Fix your internet lag

Home networking 101 - a bit of love can go a long way

Words by Nadir | 6 June 2020 | 5 min read

We've all experienced it. Dropouts, lag, buffering. 86.5% of the Australian population are internet users. And more and more of us are becoming increasingly reliant on a solid network for our work, entertainment and to keep in touch with loved ones. Australia's average fixed line internet speed is somewhere around the global average, about 1/3 of the average fixed line speed in South Korea, the world leader for internet speed.

While your speed is largely dependent on the type of internet available at your address, which can vary widely between suburb to suburb and even household to household, there are many aspects of our home network which we can control, which can result in a much better internet experience.

Home Techy can optimise your home network. Book your in-home tech tune up. Click here to book now!

From the infrastructure into your home

Most people access the internet through the National Broadband Network. The type of technology available at your home is mostly out of your control, but is probably either FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), FTTN (Fibre to the Node - an internet box probably somewhere on your street), FTTC (Fibre to the curb in front of your house), HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial), Fixed Wireless or Satellite. There are also other ways you can access the internet, such as through a mobile connection like 4g or 5g.

The first decision you need to make is the way in which you are choosing to receive your home internet connection. For most people this means signing a contract for unlimited data with an NBN provider. This will usually give you the option of choosing a maximum speed tier for your needs. Another option is bypassing the NBN entirely and getting internet through a mobile connection - in your home this will usually mean using a WiFi modem capable of receiving a 4G or 5G sim card. Many telcos are offering increasingly higher data limits at reasonable prices, which makes this a very viable option for hassle free internet, particularly if you move around a lot or would like the freedom of sharing data between multiple services.

Depending on the speed tier opted for, a mobile internet connection can often reach or even exceed the speeds available through a fixed line connection. Though each has their pros and cons, and it's best to talk to your ISP about the type of services best suited to your needs. If you are into gaming, a wired connection will definitely work better for you, but you may not notice a difference for regular browsing or even streaming.

Your Modem Router

This is the box that each of your devices connect to. Most of your devices will connect to it wirelessly through WiFi, but you could also connect some devices with a cable. There are thousands of different types of modems available on the market. Your ISP may even provide you with a modem for free. Most of the time, this will work just fine.

Wired (ethernet) connections are usually faster and more reliable than Wifi. If your modem is sitting next to some of your devices, like a desktop computer or printer, its a good idea to plug in as much as you can using ethernet. This will help optimise your bandwidth.

Modems emit signal like an umbrella. Position yours somewhere central in your home, as high as you can. This means placing it on a high shelf or on an upper floor.

One thing to note is you will usually get what you pay for with a modem router. More expensive options will usually be less prone to fluctuations in speeds, providing a steadier connection with less dropout. If you have a small home and do not regularly require high speeds, you can save yourself some money by going with a budget option. Get free advice from Home Techy.

2.4GHz or 5GHz

Many modern modems routers provide 2 different networks operating on different bandwidths, usually 2.4GHz and 5GHz. If yours doesn't have this, it is a good idea to buy one that does - usually called Dual Band. These each have their own applications and being clever about how you use each one will help optimise your home internet experience. Some of the main differences relate to speed of connection and distance the connection can travel. 2.4GHz connections are usually less fast, but are much better at getting through walls and further distances. Devices which are further away will have a more reliable connection. It may be a good idea to use this with your phones, as you may often use your phone in different rooms of the house and while walking around. On the other hand, 5GHz connections are faster, but are less good at going through walls. Connections which are often in the same spot, a short distance away from your modem like a TV or desktop computer will usually work better on 5GHz.

WiFi Range Extenders

These little products are great for ensuring every part of your home has a solid WiFi connection. They are easy to install and use, and will save a lot of frustration, allowing you and your family to be truly wireless, wherever you are.

The Internet of Things

The IoT business is now worth over 1 billion dollars in Australia alone. A few years ago, most households would only have a handful of devices, a couple of phones and laptops was about it. Today, with the capability of smart home products, the average household has 17 connected devices and growing. That is a lot devices trying to share the limited internet resource coming out of your modem.

Smart devices are able to improve your home by allowing appliances to talk to each other and to you. The functionality behind smart devices is endless, but it is also resulting in a much bigger burden being placed on your modems. You're no longer just competing with your partner, children or parents for WiFi, you are also competing with your smart speakers, TV, appliances, doorbell and security cameras.

Home Techy can help you optimise you home network to keep all your devices happy.

Make sure you get what you pay for

Head to to check the speed of your internet connection. If you are consistently getting speeds significantly slower than you are paying for, you should do two things. Speak to your ISP about your plan. Sometimes, based on the internet infrastructure connecting your house, you may simply be unable to receive the speed tier you are paying for. Similarly, if you are receiving close to your advertised speed you may consider upgrading your internet speed tier. If your speeds fluctuate a lot and internet drops in and out, the issue may not be caused by your internet service, but may be caused by your home network. The second thing you need to do is get the devices in your home working the way they should. The best way to do this is to let Home Techy take care of it. For $149, we will visit your home, troubleshoot and optimise your home network so all your devices are working as best as they can. If there are still issues, we would love to work with you to find a solution that works. We keep track of the best prices for tech, and can source the right products for you, install everything and provide you with ongoing tech support. Technology is changing rapidly, and we love tech at Home Techy, put us to the test now!