10 Meg Broadband
Broadband speeds of 10 Meg (10 Megabits per second) were once a pipe dream for internet users, but speeds have improved massively since broadband started being rolled out in the UK back in 2002.
In the last 10 years, broadband download speeds have increased to the point where some users can get up to 100Mb using a fibre optic connection. Today, 10Mb connections are readily available and affordable.
What does 10Mb mean?
Broadband speed is measured in Megabits per second. One Megabit is comprised of 131,072 'bytes', or 'units' of digital information.
The higher your Megabits per second (Mbps) rate, the quicker you'll be able to download data. This means web pages will load faster, files such as music tracks or photographs will download quicker and online gaming will be more smooth and stable.
When you compare 10Mb broadband deals, you'll notice providers often say they can offer speeds of 'up to' 10Mb. This is because there are factors beyond the provider's control which will affect the actual speed you'll get.
The closer your home is to your local telephone exchange, the shorter the distance the data has to travel over – which usually means faster downloads speeds than those living further from the exchange.
Other factors are a simple as peak and off-peak periods. For example, research has shown the two hour period between 7 and 9pm to be slower than the rest of the day as it's when most users are online.
Atmospheric conditions can also affect you speed, as can the hardware (your computer, modem and router) you use. If you're unsure about the speed you are currently receiving then you can use our broadband speed test to find out.
What speed do I need?
Speeds of 'up to' 10Mb are fast becoming the norm, but there are slower and faster connections available – and these are priced accordingly.
If you're only going to use broadband casually, for example, using it to check your email and browse web pages occasionally, then download speed probably won't be as much of a concern to you. In this case, a 2Mb connection would probably suffice.
More frequent users who browse the web a lot and download images, audio and video files would probably be better off opting for a deal with speeds of up to 8-10Mb. Add frequent online gaming to that activity and you might be interested in going up to speeds of around 24Mb.
Heavy internet users (including business users) who rely on a fast connection, or who are interested in streaming media services like LOVEFiLM, Netflix or Spotify may be interested in super-fast, fibre optic broadband.
Be aware that, as of yet, you can only get fibre optic broadband if you live in a 'cabled' area and are capable of receiving it. Most fibre optic providers will have some kind of availability-checking tool on their websites.
You can compare 10Mb broadband against other speeds using our free comparison service here. You can compare based on price, provider, monthly cost and contract term, allowing you to make sure you get the most suitable deal for you at the best possible price.
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