Fast broadband makes your home run smoother. It’s better for streaming TV. It’s better for gaming. And it’s vital if you’re in a busy household. Read on for all the help you need to get faster broadband where you live.
The best and most reliable way to see what’s available where you live is to use our postcode checker, which you'll find at the top of this page.
Just tell us your postcode and we’ll track down the fastest providers available at your address.
Which broadband provider is fastest?
Virgin Media’s broadband is the fastest service that’s widely available across the UK, with average speeds of 516Mbps on select products.
If you’re lucky enough to be in one of the small number of areas served by Virgin Media’s gigafast full fibre service, you can get speeds much, much faster. But at the time of writing, this has yet to reach many locations. The same applies to ultrafast broadband packages, too.
If you don’t live in an area that’s covered by Virgin Media, there’s still a very, very good chance you’ll be able to get fast broadband with speeds that are easily fast enough for busy family homes, as well as unlimited broadband packages.
By way of example, the average speed on John Lewis’ Fibre Extra service is 66Mbps. While BT’s Fibre 2 and Vodafone’s Superfast 2 offer average speeds of 67Mbps and 63Mbps respectively.
What’s the fastest non-fibre service?
The fastest standard broadband service, also known as ‘ADSL broadband,’ provides an average speed of 10Mbps. You can pick from the likes of TalkTalk, Plusnet and EE.
What’s the difference between standard broadband and fibre?
Well, the principal reason it’s so much faster is because of the technology used to deliver fibre broadband to your home.
As you may know, standard broadband is delivered over the ageing copper-wire telephone network.
Conversely, fibre broadband uses a fibre-optic network for at least part of the journey to your home.
The latter is much more efficient at transmitting data over long distances, which makes for much quicker downloads and smoother streaming. To that end, it's a great option for gamers.
What broadband speed do I need?
For the most part the more occupants in your home, the faster the broadband you’ll require. To help you choose, we’ve matched typical households to speed requirements below:
- 3Mbps-10Mbps – Apt for someone who lives alone, or households with 2 occupants, or families with very young children
- 11Mbps-35Mbps – Ideal for smaller student homes or small family homes, with three-four occupants who all regularly make use of the internet and each own a selection of internet-enabled gadgets
- 35Mbps or faster – These speeds suit homes with 4-5 or more occupants. For example, large student homes or shared accommodation, or homes occupied by large families.
Sources and methodology
*Annual savings based on average monthly bill of £33.99 from nationally representative sample (1000) vs our cheapest monthly cost for superfast broadband (>55Mbs) £18.95/month, May 22. Annual saving: £180.48.
Will I get my advertised broadband speed?
That depends on your location. But it’s fair to say you’ve got a very good chance of getting the speeds advertised with your package.
Advertising rules insist that at least 50% of people accessing the internet at peak time are able to achieve the speeds touted in ads.
If you’re not able to get those speeds, the most likely explanation will be that your home is a long way from the exchange.
In the event that you can’t manage with the speeds you’re getting you might want to upgrade to a faster service.
What affects broadband speed?
Factors that can affect your broadband speed include:
- Distance from your exchange
- Network congestion
- Wireless and electrical interference
- The age of your computer
- The age of your router
How fast is my broadband?
You can check your broadband speed with MoneySuperMarket’s speed test. Just tell us your postcode and we’ll do the rest.