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Solve broadband speed issues

Find why you're not getting the required internet speeds you think you should be getting.

Test your speed

Measure the download and upload speeds of your internet by taking a speed test.

For best results:

  • Use the Speedtest.net application. This is the most accurate way to test the connection if you have VDSL or Fibre. Using a browser can reduce the speed shown when the connection goes above 100Mbps. Otherwise, you can use the speedtest at speedtest.net
  • Close all background apps and any open browsers or tabs.
  • Only have one computer, tablet or mobile connected to the internet when doing a speed test.
  • If you're using your computer you should ideally connect using an Ethernet cable. On a wireless modem the speed can be reduced, particularly for devices that are further away from the modem.
  • The Ethernet cables should be of good quality for fast internet connections. Note that CAT-5e should be able to carry 1000Mbps, but the CAT-6 is more reliable over a longer distance.
  • If the device you're using is connected by an Ethernet cable you can turn off the WiFi to stop other devices connecting. This is done by holding down the WLAN button for 10 seconds. Just remember to turn back on after the test.
  • Choose your nearest Spark server from the dropdown menu. There are three options: Spark New Zealand Auckland, Spark New Zealand Wellington, Spark New Zealand Christchurch.
  • Repeat the test a couple of times to get an average speed.

Speed test applications

Test your speed with these Speedtest.net applications on your computer or device:

Windows 10 | OSX | Android | iOS

Test results

Average speeds vary depending on the type of broadband connection you have. We measure broadband speed in megabits per second (Mbps). The following are typical for the different types of Spark broadband plans:

  • FibreMAX*: Average speed** -  860Mbps for downloading and 501Mbps for uploading. 
  • Fibre 100: Average speed** – 102Mbps for downloading and 22Mbps for uploading. U
  • Fibre50: Average speed** - 50Mbps for downloading and 10Mbps for uploading. 
  • 4G Wireless: Average speed** - 27Mbps for downloading and 15Mbps for uploading. 
  • VDSL: Average speed** - 43Mbps for downloading and 13Mbps for uploading. 
  • ADSL: Average speed** 8.5Mbps for downloading and 0.8 for uploading. 

*FibreMAX is next generation broadband delivered at blistering speeds, over the fastest residential Fibre service in NZ (using gigabit technology). In optimal conditions – such as those we recommend below^, most customers should see between 700–900Mbps on a speed test, although some connections may achieve even better than this. In order to get the best performance out of your Ultra Fast FibreMAX service, you might need to change the way you're connecting to the internet, and most importantly you will need to have high specification hardware in your home. Spark terms and charges will apply.

**Speeds shown are peak time average speeds from the latest Commerce Commission MBNZ report (or for Fibre 50, Spark’s own estimates). You may experience a higher or lower speeds than these national averages.     

Factors such as the performance of your modem, location of the server you’re connected to, the performance of your device and your in-home WIFI setup can impact the speeds experienced.    

If your plan uses a wireless connection, then factors such as the distance you are from a cell tower, the network capability and the overall use of that cell tower by other consumers can impact the speed experienced. 

 

^ To get the best possible performance from Ultra Fast FibreMAX broadband, we recommend using:

A high-spec modem that is capable of supporting these types of speeds, such as the Spark Smart modem

  • A high-spec laptop or PC, for example Intel i5-3550 3.3Ghz CPU, with 8GB RAM running Windows 10 Home 64 bit operating system and cabled directly into your modem with an Ethernet cable, and ensure all your laptop or PC's drivers are up to date, and nothing else is running on the internet connection at the same time, and
  • The latest version of your browser, for example Chrome 54.0.2840.87, Mozilla Firefox 49.0.2.

Things that affect broadband speed

  • Actual speeds differ due to networks and the computer or modem you use. Your home wiring can also impact internet speed.
  • If you're on Fibre, you can choose different speeds for your plan. You can change your speed and plan once a month in MySpark. Learn more
  • Speeds vary based on how many people are on the network at the same time, both in your house and in general. The distance from your nearest internet server will also impact the internet speed.
  • Connecting straight to your modem using ethernet wiring provides the fastest connection speed.

Things that affect WiFi speed

  • The age of your modem. Older modems could reduce your WiFi speed. That said, WiFi is not always improved by the quality or the cost of your modem.
  • Your internet connection speed. WiFi can't run faster than the speed your modem gets data from the internet.
  • The number of devices you have connected. If you've got an ADSL connection, your WiFi speed can slow down when several devices are online at the same time.

Tips for fast broadband

  • Use a high-spec modem and a high-spec laptop or computer.
  • Keep your browser up to date.
  • Make sure you're using up-to-date antivirus software. Viruses can slow your internet down.
  • Check your data usage. You may go back to dial-up speed for the rest of your billing month if you reach your monthly data allowance.
  • If the broadband seems slow, reset the modem by turning it off for a couple of minutes, then turning it on again.
  • Devices and appliances like baby monitors, cordless phones or microwaves can interfere with your modem’s signal. So make sure you don’t keep them directly next to your modem.
  • Place your modem in a central part of the house up nice and high. Placing it under a desk or in a cupboard may block its signal.
  • If your modem is more than 5 years old, you may need to look into getting an upgrade.

Check your home connection

To see what's going on with your broadband connection and your network at home, use the Check connection tools in the Spark app. Find out how to use Check connection

If you need some more help, call us on 0800 22 55 98.

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