IT comments from a wellington entrepreneur…

A review of TelstraClear WarpSpeed internet

A month or so ago, I upgraded our internet to the top TelstraClear plan, WarpSpeed. Telstra claim an excellent 25mbps download speed, faster than a hot buttered cat on a hot barbecue. Thats pretty fast.

However, given my previous experience with Telstras lightspeed plan, I was a little… skeptical. LightSpeed was significantly slower than the actual speed of light (299 792 km / s), and most of the time could have been passed by a granny in a mobility scooter. Going uphill. LightSpeed truly stank. Repeated phone calls to Telstra resulted in… nothing. Promises of improvements, and no changes.

Being somewhat a sucker for punishment, I decided to try the WarpSpeed plan, the fastest on the Telstra block. A few repeated calls to Telstra got things sorted, and I sat back, buckled my seat-belt and…

Its faster. Much faster than LightSpeed. LightSpeed (in case I haven’t made the point) sucked. But, since LightSpeed claimed 15mbps, and generally delivered about 2mbps, how does WarpSpeed compare to its claims?

After about a month of usage, and various speedtests via speedtest.net, I have some definitive data. TelstraClear need to update their advertising, and put a maximum speed on their WarpSpeed plan of…. 15mbps!

So 40% slower than advertised. 40% is a LOT. Thats like a car claiming to have a top-speed of 150km/h actually only going 90km/h.

That has to be false advertising somewhere. Does the Commerce Commission care?  But 15mbps is a lot better than 2mbps on the LightSpeed plan so thats a positive.

Note: The speedtest.net tests were done to the closest server by ping (generally christchurch). The actual download speeds were between 2.08mbps! and 15.23mbps. Nothing over that, with an average probably around 10mbps.

Update #1: I tried this afternoon (Saturday at 1:30PM) and achieved 19Mbps. My guess is everyone is at the sevens…

Update #2 (4/2/2012): I had a call from Dion at TelstraClear who left me a lovely message about how Telstra stuffed up the provisioning and my account should now be at the 25mbps speed I’m paying for… It is better, some times, I’ve actually hit 20mbps on occasion. Right now, 10mbps, but tests have put it in the 10-18mbps on average… so much better, only about 20%-50% under advertised speeds. Is that good?

Update #3 (22/5/2012): A solid 10mbps tonight!

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20 responses

  1. Rubinski

    Try using the telstraclear speedtest site. It would not route you overseas then back again if there is no local connection to that network (peering arrangement.) speedtest.telstraclear.co.nz
    Lots of sites are cached so you should get those speeds to most of the commonly used internet site.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:23 am

  2. Thanks Rubinski, I’ll try the telstra version. The first couple of random tests I’ve done show pretty much the same trend, maxing out below 15mbps. I’m curious to see whether I can ever exceed the 20mbps barrier, let alone get close to the 25mbps advertised speed. Has anyone ever got 24mbps+ on warpspeed? Like… ever?

    February 3, 2012 at 8:07 pm

  3. Kerry NZ

    on XTRA Explorer broadband right now (supposedly ADSL2+ here in Maungaraki) I get:
    from speedtest.net (via Napier): 6.31 Mbps
    from speedtest.telstraclear.co.nz (Wellington): 6.14 Mbps
    from nzdsl.co.nz: 6.15 Mbps
    from telecom.co.nz: 6.16 Mbps

    of course Telecom make no claims over speed.

    February 4, 2012 at 5:12 am

    • Thanks Kerry, happy new year :-)
      Yes, both the telstra speed test and speedtest.net seem to give similar results, although speedtest.net reports on average higher speeds from my tests.

      It seems that Warpspeed by telstra is the … ‘best’? In terms of fastest at least, but theres no way I can recommend lightspeed, since the ‘speed’ part of that is a bit of a misnomer. So Telecom might be the way to go for the smaller plans.

      I’ll update this post periodically when I remember, searching for the mythical 20+mbps mark with Warpspeed!

      February 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm

  4. Mark

    I would be interested in an update on this now that telstra have upgraded the warpspeed plans to 100mbs and 15mbs respectively.

    May 5, 2012 at 8:10 am

    • Yes, actually so would I. I just noticed these plans after telstra failed again to charge my credit card as requested… I’m not sure where that leaves me. I’m generally getting between 15-20mbps on average. Occasionally, very occasionally, it pops over 20mbps, like a tantalising glimpse, a whiff of what I’m actually paying for. I definitely havent been upgraded to a 100mbps plan! I’ll check in with them in a week or so when they ring me up complaining I havent paid my bill and I give them my credit card again… :-)

      May 5, 2012 at 8:18 am

      • Mark

        I am impressed with the prompt reply!
        Just a note, I have been reading up on geekzone and a few people seemed to have issues with qos inside their routers. Turning it off seemed to fix their speed issues..
        And some lower end routers are really crap at switching a high volume of packets, so connecting directly to the modem could be a good point of elimination if you haven’t already done so.

        I had telstra cable on the light speed plan some months ago, and my internet speeds lived up to the claimed 15mbs.
        Am on telecom adsl now, and I have 16mbs dl 1mbs ul.

        But I’m located in Quake City.

        May 5, 2012 at 8:25 am

      • Yes, good thought. My router is a bit old, linksys wrt54g but since its tricked out with tomato for various reasons, and hooked up to another router for various other reasons, bypassing them seems like hard work.. but to be fair, I should try that. I’ll see what they say re: new warpspeed plans.

        Although I did notice a big jump up with warpspeed, which suggest router is not a super problem. I imagine you get high speed because the signal travels directly through the massive cracks in the ground straight to the US ;-)

        May 5, 2012 at 8:32 am

      • Mark

        If you want a feature packed but cost effective router then take a look at http://www.gowifi.co.nz/access-points-802.11/mikrotik-routerboard-rb751g-2hnd-gigabit-wireless-router.html
        And I dare say you’re correct about that ;)

        May 5, 2012 at 8:41 am

  5. Dave Guerin

    Thanks for the post Greg. I get 7-9mbps on lightspeed in Wgtn, but still find it slow compared to my work that gets near 30mbps. I might try warpspeed out and see if I can best 20mbps!

    June 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

    • Thanks Dave. It fluctuates pretty wildly, and seems to have issues when its raining. I’ve occasionally seen it over 20mbps, but… I blink and its gone. Still a lot better than lightspeed. Am thinking about trying their new hyper-100mbps plans. Which probably means… 30mbps? 40? :-)

      June 8, 2012 at 12:09 am

  6. Amar

    Ooops. I meant 100Mbps/10 UL…not MBps

    June 19, 2012 at 4:19 am

    • Hey Amar, thanks for the comment. I’ve been thinking about trying the 100mbps plan to see if it makes a difference.

      Im using the speedtest.net site or the telstraclear speed test site. Both are generally in the same ballpark. Unfortunately that ballpark is a kinda dingy and overgrown with weeds, with a few mud puddles and lurking drug dealers, compared to the shiny one advertised on the telstra brochures…

      What speeds are you getting on the 100mbps plan? Is your router up to scratch (a wireless g will theoretically top out at 54mbps). And also Telstra can’t do much about the international traffic AFAIK, which is basically what we’re after.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:48 am

      • Amar

        Hi Greg,

        From Telstra’s internal site, I get just over 60 Mbps, but I’m not relying on those speeds because that traffic is going into their network which isn’t the realistic speeds that will be delivered from public sites.

        From speedtest.net and consumer reports, i get between 2 and up to 20 Mbps.

        I’m using a Cisco E3200 which is dual band 300 Mbps wireless N.

        In reality, when i download whether its a torrent or iTunes, I don’t get speeds any better than ADSL2. I had Telecom’s ADSL2 and it was faster in reality.

        I have two L2 tickets open with Telstra in order to get this resolved, but they can’t explain where they’ve tested to achieve their advertised speeds.

        I can’t get over 1.5 Mbps from any site expect iTunes which still maxes at 8 Mbps. YouTube even buffers with 720p and 1080p videos.

        I’ve tested NZ local traffic into a 100 Mbps datacenter and can copy a file at a maximum of 3-4 Mbps.

        So their theory about not being able to do anything about international traffic is BS. Local traffic speeds are crap as well.

        I’ll let you know if they can fix my problem I live in the central Wellington CBD as well, haha, so don’t know what’s up!

        June 19, 2012 at 5:28 am

      • Cheers Amar. The telstra ‘support’ leaves a lot to be desired. I was reading the herald article about the orcon guy who made millions making a comment about how ISPs still suck when it comes to support and getting things fixed.

        In reality, if things worked the way they said, we wouldn’t need any support would we?

        On the ‘plus’ side, Telstra look like they might be selling NZ to Vodafone, which means the crappy Telstra support will morph into super-vodafone-support-man! Which is awesome, considering super-vodafone-support-man’s special power is playing crappy music while putting you on hold for endless hours and not fixing any problems.

        I ditched Vodafone mobile when I was losing coverage several times a day in Wellington CBD. A insider told me it was because their network was overloaded and they just ditched people arbitrarily. So no relief there. I headed to Telecom and… everything works. Its heaps faster (talking about 3G now) so am tempted to try ADSL just to compare.

        Yay Telecom. Dont quote me.

        June 25, 2012 at 7:37 am

  7. John

    Hi, I just moved to warpspeed in Wgtn and am really happy with it. A couple of things improved it instantly. Firstly – the cable between the Telstra box and my wireless router – make sure it is cat 6 or 5e. That sped things up immediately. At first I used wireless and got 25MBS – but then realised the wireless dongle I was using on my PC was capped at 25MBS. I got a better dongle and got 50MBS. Finally I cabled cat 5e under the house and get the 100MBS that they advertised. I test on speedtest.net. Hope this helps.

    July 6, 2012 at 5:21 am

    • Cool! Thanks for that John, I’ve just put in place an upgrade to the 100mbps version of warpspeed, so will test those things out. So you maxed out 50mbps on wireless, but putting in an wired ethernet connection got you to 100mbps?

      Wireless is the only option for us, but 50mbps would be sweet. I’m off to check what kind of cable I’m using right now :-)

      July 6, 2012 at 5:47 am

    • Amar

      HI John,
      Have you tested to see what speeds you get when you’re downloading HD video or other files? What suburb are you in?

      Thanks

      July 6, 2012 at 6:34 am

  8. Nate

    Interesting I’m on light speed and i get 15 constantly down and 2 up, upgrading to 100/10 later in the month will let everyone know how that goes.

    September 11, 2012 at 8:10 am

    • Hey Nate, thanks for that. Let us know how it goes. I’m on 100/10 now, but my router is a bit dodgy (LinkSys wrt54gl). Any one have any recommendations for a dual router setup with one connecting to a VPN? lemme know!

      September 11, 2012 at 8:55 am

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