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 February 13th, 2024       

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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 Issue: you own outdated hardware which can't keep up with the speeds offered on your internet plan.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.

Helpful guides on internet plans

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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.

$50 Woolworths eGift card terms and conditions
  • The Promoter is CIMET Sales Pty Ltd ABN 72 620 395 726. Level 18/570 George Street Sydney, NSW 2000. Econnex Comparison is powered by CIMET.
  • Promotion available on qualifying Broadband Plan purchases between 1st February 2024 to 31st July 2024 (“Promotional Period”) and may be withdrawn at any time by Econnex Econnex Comparison retains the right to change or alter the terms of this offer.
  • You (“Customer”) will receive $50 worth of Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards when you purchase a Broadband Plan via Econnex Comparison, subject to these Terms and Conditions.
  • Information on how to qualify to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card forms part of these Terms and Conditions. Participation in this promotion is considered acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
Eligibility requirements
  • To be eligible to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards, you must purchase the Broadband Plan via the following link: https://app.econnex.com.au/broadband?rcCode=90709
  • You must switch to a new Broadband retailer. Customers who change plans via Econnex but remain with the same retailer will not be eligible.
  • Your Broadband Plan must be connected within 30 days from the date of purchase.
  • Eligible Recipients will receive the applicable Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards by email up to 120 days after purchasing the Broadband Plan.
  • Econnex Comparison is not liable if any Customer details supplied are incorrect.
  • Econnex Comparison is providing this offer in conjunction with the retail services offered on its platform.
  • Details of Econnex Comparison retailers can be found at the following link: https://www.econnex.com.au/approved-providers-list
  • You must be an Australian resident aged 18 or over. Econnex Comparison may request you to provide a copy of your valid ID for identification purposes.
  • The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards and Customer’s information (including the Customer’s identity, age and place of residence) and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who the Promoter has reason to believe has breached any of these Terms and Conditions, tampered with the claim process, or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise fair and proper conduct of the promotion.
  • Errors and omissions may be accepted at the Promoter's discretion. Failure by the Promoter to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.
  • When the request for a connection cannot be completed, is unsuccessful, or a request is made for the cancellation of your Broadband Plan within the first 30 days from the date of connection, you will not be eligible to receive any gift card.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card is subject to any issuer Terms and Conditions.
  • Any ancillary costs with redeeming the gift cards are not included.
  • No responsibility is taken for any lost or stolen Woolworths Store Bonus eGift Cards.
  • If the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are unavailable, the Promoter reserves the right to substitute the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards to a card with equivalent value, subject to directions from a regulatory authority.
  • If the offer is not able to be conducted as reasonably anticipated, due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter, including but not limited to: technical difficulties, unauthorised intervention or fraud, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to the extent permitted by law: a. to disqualify any individual; or b. to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the promotion, as appropriate.
  • This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer from Econnex
Econnex Comparison Terms and Conditions.
  • Econnex Comparison will transfer your Broadband Plan request and details to the selected retailer.
  • Econnex Comparison may contact you to clarify any details or discrepancies in the information you provided for your Broadband Plan purchase.
  • To cancel your request, you will need to contact the Broadband Plan retailer and inform them of your decision.
  • Please note that we do not compare all brands in the market, or all products offered by all brands.
  • If you have any inquiries regarding your Broadband Plan purchase, you can contact us directly at 1800 013 000 or email us at [email protected]
  • Econnex Comparison Terms and Conditions: https://www.econnex.com.au/terms-and-conditions/
  • By participating in this promotion, the individual authorises the Promoter to collect, hold, use and disclose their personal information in accordance with Econnex’s privacy policy, including providing such information to third parties such as contractors, service providers, suppliers and where required or authorised by law. Econnex’s Privacy policy can be found at https://www.econnex.com.au/privacy-policy
  • Econnex may, unless the individual tells us not to, use the information to communicate with them by mail or electronically by, for example, email, phone, SMS to issue direct marketing and commercial communications telemarketing calls.
  • To opt out of direct marketing access, update, or correct personal information you may contact us at [email protected]
Other Information
  • Woolworths Group Ltd ABN 88 000 014 675 is the issuer of the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card but is not the Promoter of the offer nor responsible for fulfillment of the offer terms.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards have a fixed term expiry as displayed on the front of the gift card and are redeemable in-store and online at Woolworths Supermarket stores only.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are valid for 3 months from the issue date and Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are not reloadable or redeemable for cash.
  • Econnex Comparison and Woolworths will not replace, expired, lost, stolen, or deleted Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards.
  • Check your Spam/junk email if you have not received a Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card in your inbox within 120 days after activation of your Energy, Electricity or Gas Plan.
  • Woolworths Store Bonus eGift Card is sent via email from [email protected] or [email protected]
  • For enquiries related to the application, gift cards, or adding or removing any details on the application, please contact the Econnex Comparison at 1800 013 000 or e-mail us at [email protected]
  • For the balance and transactions history on this Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card and Woolworths Terms and Conditions visit https://woolworths.com.au/giftcards or call 1300 101 234.
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