Are you getting the real deal on your broadband speed?

Broadband speedMost of us really do enjoy the benefits of broadband and its speed. But have you ever wondered why your connection speeds weren’t anything like those advertised to you? Well, according to Which? you aren’t the only one thinking this.

In the Which? Survey, they found that of a sample of 272 people from around the country with all sorts ISPs and the classic broadband connection called “up-to X meg” tariffs. Which? found on average that most people were getting lower speeds than they believed they should. Whilst those subscribing for (up to) 1 or 1 megabit tariffs were generally getting near enough their advertised speed, with an average of 0.8Mbps and 1.3Mbps, 8Mbps customers were a lot worse off.

There are lots of variables to your broadband, some of which aren’t down to your ISP, such as the quality of the line and the distance you are to your telephone exchange. Also, your choice of broadband modem, and, or, router can have also have its own effects on the speed of the connection. It is especially true of some early style ADSL (the geeks word for broadband) modems which just weren’t designed, or are capable of going over 2Mbps.

Lastly, your ratio (or to use the full title contention ratio), this simple how many other people you’re sharing your connection with at the exchange. The norm is 1:50, but some ISPs do offer 1:20. As busy times of the day for example, lunchtime, when the kids get back from school, at the close of the business day, this can have serious effects on speed, not to mention what day of the week it is, or what the weather is like outside. This is probably the biggest factor when it comes to variable speeds on your connection.

This comes as no surprise to me, but I was curious to see what my own speed was like over a 24 hour period. My ISP is nothing special, but I, like many, have opted for the “up to 8Mbps” . The really important part to note in that statement is that it is “up to” , meaning it can fluctuate all the time. I used a selection of speed testers and found that the lowest speed of the day was 3.3 megabits, and the highest was 6.8. I would consider this just fine.

But it is well worth shopping around to get the best deal for your broadband connection. Use the ever useful Uswitch.com to get the best deal for you.

Now enough of all this ‘Which’ing and ‘uswitching’, I have people to see!

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