What Broadband Speed do you Really Need?

When it comes to comparing broadband providers, it can be hard to know what is right for you. Broadband providers advertise a variety of download speeds, but how do you know which one is best for your needs? In this blog post, we will take a look at three different factors that can help you determine the broadband speed that is right for you.

Before we do, let’s quickly look at how broadband speed is measured and advertised.

How Is Broadband Speed Measured?

Broadband speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). Mbps stands for megabits per second and is the unit of measurement that is typically used to measure the speed of an internet connection. The higher the Mbps, the more data is transferred from the internet to your computer therefore the faster your broadband will be.

How is Broadband Speed Advertised in the UK?

In the UK, broadband providers advertise a variety of download speeds. The speeds advertised are the “average” their users will receive in Mbps. These speeds are what 50% of their customers will receive at peak times. This means that you may not always get the advertised speed. Factors such as the time of day, how many people are using your connection, and what distance from the exchange can all affect your broadband speed. 

What is the Right Speed For Me?

The answer to this question depends on how you use the internet and what type of activities you do online. If you only use the internet for basic things like checking email and browsing the web, then you probably don’t need a very fast connection. However, if you do more demanding activities like streaming video or playing online games, then you will need a faster connection.

  1. The type of internet user you are
  2. The number of devices you use
  3. The type of activities you do online

The Type of Internet User You Are

Let’s start by taking a look at the different types of internet users. There are three main types of internet users: light, medium, and heavy users.

For light internet use, you don’t need that much speed. Basic activities like checking email, browsing the web, and streaming music only require a small amount of bandwidth. 

If you only use the internet for basic activities, then a broadband speed of 10Mbps should be more than sufficient. This is the minimum broadband speed recommended by Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator. 

If you have a large household with multiple people using the internet at the same time, then you may need a bit more speed to keep everyone online without any problems. In this case, a broadband speed of 36Mbps should be enough.

For very heavy internet users, such as those who regularly stream 4K video or download large files, a broadband speed of 66Mbps or higher may be necessary.

1 Person2-4 People4+ People
Look for at least 10MbpsLook for at least 36MbpsLook for at least 66Mbps or higher
Video streaming
Web browsing
Online gaming
4K video streaming
Online gaming
Multiple users at once
4K video streaming
Working from home
Large downloads
Online gaming

To sum up, the amount of speed you need from your broadband connection will depend on how you use the internet. If you only do basic activities online, then a lower-speed connection should suffice. But if you have multiple people using the internet at the same time or regularly stream video or download large files, then a higher-speed connection will be necessary.

Remember it is possible to over do it

When it comes to broadband speeds, you may think that you can never have too much. But is this really the case? You want to ensure that you are not paying for a service that is way faster than what you actually need.

While there is no simple answer when it comes to finding out how much speed you really need. That’s because there are a lot of different factors that can affect your individual broadband requirements. But following some of the general guidelines above should help you work out a starting point for finding the right package for your usage.

What is my current Broadband Speed?

There are a few ways you can test your broadband speed. One way is to use an online speed test. 

Once you have your results, compare them to the speeds advertised by your broadband provider. If your speed is significantly lower, contact your provider to see if there is anything they can do to improve your connection.

In Summary

To ensure that you are getting the right speed for your needs, looking at your household is, how many users are online at the same time and the types of things and services you like to do online should help you gain a better understanding of the broadband speed that you really need.

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