When you sign up for an NBN or indeed any other type of internet connection, you will notice that the plans offered are based on speed (megabits per second) and data volume (gigabytes per month).
Speed is never mentioned with internet connections via mobile phone or mobile broadband, there are basically no speed choices, you get what you get. You can test your connection at www.speedtest.net or testmy.net, there are many speed testing sites.
But when it comes to the NBN, most providers quote speeds in one form or another where there is a maximum (aka theoretical) download speed and a maximum upload speed. The maximum speeds are infinitely depending on the type of connection and the location of your premises but more about that later! For now, there are four typical speed tiers
- Tier 1: 12/1 Download speed up to 12 megabits per second, upload speed up to 1 megabit per second
- Tier 2: 25/5 (aka nbn25) up to 25 megabits per second download and 5 megabits per second upload
- Tier 3: 50/20 (aka nbn50) up to 50 megabits per second download and 20 megabits per second upload
- Tier 4: 100/40 (aka nbn100) up to 100 megabits per second download and 4 megabits per second upload
Not all speeds are available in all areas, satellite speeds only go to nbn25, Fixed Wireless to nbn50 and Fibre-to-the-Node to nbn100. Faster speeds are available in major cities but not as yet on Eyre Peninsula.
Note that these are the maximum speeds, most providers are now quoting "typical evening speeds" which attempt to bring some clarity and honesty to the marketing where none previously existed. The typical evening speeds are usually about 30% off the maximum speed.
So, you need to know what you are getting from your provider and it needs to be pretty close to what you are paying for or your provider can get themselves in a bit of bother with the Ombudsman, the ACCC or the Australian Consumer Law.
Test twice a day for a week or three, individual tests don't mean much, what you are looking for is a pattern over time.
Test at a set time in the morning, say 7.00am, this will tell you the best speed your provider can do.
Test at a set time in the evening, say 7.00pm, this will tell you how congested your provider is
Keep a diary so that you can present a case to your provider if you need to and certainly keep detailed notes regarding any contact you have with your provider if you encounter an internet issue