Broadband Speed Test
We all know that broadband suppliers advertise their speeds as "up to" a certain level. But how fast is your actual connection? Now you can find out with our broadband speed test, use the checker below to find out. To get accurate results make sure that you are not using your internet connection for anything else while the test runs (it only takes a few seconds).
UK average download speeds for April 2013
Chart showing the average download speeds across tests carried out by users of the broadband.co.uk speed test in April 2013.
We record tens of thousands of test results every month. Broadband provider is detected by IP address rather than self selection. BE Broadband and O2 are listed together as they share a common infrastructure.
Tips for testing your speed
- Make sure that you're not using your Internet connection for anything else while the test runs
- Run multiple tests and test at different times of the day; peak hours may make a significant difference
- Test with other speed tests hosted on different servers, we recommend this Broadband Speed Test for secondary testing
Why should you be testing your broadband speed?
Here are 5 great reasons to be testing your broadband speed:
- To check that your broadband provider is giving you the speeds they should
- To see if you broadband speeds vary at different times of day
- To see if there are faster providers and deals available in your area
- For bragging rights, are you speeds better than your friends and neighbours?
- Your test results will help us compile our monthly speed test results which show the fastest and slowest broadband providers in the UK.
Without broadband speed test tools there would be no way of holding your supplier to account, you just wouldn't know if you were getting the service you are paying for.
Some providers "throttle" their networks at peak times which can cause broadband connections to slow, but testing your connection regularly you can find out if your supplier is doing this to you.
As well as testing your broadband speed, we'll also let you know how your speeds compare to those of other broadband customers and let you know if there are faster providers in your area.
Why Is My Broadband Slower Than Expected?
We often get asked why broadband speed checkers sometimes report download speeds slower than the maximum theoretically possible at a property. We've compiled a list of some of the causes of slow broadband connections.
- Being signed up to a slow deal. Some people, especially those who have not upgraded their broadband deal for a while, are on packages that will be set at lower speeds than they could get. We'd suggest that you compare the latest deals available at you property using our broadband postcode checker.
- The quality of the phone line to your house, you really need an engineer to test this properly, but if when you use the line for phone calls if it doesn't sound great then you may have a poor quality line.
- The quality of the phone wiring in your house. Its best to place the router as close to the point of entry of your phone line into the house. If you are plugging in via a distance of poor quality internal wiring this can degrade your signal and hence your download speed. We've seen cases where people have used an old extension cable to plug their router in and they couldn't get their broadband to work at all as it was in such poor condition, we suggested they bought a new cable and after they tried that it worked fine.
- Your modem/router - Higher quality hardware can improve your download speed.
- Time of the day - the more people using broadband at your exchange the lower your speeds can potentially get as congestion kicks in, so try testing your speeds at different times of the day.
- The tasks your computer is carrying out can affect the results of broadband speed checkers, if you are downloading something or your email application is checking mail etc all these will take up some bandwidth and thus cause the speed checkers to report a lower speed than you are actually getting.
- More than one computer on a connection. It is more common nowadays for multiple computers (and other devices like games consoles) to share a connection in a house. So if you are carrying out a speed test and another person is doing something bandwidth heavy you may not get properly representational results
You can use our broadband speed test to test your speeds at any time. We suggest you try speed tests a number of times over a period before reporting issues to your providers technical support.
If your broadband's slower than expected
- Work through our tips to speed up your broadband to ensure your home setup is optimised
- If you're using Windows, run a Free Performance Test to ensure your PC is optimised
- Compare broadband in your area to find faster deals
- If you believe your broadband provider is at fault, follow our guide to complaining to your supplier