Your data speeds are mostly determined by the speed tier you select when choosing a particular plan, but, there are also several other factors that can influence your data speeds. We chat about these below and give you some tips on how to work around them.
There is no doubt that people by-and-large prefer the mobility of a Wi-Fi connection over the inflexibility of a wired connection to the internet.
If you’re fortunate enough to live in a large property, the speeds you receive are likely to drop considerably the further away you get from the router though. Thick walls can also wreak havoc with your signal strength, as can multiple users.
To help manage this, try to connect the devices which matter (e.g. computers being used for work or study, gaming or backup devices) directly using an ethernet cable, and connect other devices like phones and tablets via the Wi-Fi.
If that’s not an option, consider range extenders and position the router in a location close to where you’ll be using your devices.
I’m in Brisbane and have a cable internet connection. With my husband and I both working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown it became apparent that just relying on the router wasn’t going to cut it. We were putting too much pressure on the signal.
I just invested in this mesh network from Officeworks and it’s made an amazing amount of difference to the strength of our signal right across our home.
[Example only. This is not an official endorsement by SkyMesh]
Of course, I recommend you investigate what the right set-up would be for you, based on your specific needs before you invest in anything to extend your signal.
There are many products on the market, varying in price and features.
Signal strength issues will happen for every kind of internet technology. It’s important to assess how you boost that signal based on your specific needs.
We recommend you replace routers that you’ve owned for more than two-years because of the pace at which technology changes. You will want to make sure your router is keeping up-to-date with the current technological needs of your household.
You can check the strength of your signal by completing two speed tests:
If there is a huge drop in performance over Wi-Fi, that’s a pretty good indication that it’s time to buy a new router.
When deciding where to place your Wi-Fi router, it’s about a whole lot more than power and cables. You need to also make certain that there’s nothing that can interfere with the signal travelling between the router and your devices.
It’s important there are no signal blockers between where you place your router and where you use the devices you’ll connect to it.
You’d be surprised by what could block your signal. Other electrical appliances (even your fridge!) can cause interference, as can anything that produces a radio signal (TVs, wireless audio visual equipment, Foxtel box, etc.). Fish tanks can also weaken your signal along with mirrors, walls and floors (i.e. if you are in a two storey home for example and using a device on a separate floor to your router).
The higher off the ground you can place your router, the less chance it has of furniture and other things in your home getting in the way of signal transmission to your devices.
It might be that you have a number of people using the connection in various rooms across the house. In this case, try to place your router as centrally as possible. If you’re spreading the signal too thin however (too many people are using it with too many blockers in the way), you may want to look at signal extenders.
If you are on a plan with nbn’s slowest speed tier, sharing the connection with others in your home will only slow it further.
When you’re choosing your speed tier, you definitely need to think about how many people and how many devices will be connecting to the internet at the same time.
If you have opted for one of the slower speed tiers and often have lots of different devices connected at one time, speak with your internet service provider about changing speed tiers.
With SkyMesh, you can easily change plans via your online account, and upgrade to a faster plan in just a few clicks.
Without good anti-virus software, you run the risk of viruses, worms and Trojans infecting your computer, potentially using your internet connection, and severely reducing the performance of your device.
This will without a doubt make your connection feel considerably slower than it actually is.
There are plenty of vendors out there, and while we are in no way affiliated with any of them, you may wish to consider PC Mags anti-virus comparison review and Malwarebytes to clean up infected devices.
I’d say it takes about 15 minutes on average before one of my friends asks for the Wi-Fi password when they visit. While I have zero problems with this, I’m certainly not ok with my neighbours, especially the ones with the barking dog, also helping themselves, scrounging bandwidth and dragging down my speeds.
If you have an old router, be sure to keep your connection secure by setting up a password.
If you have a SkyMesh nbn™ ready Wi-Fi router, these are shipped with a preset password so there’s nothing to configure and one less thing to worry about.
Outdated web browsers can severely reduce your online experience by limiting how well web content is shown to you. Old browsers can also slow your download speeds.
Popular browsers like Chrome will auto-update which is handy, while others like Firefox prompt you when a new version becomes available to install. Nothing much to worry about there.
The biggest problem, however, is with some legacy browsers – such as Internet Explorer – where updating needs to be triggered manually and users can’t switch to Microsoft’s latest browser, Edge, as this currently only available on Windows 10.
If you’re in this scenario, either upgrade your operating system to Windows 10, or switch to using Chrome or Firefox for a better experience.
This is something I’d tend to check when using older laptops and devices which have less memory than newer models. The process for checking this varies by operating system.
Here’s some guidance on how to disable apps for Windows 8 and 10 to improve performance.
If you’re using something different, a quick Google search will point you in the right direction.
A word of caution, only disable what you recognise as an unnecessary application. If you use it regularly, you probably really need it.
It’s not unusual for households to upgrade to the nbn™ network, choose the cheapest speed tier then become deflated about the performance.
When choosing a plan, ensure you understand the maximum achievable speeds from your choice and make sure it’s right for your online life (whether that’s watching Netflix, online gaming, running a small business, studying or simply checking your emails).
Line of sight is important for nbn’s fixed wireless and sky muster satellite services because if something blocks the signal, you won’t get any internet.
If you can see any trees on your property that are higher than the satellite dish or the fixed wireless antenna on your roof, there’s a chance they are obstructing the dish and may need to be cut back in order for the connection to work well.
The same applies to any other large items that can be easily moved, removed or dismantled.
If the obstruction is not something within your power, and you’re a SkyMesh customer, have a chat with our team about your options. Here’s our number again: 1300 759 637.
Knowing there’s an obstruction in advance of calling will help us find you the best solution faster.
The type of plan you’re on needs to come with enough data to support the way people in your home use the internet, especially if there are a number of people all using it at the same time.
If you have a large family, or maybe you’re in a share house, you might want to look at unlimited data plans on fixed wireless and unmetered data plans on satellite (Sky Muster™ Plus). Having the right amount of data should mean you don’t run out and end up with your speeds shaped.
Of course, not everything speed-related is under your control, sometimes there are limitations with the technology that plays a factor and sometimes it’s as fundamental as an adverse weather event.
Storms in particular can really impact a fixed wireless connection, while strong winds are very disruptive for satellite connections.
Overall however, these 11 tips should help you to do everything in your power to optimise your speeds.