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Frequently Asked Questions About Your Broadband Speeds

If you are experiencing connection issues, follow our handy guide to troubleshooting connection issues here

Need some other technical and product support? Here are some of our most frequently asked questions with answers, to help you get on your way.

Have a different question? Contact us on 0330 236 9900 or submit your enquiry here.

How do I test my speed?

If you have our Smart Home WiFi service, you can open the mobile app and run a speed test from there. You can also view historical speed test data for the last 7 days. If you don’t have our Smart Home WiFi service, we recommend using speedtest.net by Ookla to get an accurate test of your current speeds.

  • Close all open programs and applications on your device (including any VPN software) and make sure you’re the only person using your broadband connection
  • The results are more accurate if you download the speedtest app rather than using a browser. You can complete this on any internet-connected device (laptop, phone, tablet)
  • Once loaded, press “GO” – the app will now complete a speed test from the device you’re using
  • Once completed, you’ll be provided with the ping, download speed and upload speed results

Speed tests are best carried out over a wired connection (where possible) rather than over a wireless connection as WiFi is iften slower. If you’re unable to connect your device using an ethernet cable, test your wireless device while standing next to the router, making sure the device is up to date and has 5Ghz capability if possible. The results won’t be as accurate as WiFi signal interruptions can affect the speed/quality of the internet service you receive on your device.

The speed test results are often unique to the device you’re using, so you may find slight differences between different devices. If your speed test is lower than expected, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help. Please make sure you’ve followed all the instructions above before you call. 

What do the speed test results mean?

Ping

Ping is the reaction time of your connection (how quickly you get a response after you’ve sent out a request). A fast ping means a more responsive connection, especially useful in applications where timing is key such as video conferencing and gaming. Anything under 59ms is great – the lower the ping the better!

Download Speed

The download speed is how fast you can pull data from the server to you. Traditional fibre-to-the-cabinet connections are designed to download much faster than they upload, since the majority of online activity such as loading web pages or streaming videos consists of data downloads.

Download speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps)

Upload Speed

The upload speed is how fast you send data to others. Uploading is necessary for sending big files via email, using video calls to talk to someone else and online gaming.

Upload speed is also measured in megabits per second (Mbps)

What could be causing slow speeds?

Many factors can impact a speed test result. It’s always good to do multiple speed tests over a period of time using a different device, if you can.  This can help narrow down any issues to a particular device or connection. 

Devices

All devices have different capabilities, and some may not be able to measure the full speeds of your broadband service. Your test result will only be as fast as the slowest part of the connection between your device and the speed test server. Older devices typically operate at slower speeds than newer devices. 

Wired or Wireless

How the test is carried out will make a huge difference. Always test using a wired connection first if possible. WiFi speeds will be slower than a wired connection and can be affected by objects in your home including walls, doors, floors and even radiators. 

Cables

Not all ethernet cables are capable of carrying the full speeds of your broadband service. Cat5 can carry 100Mbps, Cat5e can carry 1000Mbps and Cat6 can carry 1000Mbps+. 

Timing

A speed test measures the connection at that point in time and will vary based on what is happening at that time, both on the device and within the home. More devices on the network in your home means more devices sharing the internet connection. This will affect the speed any single device can achieve. If the device is occupied doing something at the same as the speed test, it will react slower to the speed test giving a lower speed than is actually available. 

Your Device 

Mobile device test results will usually be different than tests using a computer or laptop due to the hardware processing limitations and may provide lower results than your broadband service speed. As an example, the Apple iPhone 6 has a maximum Wi-Fi connection speed of up to 120Mbps whereas recent laptop and desktop computers can achieve up to 1Gbps via a wired connection.

How can I check my broadband’s service status?

If you need to check our broadband service status you can head over to our Service Status page.

If there’s any planned maintenance or outages, we’ll send an email and SMS with regular updates to keep you informed, as we know how important your broadband connection is. 

Do you restrict speeds at busy times?

No, we’re proud to say that our broadband doesn’t have any speed restrictions.