How to test my modem. Does it need replacing?

If your modem looks like the one below, it certainly does need replacing.

This is a picture of a dial-up modem from the last century.

56k modem

Assuming that your are not receiving Internet speeds near or above the average for your area (how to test your internet speed) we show you some steps to follow to test, tweak and possibly replace your Modem or .

Step 1) Replace your modem if more than 3 years old

Technology marches on pretty quickly these days. And at only $200 or less it’s cost efficient to replace your modem to a new one every few years.

NBN Modem


The box or boxes that connect to your phone line and then to your computer or WI-FI devices are known as a “Modem” or a “Modem-Router” or sometimes a “Wi-Fi Modem Router

Today one box does both jobs as per these examples.

A few years ago you needed two separate boxes as per this example.


If your current setup resembles this example then upgrading to a new modern “Modem-Router” will vastly improve your Internet performance. You should do this as a first step

However, all modems are not built the same and spending a few extra dollars can improve your speed, especially WI-FI speed.

If you are an customer and you need a land-line phone, then you are advised to use the modem as supplied by your provider.

If you do not need a land-line, you have more flexibility. Modems supplied by your or NBN provider can often be improved upon, however modems do provide a 4G fall-back option which means you will always have some internet, even if the NBN service fails.

Another feature of ISP supplied modems is their poor Wi-Fi capabilities that may supply a reasonably strong Wi-Fi signal into the next room, but not much further.

For powerful Wi-Fi through the house consider one of these options.

Does your Wi-Fi reach all corners of your house?

If your NBN technology is HFC, FTTP or FTTC, consider replacing your old modem with one of these

Wi-Fi Internet Extenders

Step 2) Reboot your Modem/Router/NBN Box at least once per week

It’s the stock advice, but it solves an astonishing number of problems.

And if you have an NBN Connection box such as this

NBN Connection box

also restart that at the same time as restarting your modem

Step 3) Check for Modem Firmware Upgrades Regularly

Manufactures often have newer firmware or drivers for wireless access points than what comes with the device. Ensuring you are using the latest of both can often improve both the stability and speeds of your wireless network.

So it pays to check for a “Firmware” (the software embedded in the modem) update or upgrade periodically.

To do so. Access the admin page of your router by entering your default Internet Gateway  or DHCP Gateway  address into the address bar of your modem.

For information on how you can find this information, click here “How to find the ip address of my Internet Gateway or DHCP Gateway

Once found, enter the Internet Gateway or DHCP Gateway IP address into the address bar of any browser


If the IP address is correct, you will be prompted to login



If you do not know the specific login and password try:

User Name: admin

Password: password


User Name: admin

Password: admin

Once logged into your modem’s admin interface you can do lots of things but we advise you NOT to change anything unless you know what you are doing. It should look something like the following but will differ according to make and model.


The above shows options available on different modems to perform a Router-Upgrade or Firmware-Upgrade to your Modem-Router

If in doubt, look at the documentation supplied with your modem-router

Need expert help in fixing Internet & Wi-Fi Issues and live in Perth, Western Australia then call The IT Guys (WA) on 08 6365 5603


Step 4) Upgrade to a NBN, or Fixed Wireless connection.

If none of the above works, you may have no alternative but to Upgrade to NBN, Fibre or Fixed Wireless connections



Step 5)  General tips on increasing your internet and Wi-Fi speed

For a small fee we can remotely login to your computer, run the tests and present to your results and alternatives by email. For this to happen you need to be on a computer physically connected to the modem (by Ethernet wire, not wireless) and be available on that computer between 8.30 and 5pm, Monday to Friday). If we cannot complete the tests remotely, we will need to come to your home or office.

If you would like us to perform the Internet Testing Service, please call 08 6365 5603 and make a booking.

If you would like The IT Guys(WA) to analyse, test and advise you on how to fix any of the above issues, click on Internet and Wi-Fi Testing and Consultancy Services where we offer paid remote on on-site services.

Related Issues

How to Fix Wi-Fi Problems

How to increase the speed of your Internet Connection

How to increase the speed of your Modem Router or Wireless Modem Router

How to increase your Internet Browsing Speed

Fixing Wi-Fi problems relating to Mobile/Broadband Internet

How To Test Your Internet Speed 

Need more help?

Covid-19 Update: Business as usual for workshop repairs, remote support and onsite support.

If you live in Western Australia, and you need any kind of computer help, please bring your computer to us at 315 Rokeby Road, Subiaco, Western Australia or call us out. You can email us at or call:

08 6118 2601 
Microsoft Silver Cloud Partner

Apple Consultants Network

For instant remote control sessions, follow the instructions found on this page

2 comments to “How to test my modem. Does it need replacing?”

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  1. Vince - May 11, 2017 Reply

    Hi, your webpage is very helpful & informative! Great idea.
    I have constantly battled rubbish speeds (& dropouts) over a long period with Optus ADSL+2 so I have run the speed tests on OOKLA for my suburb (Hillarys) & was dismayed /upset at the crap reading of about 2mbps!! They claim its 5-6 at the exchange.
    I also checked the Govt. database map you suggested & also found that the median download speed for this area is 7.08!!
    Not wanting to turn this into a giant whinge session but I’ve given up complaining to Optus because they run me through the usual hoops & it amounts to nothing!
    My question is, can I complain to any Govt body as I think I’m being ripped off?? Thanks

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