Check out our guide below for steps you can take to improve your broadband speed at home.

How to improve your internet speed

Is your broadband provider promising one speed, but your speed at home is much lower? If you’ve come to this page to check your internet speed, then it seems likely that you’re not happy with the internet speed in your home.

There are a range of factors that can affect your home broadband performance. We’ve written this guide to offer some helpful tips about how to improve your internet speed at home.

Step 1: Test your broadband speed

The best starting place to troubleshoot your internet speed is to perform the internet speed test on this page. The internet speed test will measure your upload and download speed and the quality of your connection. This will give you a benchmark of how your broadband connection is performing in your home.

The type of broadband connection you have in your home (fibre, ADSL, VDSL or wireless) will influence the maximum speed you can expect from your internet connection. Check out our guide comparing the performance of Fibre, VDSL, ADSL and Wireless broadband connections in New Zealand.

The speed test results will also help you identify whether there are steps you could take to improve your broadband performance within your home. If you haven’t taken the speed test yet, we recommend heading to the top of this page and hitting the GO button!

Step 2: Switch to a faster broadband plan

Has it been a while since you reviewed your broadband plan? Upgrading your broadband connection can be the quickest and easiest way to improve your home broadband performance.

If you are on an ADSL or VDSL broadband connection, upgrading to fibre broadband is the easiest way to improve your broadband speed. If fibre broadband is available at your home, we strongly recommend switching to fibre.

Fibre broadband will provide the fastest upload and download speeds available, and will continue to perform well in homes where multiple devices are connected and using the internet. There are generally three tiers of Fibre Broadband plans, the fastest is Gigabit Fibre, Fibre 200 and Fibre 100.

If fibre broadband isn’t available in your home, the next best option will be VDSL, followed by ADSL.

The type of broadband available will depend on your address. Simply enter your address into the Broadband Compare address checker to compare the broadband plans available at your address.

If you’re already on fibre broadband, or fibre isn’t available at your address, there are further steps you can take to improve your home broadband speed.

Step 3: Improve your home broadband performance

There are a range of factors that can affect your home broadband performance. The connection provided by your broadband company may be great, but slowed significantly by factors within your home.

Some common issues that affect broadband performance that can be easily solved by making changes to your home environment or your network connection. Make sure that your Wi-Fi modem is in the best spot - usually centrally located in your home and high up. Set up devices like laptops, computers or TVs as close to the modem as possible, or connect them directly with an ethernet cable. Make sure you’re using the correct Wi-Fi channel on your modem, and that your devices are up-to-date. Learn more about how to improve your home broadband performance.

Making these changes may boost your home broadband performance. The next step will be to upgrade your modem.

Step 4: upgrade your modem

Your modem is your gateway to the web - it connects your home to the internet. Just like any other electrical device it will need to be upgraded every few years. Upgrading your modem (also known as a router) every few years will ensure it can handle the latest technical advances in broadband.

It’s worth ensuring that you have a good-quality and up-to-date modem as this will provide a better, faster internet connection in your home.

Luckily there are lots of competitive broadband plans in New Zealand that include a free modem. Using a modem supplied by your internet provider is usually less complicated as it is preconfigured to the right settings, and it is easier to get tech support from your provider if you need it.

Step 5: Boost your home Wi-Fi signal

If you live in a large home, a home with multiple levels, or an apartment building with lots of competing Wi-Fi signals your modem may be struggling to transmit the wifi signal throughout your home.

If you have just a couple of rooms with a weak wifi signal, you can extend your network with ethernet cables and plug devices directly into the ethernet cable. If you want to boost your signal to larger areas of your home a mesh wifi network or a wifi extender will be your next best option.

These solutions can cost money, requiring you to buy more technical equipment and can be a bit fiddly to set up. So we recommend looking at upgrading your modem first, as this could boost your signal strength and the range of your network to the levels you need.

Step 6: Make sure your devices are up to date

The electronic device you use to connect to the internet can have a big impact on broadband performance. If your device hasn’t been upgraded or updated in a while, it is likely to perform poorly online.

Take the time to check for updates on your phone, computer, laptop, and smart TV. Run updates and delete unnecessary files to free up memory space and get your devices running optimally.

Devices like phones and tablets will perform poorly online if you have lots of apps running at the same time.

If your internet browser is performing slowly, you might get improved performance by updating it to the latest version, and checking that you don’t have lots of browser extensions installed. It’s also worth switching to the latest version of modern browsers like Chrome or Firefox

Step 7: Choose the best broadband provider

Although it might seem like NZ broadband Providers and the plans they offer are similar, they can vary in terms of performance. Different providers structure their networks differently and make different investment decisions which can affect the overall speed and reliability of their network.

In New Zealand we also have a good range of providers who specialise in certain networks types, like Fibre Broadband or Wireless broadband. If you live in a rural or isolated area you may find that a local internet service provider will offer a more comprehensive network suited to your area than larger national providers.

At Broadband Compare we can help you make an informed choice about the best broadband provider and plan for your home. We have thousands of customer reviews to help you choose the best broadband provider for you. Simply enter your address in our address finder for a tailored list of broadband plans available at your address.