With NBN rolling out around Ballarat & surrounds you’ll soon be faced with the question – What NBN Speed do I need?
Firstly a VERY important fact you need to be aware of – Bits & Bytes. You will encounter both when shopping for NBN Speed & Data allowances.
- A Bit is the smallest piece of information that can be used on a computer (it is either a 0 or a 1) and is represented by a lower-case b. So Mb = Megabit, Gb = Gigabit.
Bits are usually used to measure speeds.
- A Byte consists of 8 Bits of data and is represented by an upper-case B. So MB = Megabyte & GB = Gigabyte
Data storage & allowances are usually measured in Bytes.
It is important that you know your NBN Speed is usually measured in Megabits whereas your NBN Download allowance will be measured in Megabytes or Gigabytes.
NBN Speed is sold in 5 Speed ‘tiers’
- 12Mbps download and 1Mbps upload
- 25Mbps download and 5Mbps upload
- 25Mbps download and 10Mbps upload
- 50Mbps download and 20Mbps upload
- 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload
Note that these are all measured in Megabits and are theoretical Maximum speeds – you may not receive the FULL speed that you sign up for.
Which NBN Speed Tier is best suited for you?
Tier 1 – Average Home User
12Mbps is probably about the same speed most Australians receive on existing metropolitan ADSL2+ connections – users who are some distance from the exchange may notice a speed increase as the signal does not deteriorate to the same extent as older technology.
Tier 2 – Moderate Home User
Most current ADSL2+ users should experience a noticeable jump in performance if they select Tier 2. This speed should be enough to cater for Netflix & other video streaming services. An average Movie download purchased via an online store should take around 8 – 10 minutes to complete.
Tier 3 – Small Businesses
You will notice that the Download speed is the same 25MBps as Tier 2 but the upload is doubled to 10Mbps – this can be useful for businesses wanting to back-up data to the cloud & make use of VoIP services.
Tier 4 – Heavy Home Users
50Mbps should make most home users very happy – gaming & other internet applications should be close to instantaneous and there should be no lag in streaming video. 20Mbps upload will cater for cloud back-ups, voice chats & VoIP operate seamlessly.
Tier 5 – Small Businesses & Mega Home Users.
Small Businesses with several users should find that they all experience usable speeds & the 40Mbps uploads will be great for those uploading files to clients & backing up large amounts of data. Home users should experience High Definition Movie streaming or downloading without restriction, even if the family has a number of devices connected simultaneously.
Test your NBN Speed!
It’s important to keep an eye on the actual speed you are receiving via your connection – my favorite tool for this is speedtest.net.
It’s a simple interface – and is quick to return a result.
You simply click the ‘GO’ button & you should receive a result like this.
It’s important to remember that your results may vary significantly depending on the ‘Server’ you select on the right … Here I have selected Internode which is part of the same conglomerate as iiNet, so I’m testing under ideal conditions.
You can open an account & save your results so that you have a record of the speeds you are actually achieving (which could be very handy if you need to make a complaint later)