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Top ADSL Troubleshooting Tips
Some issues with your internet connection can be relatively easy to fix.
Telstra's ADSL plans provide download speeds of up to a maximum of 8Mbps, while our ADSL2+ plans provide download speeds of up to a maximum of 20Mbps, however your actual speed will be lower because of the many factors that affect broadband performance.
As well as line quality, internet traffic levels across the network and your distance from the exchange, your home network set up and hardware and software set-up can also have a big impact on the speeds you experience.
Our technical support team are always happy to investigate if you're having concerns, but the good news is that many very common problems are ones you can quite easily identify and fix yourself. Here are some tips to get you started.
The first thing to do is to run a speed test to understand what speed you're actually getting. Just visit www.speedtest.net, follow the instructions and make a note of the reported speed.
We recommend that you run the speed test at different times of day to see if you're experiencing slower speeds at particular times - this can be caused by higher amounts of traffic at busy times, either on our network or by different users in your home or office.
If your internet generally runs fine, but suddenly seems to be very slow, it may because your service has been slowed by us because you've exceeded your usage allowance. You can check this by logging on to My Account. (If you haven't registered already, visit that link to register online).
If this is the problem, your speed will be automatically reset to normal level at the beginning of your next bill cycle. If it happens often, you might want to think about changing to a plan with a higher usage allowance.
It's surprising how often restarting your modem will improve the performance of your internet service. All you need to do is:
- Turn off the power to your modem. Turn off power to your computer as well.
- Wait two minutes and then turn them both back on. Test your speed again to see if it's improved.
You should always protect your computer with up to date firewall, security and anti-virus software to protect against malware and viruses infecting your system. These can generate large amounts of traffic on your connection, as well as a being a threat to the security of your personal information. However, it's sometime possible for these tools to create interference.
To test this, disable them and then run another speed test to see if there's any change - but don't forget to turn them back on again afterwards!
Also check for any file sharing programs that might be running on your system – services like Limewire, Morpheus, BitTorrent. These can use up a lot of bandwidth and slow your service. Stopping or uninstalling them may make a difference.
The way equipment is connected in your home, including phone cables and 'filtering' on devices attached to your phone line, are among the most common causes of slow internet speeds and drop-outs.
You can check for these problems by doing what we call an "isolation" test. It might sound a bit technical but it's really very straightforward – basically, it's just checking all the devices like phones, faxes and answering machines, alarms and so on that plug into your phone line.
You can find detailed information on CrowdSupport but here's a quick guide to the steps:
- Disconnect every device (including any ADSL filters) from your phone line and turn off any devices connected by Wi-Fi.
- Plug your modem into the first phone socket without a filter using the shortest cable you have, connect one computer using an ethernet cable and run a speed test. Note the results.
- Try this also in any other phone sockets in your home or office and check the results to see if it makes a difference.
- If this seems to have improved your service, reconnect the other devices one at a time starting with any ADSL filters. Run a speed test each time to see if any issues arise – if they do, the problem is probably with the device you've just connected.
If this process doesn't help pinpoint a problem, the cause may be elsewhere – something in your home or office environment like a faulty modem or wiring, or possibly an issue in the network and it's probably time to seek help from our Technical Support team.
Remember to use common sense and caution when following these steps and when especially when dealing with electrical items – if in doubt, consult a qualified electrician.
You'll always get the best performance from devices that are connected to your modem by an ethernet cable, but we know that sometimes that's not a great option if it means having cables running to different locations around your home.
Wi-Fi networks get rid of the cords but you'll want to make your Wi-Fi network as strong and efficient as it can be. For starters, having an up to date Wi-Fi modem is important, and it needs to be located in a place where the signal isn't blocked by walls or barriers, and won't experience electrical interference from devices like microwave ovens and cordless phones.
You could also think about using a "network extender" to extend the reach and strength of your Wi-Fi signal. And don't forget to always make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure and can't be accessed by others, soprotect your network with a strong password.
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