Are you wondering whether your broadband speeds are right up there with the best or instead are leaving you lagging behind everyone else? It is possible that the broadband speeds you are receiving are just not at the levels you’d hoped for.
Domestic households rely heavily on good broadband speed, especially when they frequently use the web for business use, online shopping, video streaming, and more – often all at the same time! You will need good upload and download speeds for all of these activities to operate smoothly and provide a seamless experience.
There are numerous broadband providers on the market, and each offers a variety of packages. Regardless, it is imperative to ensure you are receiving your money’s worth, so always choose the best broadband service, most suitable for your needs.
What’s the difference between an Upload and Download speed?
Your download speed refers to the rate that digital data is transferred from the Internet to your computer, while your upload speed is the rate that online data is transferred from your computer to the Internet.
How fast is my Internet?
A simple way to determine your current broadband speed is to conduct a speed test while connected to your home’s WiFi network. This displays the download and upload speeds associated with your current data plan.
If you’re satisfied with these speeds, you can look for a new, comparable plan. However, if you find your broadband to be slow and inconsistent, if you have issues such as the dreaded buffering, or your content is downloading too slowly, you may choose to search for a new plan that significantly improves your broadband speed.
Before contacting your service provider, be sure to test your connection multiple times and at various times of the day. Learn more about testing your broadband connection and speed.
How is broadband speed measured?
Broadband speed is measured in ‘Mb’ or ‘Mbps’ which is megabits or megabits per second, and it determines how quickly information can be sent from the internet to gadgets in your home. The speed increases as the amount of Mb or Mbps increases.
For ordinary broadband, 11Mbps is a respectable average speed. Typical fibre optic broadband rates range from 30Mbps to 80Mbps, whereas ultrafast fibre optic can exceed 1Gbps (1000Mbps).
Megabytes, which are used to define both computer hard drive space and memory storage capacity, are commonly mistaken with megabits.
What are good download and upload speeds?
There are numerous perspectives on this. First, you should confirm that you are receiving the promised speeds from your ISP (internet service provider).
For instance, if your data package is meant to provide a download speed of 100Mbps, you would be reasonably disappointed if you only received 10Mbps.
Remember though, that the quoted speed is the maximum speed, and so you may never achieve it. However, you should expect to receive a respectable amount of bandwidth the majority of the time.
What is the best speed for broadband?
Your average daily usage will determine the internet speed you require, and the performance should account for the number of simultaneous online users.
A good internet download speed should be greater than 25Mbps on average. This is based on a modest family or office with a handful of Internet users. This speed is sufficient for online activities such as gaming, music downloads, and regular web browsing.
Due to the rising availability of ultrafast services throughout the United Kingdom, the average broadband speed is now approximately 80Mbps.
What if there are three to four users in one house?
Even if you occasionally watch streamed movies and television together in a large household, it’s likely that you’ll be doing your own thing online in separate sections of the home, at least some of the time.
Ultimately though, the greater the number of concurrent users, the more bandwidth (speed) you will want, especially if you stream movies or download and use apps and games separately.
Any basic or entry-level broadband package is generally a sensible choice for a household of three to four people, assuming that usage isn’t constant and that nobody in the household continuously downloads large documents or games, owns a 4K TV, streams in 4K Ultra HD resolution, or works from home all day.
Typically, this type of internet plan offers speeds between 30 and 60 Mbps. Some carriers offer fibre internet connections with speeds of up to 1Gbps. Choosing a faster speed might help future-proof your broadband usage, especially if your children are growing and spending more time online. If you or someone you live with may switch to working from home in the near future, it’s also a good idea to increase your broadband speed to suit this.
What if there are five or six users in the same house?
If you have a larger-than-average family or live in shared student housing, there will undoubtedly be times each day when everyone wants to access the internet independently. In addition to a variety of other devices, it is likely that someone in the household will stream material using an internet-ready smart TV or a TV with a streaming box.
There may also be high online usage periods, typically between 4pm and 8pm, when everyone returns home from work.
Buffering and slow-downloading games and documents can be avoided in a busy household, if you look for a fibre optic broadband package with a minimum average speed of 63Mbps. Some packages for ultra-fast broadband now provide speeds of 900Mbps or 1Gbps.
What about avid gamers and streamers?
One or two members of a household may use the internet significantly more than the others, making it difficult to judge broadband speed based just on the number of people in a home.
Serious gamers, who often have to download large files holding game updates or new games, and streamers who want to watch TV shows and films on their 4K TV’s via Amazon, Netflix, YouTube or Apple TV are all likely to use more than their fair share of the broadband (which could be up to 40Mbps of your home broadband connection).
To make sure that you have the sufficient bandwidth so you can stream all of your favourite shows and movies, you should consult with your broadband provider who will be able to advise you on their streaming speeds.
As a general rule, you should add an additional 30Mbps of broadband supply for each member of your household who downloads games to a console, PC, or tablet or who streams 4K TV shows, or ensure that your broadband package contains an average speed of at least 100Mbps to cover all bases.
What factors could affect my broadband speed?
There are several variables that can impact your broadband speed:
The wireless signal transmitted by your broadband router can be disrupted or weakened by the placement of your furniture, the thickness of your walls, and neighbouring electrical devices. It is also likely that a large number of routers in close proximity will interact with each other and slow down your broadband connection if you live in a densely populated area.
To achieve the best possible signal coverage, you should position your router near the centre of your home, away from walls and doors, and at a good height. Depending on the type of router you’re using, it may be also possible to set it to function on a distinct channel for optimal performance.
Multiple connected devices:
The greater the number of devices simultaneously connected to your wireless network, the more likely it is that your speed may be reduced. If you are merely browsing the web and reading email, the performance of your Internet connection is unlikely to be significantly affected. If you often download files, update software, and stream music or HD video, however, network speed will decrease for everyone. This can be mitigated to some extent by closing unused programmes and applications.
Distance from the cabinet:
If your standard or fibre optic internet is sluggish, it may be because your home is located at some distance from the cabinet where the copper or fibre optic cables are attached. It’s also possible that your regular broadband is sent over copper wires that are old or damaged. In this situation, switching to a fibre connection (ideally straight into your home) will be beneficial. Nonetheless, if you already have fibre and your connection is slow, you may be better off considering a 4G or 5G home internet package.
What if my broadband speed is slower than expected?
If you have recently signed up for a new internet plan and are experiencing substantially slower speeds than promised, contact your broadband provider for help. Refer to the estimated speed you were given when you joined up for an idea of the speed you ought to be receiving.
Download and Upload speeds vary from area to area and from provider to provider. However, there are some excellent broadband providers, like ourselves, that now supply Ultrafast Broadband to rural communities across the UK that previously had difficulty accessing a high speed service.
So if you are an avid gamer or super streamer then check out the latest broadband deals – you might actually find one that provides good and reliable speeds, and is more cost effective than you thought it would be.