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Understanding broadband speeds

Finding the best broadband deal isn’t easy. You have to factor in more than just the monthly fee. What are the speeds you can expect? Is anything else included in the deal like TV or phone service? Does it come with hardware such as a mesh Wi-Fi system? Does the appealing pricing for the initial period increase in the following months?

To make sure you get the most money from your investment Here’s our list of aspects to look out for in a broadband service (and provider) in deciding.
Understanding broadband speeds

Broadband speeds are defined as Mbps, meaning megabits per second. Megabits differ from megabytes, however. Lowercase “b” within Mb is a reference to megabits, while the capital “B” within MB signifies megabytes.

8Mb (megabits) is the same as 1MB (megabyte) therefore the speed of Mbps that you see on any broadband package indicates how much data can be downloaded in a second. A download speed of 40Mbps means you can download 5 megabytes in a second.

Providers usually have upload speeds that are lesser prominent since it’s almost always considerably slower. Good upload speed is important when you need the capability to conduct multiple Zoom calls at the same time. Speeds of download determine the speed at which you can access media – games, movies shows, games, and more.

What are the best ways to use the internet?

Like most purchasing decisions involving technology, whether it smartphones, laptops broadband, smartphones, and more the first step to work it is the way you’ll use the item.

In the current constant connectivity, it’s easy to think that you need the most speedy connection to survive but if you mainly access the internet to check emails, browse through the shops or spend some time surfing Facebook the reality is that this isn’t the situation (more about this later). On the other hand, some of the less expensive packages that may seem appealing may be a problem in the end when you discover that you’re not in a position to stream the 4K UHD films due to the speed of your internet connection.

In days gone by the primary principle was the amount of data you could upload for downloads every month. In the present, with almost every major provider now offering unlimited data on a regular basis The new standard is the amount of data you can access your network.

Which speed of broadband is best for me?

The speed you’ll require depends on the number of individuals in your family who utilize the internet, as well as the amount of time they spend online every day.

Light to moderate usage

For general web browsing in a household of two people, you don’t need more than about 10Mbps for download and 2Mbps for upload. This is fine for checking your emails or making just one phone call at one time. When streaming movies with these speeds, it is ideal for streaming to a single device at the same time, instead of streaming content from various rooms across different devices.

Moderate users on contrary, and families of three to four persons could require 35Mbps or 5Mbps upload. Users can be on social media often and stream movies at the same time from different rooms.

Moderate to high usage

If you’re a part of a household with a lot of internet users, then you must seek out a broadband service with speeds of downloads that are 60Mbps or greater. This could mean streaming multiple videos or playing online games and using social media on various devices at the same time.

High usage

This is for larger households that stream videos in 4K and have various smart assistants and devices (security cameras and thermostats, lighting, alarm systems etc.). You could also in a live stream with avid gamers that frequently download and stream games and films. You’re connected 24/7. You may even run a company at home, which requires frequent video calls and connections to the cloud, and uploading large file sizes.

The typical usage is upwards of 200Mbps. The speeds required are generally more expensive, and it is recommended to determine the extent to which your internet requirements are prior to deciding on a plan. These speeds are available only through ‘full fibre’ broadband packages and aren’t accessible all over the world.

Each providers will ask for your address in order to determine what services (and speed) are available to you.

What are the different types of broadband?

There are three primary options available today: ADSL (the standard router that connects to your phone line) and fibre (much faster speeds that need a dedicated connectivity) as well as cable (again a dedicated line which is usually part of a package, such as those offered through Virgin Media).


ADSL is the most widely used connection type (although being quickly replaced by fibre as the faster services can reach more areas) and requires only the use of a standard home phone line to operate. Because of this technology, it’s limit is an maximum speed of 20Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps uploads. This is plenty to use social media, surfing the web and streaming HD content on YouTube, Netflix and other services. In fact, Netflix states that to stream HD TV shows and movies you’ll need at least 5Mbps.

It’s likely that you’ll be able to attain those top speeds unless you reside near the telephone exchange, as the lower down the line speeds will be much slower. This is one of the major reasons why those living in rural areas can be unable to access a good, fast connection.

To determine the speeds you will get from an ADSL connection there are usually widgets available on the sites of the service provider into which you enter your postcode. We’d suggest making use of the Ofcom Mobile and Broadband comparison checker, as the independent nature of the service is likely to mean it’s completely free of bias.

Bear in mind that the more devices connect to your network, whether via tablets, laptops, as well as smartphones, the less speedy the speed will be as it’s essentially split between you. This being said If you’re a family with children (especially in the event that they prefer to play online games) then you may find the fibre connection to be the best choice.

Should you be limited to the ADSL connection, Sky is offering its essential package. Plusnet offers Unlimited. As we’ve said, the speeds offered will be contingent on the distance you’re located from the exchange. check these sites to find out more.


Like the name implies, this type of connection uses an optical fibre cable (instead of copper telephone wires) that can provide significantly faster speeds than ADSL.

There are tiers within most fibre offerings, with names such as Ultrafast as well as Superspeed. The reason is the fact that certain fibre connections only extend to the exchange closest to your home as copper wiring is utilized for the rest of the journey. It’s still a lot more efficient than ADSL that can go up to 35Mbps, or even 70Mbps.

But there’s also ‘full fibre’ which means the optical cable goes right to your house. This can provide speeds as high as hundreds of Megabits per second with the very fastest packages providing a staggering 1000Mbps.

The speeds of fibre make it the best choice for those who wish streaming HD or 4K movies and television shows (Netflix suggests 25Mbps to stream 4K) as well as have a stable connection when video-calling for work – or simply the family or friends. This also means it’s easier to download videos to your smartphone, tablet or computer you are at home.

While full fibre is being used across the UK, many areas still aren’t getting the benefits of the technology. So, to see whether you’re one those lucky households, you’ll need to determine the availability by entering your postal code into the checker on each provider’s website.


This is another option which is limited to a few providers and only in specific areas. More efficient than ADSL, cable relies on an exclusive cable, which eliminates the need for a telephone landline. Usually , they are part of a bundle deal, the most common cable provider across the UK is Virgin Media, whose offerings as of the date of writing included the M50 package , which has average speeds of 50Mbps.

Consider bundle offers for better value

If you’re looking to switch your landline, mobile phone or TV service to a single provider then it’s well worth considering the various bundled deals that are available. Each of the major players offer them and BT combining the home telephone, broadband in addition to BT TV, while Virgin and Sky also have specific TV bundles.

Combining these services could lead to lower monthly expenses in addition to giving you freebies if you locate the best deal. The deals change regularly in conjunction with promotions, offers and discounts.