For all the promise of “world class” internet speeds, the National Broadband Network (NBN) can be decidedly underwhelming for some. By nbn’s own admission, some connections are no faster than ADSL2. Thankfully, there are a few hacks you can employ to boost your current NBN speeds by a significant margin; even if you’re already on 100Mbps. Here’s what you need to know.
Jonathan Russell has worked out an NBN hack that has given him one of the fastest home internet connections in the country. And he says anyone can do it.
Here’s what you do: you just take two national broadband network lines, plug them both into a router, and boom – 190 megabits-per-second download speeds.
You could download an episode of Game of Thrones (legally, of course) in about 19 seconds, or the whole first season in a little over three minutes.
Which is fast. But Mr Russell doesn’t think it’s the fastest in the country, because he’s not that crazy.
“I would like to think it’s close to the fastest. However, I believe there would be someone out there crazy enough to have three or even four of these cables,” he says with a laugh.
For most people, the NBN’s maximum download speed – up to 100mbps – will be plenty when it finally arrives in your suburb. Most NBN customers choose only 12 or 25mbps plans, a spokesman said.
But for some, fast is never fast enough. They want to see just how quick they can go.
By day, 20-year-old Robin Singh stacks shelves at his local Woolworths. By night, he roams the internet at 150mbps.
Not that it’s particularly useful. But his friends think it’s cool.
“I already get 100 megabits [with NBN]. So there is no single application that can use 200. Even if I’m streaming 4K video, it only needs 30 megabits per second. So it was just an experiment. I don’t use it.”
Mr Singh achieved his speeds thanks to his next-door neighbour, a family friend, who has an NBN connection and a wireless network.
With his neighbour’s permission, Mr Singh installed a simple program on his own computer that logged onto his neighbour’s new Wi-Fi and “bonded” it with his own wired NBN connection. The result: 150-megabit speeds.
“It was fairly easy”, he shrugs, pointing to several pieces of software that could make the join work.
Jonathan Russell’s technique is even simpler. Mr Russell, a 36-year-old graphic and web designer who runs the TechWizTime Youtube channel, always had two internet connections at his Wollongong property, which he bonded for additional speed.
When the NBN arrived in his suburb, he simply asked his retailer to upgrade both connections to fibre
Convincing confused retailers to connect two NBN lines to a house might be the trickiest part of the scheme, but there is nothing stopping them from doing so, he says.
“If you’re willing to pay, then anyone in Australia would be able to get it.”
Mr Russell then plugged the two connections into an EdgeRouter Lite, a device generally used by large companies as part of business networks.
The router comes with a bonding wizard. Mr Russell activated it, and easy as that, he had 190-mbps download speeds.
Mr Russell works from home and often needs to upload very large files, which makes the additional speed useful enough to be worth paying for a second connection.
But it’s also just cool, he concedes.
“I’ve shown it to a few people, I’ve got a few people who I talk to in Denmark and New York, and they’re astounded at the speeds.”