No internet connection: 5 common nbn issues (and how to fix them)

Here we look at five of the most common nbn issues and how to fix them. From no internet connection and Wi-Fi problems, to help with increasing upload and download speeds. Our handy tips will help you get your service running smoothly.
· 15 June 2023 · 6 minute read

If you’re running a business, a reliable internet connection is probably essential to your daily operation.

Unfortunately, no technology is completely failsafe. We understand that when things go wrong, it’s vital for the function of your business to get issues resolved efficiently. Here, we run through five issues you may experience on the nbn®, and what you can do to solve them.


How to improve a poor Wi-Fi signal

If you’re experiencing issues with your wireless coverage, it’s best to start with the basics. Reboot your computer and modem to see if this resolves the issue. Make sure you wait a couple of minutes for your modem to shut down completely before you restart it.

If that doesn’t work, the next step is to inspect the modem for any physical issues. If your modem has an antenna, make sure that it’s firmly connected and not damaged in any way.

Your experience of Wi-Fi speeds can be affected by the location of your modem. The ideal place for your modem is an uncovered area where the signal can travel without interruption.

Avoid putting it inside cupboards or stacking it in shelving units. Likewise, try not to put the modem near objects that may interfere with its signal. These include dense objects such as filing cabinets, brick walls, or even fish tanks, and sources of wireless interference like microwaves. If any of these devices are near the modem, relocate the modem as high up as you can – on top of (but not inside) a cupboard, for example.

It may be that your premises are too large for the modem’s Wi-Fi signal to reach throughout. If this is the case, your technology may be working optimally but may benefit from a Wi-Fi Booster to ensure a quality Wi-Fi signal reaches throughout the premises. This can be achieved through a Wi-Fi Mesh solution, such as Telstra Wi-Fi Booster with selected modems.

Finally, if you’re still having problems connect a laptop or PC directly to your modem. This allows you to check if it’s a Wi-Fi problem, or an issue with the modem itself.

How to connect your PC or laptop to your modem directly

  • Use a LAN/ethernet cable.
  • Insert one end into any of the four yellow gigabit Ethernet ports located on the left-hand-side (Telstra Smart Modem) or the rear of the modem (Telstra Gateway Pro).
  • Insert the other end into your device’s network port.


How to improve upload or download speeds

Your experience of upload and download speeds depends on a number of factors. These include your nbn plan, the number of users and type of apps they use, and in-premise set up and wiring.

The first step to diagnosing problems with your internet speeds is to run a speed test.

Run a speed test

  1. Disconnect or switch off any devices currently using the Wi-Fi network. Don’t forget phones and tablets that may be connected.
  2. Connect a computer to your modem via a LAN cable (see the steps above)
  3. Close every program except for your web browser. This includes programs that may be running in the background, like Skype or Dropbox.
  4. Navigate to the Telstra Speed Test site, choose the server that’s closest to your location, and press Go.

Check results against your nbn plan

Your results will be displayed in megabits per second (Mbps). Compare those results against your current Business Internet plan. Check the specific details of your plan to be clear on what you should be expecting, for example:

  • Telstra Upfront Business Internet Plan Essential includes typical busy period speeds of 50 Mbps download and 17 Mbps upload 9am-5pm on weekdays.
  • Telstra Upfront Business Internet Plan Premium includes typical busy period speeds of 100 Mbps download and 32 Mbps upload 9am-5pm on weekdays.

If the test results are in line with these plans, and you still regularly experience slow upload and downloads, you may either have issues with the modem or have too many devices using the network for your available bandwidth.

Follow the steps above to check you have a strong Wi-Fi signal and no interference.

If you have too many devices connected, or you use bandwidth-intensive apps, you may be able to resolve this problem by choosing a higher bandwidth plan.

For example, our Premium plan is better for:

  • Ultra high definition streaming and video conferencing
  • Faster uploads and downloads

If you are a new business internet customer, we’ll do an assessment after you’re connected to ensure you are on the right plan. This will help you get the internet experience you need.

The speeds you’ll experience, particularly during busy periods, may be impacted by things like your in-premises set up and wiring.

Test your speeds on an nbn FTTP connection

If you have Fibre to the Premises technology, you can test the speed available directly from the nbn connection box. Disconnect your computer from your modem and instead connect it directly to the UNI-D port on your nbn connection box. Re-run the Telstra Speed Test and compare results.

If the speeds improve, the problem may lie with the modem. Interference with the Wi-Fi signal may affect your internet speeds. Follow the steps above to troubleshoot poor Wi-Fi coverage.

Check for outages

If you have a complete loss of internet service, check our outages page to see if there’s an outage in your area. The nbn occasionally plans outages so they can undertake maintenance on the network.

Any planned or unplanned outages will be displayed on our site.

If you have a service with mobile backup in a 4G coverage area, your service can automatically switch to using the mobile network. It will return to using the nbn when the outage is resolved.


What modem should I use?

We recommend for the optimal service experience you use the Telstra Smart Modem that we provide with your service if you are a Telstra customer. This provides you with access to the 4G backup service that can keep you running if your nbn service suffers an outage and gives us the best understanding of your service if you require assistance.

If you use or require a Telstra phone line at your business – you’ll need a modem provided by Telstra.

Otherwise, you can choose to bring your own modem and use it with Telstra’s nbn service. Just make sure that it’s nbn-ready and compatible with the nbn technology at your premises (FTTN/C, FTTP etc.).

To find out which nbn technology connection type is available at your premises, you can use our nbn rollout map:

  1. Go to the nbn rollout map.
  2. Type your address in the search bar.
  3. A drop-down menu will appear. 
  4. Under the heading Technology used you’ll see which nbn technology type is available at your premises.

When you BYO modem, we will do our best to support you if you have any issues. But as the modem is not provided by us, you may have to contact the manufacturer to troubleshoot problems.


How can I connect a device to my wireless network?

Changing the channel your Wi-Fi broadcasts on can fix many connectivity issues. The channel determines which operating frequency will be used. Changing the channel can help you avoid wireless interference.

The Telstra preferred broadcast channels are 1,5,6 and 11 – but another one may suit your devices better.

How to change Wi-Fi channel

  1. On your computer or tablet, connect to your Wi-Fi home network.
  2. Open a web browser; Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari
  3. Enter the URL and IP address for your modem:
    - If you are using a Telstra Smart Modem - enter or http://telstra.gateway,
    - If you are using a Telstra Business Smart Modem enter
  4. Sign in to the control panel. The username is admin and the default password is telstra for the Telstra Business Smart Modem, Telstra Smart Modem 1.1 and Gen 2. For Telstra Smart Modem Gen 3, the password is the same as the Wi-Fi password found on the bottom of your modem.
  5. Navigate to the Wi-Fi section in your modem
    - If you are using a Telstra Smart modem choose Wi-Fi from the menu at the top of the screen,
    - If you are using a Telstra Business Smart Modem navigate to Basic from the menu at the top of the screen and then select Wireless from the menu on the left.
  6. Find the appropriate Wi-Fi channel under the 2.4Ghz section.
  7. Select a new channel and press "apply" to save your settings. Check your connection by reconnecting your device.


For full instructions, please see our guide to setting up your Telstra Smart modem.


How to change my Wi-Fi network name or password?

To change your network name:

  1. Open an internet browser. Type in and navigate to Basic->Wireless.
  2. Find SSID in the 2.4 GHz wireless network section.
  3. Type a new name and press ‘apply’ to save your settings.
  4. If required, repeat for the SSID in the 5 GHz wireless network section.
  5. Try to reconnect your device.

To change your network password:

  1. Open an internet browser. Type in and navigate to Basic->Wireless.
  2. Under Security options, find the box called Password (network key) and enter a new password.
  3. Press ‘apply’ to save your settings.
  4. If required, repeat for the password in the 5 GHz wireless network section. 

If you’re changing the password, make sure to select something secure, with letters, numbers and characters, to protect your network.


You can also access further support online to help you understand how to change your Wi-Fi name and password if you are using a Telstra Smart modem.

Need to get help? Here's how.

Access our how to guides and troubleshooting tools available online or get more support by contacting us directly.  

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