What is a good internet speed?
19 May 2017
Have you ever wanted to know more about your internet speed? Wondered how fast your home or work internet is? Maybe you’ve had issues with net speed not living up to your expectations?
In this blog we’ll get you across everything you ever wanted and needed to know about internet speed, shatter some common misconceptions, and tell where exactly you can get your hands on the fastest internet around.
Let’s get you up to speed (see what we did there?!), starting first with a few key terms.
internet speed - a beginner's glossary
Bandwidth: tells us how fast data is transferred to your internet-connected device.
Broadband: the vehicle for your always-on, high-speed internet connection. This includes everything from cable to ADSL to the newest player in the game, nbn™.
Megabits per second (Mbps): a measurement of internet speed.
nbn: the nickname for the National Broadband Network. Think faster, more reliable broadband down under
Internet speed test: an online test that calculates how fast data can be downloaded (or how quickly your cat videos play).
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, we’ll tackle the most common questions.
your internet speed questions answered
Does the speed of your internet have you flicking your modem on again, off again, on again?
Or worse – are you constantly going over your monthly data limit?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, it’s time to get to the bottom of what’s making your internet so darn sluggish.
With the net constantly evolving, and bigger and better broadband like nbn coming onto the scene, we think it’s the perfect time for you to become the Einstein of internet speed.
what is internet speed?
Let’s start with a basic, but crucial one. The internet has one primary job: to move data from one place to another. Internet speed is defined as the speed at which content travels across the World Wide Web to your device of choice. You can pretty much bet that the bandwidth will be measured in megabits per second (Mbps) too.
why is my internet so slow?
Keep these factors in mind before pulling your hair out in frustration.
- That urban city living
Just like peak hour traffic, living in a congested area can impact your internet experience. High network congestion (that’s when lots of people use the internet at once) and that hellish buffering sign go hand-in-hand.
- Around the clock downloading
Are you a speed demon when it comes to streaming, downloading and uploading? Binge watching all your favourite programs on multiple devices might be the culprit for slow internet.
- Multiple users
Sharing is caring, but it can certainly slow things down. Faster internet plans can help you keep up with all the activity.
- Mother nature
Water and electricity go together like Taylor Swift and relationships. Keep in mind that bad weather conditions like rain or flooding can temporarily hinder speed in extreme cases.
how to test your internet speed
Stop scratching your head and pressing the refresh button! Let’s find out once and for all if your internet quality is more like a 10 course degustation or a midnight Macca’s run.
In just 30 seconds, you can find out how quick your internet connection is by using a speed test.
A speed check tool will typically check for three things:
- Ping (also known as latency)
- Upload speed
- Download speed
what on earth is latency?
Latency is the time it takes for a signal to go from one device to another. Simply put, lower latency equals less lag and a better quality internet connection.
what's the difference between download and upload speeds?
Understanding the difference between upload speed and download speed is pretty easy – the download speed determines how fast the internet moves a piece of data to your device, while upload speeds move a piece of data away from it.
You can compare it to driving a car.
Imagine driving a car forward as the download speed while driving a car backward is the upload speed. It’s faster, easier and more common to drive forwards than it is to go backwards. Cars are designed and optimised to primarily go forward, so our car journey is safer and more efficient.
When it comes to internet usage, you’ll download much more than you upload. That’s why it’s normal for the download rate to be faster than the upload speed – and besides, we all know that downloading every single Nirvana track (102 in total) in a speedy manner is important.
what should my internet speed be?
There’s no magic number for us to gift upon you since we all use the internet in different ways and for different reasons.
Think of picking your internet speed like choosing a partner – you don’t just jump in head first and wish for the best. In fact, you have to ask all the right questions first. And we’re definitely not relationship experts, but when it comes to your internet speed you can start by asking yourself the following:
- What are you using the net for? Recreational use? Home business?
- How many hours or days of internet do you expect to use per month?
- Will you stream HD videos or download hi-res photos regularly?
- Will you be using the internet during “peak hours”?
- How many people and devices will be using the same connection?
It’s essential to keep these factors in mind when choosing the best internet plan and speed for you.
how to get the fastest internet in town
Want to go full speed ahead? Get connected with nbn! This triple threat will have you hooked up before you can say ‘abracadabra’. Okay, not that fast … but if the infrastructure is in place in your neighbourhood; you can experience reliable, inexpensive and super-fast internet.
Is nbn faster than other internet technologies? Heck yes! Will you fall head over heels with nbn? Duh! Here are just a few of the perks of the nbn:
- You can get super-fast internet speeds at your home (up to 100 Mbps)
- The new internet infrastructure, which relies less on old copper wiring (not optimised for the high-speed transfer of data), provides stronger signal and reach than ADSL, cable and even wireless internet
- Stream high quality movies and enjoy picture perfect video calls and conferencing with superfast nbn wireless speeds
- Watch, play and work across multiple devices with an optimal networking experience
If you’re tired of laggy videos, slow downloads, and glitchy FaceTimes with mum, something’s got to give – and that’ll be your old internet.