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What Is A Good Broadband Speed?

Daniel Hill |

April 2021

Voip And Broadband

This question often comes after determining how much you would like to spend on your home broadband. The standard broadband speed is around 11mbps (this is the download speed per second). However, this is not always good enough for some families. 

If you’re not very technically minded, it can be difficult to select the right package.

What broadband speed do I need?

This question largely depends on your household usage. For simple web browsing and emails, a standard broadband speed would be fine.

In a growing age of content streaming, working from home and multiple devices, you’re going to need broadband with a ‘bigger punch’.

Here are some estimates of the speeds you may need for comfortable usage:

Broadband Usage

Download Speeds (Mbps)

Basic browsing (browsing, emails)

11 Mbps

Streaming (Netflix, Amazon, BBC iPlayer)

36 Mbps

Gaming (PS5, Xbox, PC)

50-100 Mbps

Multiple devices (same-time usage)

36 Mbps +


If you find that your wifi seems to be quite slow, run a speed test here. This will help you decide if you need broadband with greater Mbps. You can compare the broadband deals here.

Standard vs Fibre Broadband

Fibre broadband is more faster and reliable than a standard connection. It is especially useful for households with heavy internet usage. A fibre optic cable is used and can handle much higher volumes of data. Standard broadband is quite limited and speed slows down over greater distances.

Fibre broadband is not yet available in all areas of the UK. However, 94% of homes and businesses can access fibre connections according to Ofgem.

What is the average broadband speed?

According to research conducted by M-Lab, the average broadband download speed in the UK was 22.37Mbps in 2019. This is up from 18.57Mbps in 2018 and 16.51Mbps in 2017.

It is important to note that the broadband speeds advertised are not always what you receive. You should always read the fine print of each broadband deal.

What affects my broadband speed?

There are a few things that lower your broadband speeds:

  • Your broadband type – Standard and fibre connections matter. Fibre broadband is much faster and more reliable.
  • Your location – If you live in a rural area, you will have slower speeds. This is because your data needs to travel further from the local exchange.  
  • Proximity to the nearest telephone exchange - The closer you are, the faster your connection.
  • Time of day – peak usage times can sometimes affect your speeds. For example, weekday evenings are a popular time for streaming and browsing.

Which provider has the fastest broadband speed?

Virgin Media offers the fastest broadband speed. They are the only one of the major internet providers to provide ultrafast fibre-optic broadband. They have much faster speeds as they use their own unique cables.

They also offer more widely available fibre optic speeds to homes and businesses. Virgin Media’s ultrafast fibre-optic package runs at speeds of 350 Mb. You can switch to a Virgin Media broadband deal here.

As Virgin Media owns and manages its own cables, it is not available everywhere. Our home and business broadband price comparison will only show deals available in your area.

TalkTalk, BT, Sky and Plusnet also offer very good broadband speed capable of multiple device streaming and gaming.


  • What does Mbps mean?

    Mbps stands for megabits per second. It allows consumers to compare average download speeds. The higher the number, the faster the connection.

  • How accurate are advertised broadband speeds?

    Broadband deals are usually advertised as average speeds. This means the speed may be slower during peak times. This is common and you should read the small print to make sure you are comfortable with the speeds.

Compare Business Broadband

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About the author

Daniel has been writing for over 10 years and has a passion for helping businesses and households reduce their utility bills. He has a wealth of experience in professional services, so he knows the importance of business efficiency.

In his spare time, Daniel can be found catching touchdowns playing American Football and spending his Sundays watching the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL. 

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