If you want the fastest internet in Australia, then the NBN is for you. The NBN is Australia’s primary network provider and is powered by copper wire, cable broadband, and optical fibre to deliver much-improved speed and reliability when compared to traditional ADSL broadband. NBN originally launched with download speeds of up to 100 Mbps download speeds for homes. Since then, it has expanded to offering speeds up to 400 Mbps for homes and even 1000 Mbps for businesses. The NBN is owned by NBN Co, which is responsible for installing the infrastructure required to build the NBN. They also act as the sole wholesaler for NBN services to internet providers such as SpinTel, where the internet providers offer different plans with varying speeds.
The NBN has different options with varying speeds to best suit your needs. There are six different NBN plans, ranging from download speeds of 15 Mbps all the way up to 400 Mbps. You may immediately think you want the fastest internet speeds so you can stream movies at ultra-high resolutions with no buffering, or download the latest games in an instant, but the high speed comes at a high price. The fastest NBN plans will cost far over $100 dollars per month but may be well worth it to you. If money isn’t an issue and you still want the fastest internet possible, here’s how.
The fastest internet is known as NBN Home Ultrafast, offering speeds of up to 400 Mbps; perfect for a next-level experience, 8K streaming, fast video game downloads and large homes with lots of people. This NBN plan is also great for those who would like to ‘future-proof’ their home internet; as reliance on the internet is ever-increasing, so too is the average size of files that are downloaded. 4K TVs are becoming commonplace, video games that are over 100GB in size, the list is endless. 400 Mbps download speeds may be considered overkill now, but in the future, it will be the norm. If you want to be ahead of the curve then the NBN Home Ultrafast plan is what you want.
However, not everyone has access to NBN Home Ultrafast. There are different connection types that make up the NBN, each with various properties. In regional areas, users of the NBN may require a satellite internet connection or a fixed wireless connection. These are typically slow and unreliable and are reserved for those in rural areas where the NBN cabling has not been laid. The most common NBN connection type is Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre to the Building (FTTB). These consist of high-speed fibre cables running to a node, with the last section of wire from the node to your house or apartment made of copper. These types of connections don’t have access to NBN Home Ultrafast and can only offer up to 100 MBps download speeds.
The undisputed king of NBN connections is Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). FTTP connections have fibre optic cabling connected directly to your house, allowing you to reliably have NBN Home Ultrafast and even NBN 1000 for businesses. FTTP consists solely of fibre optic cable which is what allows it to have the fastest NBN speeds delivered extremely reliably, compared to old copper wire.
The next best connection type is Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), which uses existing cable networks that are also used to deliver pay TV such as Foxtel. HFC connections can also access NBN Home Ultrafast and even NBN 1000 in some cases.
So if you want the fastest NBN speeds, then you’ll need to have an FTTP or HFC connection. You can find out which connection you have on your internet provider's website or by giving them a call.
Don’t have access to HFC or FTTP connections? Don’t worry! Chances are you don’t really need it anyway. Truth be told, the highest NBN speeds available are probably overkill for the large majority of people. 100 Mbps speeds or even 50Mbps are more than enough for most people. For reference, 50 Mbps is enough for a 4-person household, with multiple devices streaming video and gaming.
If you had a large household or wanted to stream higher quality videos such as 4K and 8K then 100 Mbps is for you. Those who run a business out of their home or people that often need to download or upload large files could utilise the faster speeds of an NBN plan with 250 Mbps or more. But for the average person, it really is overkill.
Future-proofing your technology is definitely a concern, however in terms of your internet connection, there isn’t much to be concerned about. With home internet, it’s usually very easy to upgrade your plan with your existing internet provider, so when the time comes when it’s necessary to upgrade, it won’t be a hassle. The price of NBN gets cheaper every year, so there’s no point wasting money now on a speed you don’t need when you can get it for much cheaper when high internet speeds become a necessity.
The first thing you should do is check what NBN plan you are currently connected to. You can do this by contacting your internet provider. Once you know what speeds you should be getting, conduct a speed test to see what kind of speeds you’re getting. If your internet speed is more than 20% less than what you’ve signed up for. For example, if your download speed is less than 40 Mbps on an NBN50 plan. This lets you know whether your wifi isn't working as well as it should be, or if you just need to upgrade your plan.
Sometimes dodgy internet just requires a reset. To reset your router, turn it off at the power source or use the power button for 10 seconds. Then turn it back on and let it reboot. This will clear your router’s memory, which is sometimes all it takes to fix up some unreliable internet. Take it one step further by disconnecting your devices from the wifi, waiting 20 seconds, and then reconnecting them.
The next step is to adjust the location of your router. The further away you are from your router, the weaker the signal will be. Additionally, walls and other objects can interfere and further weaken the signal. If you need stable Wi-Fi on your personal computer, then consider moving your router into the same room as your computer. Otherwise, move the router to a higher place, away from other wireless devices that may interfere with the connection.
To eliminate any Wi-Fi connection issues, you can hardwire your computer or television to your router using an ethernet cable. This will eliminate any interference with the Wi-Fi signal, giving you a fast and stable connection. This setup is ideal for those who need constant stability, for example when playing online video games.
If you live in a large house and are unable to run a cable from your router to your computer, then consider using a Wi-Fi range extender. These come in all sorts of varieties, with some able to connect ethernet through the mains power, and others boosting wifi connections. These devices connect to your router, boost the connection, and then connect to your computer. Range extenders are perfect for those who don’t want the hassle of routing long cables through their house but still want a good Wi-Fi connection, regardless of where in their house they are located.
SpinTel offers some of the best value NBN plans on the market, with great prices and excellent customer service to help you get the most out of your NBN.