Broadband speed test

Slow broadband can make browsing the web, streaming or online gaming a painful experience. If you’re experiencing slow broadband or want to know how fast your broadband is, you can take our broadband speed test.

When you sign up to a broadband deal, your provider will commit to a certain speed, so use that as your benchmark speed and start a test.

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Why should I take a broadband speed test?

A broadband speed test will take a short amount of time to complete. The speed test will allow you to:

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Check your provider is delivering the speeds agreed.

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Do multiple tests at different times of the day to see if this affects your speed.

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Compare your existing deal with other providers.

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Decide whether your current broadband speed matches the needs of your household.

How broadband speed is measured

Broadband speed is measured in kilobits per second (Kbps) and megabits per second (Mbps). The higher the number of bits you're able to download per second, the faster the connection.

There are two checks used that contribute to your overall broadband speed - download speed and upload speed.

Download speed

This is the speed at which information is transferred from the internet to your computer. Having a faster download speed will result in a smoother and speedier experience if for instance your watching films and TV shows.

Upload speed

The speed at which information is transferred from your computer or other devices to the internet. It also includes how quickly you can post photos on social media, send emails and many other activities.

Ofcom graph with upload and download speeds 2018-2022

Ofcom UK Home Broadband Report 2022[1]

In May 2019, Ofcom reported that 'the average actual home broadband download speed in 2018 was 50Mbit/s for the first time', which is an increase of 18% from previous years. Users want faster speeds, and availability is now better than ever.

If you're experiencing consistently low speeds, talk to your provider about faster broadband packages or alternatively, move provider altogether.

What to do if your broadband speed is slow?

If your speed test returns and results that are slower than your provider advertised, see if you can boost your broadband speed on your own. However, if you’ve done all you can and your speed is consistently slow, speak to your broadband provider.

How to get the most accurate results


Make sure you have no other devices or consoles connected to the Wi-Fi as they can interfere with the connection.


Don't have other tabs open in your browser and close down all other windows and/or apps currently open.


Connect to your router using a wired connection and switch off the Wi-Fi on your computer.


Turn off any antivirus software and firewall if possible.


Test the speed throughout the day to see if the connection speeds up or slows down.

What affects broadband speed?

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Distance form the exchange

Your distance from the exchange will affect the speed of ASDL broadband. It’ll be worth switching to Fibre if your speeds are slow and you’re willing to pay a bit more.

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Number of connections in your home

The speed of your service will depend on how many people are using your internet connection at any one time.

If your household has multiple users on desktops, laptops, mobile phones and tablets, your speed will be slower.

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Time of day

Download speeds slow down during peak internet times, usually between 18:00 and 23:00 GMT.

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Rain, wind and extreme weather conditions can affect both your speed and connection.

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Quality of cables/modem

If you have an older modem or wires, there may be a limit on what speed of upload you can receive.

When you update your broadband or switch suppliers, many providers will update your hardware as part of their package. If they don't do this as standard, it may be worthwhile asking.

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These will not just slow down your internet but your browsing device in general and may compromise your online security.

Is it worth switching providers?

If you want faster speeds you can shop around for a different provider by comparing broadband offers.

If you're currently on an ADSL line then moving to Fibre Optic will give you a faster and more reliable connection. Check out our guide to switching provider for more information.

If you're not happy with your current broadband provider, use our comparison tool to find the right deal for you - but remember the price isn’t everything. The right broadband package must have the speed you want and accommodate the amount of data you and your family need to use the internet. If your household uses a lot of data then a faster speed is likely to benefit everyone.