If you get slow speeds all the time, it’s likely the problem is at your home, so here are 10 STEPS to try before calling your RSP. (It’s a good idea to do methodical tests and make detailed notes while you’re trying to find the cause of speed problems. You might like to take screen shots of the speed test results you get, or create an account with www.speedtest.net and store them all online.) Likewise, if you are experiencing drop outs and other (non speed related issues), there could be a problem with your equipment and you will need to escalate with your provider.
If you cannot complete one of the steps, then move to the next one.
- Conduct Speed Tests. Run regular speed tests on the Ookla speed test hosted at speedtest.net. See the BIRRR guide. Your computer should automatically choose a speed test server located in your nearest capital city, but if it doesn’t, you can run the test again and manually choose a server. Telstra and Optus tend to have good bandwidth to their servers so try to choose theirs. You should run the speed test at various times of the day and night, especially when you think your speed is slow. That will give us a good indication as to how your service is performing. Record your the Ookla speed test results, so you can forward them to your RSP. Please keep in mind that your speed will vary depending on a number of factors including congestion at peak times. Your RSP probably doesn’t guarantee to give you 100% of the peak speed of your service 100% of the time, so check your Customer Agreement and see what it says about expected speeds.
- Who else is using the connection? Check that no one else in your home is downloading or streaming Ask friends or family to take a break from using the service, shut down any downloads and close YouTube. The YouTube and Netflix auto-play feature is a big data thief.
- Check your current usage via your RSP’s website, to make sure you’re not speed limited for exceeding your Data Allowance. This sounds simple, but RSPs get lots of calls from speed limited customers.
- Power cycle everything, including your modem, your router (if you have one) and your computer(s) – turn everything OFF and then turn back ON again, starting at the modem (W-NTD) and working up. A monthly reboot of everything often makes a performance difference. Do further speed tests and see if that made a difference.
- Use a different Browser. Download and install a fresh copy of a browser you haven’t used before. If you use Windows and Internet Explorer, try Chrome or Firefox. If you’re a Mac owner using Safari or Firefox. Sometimes browsers get clogged up with cookies and other stuff and that can affect your speed.
- Make Sure Your PC Is Healthy. Check for spyware, viruses, and malware. These programs are easily downloaded and installed, without your knowledge, while you’re surfing the Web. They can run undetected and have a significant impact on your Web surfing speed and overall system performance. There are plenty of free and subscription-based utilities available that will detect and eradicate these programs and prevent them being downloaded and installed in the first place. Windows users should Google how to set your computer into Safe Mode with Networking and also how to get out of Safe Mode. Reboot your Windows computer in Safe Mode with Networking and run further speed tests. This starts your computer with the bare basic software, so if you have anti-virus or some other program that’s slowing your computer, speed tests in Safe Mode will reveal that. If you notice an improvement, then you may have something wrong with your antivirus software (try disabling web shield in your antivirus software.to see if there is an improvement). Scan your computer for malware. (Anti Malwarebytes is a good program)
- By-Pass your WIFI connection. If you’re using the service via Wi-Fi, plug your computer directly into your router with a network cable and run some speed tests. If that solves the speed problem, your Wi-Fi signal may be poor. You may have a faulty or poorly configured router, or the Wi-Fi device drivers in your computer may need to be updated or re-configured. You should ask your local computer specialist (or a young relative) for help with device driver updates as it’s tricky if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
- Plug your computer directly into the modem (NBN Box) with a network cable, bypassing your router (if you have one) then reboot everything. It’s best to wait for the modem to be rebooted first then reboot your computer. Do some more speed tests, and that will tell you if your router is causing speed problems. (NB make sure you use the same port that has a cable in it already, only one port is activated by NBN – usually port 1)
- Try a different network cable, just in case that’s the problem. If you have a few of them in your home, try them all just in case you have a dud cable. Network cables lull you into a false sense of security by rarely being faulty, then when you least expect it, there they are!
- Try another computer (if you have one), plugged directly into the modem, in Safe Mode with Networking if it’s a Windows computer. More speed tests will tell you if you have a computer problem rather than a service problem.
Alternatively connect your laptop (or other portable device) to a friend or neighbour’s service and see if you get the same problems.
- You can also try activating a second port on your service with a different provider, such as Aussie Broadband, to see if your service improves. Aussie Broadband will offer a no contract 30 day trial to enable you to see if your old provider has the congestion issue, or if the issue is with nbn. You can read more about nbn Fixed Wireless Congestion here.
- If you are still having issues once you have completed the steps above, the BIRRR team can escalate for you (with nbn and your RSP – providing we have a contact with them), by filling in this form.
More information about your nbn™ Wireless Connection Box
You can also check out Whistle Out’s Guide to how to fix a slow nbn connection here.
*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your ISP regarding your own connection and speed issues. Thanks to SkyMesh for their assistance in compiling this document. This page was updated on 15th July 2018.