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Factors Affecting the Speed of your Broadband Connection

1) Your plan
Different broadband plans have different speeds. The speed quoted on your plan is the maximum speed. The actual speed may vary depending on the factors below. Once you hit your monthly international data usage limit, your connection is automatically speed-capped to 64k (just above dialup speed) until the end of the month.

2) Your computer
Your computer's set-up and operating system, especially RAM availability, may affect speed.

3) Your Modem/Router, Filters & Phone Cable
Not all Broadband modems & ADSL filters are created equal, and some may not give as high quality connection as others. You can purchase one of our recommended modems either by ringing our tollfree helpdesk, or through our website.

Loose wiring in telephone cables running from your modem to your telephone jack may cause your Broadband connection speed to degrade. Additionally, if you have a long extension cable running from your Broadband modem to the telephone jack, this may also affect your Broadband connection.

If you have the 'self-install' option (you are using ADSL filters on each phone in the house), and you have more than 5 devices plugged into your phoneline (including your Broadband modem), this will affect the quality of your Broadband connection. Try unplugging some devices from your line, and then try your Broadband connection again.

4) The Internet
Not all websites will offer the same speed of download, no matter how fast your connection is. A general rule is that you may expect a NZ website to load a little faster than an international one.
Because the internet works by sending data through a chain of computers between you, your ISP (Quicksilver), and the website you want to reach, there may be limitations or congestion on any of the links between these points which may affect your speed.

5) Internet traffic
During busy periods you may experience slower speeds as more people are accessing the Internet. Telecom allocate a certain amount of bandwidth to your telephone exchange, which may mean that at peak times, the maximum speed you can reach is limited because everyone on your exchange is using the same bandwidth at the same time. This is a limitation placed by Telecom at every phone exchange.
Higher speed plans do get higher priority on bandwidth than lower speed plans, so that customers paying for a higher speed connection should still get higher speed than low-speed plans, even at peak times.

6) Your location
The distance of your home or office from the Telecom exchange has a big impact on the maximum speed you will be able to obtain on your Broadband connection. Generally the further you are from the exchange, the poorer the quality of Broadband connection. Anything over 4-5km from the exchange may have a noticeable difference.

7) Other programs or users downloading on your connection
If you have a home or office network, and others are dowloading or uploading, or if you are downloading on your own computer whilst trying to do other things, these activities may 'saturate' the bandwidth, slowing down your other downloads, email or web browsing.

 

What to do if you think your speed is slower than expected

If your Quickfire Broadband connection from Quicksilver seems slow, we recommend going through this speed troubleshooting list in your own time, to try to work out where the problem may lie. These suggestions are not in any particular order of importance.

  • Be aware that the speed of your Quickfire Broadband account is the maximum speed you can obtain. Not everyone will get maximum speed on every download.
  • Run the Quickfire Broadband speed test. You will need to hold down the CONTROL key on your keyboard and click refresh to force it to reload a fresh version of the page, without caching it. Refresh the page 2 or 3 times to get a useful idea of your speed.
  • Check whether you have exceeded your international data limits for this month by logging on to the Broadband Usage Checker. If you have exceeded your limit, you will automatically be speed-limited to 64k (just above dialup speed)
  • Is anyone else on your connection downloading, or using a lot of bandwidth?
  • Do you have any Peer-to-Peer software running that could be draining your bandwidth?
  • Does your computer have sufficient resources (memory, CPU etc. -- especially if you have an internal broadband modem) to handle the fast connection?
  • If you have a long telephone/modem extension cable, this could affect the speed. Try removing this, even if you have to temporarily move your computer closer to the walljack.
  • Loose wiring in modem cables or phone cables can cause problems with your connection. This is often the case where a cable has been rolled up, or walked on. Many phone cables are poor quality to begin with, and don't last long. If you suspect loose wiring, replace the modem/phone cable with a new one.
  • Does the slowdown happen at peak times of the day? If so, there's a strong chance that the Telecom exchange is congested. There is nothing that Quicksilver can do to relieve this.
  • Is your home located more than 4 or 5km from your local phone exchange? If so, this could affect your connection. Broadband ADSL works best when you are less than 5km from the exchange.
  • Is it just one particular site, or overseas sites that are slow? Overseas sites will download slightly slower than NZ sites. If only one site is giving you slow download speeds, there's a strong chance that they don't have enough bandwidth, the site is congested, or there's a delay somewhere along the line between their site and Quicksilver. We are unable to do anything about this.
  • Do you have more than 5 'other' phone devices plugged in to your phoneline (phones, fax machines, sky decoder, alarms etc.) if so this will slow down your connection. Try unplugging everything except the Broadband modem & one telephone from the phoneline, and try again. Cordless phones particularly will affect your Broadband speed more than standard analogue telephones.
  • Is your modem a reliable brand? Not all Broadband modems are created equal, and your modem may not be giving you the optimum connection speed.

Phone: 0508 774 583
(Toll free, 8:30am to 10pm, 7 days)

Email: sales@quicksilver.co.nz

Postal Address: PO Box 9635, Newmarket, Auckland, Fax: (09) 523 4091
Physical Address: 11-15 Railway St, Newmarket, Auckland
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