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How to test your NBN internet download (and upload) speed
Test your internet speed and ping to find out if you're getting the fastest NBN possible in your area.
How to test your internet speed
- Check what NBN speed tier you are paying for.
- Connect to the internet via your NBN home WiFi connection on any device.
- Click the big orange Start Speed Test button at the top of this page.
- Allow roughly 30 seconds for the speed test to run.
- Check the speed test results (Mbps) and compare them against the speed you are paying for.
- Find more detailed information further down the page to see if your result is acceptable.
How to speed up your internet
We have a comprehensive guide to speeding up slow internet, but if you’re not experiencing any particular technical issues, the solution is often to switch plans and providers. Here’s a small selection of fast NBN plans and providers.
Explained: How to run an NBN internet speed test
First step: check what NBN speed tier you are paying for. There are several speed tiers (Basic I NBN 12, Basic II NBN 25, Standard NBN 50, Fast NBN 100, Superfast NBN 250 and Ultrafast NBN 1000), and the speed you are paying for will inform the quality of your results.
Running an NBN speed test to check your NBN internet speed couldn’t be simpler. Simply make sure you’re connected to the internet via your home NBN WiFi modem with the device you plan to test on and hit the big “Start Speed Test” button at the top of this page. If you are testing from your smartphone and you’re not connected to WiFi, the speed test will return results from your mobile network (also handy to know).
Allow around ten seconds for the internet speed test to run. Once complete, you’ll be given your download speed result, and if you click more info, you can find your ping/latency and upload speeds. See, we told you an NBN speed test was easy.
While ping and latency are important to some users, download and upload speed are the two most important data points in your NBN speed test (they are, after all, what you usually pay extra for).
How do internet speed tests work?
Basically, an internet speed test works in a few stages.
First up, it’ll send a request to a server and wait for a response. The time between making the request and getting a response (in milliseconds) is what we call ‘ping’. Ping won’t be a major consideration for most everyday internet users, but if you’re keen to learn more, check out the ping and latency section below.
Second, and most importantly, the test will measure your download and upload speeds. This works by the test tool opening multiple connections to the test server and downloading small bits of data. While this is happening, the tool will measure how quickly it downloaded that bit of data and how much of your network’s resources were used in the process. Using this information, it will then optimise the size of that bit of data and the number of connections to accurately measure download speed.
Testing upload is essentially the same thing, but instead of requesting data, you’re the one sending those bits of data to the test server. Using the same method, the tool establishes the right number of connections and the right data size to accurately measure your upload speed.
Fastest internet in Australia
Here are the fastest NBN internet plans in Australia according to each provider’s self-reported speeds.
What is a good NBN speed test result?
A “good” internet speed test depends on what NBN speed tier you’re paying for. There are several available NBN speed tiers:
- Basic I NBN 12: Potential 12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload
- Basic II NBN 25: Potential 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload
- Standard NBN 50: Potential 50 Mbps and 20 Mbps upload
- Fast NBN 100/20: Potential 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload
- Fast NBN 100/40: Potential 100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload
- Superfast NBN 250 (available in eligible areas): Potential 250 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload
- Ultrafast NBN 1000 (available in eligible areas): Potential 1000 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload
These are the potential speeds for every tier but each provider also self-reports the typical evening speeds you can expect on their plans. For more information on what kind of speeds to expect, head over to our comprehensive guide to NBN speed tiers.
For a rough guide on what kind of evening speeds you should be getting at each tier, run the test above and compare the results with the table below.
|Basic II NBN 25||0 – 15 Mbps||15 – 22 Mbps||22 – 25 Mbps|
|Standard NBN 50||0 – 30 Mbps||35 – 40 Mbps||40 – 50 Mbps|
|Fast NBN 100||0 – 60 Mbps||60 – 85 Mbps||85 – 100 Mbps|
|Superfast NBN 250||0 – 150 Mbps||150 – 200 Mbps||200 – 250 Mbps|
|Ultrafast NBN 1000||< 250Mbps||250 - 500 Mbps||500 - 1000 Mbps|
How do I check my NBN speed tier?
There are a few ways to check your NBN speed tier, but the easiest method is to simply check the most recent bill from your internet provider or log on to their self-service portal. Both of these options should tell you straight away what plan you’re signed up for.
If you can’t access your bills or online account management service, your next best course of action is to contact your internet provider’s support service. Most telcos offer online live chat, a dedicated phone number, forum or active social media. They’ll ask you for some basic details (like your name and address) and should be able to inform you of your chosen speed tier from there.
Otherwise, there is one final option, although it’s not necessarily the most accurate way to check your NBN speed tier. By using the internet speed test at the top of this page, simply run a test and measure your result against the table above. You may be able to identify your NBN speed tier simply by seeing which one your result best fits into.
What is ping in an NBN speed test?
Once the internet speed test has run, you will notice a value for “Ping” in the results. Ping is used to measure the response time of your internet connection. Download speeds represent the rate at which you can download a file over the internet. The higher the download speed, the faster you will download that whopping 4K version of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Ping measures the response time between you clicking download, the server recognising your action and the action appearing on the computer in front of you (e.g. “Downloading”). Because of the speed of the internet these days, ping speed is typically measured in milliseconds.
To test the response time, the ping sends a packet of data to a specific IP address, waits for a signal to return and measures the milliseconds in-between.
It’s near imperceptible in most cases so why should it matter? Well, it might not matter for you but for certain types of uses, like online gaming, a few milliseconds can make all the difference.
If you’ve ever heard (or complained about) lag; that’s due to high ping on the connection. If you’re experiencing high ping, consider using a wired internet connection by running an ethernet cable to your computer rather than a WiFi connection.
If that doesn’t help, there’s a long list of troubleshooting methods that can potentially improve the speed of your connection. If that doesn’t improve your download speed and ping, it might be time to consider switching providers.
Don’t get confused by the ever-growing mass of technical jargon; latency and ping are more or less the same thing when it comes to speed tests. Ping is the tool used to measure latency (or response delay). Most internet speed test tools use the terms “ping” and “latency” interchangeably. Testing your ping gives you a measurement in milliseconds “ms” which corresponds to the latency on your network and the “Round Trip Time” (RTT) of the ping’s call and response.
What’s a good ping/latency result?
In most cases, anything under 100ms is ideal. The sweet spot is below 50ms but most NBN connections in Australia average around 11.69ms according to a December 2020 ACCC broadband testing program so ping’s not much of an issue Down Under.
Why is my NBN so slow?
Your NBN provider may not be solely responsible for less than impressive internet speeds. Hardware issues could be preventing you from reaching the full speed potential of your plan, as some older devices, modems and routers do not support high-speed internet. Likewise, be sure to look into how many devices your router is capable of handling and how large (or small) an area it covers. If you’re looking to upgrade, take a look at our roundup of the best NBN modems and routers currently available.
It’s also worth checking what applications you have running in the background. Constantly uploading and downloading items from the cloud (e.g. Dropbox and Google Drive) can drag down your internet speed considerably. If you find this is the case, you can adjust how much bandwidth your cloud storage uses. For Dropbox users, you’ll find bandwidth settings in ‘Preferences’, while Google Drive users can adjust their max download speed by clicking ‘Preferences’ then ‘Advanced’.
If you’ve tried everything and ruled out all the above issues, it could be time to get a technician out to inspect your line. For more troubleshooting, visit our dedicated guide on how to speed up slow internet.
More fast NBN 100 plans
If you’re not getting the speed you need, it might be time to upgrade. Here’s a selection of some of the most popular NBN 100 plans on the market right now.