Broadband Speeds Explained

We provide broadband speeds of up to 900 Mbps to every home we connect, but let’s talk honestly and openly about the most important thing – the speed you actually experience on your devices.

That speed depends on several things but mainly on how your devices are connected to your broadband service.

Wired connected devices – the easy one to explain.

A gigabit-capable device, connected directly to the router, using the correct ethernet cable will consistently get speeds of up to 900 Mbps and often more. Of course, this is dependent on the number of devices using the connection at the same time.

There are a few, ideal world, specifics to note in this example and clearly if your PC network interface card is limited 100 Mbps, you simply will not be able to exceed that speed.

What speeds will your wired devices get in real life? If they are gigabit capable, using the correct cables, we would expect you to get speeds of between 500 & 600 Mbps, depending on device locations.

Wi-Fi connected devices – the trickier one to explain.

Currently few mobile devices available in the market are capable of coping with close to 900 Mbps through a Wi-Fi connection. A gigabit capable Wi-Fi device, positioned with close line of sight to the router, with nothing else connected to the Wi-Fi network will receive the optimal performance. However these “ideal conditions” will never exist.

Wi-Fi performance is susceptible to real life variables that we can’t predict, and which vary for each customer household. These variables are many and include:

  • Your home: Age, size, construction materials and wall thickness.
  • Your router location: Where is it best positioned to cover your home?
  • Your devices: Number online, age, spec and capability and proximity to the Wi-Fi router.
  • Your previous solution: Legacy routers and old Wi-Fi boosters still in use can cause interference.
  • Your everyday home items: Microwaves, fans, fridges, power adaptors, mirrors, people, aquariums, tv location, and Christmas lights.
  • Your home wireless devices: Game controllers, baby monitors, AV equipment, Bluetooth devices, speakers and cordless phones.
  • Your PC/Laptop issues: Network interface cards, amount of memory left, AV software, background apps.
  • Your neighbours: Their Wi-Fi networks, devices, appliances and Wi-Fi use may result in “noisy neighbour” syndrome if they are close.

The list is long, and many are outside your control and usually your broadband provider too, but they will all reduce the ability of the Wi-Fi signal to reach every corner of your house and may impact the actual Wi-Fi speed and consistency available to you.

What speeds will your Wi-Fi devices get in real life? If they are gigabit capable, we would expect you to get speeds of between 100 & 350 Mbps, depending on proximity to the router – but as we have explained there are issues beyond all our control may reduce that.

A Digital Home up to 900 Mbps broadband service gives you a higher bandwidth connection which means that more of your devices can share that bandwidth to deliver improved speed and performance to all of your devices.

We are here to help you get the speed you need

Clearly, if broadband speed is important, a wired connection is always the best.

As we have highlighted there are many factors that cause reduced Wi-Fi speeds, but we will be honest with you and in parallel take extraordinary steps to get the speed you need to every corner of your home.

That starts at the beginning, from the location of your home fibre entry, to where best to position your Wi-Fi router, to our expanding portfolio of in home network solutions.

If you would like up to 900 Mbps hyperfast broadband in your home

Let’s start by checking if we can provide service to your home, just enter your postcode below:

How can I get the best home broadband?

At Digital Home we pride ourselves on being able to provide our customers with up to an incredible 900mbps. Sound good? Hyperfast broadband is the future, and we want everyone to be part of it now.

What broadband speed do I need?

Megabits per second, typically abbreviated to Mbps, is a term used when discussing internet speeds. It’s the measurement of data transfer speed. The higher the Mbps the faster broadband service you have.

When browsing the market for a new broadband provider, the numbers and terminology can be confusing. Why is there a speed for download and another for upload? What is a suitable Mbps? Am I getting value for money? Will my broadband keep up with new technology?

The broadband speed you need will be determined by the number of people in your household and typical use. Say you live alone and simply use the internet to browse websites and stream music – you may not require the same broadband as a family who uses the internet to work and play across multiple devices.

Below, we shine a light on the different types of broadband available in the UK. However, it is worth bearing in mind that speeds and terminology may vary slightly between providers.

Standard broadband

Also known as ADSL, standard broadband utilises pre-existing copper phone lines to send and receive information. Typically, speeds are around 8-11 Mbps.

High speed broadband

ADSL2 and 2+ were marketed as high-speed broadband when it was first launched. Again, information travels on pre-existing copper phone lines. Speeds max out at around 24 Mbps.

Superfast broadband

The next speed tier up from ‘high speed’ services exceeded the speeds available over just a copper phone line by making use of fibre optics as far as the street cabinet. So, whilst pre-existing copper cables are still used, it limits the distance covered. Superfast broadband speeds vary extensively between providers, covering everything from 30 Mbps to 300 Mbps.

Ultrafast broadband

The next step up in broadband technology is dubbed ultrafast broadband. Broadband is delivered using fibre-optic cables running the entire route between your property and the nearest exchange. Providers offer average speeds between 300Mpbs and 500 Mbps. However, you may notice some services using the term ‘ultrafast’ for faster speeds too.

Hyperfast broadband

Broadly speaking, hyperfast broadband is used to describe speeds of 500 Mbps or higher. At Digital Home we offer fast, full-fibre, broadband with the capacity to reach speeds of up to 900 Mbps. Our hyperfast offering is powered by CityFibre’s fast-growing fibre network and allows households to connect, work, and play online without interruption. Find out where we have service today.

What is my broadband speed?

If you currently have broadband you may want to know the broadband speed you are currently receiving. This will allow you to make an informed decision as to whether you want to change provider. Below, we shine a light on how you can find out what upload and download speeds you are receiving.

How to test your broadband speed

For free, you can use websites like fast.com that will give you an accurate visual of your current speeds of both upload and download. Others are available but we find that this particular site is easy to use and gives you the results clearly.

What happens during a broadband speed test?

When completing a speed test, you will find that it is split into two parts:

  • Download speed
  • Upload speed

The download part of the test will measure the speed between the servers of the tester site and the device running the test. Download speed comes into play when you’re loading a website, streaming media, or downloading files.

The upload part will measure the speeds from the device you are using to the servers of the testing site. Upload speed affects video chats, live streaming video, and downloading large files. Most times, you will see that the download speed is about 4 times more than the upload.

Why should you check your broadband speed?

You may want to check your speeds to see if you are getting value for money, or what you pay for, or to understand your current situation when looking for a new provider. Other reasons for checking include:

  • To see how your speeds vary at different times of day
  • To compare speeds to other people in your area

What affects my broadband speed?

Your broadband can be affected by a variety of things and some you just will not be able to avoid. Others you may be able to change-Our handy guide to improving your Wi-Fi coverage will give you some great tips to get more from your Wi-Fi bubble.

How can I improve my broadband speed?

If after your test and reviewing some of the Wi-Fi issues above, you are still seeing that you have got slower speeds than you had hoped for, there are really only two options available to you:

You could consider connecting your devices using an ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi. Wired connections are the best kind and the most consistent, but we know that isn’t always possible with the variety of tech now in use throughout the home.

Finally, maybe it’s time to consider switching to a new provider that gives better coverage in your area if your broadband isn’t sufficient.

What is a good broadband download speed?

We all like to download or stream. In an age where everything is wanted instantly download speeds are important. Whilst average UK broadband is relatively quick, it isn’t without its delays. Using other devices may extend these times even further. On some video game downloads, it has been known to take hours even with today’s technology.

For comparison, we have the average times for some of the most common downloads and how a good speed can turn into an excellent speed.

ActivityFile size (approx.)Digital HomeUK average broadband
Downloading HD TV show450MB8 secs56 secs
Downloading an HD film4GB72 secs500 seconds
Downloading a video game50GB888 seconds6240 seconds

What broadband speed do I need for Netflix?

As you can see above, a download is quick but what about streaming? Netflix is one of our most popular ways to enjoy a film or TV show but with the wrong speeds, you may find yourself experiencing buffering. A typical UK home will have 5 or more devices using the broadband. This could mean that you will need to look for a broadband supply that can handle constant demand. If you are a household full of tech heads then at the least, you should be looking for at least 500mbps. Unfortunately, not always possible with many providers.

As a guide though, Netflix recommend the following as a minimum.

  • 0.5 Megabits per second as a required speed
  • 1.5 megabits per second as a recommended speed
  • 3.0 megabits per second recommended for SD quality
  • 5.0 megabits per second recommended for HD quality
  • 25 megabits per second recommended for 4K/Ultra HD

What broadband speed do I need for Spotify?

Spotify has become the go-to destination for your music needs and over the years it has evolved to become a key resource for education as well as entertainment. To use it, you obviously need an internet connection but what speed will get you enjoying the sounds you like without any stuttering?

Well luckily music doesn’t require a great deal to keep the tunes coming but it is always good to give yourself a buffer. The minimum requirements to use Spotify are 0.32mbps-0.64mbps. However, it is suggested to always make sure you can attain double the required amount for you stream to ensure the best quality.

What broadband speed do I need for Zoom?

Zoom calls and other video chat services have risen to prominence since the pandemic. This no doubt led many people to realise their broadband just wasn’t up to speed. Video calls can require decent speeds and depending on how many people are on the call, the minimum requirements can change quite a lot. As a guide, a video call with 7 or more people will require 8mbps download and a 512kbps upload. At Digital Home, we are aim is to get everyone connected with the most reliable hyperfast broadband available. With speeds of up to 900mbps, we can keep the family connected whether you are gaming, shopping, streaming, or downloading. Check whether our rapid broadband has reached your area yet. For further information speak to our expert team today.