What is good broadband speed?
Broadband speeds can vary depending on a variety of factors - but if you are unhappy with the speed you are receiving there is something you can do about it. This article will guide you through broadband speed; covering the most common questions that arise around the topic.
A good broadband speed starts from 11Mbps for a standard broadband connection, although faster speeds range between 11-50Mbps, these are usually Superfast Broadband packages. Ultrafast broadband can reach up to speeds of 100Mbps or more.
Broadband speed has its own unique measuring system which consists of Megabits per second (Mbps) and kilobits per second (Kbps). You’ll often see these abbreviations in relation to your broadband packages. They can be broken down into the following:
Where you live, how you use the internet, and how many people are in your household all play a part in determining what speed is best for your household. This also applies to business broadband.
For 1-2 people, a good internet speed would be between 10-11Mbps. This is a standard, unlimited broadband connection for general internet use. It is suitable for occasional video streaming together, online banking and activities such as social media usage on different devices. It is not suitable for any online gaming such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network.
For 3-4 people a good speed would range from 38-100Mbps. These speeds are generally available as part of Superfast fibre packages. As a general consideration- the more people in your household, the more devices you’re likely to use. So if you use streaming services on separate devices, and you spend 2-4 hours per day online then this would be a good option for your household. This speed range is not suitable for activities that download and upload a large amount of data such as gaming or streaming 24/7. It is also not advisable to choose this package if you want to download bittorrents.
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Are you currently working at home? Read up on our recommendations on speeds for home working.
For 5 or more people, you’ll need a speed range from 65-516Mbps - this is a fast fibre package designed for a family who all use multiple devices daily. For multiple phones, laptops, tablets and other online devices this is the best option for a fast connection. A package with a speed from 65Mbps will be suitable for families who use the internet separately but at the same time. This is also a good option for occasional online gaming, and streaming on 4K a TV.
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If someone in your household is a serious gamer or streamer (using a 4K device) be mindful that this can eat up to 40Mbps of your connection, so you should always add this amount on when calculating your household internet package.
Speeds advertised are based on average speed delivered. Generally you will receive the speed advertised, the only exception is during peak hours when lines are busy. When everyone logs online at the same time, bandwidth is shared between customers, and a proportion receive the speeds advertised meaning the rest could get slightly lower speed. As of May 2018 providers have to advertise average speeds available for at least 50% of customers. This is a great improvement from the 10% prior, however this is something to bear in mind when choosing your package.
There are many things that can affect your broadband speed and slow down your connection:
The majority of the UK now use broadband connections. There are several types of home broadband available, the most common being ADSL, Cable and Fibre.
Read our complete guide to broadband and how it works for more information on home broadband connections.
Standard broadband (ADSL) uses a fixed-line access network made up of copper wires. Fibre broadband uses fibre optic cables. These cables are quicker at transferring data than standard copper cables used in ADSL making Fibre faster than other connections. See our broadband deals.