Internet connection

An internet provider allocates you a certain amount of data at a nominal speed for a given price. There are a two important considerations that will inform your choice of internet plan: data and speed.

You can expect to use around 4.6GB per month of data for each subject you study, though it may be more. Remember this is just your study requirement and does not include your social media usage etc.


Data can be measured in downloads and uploads. On a given plan, you’ll see allocations for each. Downloads are the most common data usage and include browsing the web, watching a video, looking at assignments online etc. These are the kinds of activities that consume – use up – data.

Data uploads are activities such as sending emails (with attachments uses more data), or submitting an assignment, or posting to a forum.

If you use all of your data allowance, the provider will have a policy for what happens next. There are three main options, which factor in to the price of the data package:

  1. The speed of your connection is reduced but you can continue to use it (your connection is slower).
  2. Your speed remains the same but you are charged a premium per megabyte fee. This can be expensive and is not recommended.
  3. You are cut off and have to purchase another block of data before you can use the internet. This is common for 3G and 4G wireless connections.

Interacting with online resources can be problematic if your speed falls below 0.5Mbps.


If you are using a wireless source (3G or 4G) and having difficulties, check your speed. You may need to change location or study time to improve your connectivity.


Test your download & upload speeds

This speed test will check both your upload and download speed.

It can be a great diagnostic tool if you are having difficulties interacting with online resources. Click on the image below to go to the Speedtest page. Once there, click on ‘GO’ and watch what happens.

A screen capture of the Speedtest website.

Speedtest website