Is it me or is my internet connection slow?


Is it me or is my internet connection slow?

It happens to most of us at some time or another. We try to logon to the internet or into our Kinderloop and it seems to take forever or we are uploading a file or photo and it simply times out. So why do our internet connections fluctuate so much during the day and across the week?

Causes of slow internet connections

Well to begin with, Australia’s internet speeds are pretty slow – when compared with global speed rankings we come in at #44 at 5.8 megabits per second (Mbps), the #1 slot is taken out by Korea with average speeds of 21.9 Mbps.

So an increasing number of Australians are signing up to plans that theoretically provide maximum speeds of 24 Mbps. Therein lies the problem, because these are theoretical maximums and your actual internet speed can be effected by any number of factors, including:

  • The type and age of your modem.
  • The quality of your WIFI connections.
  • The distance of your modem from the nearest internet exchange.
  • Whether your service provider uses copper-based ADSL connections or the newer fibre connections.
  • The plan you signed on for with your provider.
  • Whether you use ADSL or the newer NBN.
  • The quality of the connection between your home and the exchange.
  • Concurrent uploads or downloads.
  • Traffic at the server.
  • Available capacity on national and international cables (the latter for O/S websites).
  • Traffic agreements between service providers.
  • Time of day (12-2pm, 7pm to 9pm is the most congested).
  • Even the weather, yes the copper cables are affected by rain!
  • And the biggest and the least known is that electrical interference from appliances/items can have a huge affect on both your internet and Wifi!!

Basically, the cause of your slow connection is due to extreme internet congestion within Australia or overseas and quite possibly that dodgy electrical item being used by a neighbour, causing slower speeds. This is what happens when lots of people try to access the internet all at the same time.

Let’s hope that the NBN rollout helps the situation, because the existing Australian copper wire connections are unlikely to cope well next year if the streaming video giant, Netflix hits Australia and then local equivalents like STAN also take a piece of the action. 

So if you have the occasional slow connection and can’t logon to your secure Kinderloop server, my advice is to put the kettle on and give it some time. If you have a mortally slow connection all of the time, then its best to contact your provider and find out the best deal for your location and your budget and maybe if its happening at the same time each evening, get yourself an AM radio, tune it to a very low frequency and wander around, you will hear the static of an interfering electrical object and can subsequently deal with it.