Why is Optus So Slow? How to Fix Slow Home Internet

Ever wondered why your Optus home internet is so slow? I’ve experienced slow Optus internet in the past and these are the steps I took to remedy the problem.

If you’re on NBN you should be getting fast internet most of the time. I’ve found Optus NBN to be fairly reliable. Theoretically at peak times your internet will slow a little, but you should still be able to watch videos and make video calls. If you aren’t able to do this, there are a number of things you can try:

Run a Speed Test

Run a speed test at I recommend using Fast, because it’s run by Netflix and it uses the same servers as Netflix. ISPs have been known to turn off throttling when they detect you using a Speedtest and throttle internet when you’re streaming.

If the Speed test says you’re getting the speeds you’re paying for, then you might just need to upgrade to a faster plan. If you’re getting drop outs and intermittent slow speeds, you probably have a wifi issue. And I’ve got some troubleshooting steps down below.

Software Issues

Software running on your devices can cause connection issues. Here are some of the main culprits.

Ditch the VPN

Unless you’re accessing public Wifi in a Hotel or Library, you don’t need a VPN. The ads on TV are pretty scammy, a suggest people can steal your data if you don’t use a VPN. That’s not the case. Pretty much all internet traffic now days in encrypted. So using a VPN may actually make your internet less secure as you’ll be routing all your traffic through a dodgy VPN company overseas.

No matter what VPN you are using, it will slow down your internet. That’s because all your traffic gets routed through a server and then connects to your destination.

Disable your Anti Virus

If you’re using an Anti Virus that isn’t from the operating system, you might be slowing down your internet. These days Windows and Macs have built in Anti Virus. There’s nothing to be gained by using a third party tool (unless you’re an expert with specialised security concerns). And most third party antivirus tools simply don’t work.

Check if you’re using iCloud Private Relay

Apple has a new feature called private relay. This is a bit like VPN but it’s mainly aimed at stopping tracking companies and your ISP from seeing the websites you visit. It could potentially also unblock websites that have been censored.

Although iCloud relay is quite fast and it’s much better than using a standard VPN, it will also slow down your traffic. In my testing I found that certain sites did load slower at certain times.

If you feel like your Optus internet is slow, it might be worth checking to see if you have this turned on.

Router Issues

In my old apartment which was solid concrete, I had issues with the Wifi signal. Depending on the size of your place and the building materials, Wifi might just not work well across the entire space. I was able to solve these issues by using a mesh router instead of the Optus supplied router. But there are a few ways you can solve this.

Router Location

The easiest option is seeing if you can move your Router to a better location. Unfortunately for many people, you’re bound by where your NBN box is or where your telephone cable is. Generally you want the router in a central location.

Use a Wifi Extender

The easiest way to boost the Wifi signal and fix slow Optus speeds is with a Wifi Extender. Optus even gives you a Wifi extender on certain plans. Australian homes are big, and a signal router won’t work well for many people.

I usually recommend people go with the TP-Link extender. It seems to just work for most people.

A wifi extender isn’t the best way to fix slow wifi. Due to how they work, you’ll only get 50% of your max wifi speed (half the bandwidth is used to extend your network). While this is usually more than enough for most people, if you’re doing a lot of streaming, or have a lot of smart home devices, it’s probably smarter to look into a mesh router.

Use the Optus Wifi Booster

You can now get an Optus Wifi Booster free with select Optus plans. This will extend the range of your Optus router. You can place up to 3 wifi boosters.

Switch to a Mesh Router

I use a Mesh Router in my apartment and it solved my Wifi issues. Instead of a single Router, a Mesh system uses a series of smaller routers placed throughout your home.

The TP-Link Mesh Routers a good option and generally very well reviewed. Unlike an extender, your maximum speed won’t be cut in half. Mesh systems also tend to work really well if you’re using lots of smart devices that require a strong wifi signal

Mesh Routers work best if you have NBN to the house. You’ll be able to plug the NBN directly from the box into the mesh router. If you have NBN to the node, you may need to go through extra steps as Optus requires you to use their Router to access certain features (I have successfully for the Google Home mesh working with Optus NBN to the Node in my previous apartment)

Use Cables

I like to use Ethernet cables wherever possible. Modern homes usually have ethernet cabling (if you’re building a home, I would make sure to get an ethernet outlet in each room) and I’ve found most apartments also have Ethernet. You can plug an ethernet cable from your router into the ethernet switch board and then you’ll be able to access ethernet from throughout your home.

The best things to plug in are your streaming devices like a Smart TV and your gaming devices like a Console or Gaming PC. These use the most internet and benefit most from having a wired connection.

Check to Make Sure Nothing is Using your Internet

If you have a number of people streaming content or if you have a device uploading a lot of data, your internet may slow down. Video calls can also dramatically slow down a connection. If your internet slows down while someone else in your household is using the internet, you might need a higher bandwidth plan.

Switching ISPs

If you’re using NBN switching to another ISP may not fix your issue. They are using the same network. You could trying switching to another high speed network type such as VDSL.

Get in Touch with Optus

If you’re getting a low speed test results that don’t match what you’re paying for, and you’ve ruled out wifi issues, I would definitely get in touch with Optus. It is possible for cabling to be installed poorly and there could be issues with interference. ISPs do have tools to try and fix these issues so it’s definitely worth getting in touch with Optus. I wouldn’t settle for slow speeds if you’re paying for higher speeds.

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Anthony is a Smart Home Geek. He's been building the smart home of his dreams over the past 5 years. He loves all things Apple, but works with a number of different ecosystems and platforms.