usage times, can slow things down.
  1. Solution: schedule heavy downloads/uploads during off-peak hours or consider upgrading to a higher-speed plan.

Unoptimised Wi-Fi setup

  1. Issue: weak signals or various network interferences can lead to slow Wi-Fi speeds.
  1. Solution: place your modem or router in a central location closer to where you use it most, use up-to-date Wi-Fi (such as Wi-Fi 6) and avoid physical obstacles. Consider a Wi-Fi extender or mesh network for larger spaces.

Older modem or router

  1. Issue: you own outdated hardware which can't keep up with the speeds offered on your internet plan.
  1. Solution: upgrade your modem or router to a newer model compatible with your internet plan. In some cases, your modem may only need a firmware update, so check the manufacturer’s site to find out if this is the case

Malware or virus

  1. Issue: malicious software can consume bandwidth and sabotage your home or business internet.
  1. Solution: run regular antivirus scans and use a reliable firewall. Ensure all devices have updated security software.

Overload of devices

  1. Issue: having too many devices connected to your network can slow it down.
  1. Solution: limit device usage during peak hours and invest in a router designed to handle multiple connections.

NBN connection type

  1. Issue: different NBN connection types offer varying speeds, especially those which make use of copper cables. For instance, Fixed Wireless plans are often more susceptible to network congestion.
  1. Solution: check your NBN plan and connection type. Consider upgrading to a faster plan if needed.

Network outage

  1. Issue: service provider issues or maintenance can disrupt your connection.
  1. Solution: contact your provider for outage information and estimated resolution times. Having a plan with a backup mobile broadband connection can help during outages.

Insufficient speeds offered on your plan

  1. Issue: your current internet plan may not provide adequate speeds for your needs.
  1. Solution: upgrade to a higher-speed plan if available. Ensure your plan matches your online activities, such as streaming or gaming. For NBN, you may move from NBN 25 to NBN 50, for instance, while home wireless connections may switch from 4G to 5G (where available).

Distance from the node (for NBN FTTN connections)

  1. Issue: in Fibre to the Node (FTTN) NBN connections, greater distance from the node can result in degraded speeds.
  1. Solution: contact your service provider to assess if you can switch to a different NBN technology, such as a free upgrade to a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connection.

Crowded Wi-Fi channel

  1. Issue: multiple Wi-Fi networks established by modem routers around your home or office can cause interference and slow your connection.
  1. Solution: access your router settings and change the Wi-Fi channel to one with less interference. Most modems will automatically be set to the first channel, so changing to an alternate one can free up space.

Insufficient DNS

  1. Issue: using a slow or unreliable Domain Name System (DNS) server can delay website loading times. You’ll typically have your ISP’s DNS server when signing up for an internet plan with them.
  1. Solution: change your DNS server settings to a faster, more reliable option (such as Google DNS) in your router or device settings.

Identifying the root cause of your slow internet and implementing these solutions can significantly boost your online speeds and ensure a smoother online experience.

How do I work out what internet speed I need?

Determining the right internet speed for your needs before buying your plan will help you avoid taking out a plan which is too slow. Some of the key factors to consider include:

  1. Identify your online activities: make a list of your common online activities, such as web browsing, streaming, online gaming, video conferencing and downloading large files. The more data-intensive the activity, the higher the internet speed you’re likely to need.
  2. Consider the number of users and devices: determine how many people in your household will be using the internet simultaneously and how many devices (such as phones, tablets, laptops and smart TVs) they'll be using. Each device consumes bandwidth, with higher speeds catering to higher usage.
  3. Factor in future growth: anticipate future needs. If your household is likely to add more devices or engage in heavier internet activities, consider selecting a plan with a buffer for growth.
  4. Check your current plan: review your current internet plan to see if it matches your needs. Your provider may offer options with various speeds, so it’s worth checking whether they can offer you what you’re looking for.
  5. Test your speed: run an internet speed test to check your current connection's performance. This will give you a baseline to compare with your needs. It also may be worth performing key activities, such as streaming and gaming, to see what your experience is like.
  6. Consult with your ISP: reach out to your provider for guidance if you’re still unsure. They may be able to help you choose an appropriate plan based on your requirements.
  7. Compare offers from other providers: before signing on the dotted line, it’s important to compare deals from a range of providers (which you can do through Savvy) to help you find the most suitable plan for your internet needs and budget.

Remember that having a bit of extra bandwidth can prevent slowdowns during peak usage times. While it's important to meet your needs, you don't always need to go for the fastest plan available. Balancing speed and cost is key to selecting the right internet plan.

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Compare internet plans with Savvy

Regardless of whether you're looking for an internet plan for a one-person household or for your medium to large business, you can compare a range of offers from leading Australian providers side by side with Savvy. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote today!


Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of internet plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an internet plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an internet plan. For further information on the variety of internet plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.