Put your broadband to the speed test

Though internet speeds have come a long way since dial-up, they can still be frustrating as we sit and wait for music, movies or even just web-pages to download.

According to a survey conducted by moneysupermarket.com last year, six out of ten broadband users chose their provider based on the speed they offered. Yet shockingly, of 43,000 broadband users surveyed, only 44% got half the speed they signed up for.

You’ve probably read those statistics in the Press before – the survey sent shockwaves through the industry, prompted a Whitehall discussion and later this year Ofcom is likely to implement a clear structure on how broadband providers advertise download speeds.

However, what can you do in the meantime?

Well if you’re not happy with the speed you’re receiving, put it to the test. At moneysupermarket.com we’ve now introduced an all-new broadband speed test service. With this easy-to-use tool you’ll be able to get a clear picture of the speed you’re actually receiving.

Speeds can fluctuate based on a number of factors – the time of day, the number of people online, etc - so it’s worth giving the speed test a run on a few separate occasions. However, if you’re clearly not receiving the speeds you expected when you signed up then take action.

The first step should be to contact your current provider, tell them about your findings and ask them if they can upgrade you. Be fair to your provider too – speeds can be affected by a number of factors out of their control including your distance from the exchange, the quality of your cables, etc.

However, if you’re not happy with what the provider offers, then look around for a better deal using our broadband comparison tool.

Anyone who wants to download large files, such as movies, should opt for a connection of 16Mb or more. Then, even if you only receive half the speed advertised, it should still be fast enough for your needs. The likes of Be, Sky and Virgin all offer speeds in this range or faster.

You deserve to get what you pay for – but until Ofcom takes action the emphasis lies with you to bring yourself up to speed.

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