Why is my phone’s internet so slow?

Let's troubleshoot what might be clogging up your mobile internet's download speeds.

Tyler Abbott
Staff Writer, Mobile & Wireless
Read More
June 29, 2022
2 min read

If you’re on WiFi, your phone’s internet might be slow because of your NBN modem-router’s location or the number of users sharing the connection. If you’re out in the world, your phone’s internet might be slow because of your network provider and your location.

Why is my phone slow on Wi-Fi?

If your phone's internet is slow while connected to your home or work NBN modem, there are a few likely culprits:

  • Your router is positioned in a bad spot. Walls, floors, and doors can interfere with your connection. Likewise, appliances, like microwaves and refrigerators, can mess with your WiFi signal as well. We've got more slow internet troubleshooting tips here.
  • You have too many active tabs or apps open. Mobile data plans can only keep up with so many background apps and tabs. If your data connection is working on too many demands at once it can lead to reduced speeds. Consider closing out apps and tabs that you aren't currently using. This isn't really an issue with more modern smartphones so if your phone is struggling, it might just be time to upgrade to a better phone.
  • There are too many users on the same WiFi connection. There’s only so much bandwidth to go around your connection could be slow because somebody else is streaming or gaming in another room. In these situations, you might need to upgrade to a faster, better NBN plan with more bandwidth.
  • Your phone might be too old. It's possible that there's nothing wrong with your WiFi connection or wireless signal, rather your phone is just too old! As apps update over time, the hardware requirements to run those apps increase. For example, the Amazon app runs much more slowly on an older phone than a newer phone purely because of outdated hardware and system support. Samsung and Apple are the two smartphone manufacturers who offer the longest support for their older smartphone models.
Info Box
It might be time to upgrade your NBN
If you're still experiencing slow WiFi speeds on your phone after troubleshooting with all the tips above, it's possible you just need a new NBN plan. We recommend running a speed test from a different device (e.g. laptop) in your house to determine whether the issue stems from your phone or home WiFi.

Why is my phone slow without WiFi?

At the end of the day, if your smartphone is relatively new, your slow mobile data speeds are your network provider's responsibility. It's always good to check your mobile network coverage, particularly if you've recently moved houses or changed jobs. It's also worth double-checking that your current mobile plan offers 5G, the latest and greatest in superfast mobile data speeds. Even if you're with one of Australia's cheaper MVNOs, your coverage will come from either Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.

 

Does the age of my phone slow down my internet?

It can! The main reason phones slow down over time is because new operating system updates can leave older phones behind.

Likewise, internet browsing apps often update to sync with newer, better phones. If you don’t have the latest and greatest, your phone could struggle with the newest operating system and app updates. An older phone isn’t the most likely culprit of slow internet, but it might contribute to the problem.

How can I make my internet faster on my phone?

You can try a few things to speed up your internet on your phone like clearing the cache, uninstalling unused apps, and checking your network settings for any connection issues. But if you've tried these things and your phone is still slow on the internet, it’s presumably time to upgrade your cell phone provider. Reliable service and coverage from a provider like Telstra or one of its MVNOs might cost you a few more bucks, but it will save you a lot of frustration.

Here's a quick rundown of most of the most popular plans on the Telstra network. 

Tyler Abbott
Written by
Tyler Abbott

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