Learn how to check how fast your connection is and what speeds are on offer from some of the UK's biggest providers.
If you’re thinking of switching your broadband, finding out what speed you can get is a must. Having a connection that’s able to reliably support your needs is really important now we spend so much time online and have so many different smart devices.
Use our free broadband speed test tool to see how fast you can expect your internet connection to be at your postcode.
Our free comparison tool will show you which broadband packages are available in your area and what kinds of speeds they offer. All you need to do is enter your postcode and click search.
95% of the UK has access to superfast broadband which is defined as speeds of 24Mbps or over and is generally delivered to your home via a mix of fibre and copper cables.
The Scottish Orkney Islands and other quite rural areas of the country struggle to get superfast broadband speeds and surprisingly, so do certain areas of major cities like London. The boroughs of Westminster and Tower Hamlets for example, both only average a broadband speed of 10.8Mbps and 10.1Mbps each.
Not only does the terrain in these areas, be it mountains or busy city pavements, make it really difficult to dig down and upgrade the existing network but if they’re quite isolated, suppliers might feel as though there’s not enough demand to warrant extending their fibre broadband network.
How far away you are from the nearest green street cabinet will also significantly impact your broadband speed because the further the signal has to travel, the weaker it becomes. It’s far less of an issue with fibre broadband but ADSL, which is unfortunately the best option in these rural areas, is really affected by it.
Using our broadband speed test tool to see how fast your current connection is and taking a look at the bandwidth you need for common types of online activities below will help give you an idea of what you need.
The platform recommends you have:
Watching a YouTube video - You’ll need a speed of at least 2.5Mbps to stream a YouTube video in 720p and 4Mbps to stream one in 1080p.
Gaming - Speeds of 5Mbps to 6Mbps are enough for online gaming
Emailing - To send a text email without any attachments barely requires anything at all. A speed of 1Mbps would easily be enough.
Video calling - An one-to-one SD video call on Skype requires just 550kbps while a one-to-one HD video call needs 1.5Mbps.
Browsing the internet - Like sending an email, loading a webpage can be achieved with a connection of 1 or 2Mbps.
With Sky, customers have the choice of either:
There’s five different broadband packages available from Virgin Media:
Virgin also gives customers the option to “Oomph” their M100, M200 and M350 packages.
This boosts your broadband speed, gives you access to a dedicated support team, a free 5GB 4G Virgin Mobile SIM and their service promise, which says they’ll add Truly Unlimited Data to all the SIMs on the account of your broadband account ever goes down.
BT offers five broadband packages to its customers:
Choose between three different packages with NOW TV Broadband:
Plusnet has three broadband packages available:
There’s hundreds of broadband providers in the UK but some of the other major ones include Shell Energy Broadband, TalkTalk, SSE, EE, Vodafone and the Post Office.
The easiest way to see what the fastest broadband speed you can get is by using our free broadband speed test tool.
BT, Virgin, Sky and a handful of other broadband providers offer ultrafast packages with speeds of between 300Mbps and 1000Mbps/1Gbps. The availability of these services is still quite limited so if you’re interested, head to the respective website and use their postcode checker.
Only 10% of the UK is able to receive gigabit broadband where the whole connection, from the exchange to green street cabinet to your home, consists of fibre cables. This allows for truly impressive speeds of 1000Mbps/1Gbps and up!
These kinds of packages are available from providers like Hyperoptic, Vodafone and Virgin who are slowly rolling out their services across the UK.
The latter launched their Gig1 package, with an average download speed of 1,104Mbps, last September to 100,000 homes in Southampton. It’s now available in Reading and Manchester with plans to expand out into 15 million homes by the end of 2021.