My Boost is not working!

As we provide Boost services to many homes in the same area, we provision our network to cope with these speeds from multiple users at once, and proactively monitor the overall bandwidth in every area at peak times. We are constantly upgrading our network to keep up with demand, and can confidently say that our network will provide great speeds at all times everywhere. Almost all speed issues are as a result of configurations in individual customer's local networks, and we see full speeds consistently to their ONT.

Troubleshooting Steps

Before we can help you if you are seeing slower speeds than you are expecting, we ask that you run through the following steps. Please gather the information from these steps as well, and refer to the section at the bottom called Boost Info if you want to understand what Boost is.

1. Ensure that Boost is showing active in the Dashboard by logging in at https://stuff-fibre.co.nz/login

Dashboard (Boost)

You will see that Boost shows as its own line under Fibre, and that it is billed separately. The toggle to the far right should show it as On, and you can always cancel Boost simply by toggling it to Off - it will be removed on your next billing date.

2. Power off your router and the Fibre box on your wall (known as the ONT) for 10 minutes.

Router and ONT

When your router and ONT are off for a continuous period of at least 5min, the network profile is re-requested by the ONT, and the IP address is re-requested by the router. Since these two together determine what speeds you get, this will ensure you have the right settings in both.

3. Plug your computer into the router with an ethernet cable. If you do not have an ethernet port, connect using the 5GHz WiFi network

The fastest possible connection is a wired, or ethernet connection. You should use only CAT5E or CAT6 ethernet cables, as CAT5 and lower will most likely only support speeds up to 100Mbps. You can check the cable by reading the printing on the side of the cable. Cables that are damaged, bent sharply or stretched will also limit your speed, and the best bet is to replace old cables if in doubt.

Ethernet cables

If you cannot connect via ethernet, you will need to make sure you are connected via the 5GHz channel. The router ships with two networks, and only the one ending in "_5G" is going to come close to getting the most out of Boost. Even then your device will need to be capable of the newest 802.11AC standard, or it will be limited to 300Mbps or less. The iPhone 6 was the first iPhone to support 802.11AC, and it was only released in Sep 2014. If your device is older, it is unlikely you will have the latest chipset.

If you are interested, you can read up on the various standards and their predicted throughput here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11#Protocol

4. Test your speed using https://speedtest.net

Please make sure you change the server you test to either Stuff Fibre or Devoli. The location of the servers is not critical, but do choose the closest one of those in the list. You can test to other servers if you like, but since the test then crosses over onto that providers network to reach their server, you will be testing their network as well and your results will generally be lower as a result.

Speedtest

TIP: Before you begin please make sure all of your other devices are offline i.e. not connected to your network. If other devices are using the internet at the same time, you will not see the full speed of it on this one computer.

TIP: You should also shut down all running applications on your computer while you run the test. The CPU in your computer has to process the data as it comes in, and the hard drive has to download the data. Using other applications at the same time may slow the speed at which your computer can process the data stream, and you will not report the true speed of the connection.

5. Learn to read (and share) your results

Here is an example of a result from that test. It is shown for education purposes, it was a real test conducted over a WiFi network.

  1. Your ping response from the speed test server you used. Expect to see it below 20ms, although there are better tests to run if this is an issue for you
  2. Your total download speed in Mbps - this is the most important information, as you normally download 10-20x as much information as you upload
  3. Your upload speed in Mbps
  4. The provider name. We use a company called Devoli (previously called Vibe) for some of our network components. You will see either Stuff Fibre here, or Vibe (usually if you have purchased a Static IP from us).
    IMPORTANT: If this does not say one of those two it means you are not connected to us at all, and you need to contact us immediately!
  5. Your IP address. Please be careful to not share this publicly, as it is a way hackers can target you. Note it down if you need to, but do note that it will change regularly unless you have purchased a Static IP.
  6. The server you tested to. Ideally we would ask that you test to the Stuff Fibre, Vibe or Devoli servers nearest to you.
  7. The share options. This is how you get the results to us. Use the first "link" button to the far left, and copy the URL it provides you into any emails or chats you have with us about the test.
  8. Your history of results. This is a good way to see how your speeds are over time. You will need to create a free account with the website, and be logged in when you run tests or check past results.

6. Compare your speeds to these predicted results

Ethernet speedtest result

Ethernet - if you are using a good quality CAT5E/CAT6 ethernet cable you should see 700Mbps+ on the downloads and 400Mbps+ on the uploads. Maximum speeds on a "gigabit" connection is 950Mbps down and 500Mbps up, however those results require near perfect conditions.

WiFi 5GHz speedtest result

WiFi on 5GHz (802.11AC) - We have seen some devices get up to around 650Mbps on the download and 500Mbps on the upload. Since 5GHz is more susceptible to radio interference, this speed will quickly drop away as you move further from the router. Expect to see speeds of around 200-300Mbps once you are 5-10m away or have to go through a wall or two.

WiFi on 5GHz (802.11N) - Since the "N" protocol is much older, it is more widely supported by devices but slower. Expect to see half the speeds of the faster "AC" standard, but also slightly better coverage. You should see 150-200Mbps in most cases.

WiFi on 2.4GHz (802.11B/G) - If your device can only connect on the "_2G" network (ie you cant even find the "_5G" one) then it will be limited to the oldest WiFi standards. You can expect the best coverage on this network, but only get speeds of 20-40Mbps in most cases. You can still get up to 70Mbps under ideal conditions, but this is rare.

7. If you are not getting the speeds as per above, please try resetting the router to factory defaults

Some of the default settings we configure the router with may have been changed or corrupted. To make sure the router is configured properly, you can follow the links below to reset them. Note that your settings will be wiped, so it is a good idea to note these down or create a backup:

ASUS:
https://support.stuff-fibre.co.nz/hc/en-us/articles/236125847-How-do-I-setup-my-ASUS-RT-AC58U-router-

Netgear:
https://support.stuff-fibre.co.nz/hc/en-us/articles/224599728-What-should-my-router-settings-be-

8. If the speeds are still lower than expected, you should raise a ticket with us to investigate.

You can reach us at support@stuff-fibre.co.nz and please ensure you incude screenshots or links to the testing results received from step 4 above.

We may ask you to perform some other tests to confirm the results, and can also a fault with your local fibre laying company or our Network team if it is clear there is an issue they need to address.

Boost Info

When you add Boost to your service we provision "gigabit" fibre services with your local fibre laying company. The service is usually "uncapped" for downloads, meaning there are no artificial limitations on the connection for downloads. In the upload direction there is always a hard cap at ~500Mbps.

"Gigabit" services are technically capable of reaching up to 1000Mbps (or 1Gbps), however, there are overheads in the transmission, meaning that even under perfect conditions only about 950Mbps of actual data will be seen on a speed test. The Commerce Commission prevents the use of the term "gigabit" to describe these services for this reason.

INFO: When describing the "speed" of a service, what we are referring to is the amount of data that will be downloaded (or uploaded) every second to the hard drive at the receiving end. "Bits per second" (shown as "bps" or "bits/sec") are different to "Bytes per second" (shown as "B/s" or "bytes/sec") - there are 8 bits to every byte, so 1000Mbps is actually 125MB/s. Your hard drive is measured in Bytes, so a "gigabit" connection running at 1000Mbps is actually downloading 125MB to your hard drive each second.

Note that speed tests are just that - a test of raw speed from one location to another. It can be impacted by issues with any link in the chain from your PC, through your home network, the router, the ONT, the links in the network, and all the way through to the server providing you data at the other end.

Poor speed tests also dont mean a poor network, and you need to run a host of tests to ensure you are not just seeing an isolated bad result. If you experience buffering on Netflix or Youtube videos, poor response on online games, or just slow loading of web pages, we can help investigate your connection properly to find our the root cause of the issue.

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