How fast can you scale the web

Is your internet speed living up to your expectations? Find out how to check your internet speed and what you can do if it’s not performing as well as it should. 

Before you run a speed test, make sure that nobody else is using the internet for anything else, as this will influence the result. 

Now, head to, the Speedtest tool will start loading and will then automatically select a server to use. The server is another computer that yours will communicate with to perform the test; the closer the server, the more accurate the results will be. To run a test, click the ‘Begin’ button.

The first part of the test is latency, also known as ‘ping’. This is the time it takes data to travel from your device to the server being used for the test. The lower the number, the better, as you will be able to access the internet with less delay.

Next, your download and upload speeds will be tested. To do this, your computer will download some data from the server and time how long it takes; then your computer will send some data to the server to determine your upload speed. You will be given speeds in Mbps (megabits per second), but be careful not to confuse this with megabytes (MB) – a megabit is one eighth of a megabyte.

How fast should your internet be?

The speeds below are the maximum speeds for common internet plans in Australia. You should never expect to get 100 per cent of these speeds, but if you’re paying a lot of money for speeds you’re not receiving, you may want to contact your provider.


Maximum download speed

Maximum upload speed


8 Mbps

384 Kbps


20 Mbps

820 Kbps


30 – 100 Mbps*

1 – 2 Mbps*

NBN Fibre to the Premise/Node/Basement

12 – 100 Mbps*

1 – 40 Mbps*

NBN Fixed Wireless

12 – 50 Mbps*

1 – 20 Mbps*

*Different plans are available with varying speeds

Can you make it faster?

If you’re using wifi, have a look at these eight tips to make your wifi faster, or if you really want the fastest speed possible, you should consider connecting your device to your router using a cable, if possible.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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