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What broadband speed do I need to work from home?

Remote working has never been more common in the UK, with the comforts of a home office or a kitchen table being swapped for commutes and office life. It seems the work-at-home model is here to stay, and so, home-work spaces will require the most reliable broadband and the fastest internet available, to ensure you're always connected and ready to go.

What is the ideal broadband speed to work at home?

There is unfortunately no definitive answer that can be given, as there is no "ideal" internet speed for all homes and users. This is due to internet speed and connection strength being affected by many factors that can create lag and interruptions when working, so it's difficult to suggest an exact speed when looking at work-from-home broadband plans.

For instance, if you just need to use email apps and office applications you won't need high-speed internet to work at home smoothly. However, if you are hosting Teams meetings and uploading and downloading files regularly, it would be advised to look at the fastest fibre broadband available to you.

A separate factor that is just as crucial as your working practices, is the number of users of broadband in your home. A broadband router can only cope with so much demand before the internet speeds will begin to drop for the multiple devices connected at the same time. For example, If you have children who often stream videos or play online games, you will require a relatively high download and upload speed so everyone has uninterrupted internet use.

To help you decide which broadband speed is right for you to work at home, we have some questions that can help guide you to the right internet speed:
  • Will I need to quickly upload/download files?
  • How many people will use the internet at the same time?
  • Will I need to watch videos online?
  • Will I need to use any video call platforms?
  • Will I only need to answer emails and use Office apps?
  • Do I need to remotely connect to my office network?


General Guidelines for Broadband speed

As mentioned previously, there isn't an internet speed that can be recommended for every person working from home. There are great differences in job roles relating to the use of broadband, so the speed of service needed can vary between homes. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to have the appropriate broadband speed for you to work at home. Still, there are general guidelines you can follow when trying to opt for the best internet speed for your job.

How can I improve broadband speed?

No matter which plan you opt for, there are ways to improve broadband speed to ensure you are maximising your service. Firstly, the position of your broadband router in your home is vital in receiving the strongest internet connection possible. It would therefore be advised to have the router close to your home working space, or central in the home.

 A second way to improve broadband speed is to purchase a wi-fi extender, which will carry the signal further to other parts of your home where internet coverage may be lower. This will give a broadband boost that will provide a steadier connection as you move throughout your home. 

 Thirdly, it's important to only have devices connected to the broadband that need to use the internet, so don't allow your connection to be needlessly diverted as it will slow down your speeds. It is worthwhile carrying out speed tests for your broadband at different times of day to ensure your internet is performing as it should.

 Finally, it is worth remembering that the best way to ensure the highest connection speeds is to plug your important devices straight into the router. When using wireless Wi-Fi, the speeds you can achieve are generally lower and can be affected by a number of external factors including the type of router, the home layout and materials in your home and other radio signals. 

What broadband speed is available to me?

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