Optimise your connection for very happy holidays!

‘Tis the season to stream content! Here are some handy tips to help optimise your internet speed this summer.

When Australia takes a break for the holiday season, we look for entertainment in the form of music, movies and TV shows. This leads to a huge jump in the use of online data.

This summer, many of us will be streaming our favourite songs, catching up on the shows we’ve missed during the year, and downloading films to keep the kids (and ourselves) occupied.

In line with this, NBN Co data has recently found that Aussies will consume more than 183GB in December alone. This represents a 22 per cent increase on last year, and a lift of 55 per cent since 2015.

The figures reveal homes that are connected to the nbn™ broadband access network are expected to consume enough data to stream the equivalent of 61 online HD episodes of Games of Thrones in December data usage alone (squeezing in an extra eleven episodes compared to this time last year), or making more than 10,000 online video calls to family and friends.

As well as streaming movies, TV shows and music, we’ll be gaming online. Plus, Australians will keep in touch with family and friends via video chat and VOIP calls, adding to the demand for online data.

For some households, though, accessing online entertainment is tricky because of an unreliable broadband connection – what they may not realise is there are several ways to help improve their internet speed.

Says Tim Stone, General Manager of Product Development at NBN Co, “Many of us are unaware of the easy remedies, which can help to improve our broadband speeds.”

So, to help stream content this summer, we’ve gathered the following handy tips to help improve your connection:

Select the right modem

When it comes to modems (and routers), not all are created equal. Often supplied by retail service providers, they play a critical role in the performance of your connection.

Wi-Fi routers and modems connecting to the nbn™ access network must be compatible with the 802.11n Wi-Fi standards (released in 2009) or 802.11ac (released in 2013).

Not sure if yours meets the criteria? Give your provider a call to talk you through identifying your modem/router’s capabilities. 

Disconnect for a better connection

Did you know that electrical equipment like televisions, microwaves, baby monitors and computers can interfere with your Wi-Fi broadband speed?

Even faulty fluorescent lights or fairy lights can have an impact, so move these items to a different outlet or, if you can, unplug them completely to boost your Wi-Fi connection. 

Prime positioning

The more central your Wi-Fi modem/router is in your house, the better – especially if you’ve got a large home. If you’re not getting a reliable connection at the far reaches of the house, consider a Wi-Fi extender. This acts like an amplifier to improve your coverage. 

Identify your needs

If you’re a family of five and each person has a smartphone, as well as a tablet or computer, then you’re looking at more than ten devices all connected to the internet at once.

So when selecting broadband plans, consider your data and device usage, then speak to your retail service provider about the deal to best suit your household. You can also ask them about the download and upload speeds you can expect to receive.

Maximise your bandwidth

A central splitter will help reduce noise and interference caused by internal wiring, improving your online experience.

These devices filter out the broadband signals from a phone line, allowing your internet signal to travel between your home and the network unimpeded. It’s important to note that central filters should only be installed by licensed telephone technicians.

Check your in-home wiring

Your broadband speeds can be slowed down by faulty internal wiring. Old or damaged phone cables linking your modem to the telecommunications outlet can degrade your signal, while eliminating additional telephone outlets can, in some cases, increase download speeds by more than 50 per cent. 

More quick tips

  • Avoid placing your modem behind a large flat-screen television – its large metal back-plate is likely to weaken your signal.
  • Move your modem to your home’s first or primary phone outlet – this ensures your signal has the shortest route to travel.
  • Disconnect any unused devices from telephone outlets, like an older Pay TV set top box that once used a dial-up connection.
  • Organise for a licenced cabler to disconnect any unused phone outlets.
  • Avoid using telephone extension cables to connect to your modem, as poor quality cables can increase interference on the line.
  • For faster speed, connect your device directly into your modem/router rather than using Wi-Fi.
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