- Broadband speeds
We’re looking at switching from Virgin Media to something more affordable and more stable.
Thinking about an EE deal that proffers an average speed of something like 63 mbps, so did a test to see what I was getting from Virgin at that particular moment. I was shocked to see our signal coming in at about 110 mbps.
So, what should I expect from a broadband provider? What do the promised average actually mean? My current VM deal says I am subscribed to 100 mbps, and it turns out – at least this afternoon – that they aren’t lying. Will I get better service elsewhere? VM always seems quite unstable to be honest.Posted 4 days ago
I’ve just moved to the VM 350 deal and it’s amazeballs. BUT how much speed do you really need?Posted 4 days ago
Best I can get from any provider is 28mbps. Virgin are unique by having cable, everyone else (except 4G routers) come down the same OpenReach pipes so will all be much the same. I just changed back to BT this week. Interesting that they tried to sell me a faster package but when I looked into it I discovered that my maximum speed was only 28Mbps which I would still get from their lower grade, cheaper package anyway. Cheeky gits tried to sell me something they knew they couldn’t deliver, but I had to find that out for myself.Posted 4 days ago
Sky here, supposed to get around 30 mbps, ranges from around 2 (occasionally) up to high 20s. just clocked it a 18 mbps over WiFi which is fairly normal. Fast enough to stream to a couple of devices. I can’t imagine needing anywhere 110 mbps. Working from home, Xbox and steaming at 20 mbps seem fine.Posted 4 days ago
What do the promised average
I don’t think there is any such thing. The do now give you minimum download speed which, if they can’t meet, you can come out of contract. But, as said above, how much speed do you actually need. Surely 50+ Mbps is more than enough for most normal households.Posted 4 days ago
You can check your likely speed range here: https://www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com/#/ADSLPosted 4 days ago
Factor in the quality of the router too. We have 350MB Virgin Media broadband and were really unhappy with it’s stability until we switched the router into modem mode and fitted a Google wifi mesh network.
Turns out all of the issues with devices dropping was down to the rubbish superhub rather than the actual data speed.Posted 4 days ago
WTF does one do with 100 mbs to play with! I share a single phone line with my brother and his family and we make do with 1.5 mbs between us. Oh how the other half live. Would be nice if we only paid for that speed but it wouldn’t cost a penny more if we could get 30+ mbs so is a bit annoying.Posted 4 days ago
We’re on standard VDSL2/FTTC and our router is reporting 80mbs down and 20mbs up. Saying that we’re three houses away from the Street Cabinet. If I run a speed test on the 5GHz WiFi network I’m getting 70mbps. This is whilst I’m on a Teams call on the laptop and the three kids are on phones/laptops.
That BT Broadband speed checker says that I should get between 80-71.6 mbps.
Nice graph below that shows the impact of distance from the cabinet to your expected speed.
Posted 4 days ago
Our limiting factor seems to be the ability of the router, not the incoming or outgoing speed.Posted 4 days ago
I’d agree. We had issues with the router, WiFi was awful and kept dropping off. When we plugged a network cable in we got top speed. Replacing the router fixed that, but we also took the opportunity to change provider. Been with Zen for a month and so far it seems pretty good.Posted 4 days ago
It can be your router yes. Also to the OP – check your upload speed. It can be quite slow on ADSL and it can be a bottleneck depending on what you are doing. Surfing doesn’t use up much upload bandwidth but anything Cloud related often does – uploading files etc.Posted 4 days ago
I’m sobbing. Just moved from out house in the village. Broadband speed gone from 40 to less than 1. Still, we knew it was poor before we moved back.Posted 4 days ago
Virgin are unique by having cable
Oooh no; others are out there. We’re Gigaclear. They do three speeds, 100Mb, 300Mb, and 900Mb
We’re sat at 300Mb. It’s good
Having said that, we were with Vodafone prior at roughly 40Mb, and even with two people working at home, and two kids streaming/playing games there was rarely an issue. More when other people came online – Friday evenings say. But still completely usuablePosted 4 days ago
IT “expert” here.
We use VM for business for, well our business. It’s 350Mbps and we get just that at the router. This replaced a 500Mbps leased line which was perfectly stable and insanely expensive.
I also use VM at home, we pay for 100Mbps and get 110, I think most people do.
The usual problem with VM is the Wi-Fi on their routers, at work and home I’ve used Unifi wi-fi to replace the onboard wi-fi, it’s not always practical for consumers to do that and it’s not always easy to replace a VM router like you can an Openreach one. Most people just have to power it off, leave it for 30 seconds and power it on again every few months.
In terms of outages, we’ve had 2 in the office in 5 years, one caused when someone with a JCB went a bit mad, even that was resolved within a few hours. At home I had one about a year ago, and no issues since.
If you move to another provider you might get a more reliable connection, but it’s pot luck really. The different providers only really provide a billing platform, we used to recommend Zen, but really they’ve just got a better Call Centre than PlusNet, all the major work goes via OpenReach.
As for how much you’ll get and how much you need it varies. If you’re only streaming or browsing, you don’t need much – a 4K / HDR film on Netflix you only need 25Mbps, but if you’ve got teenagers at home you might want at least double that.
The only time you really benefit from massive bandwidth is with lots of devices (we can have 50 PCs all running updates in the office) or you downloading massive files, these days that means Games. with Red Dead Redemption 2 being about 120GB if you’re stuck with 5Mbps it’s going to take more than 2 days to download it, but even that has it’s limits, you might get 110 at home, even 350 but often the Xbox store can’t manage more than 30 or 40.Posted 4 days ago
Openreach engineers have been crawling all over the vicinity the last few weeks.. after 25 years of being at the runt end of the litter for broadband (until I installed a 4G router in the loft we had a max ADSL connection at 4Mb) we are getting full fibre to the house and I’ll be on a 900Mbps before the winter sets in.!! 😀Posted 4 days ago
Xbox store can’t manage more than 30 or 40.
Definitely noticed this the last time the boy downloaded a game. I’d promised him it would be there in an instant (well, not quite but….) and it was downloading at the same speed as the old FTTC cabinetPosted 4 days ago
100mb VM here. Previously had various complaints about signal penetration round the house, so installed a WiFi range extender. This did boost the signal to all the house but also limited the speed to approx. 30mb (it created a seperate network, the main network was still fast). But, it didn’t fix the stability issues as it piggy backs the VM router WiFi – this became an actual problem once I started WFH full-time.
This was all solved with BT Home Wifi. The main node connects to the router by cable, so the flakey router signal is bypassed, three nodes (2 downstairs, 1 up) give complete coverage at 100mb throughout the house.Posted 4 days ago
I’ve just taken delivery of six Tenda MW3 mesh boxes to spread the Sky 12Mb wifi goodness around the chateau.Posted 4 days ago
So, what should I expect from a broadband provider?
We switched from Virgin Media to Vodaphone. Getting 37Mb/s download and 17 upload. In normal use, 2 laptops, Netflix, Youtube etc we haven’t noticed any difference. If I download entire films it takes a few seconds longer of course but for normal use and streaming it is fine.
Monthly cost down from £72 to £23. With Netflix and Prime Video we don’t miss the Virgin TV channels.
Edit I think our Vodaphone package was “up to 63”. Never seen anywhere near that but consistently mid to high 30s. No downtime since installed.Posted 4 days ago
The thing with DSL is that it’s lack of guarantees around either speed or uptime is precisely why it’s cheap. Changing DSL providers usually won’t make a seismic difference to your broadband speed. Many ISPs have a “check my estimated speed” tool on their website which won’t be a million miles out (and may suggest a problem somewhere if it is).
Virgin is different because it’s cable. It doesn’t suffer from the many of the shortcomings of DSL and it isn’t reliant on shoving 21st Century signalling down 19th Century cabling.
we are getting full fibre to the house and I’ll be on a 900Mbps before the winter sets in.!! 😀
B4RN? Easily the best option by a long chalk if it’s available to you, tell Chris I said hi.Posted 4 days ago
Hard wire Sky connection was 64, and got “throttled back” to 32 when Covid 19 happened, hasn’t returned.
There “3 days at less than whatever or your money back” looks – deliberately – a faff but perhaps worth trying…Posted 4 days ago
City Fibre are busy digging up Cambridge and other cities laying fibre to the door (or rather they lay a duct and only blow the actual fibre to the door when you sign up).
See if you’re on their list of locations.Posted 4 days ago
LOL at 1st world problems. 1.17mbs download and 0.47 upload here…Posted 4 days ago
that’s 3rd world Internet by today’s standardsPosted 4 days ago
Gigaclear are due here (south Herefordshire) but they are currently running about 3 years late. On a 3 year plan 😉 Anyone with rural broadband (i.e. long distance from exchange, rubbish cables that tend to get peppered with shotgun pellets, etc) dream of 10meg+ download.
We got bored of waiting and run SIM based broadband to the local mast. It’s pretty good. 60/15 most days. A bit less if it’s raining.
Once we could run a couple of streaming services, an xbox and whatever video stuff I was using for work, I stopped worrying about it. Then it just becomes a price/service gig.Posted 4 days ago
WTF does one do with 100 mbs to play with!
Try working from home, 2 kids, streaming media, phones, laptops, tablets… Soon gets used.
We have FttN and 600m of copper to the house. We get 85/30 sync at the modem and around 75 with overheads on wifi, latency around 6ms to the first hop.
Australia has a wonderful network of multi technologies. Some people have fibre, some have copper, some have satellite.
A few RSP’s have just added 1Gb but realistically not many get the full speed (around 600-700 seems average).
I get +/- 350 on 5G but capped at 60gb a month and not every area has a 5g tower, so mostly 4g+ but nearest tower is getting a 5g upgrade this month.Posted 3 days ago
WTF does one do with 100 mbs to play with! I share a single phone line with my brother and his family and we make do with 1.5 mbs between us.
Surprisingly little 🙂
For some weird reason although we had shite broadband where we live – ranging between 1.5 and 3.0mbs because we’re so far from the exchange we were able to get a direct to property connection. Not sure why as its usually only and option for new builds – our house was built in the 1700s. So our choice was either 1.5- 3mbs or 150-300mbs.
Theres a meaningful difference if you have to transfer large files (we upload films to vimeo and I get content heavy documents from my poncy clients in their Soho offices who never think to optimise anything.) but for ‘using the internet’ I don’t really notice the difference. It seems most of what you consume is limited buy the site’s ability to serve up information than the speed it can get through the pipe into my homePosted 3 days ago
Our broadband was appalling, 0.7mb regular and around 2mb with “faster” fibre. And if it dropped out it could take days to reconnect.
Sacked it off and went with ee 4gee home broadband, 30-90mb and it just works all the time.
Bonus being we can take it with us on family breaks.Posted 3 days ago
B4RN? Easily the best option by a long chalk if it’s available to you, tell Chris I said hi.
No, it’s Openreach that are installing the infrastructure and refitting the BT exchange. As far as I’m aware, once it’s provisioned I’ll be able to simply switch to the FTTP package with my current ISP.Posted 3 days ago
The only time you really benefit from massive bandwidth is with lots of devices (we can have 50 PCs all running updates in the office) or you downloading massive files, these days that means Games
Or working from home.
I am building docker images and uploading them. It’s not a huge data transfer but I have to do it when I want to see if my changes work which is all the time, so a saving of a few seconds is significant.Posted 3 days ago
WTF does one do with 100 mbs to play with! I share a single phone line with my brother and his family and we make do with 1.5 mbs between us.
Internet-wise it’s like have £100m in the bank, you just stop worrying about how much you’re using.
As above, I couldn’t WFH with 1.5, too much of my work is cloud based now, with 100Mbps at the height of lockdown I was on a Teams video call, with a couple of pages of cloud based CRM open, ordering more stock on another page with my Daughter streaming ‘Little Lunch’ in HDR and my Son playing Rainbow 6 upstairs with his mates.Posted 3 days ago
No, it’s Openreach that are installing the infrastructure and refitting the BT exchange. As far as I’m aware, once it’s provisioned I’ll be able to simply switch to the FTTP package with my current ISP.
Sounds like ours.. 2-3Mbit down, 0.8up on an Exchange-only line (so no cabinet between us and the exchange). About 18 months ago Openreach installed FTTP.
Now sitting on 330 down/50 up and it’s marvellous. Stream 4k, no drop-outs when something is trying to upload to the cloud (photos backup etc), can hear and see what’s happening in meetings… great.
Not all ISPs do FTTP but Zen (who I was with) do and I just requested an upgrade from them.Posted 3 days ago
Vodafone broadband here. Guaranteed 63 M but I am getting 143m at the minute. Has been faultless since I got it in April. £23 bargain!Posted 3 days ago
Virgin Media 100 here. Was getting 100 but now much slower, approx 40-50. I’m going to open up a live chat and see what’s what
I also found the VM router a bit rubbish so changed to Google Mesh, which is definitely more stable but range is nowhere near as good as expected. 1700sqf double storey house and even with 4 nodes I still have black spotsPosted 3 days ago
Yeah FTTP is good but you are locked in to very few providers depending on where you live.
Mid herefordshire here and we could only get 2mbs on the old copper wire line. Spoke to BT and they mentioned they (openreach) were running FTTP line right past our house, so I took their offer and the eventually plumbed it in, 50mbs wired no problem.
Looked to change after the contract expired, only ZEN could supply the same speeds down the same line. All the usual suspects were quoting 2mbs (the old copper speed). Sky were looking at buying bandwidth on the fibre line for their superfast service but it hasn’t materialized yet.Posted 3 days ago
B4RN fibre here out in the sticks
Get a full symmetrical gigabit when plugged in
300mbps over wifi
All we do is browse STW and watch postman pat on iplayer, not even got a Netflix accountPosted 2 days ago
LOL at 1st world problems. 1.17mbs download and 0.47 upload here…
Posted 1 day ago
REPLY | REPORT
that’s 3rd world Internet by today’s standards
most of the 3rd world is probably better than that!Posted 2 days ago
Good to see Zen getting some love on this thread.
Whenever I recommend them to people they go “But they are more expensive than PlusNet/TalkTalk/BT etc” 🙄
And they are, but sometimes you get what you pay for. I’ve been with them for two decades, spending much of that time working from home, and I’ve always found them to be excellent.Posted 2 days ago
BT Fibre, getting 60-70 meg, as it’s supposed to do. Been rock solid with 3 of us VPN’ing into our employers, plus gaming, streaming. No issues. Using Mesh wifi. Only issue is the wifi played up at one point, phoned BT, and they said ‘oh, one of your discs isn’t connected’ – hadn’t noticed the cat had knocked it off a windowsill (out of sight) – all fixed – felt a bit of an idiot but customer service was great – checked everything, including all devices history of connection – all a bit big brother.
Can’t get any faster as no Virgin, but have colleagues with virgin that have dropped off Skype loads – could be their own issue though rather than the infrastructure.Posted 2 days ago
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