Unhappy with your speed?

Ireland’s leading broadband providers advertise lightning fast speeds of 100Mbps, 500Mbps and even 1,000Mbps in some cases. But there’s a catch! These advertised speeds only refer to the maximum speed possible with your plan, they are by no means a guarantee.

In fact, in many cases, the speed you actually get will be much slower than what you might expect. So if you aren’t happy with the speed you’re getting at the price you’re paying, you can compare broadband providers and switch to a better deal with bonkers.ie today.

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How can I check my broadband speed?

It’s always useful to be able to test the speed of your broadband connection, especially if you feel like it is under performing. The good news is that testing your broadband speed is really easy to do!

Simply click the button labelled “Go”. A broadband speed test will be performed and give you a live reading of your current download speed. You can then compare that reading against the speeds that you should be getting.

What do my results mean?

The most important result from your broadband speed test is the ‘download speed’ Your download speed is the rate at which your device is able to access content from the internet.

So, a high download speed will allow you to load internet pages instantaneously and enjoy online video streaming without buffering. On the other hand, a low download speed will leave you with long page load times and pixelated or laggy video streams.

Your upload speed measures the rate at which you are able to add content to the internet or send messages, pictures and videos to others. Upload speeds tend to be much slower than download speeds since most of us do much more uploading than downloading. So don’t worry if your download and upload speeds are vastly different.

Ping, which is measured in milliseconds, indicates how quickly your connection can respond to a request. The lower your ping, the faster your internet connection is at responding to the actions you ask it to take.

Jitter is a bit like Ping, in that it is measured in milliseconds and refers to the responsiveness of your connection. The lower your Jitter, the more consistently reliable your broadband connection is likely to be.

How fast does my broadband speed really need to be?

The answer depends on two things: the number of devices that are using the connection and the kinds of tasks you’ll be undertaking on a regular basis.

As a rough guide, a household using one to two devices to browse the web, use email, social media and stream a moderate amount of video will need speeds that can reach around 25Mbps.

When you bring your device number up to three or four and you’re looking to do some online gaming or stream video in 4K resolution, you’ll need a connection that can reach from 50 to 100Mbps.

If you have more than five devices in constant use in your household and you want to do all of the above, share large files on a regular basis and conduct live video streaming you’ll need a connection speed somewhere between 150 and 200Mbps.

How can I compare broadband speeds from one provider to another?

To compare the latest broadband offers from major Irish providers like Eir, Pure Telecom, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone, simply visit our broadband comparison service on bonkers.ie.

Just type in your address or eircode and you’ll see a list of all the broadband providers available in your area. You can then sort by speed or price, whatever best fits your needs.

Why am I not getting the broadband speeds I signed up for?

Let’s say, for example, you signed up for a broadband deal that has been advertised at 100Mbps but when you run a speed test, you’re only getting speeds of 20Mbps. It’s important to remember that 100Mbps refers to the potential top speed offered by the connection and there is no minimum speed guarantee. Time of day, congestion on the network, and whether your broadband is pure fibre or part fibre or so-called fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband will affect your speed.

With FTTC broadband, a network of fibre optic cables runs to your local telephone exchange cabinet from where data travels through (often old) telephone copper cables for the final few hundred metres or kilometres to your home.

Since copper wires tend to significantly slow down the speed of a connection, FTTC broadband has a maximum speed of 100Mb, and the speed degrades the further the data has to travel along a copper wire. So depending on how far your home is from your local cabinet box, the speed you're able to get could be far lower than 100Mb.

How can I speed up my broadband connection?

There are a number of things you can do to give your internet connection a boost.

  1. Reposition your router - moving your router into the direct line of sight of your device will help maximise your speed. Don’t leave your router tucked away in a corner, behind an armchair or a thick wall - this will interfere with your signal.
  2. Turn your router off and on again - switching your router off for about 30 seconds and then turning it back on can really help improve your speed. When you turn it back on, it will search for the fastest channel available at that moment.
  3. Remove obstacles from the vicinity of your router - items like baby monitors and microwaves can interfere with your broadband signal. Removing these from the same room as your router can help you to improve your broadband speed.
  4. Update your browser - whatever your browser of choice is, make sure you’re using the latest version. Downloading the latest browser updates can help you maximise your connection’s speed.
  5. Install anti-virus software - if your device gets infected with malware, you will likely see a decline in performance speed. By installing anti-virus software, you can protect your laptop or tablet against an infection and keep your speed in top form.
  6. Password-protect your network - if you have home WiFi, make sure that your network connection is protected by a strong password (“password” and “1234” are to be avoided!). If you don’t have a password, your neighbours can jump on your WiFi connection without you knowing and slow everything down.
  7. Switch providers - often the best way to significantly increase your connection speed is to switch to a different broadband provider, with a higher speed capability.
  8. For a more complete guide, check out these tips to speed up your broadband connection.