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How to conduct an internet speed test

Navigating the digital world has become an integral part of our daily lives, and a fast, reliable internet connection is essential for both work and leisure. But what if your internet seems to be lagging, and your connection doesn't feel as snappy as it used to? Whether you are working from home, streaming your favourite series, or battling it out in an online game, a slow internet connection can be incredibly frustrating. One way to diagnose and possibly rectify this issue is by conducting an internet speed test. If you're unsure how to do this or what to do with the results, don't worry. This article will guide you through the necessary steps to conduct an internet speed test and how to interpret and respond to the results. Let's dive in and ensure your internet is performing at its best!

Getting ready

Before you start your internet speed test, you’ll need to prepare your computer to make sure that your internet speed test runs uninterrupted. Oftentimes, your computer will be running a number of downloads or other programs in the background, which can affect the speed of your internet connection. Before you start your internet speed test, to get an accurate reading of the speed available on your connection, you will need to ensure any tests are performed in complete isolation. This means making sure that you’ve paused or cancelled any downloads that might be happening on your computer. As well as this, it’s also important to kill any other tasks which might be running in the background, such as online games to other programs that require an internet connection. If your computer is running Windows, then you should check the system tray for any programs that may be running in the background as you may not be aware of these.

There may be some updates which you won’t be able to pause, such as updates to your operating system. Although updates such as these sometimes can’t be paused, they’ll still take up a bit of your internet connection in order to complete the download. If you’re stuck with updates to your operating system and other essential updates happening, it’s best to wait until these updates finish, and then run your internet speed test at another time.

Laptop Sofa

As well as making sure that there’s nothing on your computer that might be using the internet, there are probably a number of other devices around your home that will also be using your internet connection in one way or another. Some devices that will probably be taking up a bit of your internet connection include smart TVs, mobile phones, set-top boxes and gaming consoles. Before you start your internet speed test, make sure that all of the devices that use an internet connection around your home have been turned off, or are disconnected from the internet.As well as making sure that the only thing using the internet in your home will be your internet speed test, you’ll also need to check your internet plan before the test happens. The nbn network offers different performance tiers, which are based on a maximum available download and upload speed. If you’re unsure as to what nbn plan, you can either contact your internet service provider or go have a look at any previous bills that your internet service provider has sent you.

As well as taking the type of internet plan that you’re on into consideration, another thing that you need to consider before you begin your internet speed test is the current situation that you’re in. Have you recently been notified of drops in performance or internet cut-outs by your local council or internet provider? Are you certain that no telecommunications infrastructure is being worked on in your area? If you’re uncertain if there are any underlying issues with telecommunications infrastructure in your area, don’t worry. There are a number of internet service providers that offer outage maps on their websites, which record every single internet or telecommunications service outage that happens across the nation, recording where it is, when it happened and the approxiMATE length of time that it’ll take in order to fix it.


Performing the speed test

Once you’ve prepared your home and your computer for the speed test, and you’ve made sure that there are no outages nor is any work being done, you’ll be able to run your internet speed test. To get the most accurate reading on a test, it would be best to perform this via a direct connection - this means that you should connect an Ethernet cable from a computer directly to your modem/router.

You're probably wondering why this is the best way to test. The reason for this is because your internet provider can't control Wi-Fi speeds. Speeds on Wi-Fi are affected by lots of factors such as the Wi-Fi strength of your modem/router, the environment of your home, the distance from the devices you are using to your modem/router, the number of walls the Wi-Fi needs to penetrate inside your home, and even the settings, configuration, and type of devices you have connected - these are just a few factors that can affect Wi-Fi speeds. Testing with an Ethernet cable directly to your router/modem eliminates some of these issues and will give you the best picture of how your internet service is working.

Streaming Family

There isn’t just the one place you can go to in order to run an internet speed test. There are a number of internet speed tests for you to choose from, able to be found on both websites and search engines.

Firstly, there are tests that are offered by the two main search engines, Google and Bing. Despite the fact that both Google and Bing offer their own speed testing, the most popular and the most widely recommended site is speedtest.net, which is a very popular internet speed test site that’s been set up by Ookla. The reason for speedtest.net’s success is not only the amount of time that the site has been active but how easy it is to access the site and the amount of information that the site makes available to test internet speed.

Ookla has set up their internet speed test to be available for a number of different operating systems and devices, including phones and tablets, allowing you to check your internet’s performance no matter where you are in the home or office. As well as this, the speedtest.net site also offers a lot of insight and comparison tools, which allow you to compare the speed of your own internet connection against the average internet speed of those in your area, or of those in other countries.

If performing internet speed tests is a regular activity for you when maintaining your internet connection, another great comparison tool is the results of previous internet speed tests. By utilising your previous speed test results, you’ll be able to see if the quality of your internet connection has either improved or deteriorated, and you’ll then be able to respond accordingly.

It’s also important to choose the appropriate server before running your speedtest based on your location. For example, if you are in NSW, then it would be best to select a Sydney server. If you are in WA, then choose a Perth server.


Ater the test

Once you’ve completed your internet speed test, what else is there to do? By using your comparison tools, you’ll be able to figure out what you need to do next. If you’ve gone through your latest speed test and you’ve found that it either matches or improves upon the results of your previous tests, or what’s been stated in the contract of your internet plan, then you won’t need to do much else. If you’d like, turn on a few of the internet-using devices around your home and run another test to make sure that your internet is able to maintain that level of performance if multiple devices are being used.

However, if you’ve had a look at your latest internet speed test and you’ve found that your internet is performing worse than it has in previous tests, there are a few things that you can do in order to fix it. The first thing that you can do is run another test or two. By running more tests, you’ll be able to make sure that the recent test wasn’t a once-off, reinforcing it with further tests, or eliminating the issue with the introduction of more positive internet speed tests.

Once you’ve run the few tests and you’ve found that your internet is consistently performing poorly, there are a number of things that you can do in order to fix the issue. One of the first things that you can do is double-check that every program or device that requires an internet connection in your home has been turned off, to make sure that your internet speed tests are having to compete with other devices in your house. If you’ve gone through all of these steps and you find that your internet is still performing poorly, another step that you can is checking the hardware that you’re using. If you’ve had the same modem for a number of years, and you haven’t checked for updates, you might find that your firmware requires a number of updates that’ll improve the quality of your internet connection. Alternatively, you might also find that you’ve had your modem for so long, that it’s become completely overshadowed in terms of performance by newer modems, which have been designed to be able to work with the improvements in internet infrastructure and quality. In this instance, it might be time for you to get a new modem.

Modem Table

But where can you get a new modem from, and what modem is best for you? There are a number of modems available on the market, with each offering a range of benefits. At MATE, we offer the TP-Link VX230v Wi-Fi modem, which is compatible with all nbn technology types!

For those of you who aren’t as tech savvy as others, you won’t need to worry with the TP-Link VX230v Wi-Fi modem. This modem is designed with user experience in mind, allowing you to easily connect any wireless devices, as well as keep you up to date with the status of every single wireless device that you have connected to the internet. At MATE, we offer this awesome modem with any of our nbn plans for just a once-off fee of $165! Not only do you get this modem, but it also comes to you completely pre-configured, so you don’t even have to worry about any difficult set up process. All you need to do is replace your old modem with the TP-Link VX230v Wi-Fi modem and you’ll be good to go. If you’d like to learn more the TP-Link VX230v Wi-Fi modem modem or any of our nbn plans, check out our nbn plans page or give our customer service team a call on 13 14 13 today.

As you can see, setting up your computer for an internet speed test and actually running the internet speed test can be a rather quick and easy process. However, if you’re not that tech savvy, troubleshooting your internet issues can seem like a daunting experience. Luckily, you can rely on the team at MATE to give you the help that you need. At MATE, we pride ourselves on having a customer service team that’s both experienced in providing you with friendly customer support, as well being able to provide you with precise technical support when you need it. If you’re tired of any issues that you have with your current internet service provider are looking for a team that’ll help you make the most out of your internet connection, check out the range of plans on our nbn plans page, or give our friendly, all-Aussie customer service team a call on 13 14 13 today.


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Other Frequently Asked Questions about the nbn™

How is the nbn network installed and connected to my home or business premises?

The installation of the nbn network into your home or business is designed to be as efficient and comfortable as possible. If you’re having the nbn network installed directly into your home for the first time, an adult over 18 will need to be present to let the installer in and approve the work completed.

Typically, you’ll need to work with the installer to decide on the ideal location for your device to be installed, considering easy access for you and where it can be efficiently connected to the network’s external device.

For certain connection types like FTTN/FTTB, where no additional equipment is needed inside, your connection will simply use an existing telephone socket.

What nbn plan is right for me?

At MATE, we have a range of nbn plans that are designed to suit different lifestyles. Whether you live in a small household or need high-speed internet for a large family or group, we’ve got you covered.

From our Crikey 25/10 plan which offers a typical busy period download speed of 25Mbps to the Fair Dinkum 250/25 plan, designed for 6 or more people, with a typical busy period download speed of 202Mbps, there’s something for everyone.

It’s important to note that actual speeds are not only influenced by the type of plan you have but also by your nbn connection type. For example, if you have a plan that provides you with a typical busy period download speed of 48Mbps but you’re connected to the nbn network via FTTN technology, your average internet speed may be slightly slower.

Beyond this, there are many other factors that can affect your internet speed, such as your location, proximity to a Fixed Wireless position (especially for rural users), and the quality of your devices.

Who will be getting access to the nbn network?

Quite simply, the nbn network is dedicated to providing high-speed internet connections to every home and business across Australia. nbn™ hopes to achieve this goal, aiming to ensure that everyone can enjoy the full benefits of the internet at high speeds, regardless of their location in the country. The government has already completed most of the nbn rollout, meaning that most Australians should now have an active nbn connection or have it available for installation.

Who will be getting access to the nbn™ network?

If you want to know how you’re connected to the nbn network, there’s a very easy way to find out. Before you select one of MATE’s many nbn plans, you’ll be asked to enter your address and see if your home or business is connected to the nbn network and how it’s been or will be connected to the nbn network. With this information, you’ll be able to determine what type of nbn plan will best suit your home or business.

What do I need to prepare for the nbn network?

As the nbn network is rolled out, it has replaced the existing copper telephone infrastructure, which means that services that once existed on this infrastructure have been terminated. If you're in an existing property, there's minimal preparation needed on your part for the nbn to set up its network; nbn™ will handle most of the internal setup, although there are a few exceptions. However, for a new property, you may need a private technician to provide a trench and conduit for the fibre cabling installation.

Thankfully, getting your phones and internet-ready devices prepared for the nbn network is straightforward. Simply call an nbn provider like MATE and talk to them about what plan would best suit your lifestyle. At MATE, we’re all about delivering value and connecting you smoothly. If you want your devices on the nbn network as soon as possible, check out our range of high-quality, high-speed nbn plans on our website, or you can live chat with us online or email us at [email protected].

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