You can check your current broadband speed using the tool on this page.
Speed is often a key factor when choosing a broadband provider. Everything you do online is tied to the speed of your connection – and there’s nothing worse than waiting around for a slow connection to catch up.
For best results, make sure you’re not downloading any files, or streaming video or audio before starting the speed test.
Why do I need a broadband speed test?
Running a test of your current speed is a useful way to gauge what speed you might be looking for in a new broadband provider. For example, if your current speed is around 15Mb/s and you find that the connection is frequently too slow, you may want to consider looking for a superfast fibre deal next time you switch.
Since you’re likely to be tied in to any deal for at least a year, it’s important to choose the right speed to suit your requirements.
You may also wish to check whether your current broadband provider is delivering the speed they promise you. If you consistently fail to achieve the advertised speeds, you may have grounds to cancel your contract.
What do my broadband speed test results mean?
Download speed is an indicator of how quickly data is sent to your device. This does not just relate to downloading files. Download speed will also dictate how fast websites load, how smoothly online games run, and how quickly videos buffer.
This is by far the most important figure for most broadband users. On a standard ADSL broadband connection, the maximum achievable download speed is usually around 17Mb/s but can be much lower depending on the time of day and your distance from the exchange. With modern fibre broadband, the maximum speed may be anywhere from 30Mb/s to 300Mb/s or even higher. The speed you need will depend on how many people use your connection, and what you use it for. As a rule, the more devices you connect, and the more data-heavy activities you do (such as HD video streaming or online gaming), the faster the connection you will need.
Upload speed tells us how quickly you can send data from your device. This will come into play any time files or information is outgoing, such as, for example, adding photos or video to a social media account. Most home broadband users won’t need to worry too much about this figure – but if you rely heavily on video-calling or do a lot of online gaming, upload speed will likely be a consideration.
Most broadband providers don’t advertise upload speeds as widely as download speeds. If you need to know more about the upload speed of a particular deal, you may need to contact the provider before making any purchase.