Are You Receiving the Broadband Speeds You’re Paying For?

by Klaus on December 5, 2019

in Articles

When you’re shopping for a new broadband subscription, speed is the main factor to consider. The speed of your internet depends on several factors including the number of users and the region where you live. Most don’t know what broadband speed they need when comparing different packages or searching for the best deals. So, here’s a guide detailing how to measure broadband speed, what speed you need and how to make sure you’re benefiting from what you’re paying for.

What is Broadband Speed? How Is It Measured?

Broadband speed is measured in Mbps (megabits per second) and Kbps (kilobytes per second). A faster broadband speed means quicker downloads. Internet providers advertise average speeds to give you a general idea of what you may receive, without any guarantee. The average speed refers to the average download speed for 50% of users during peak periods. Peak hours range from 8 to 10 pm for residential customers and from 12 to 2 pm for business clients.

General internet usage divides users into 3 categories, respectively light, medium and heavy users. Light users use the internet for daily tasks such as checking emails and online banking. Medium users use the internet for social media and general browsing. Heavy users are people who use the internet for online gaming or streaming live music and films. So, find out the usage requirements of each user in your home, how many people use the internet and determine what overall speed you require.

New Regulations Mean Internet Service Providers Must Keep Their Promises

According to a study performed by consumer group Which?, the average British household receives about half of the broadband speed advertised by internet service providers (ISPs). They’re paying for speeds of up to 38Mbps and only receiving a low 19Mbps. The higher the speed advertised, the larger the gap between actual speeds and speeds recorded during testing.

On May 23rd 2018, the new regulations of the Advertising Standards Agency force ISPs to be transparent about the speeds they offer. The term “up to” is replaced by “average” speeds, which must be available to at least half of the clients at peak periods. The new rules help consumers maximize the broadband potential offered by ISPs. Check online platforms such as Broadband Search for the best deals available.

What Speed Are You Paying For? Test If You’re Receiving It.

First, you must check with your Internet Service Provider and see what you’re paying for. Look at your latest bill and check the download and upload speeds, which are listed on it. Some providers may hide the information on the bill and state something like “Roadrunner” or “Ultraspeed”. In this case, visit your ISPs website and check the package options.

You can easily check your internet speed with online tools. Select the nearest testing region and start the test. To get an accurate result, make sure you’re not uploading or downloading anything. Let the test run for a couple of seconds and you’ll get the result. You’ll notice different number sets including Ping, Upload Speed, and Download Speed. Ping means the time it takes for data to make a loop trip to the server. The upload and download speeds should be close to the advertised level. If the rate is lower than what you’re paying for, check if the internet provider is throttling you. This sometimes happens if you’re torrenting or if you exceed the package’s data cap.

Conclusion

To know if you’re receiving the internet speed you’re paying for, find out the speed included in your broadband package and use online tools to test your download and upload speeds. If the test results show that you’re receiving the advertised speeds, but the internet seems to be running slow, you may have exceeded the data cap. If the results show a difference between what you’re paying for and what you’re actually receiving, it may be time to search for a new provider.

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