Broadband Speed Test

Knowing your current speed is the first step to picking a faster broadband deal!

How to test your broadband speed.

If you’ve been frustrated by buffering video streams, laggy online gaming, or just crawlingly slow websites, it’s time to upgrade your broadband connection.

The first step is to check your current speed so that we know what we need to improve on. Luckily testing your broadband speed is easy!

Simply click the ‘Start speed test’ button, and our speed checker does the rest. You’ll be given a figure for Download speed and Upload speed – scroll down to find out what these results mean.

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 15Mbps and you find that the connection is frequently too slow, you may want to consider looking for fibre deals 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?

Your results are split into two figures, which have different implications depending how you use the internet.

Download speed

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 17Mbps 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 30Mbps to 300Mbps 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

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.

I know my speed – what next?

Once you know your current speed, you can start planning for an upgrade.

There are a range of speeds available at wildly different prices, however availability varies depending where you are.

You can check out our fastest broadband deals, but we recommend doing a postcode check first. There’s nothing worse than picking out your perfect deal only to find it’s not available on your street! If you’re lucky, you may even be in an area with full fibre broadband with the option to get up to gigabit speeds.

Frequently asked questions