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