20 Meg broadband
In terms of the internet, there are few things as frustrating as trying to watch a video clip online only to find it constantly buffers as your web connection tries to catch up?
Stuttering videos, lagging online gaming and never-ending downloads are all symptomatic of a slow broadband connection – all of which can be remedied by switching to a faster connection.
A 20 Meg (Mb) connection would have been a pipe dream just a few years ago, but is becoming more and more widely available. In fact, broadband provider Virgin Media started doubling its 10Mb customers’ speeds to 20Mb this year.
What does 20Mb mean?
20Mb refers to the speed of a web connection which is able to download 20 Megabits of data per second (Mbps).
There are eight Megabits in a Megabyte and the average music track is around 5 Megabytes (or 40 Megabits) in size. This means with a 20 Megabit connection, you’d be able to download a song in approximately two seconds, in theory.
In practice it may take a little over two seconds because there are all manner of other factors at play which could slow down your download, even if you are at a constant speed of 20Mb per second.
You’ll notice that broadband providers advertise their deals as “up to” a certain speed. This is because they can’t guarantee you’ll get the speed advertised – that figure is the maximum you’ll ever get.
They can’t guarantee it because there are a number of factors beyond their control which could slow down your broadband. For example, if you live close to your nearest telephone exchange, you’re more likely to get nearer the advertised speed than someone who lives further from it.
Also, at busy times of the day and busier days of the week your speed is likely to dip as more users are sharing the line. Your download speed may also suffer during particularly bad weather.
Who is 20 Meg broadband for?
If you only ever use the web for checking your email or casual browsing, it’s probably not worth paying for a 20Mb connection.
This kind of download speed will only really be of benefit for regular web users who often download photographs, music and other files, or who stream music and video on demand with services like Netflix or Spotify.
It may be of benefit to families where there are multiple computers in the home, including smartphones and possibly tablet computers all connected to a wireless router.
As you’d expect, the faster the connection you want, the more you’ll have to pay for it each month. You can compare 20 Meg broadband deals quickly and easily for free using our broadband comparison tool.
If you’re not sure what speed you’re currently receiving then you can check your download speed here, by using Moneysupermarket’s broadband speed checker.