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Check your broadband speed

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

Check connection tool

Experiencing slow speeds? Try our Check Connection tool. This tool automatically checks your home network and broadband connection for problems. Learn how to use the Check Connection tool

We recommend trying the Check Connection tool as a first point of troubleshooting speed issues.

Test your speed

Measure the download and upload speeds of your internet by taking a speed test. For best results, we recommend the following:

1. Use the Speedtest app.

For the most accurate results, download the Speedtest app and use it to measure your speed.

See all Speedtest apps

You can also test your speed on the Speedtest website, but using a browser can reduce the speed shown when the connection goes above 100Mbps. Test your speed at speedtest.net

2. Choose your nearest Spark server.

Choose your nearest Spark server from the drop-down menu. There are three options: Spark New Zealand Auckland, Spark New Zealand Wellington and Spark New Zealand Christchurch.

3. Use a device connected via ethernet.

It's best to run your speed test on a computer or laptop connected to your modem by an ethernet cable that's Cat 5e or above. Ethernet cables that are Cat 5 or below limit the speed to 100Mbps, so the results you get may not be accurate.

An ethernet cable has an RJ45 plug on each end. One end goes into your device and the other into your modem. You'll find its category (for example, Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6 or Cat 6e) printed along the cable.

If you're running your speed test on a device connected via WiFi, the speed you get may be lower than you'd get over ethernet. Being further away from the modem can also reduce the speed you'll see in the test.

For more information about running tests via WiFi, see our understand WiFi speeds page. Understand WiFi speeds

4. Connect only one device.

We recommend only having one computer, tablet or mobile connected to the internet while you're running a speed test.

If you're using a computer connected via an ethernet cable, close all applications, browser windows and tabs. Then restart your browser to run the speed test. You can turn off your modem's WiFi to stop other devices connecting. Just remember to turn it back on again after the test.  

If you're running a speed test on a device connected via WiFi, close all other apps on that device. We recommend disconnecting all the other devices you have connected to WiFi before running the test.

5. Repeat the test a couple of times to get an average speed.

Run speed tests at different times of the day. We recommend you run one of them during Measuring Broadband New Zealand's peak time, which is between 7pm and 11pm Monday to Friday.

Test using RealSpeed

If you have a wireless broadband plan and are using a Spark Smart Modem 2 or Spark 5G Smart Modem with it, you will have SamKnows software loaded on your modem. This means you can also check your internet speeds using RealSpeed, an online tool that uses SamKnows software to test your internet speeds.

Test your speed using RealSpeed

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:
 

Broadband
Average speeds

Fibre Max

Used in our Max Fibre plan.

883Mbps download

498Mbps upload*

To get the best possible performance from Fibre Max broadband, we recommend using a high-spec modem that's capable of supporting these speeds, such as the Spark Smart Modem series.

Fibre 300

Used in our Essential Fibre plan.

315Mbps download

108Mbps upload*

Fibre 50

Used in our Everyday Fibre plan.

50Mbps download

10Mbps or 20Mbps upload*

Upload speeds depend on your local fibre company. Chorus and Unison areas will receive 10Mbps upload speed. Enable and Tuatahi First Fibre areas will receive 20Mbps upload speed.

4G Wireless Broadband (Urban)

Used in our Portable Wireless, Basic Wireless, Lite Wireless and Everyday Wireless plans.

70Mbps download

21Mbps upload**

4G Wireless Broadband (Rural)

Used in our Portable Wireless and Rural Wireless plans.

4G Rural Wireless***

5G Wireless Broadband

Used in our Max Wireless plans.

344Mbps download

55Mbps upload****

VDSL

Used in our VDSL Unlimited plan.

39Mbps download

10Mbps upload*

ADSL

Used in our ADSL Unlimited plan.

9Mbps download

1Mbps upload*

* Speeds shown are national peak time average speeds based on the Commerce Commission’s Measuring Broadband New Zealand (MBNZ) Spring 2023 report. You may experience higher or lower speeds than these. 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.

**  Spark national peak time average speeds (January 2024) measured by SamKnows using Smart Modem 2. You may experience higher or lower speeds than this. Using an older modem may impact your speeds.

*** Spark 4G capable.  View the latest MBNZ report

**** Spark national peak time average speeds (January 2024) measured by SamKnows using Smart Modem 5G. You may experience higher or lower speeds than this. Using an older modem may impact your speeds.

Understand WiFi speeds

Learn more about factors that affect your internet speed inside your home. Understand WiFi speeds

Any questions?

 

WiFi will almost always be slower than if you're connecting via an ethernet cable. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The distance your device is from the modem
  • The number of devices that are using the same network
  • The WiFi bands you're connected to
  • WiFi interference and obstacles
  • The capability of your devices

The further your device is from your modem, the weaker the WiFi signal will be. If you have a big house you might find there are places where your WiFi coverage has fewer signal bars, or dead spots where it can't quite reach.

If this happens, consider expanding your WiFi coverage. You can do that by connecting a WiFi device like the Spark Smart Mesh 2.

Find out more about Spark Smart Mesh 2

If your connection is dropping on all your devices at the same time, this could mean there's a modem or network issue. If your internet keeps dropping on only one of your devices, there might be an issue with your device. Here are a few things you can try:

  • Restart your device.
  • Check the device isn't too far away from the modem. If it is, you may need to expand your WiFi coverage by using a WiFi device like the Spark Smart Mesh. Find out more about Spark Smart Mesh
  • Check your device’s firmware or software is updated to the latest version.
  • Perform a network reset on the device. Keep in mind, you may need to re-enter your WiFi credentials once you've done this.

There are a few factors that could limit your internet to a speed that is lower than your plan speed:

  • Your ethernet cable. If you have Fibre broadband, check the category of the cable connecting your fibre box (ONT) to your modem. This should be Cat 5e or above. Ethernet cables that are Cat 5 or below limit the speed to 100Mbps or less. Most ethernet cables have the category printed along the cable.
  • Modem compatibility. Check your modem is compatible with your broadband plan's speed. Not all modems can deliver higher speeds, especially if you have an older model. Check modem compatibility
  • Your devices. There are a few things that may limit the speed to your devices:
    • Older mobile phones, computers and other devices may not be compatible with higher speeds. Check with your device manufacturer to see what the maximum WiFi speeds they'll support are.
    • Viruses or firewalls may also slow down your device's speed. Keep your anti-virus software up to date.
    • Check your firewall settings to see if there are any rules or configurations that may be slowing down your internet.

Households often have many devices connecting to the internet at the same time. Mobile phones and laptops are usually connected via WiFi. You may also have smart devices connected, such as TVs, security cameras, voice assistants and smart lighting.

The more devices you have connected and using the internet at the same time, the slower the speed available to each of them will be.

For example, you might get a good internet speed when you're working from home alone. Then in the evening when your family or flatmates are home and gaming or streaming movies, the speed may be lower.

Speed tests like speedtest.net are great for testing the speed from your device to the test server. While the results are useful, you can't tell whether slow speeds are caused by your broadband connection or your home network and device.

The Samknows RealSpeed test gives you more information by running two tests - one test from the modem itself, and a second test from the device you are using. RealSpeed will show you both sets of results so you can see the difference and troubleshoot any issues. It's only available on wireless broadband plans (excluding the Portable Broadband plan) using the Spark Smart Modem 2 or 5G Smart Modem.

The modem test measures the speed of your connection to the Spark network, ignoring your home network. The device test measures everything, including the home network and device.

If you find your device test gives a much lower number than your modem test, there could be a problem with your home network or your device. You could run a test using another device or in another room to see if the performance changes.

This will help you narrow down the problem. It might be you need a new device, or an upgrade to your home WiFi by adding a WiFi mesh device to expand the coverage.