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Broadband Speeds – How to compare

By Alexander Waverly

You have a lot of choice out there when it comes to broadband deals, and your challenge is in knowing which one you should use. That’s easier said than done, but with just a little knowledge, you can pick the right broadband package and speed for you.

There are websites online that allow you to compare broadband speeds from all the main providers in the UK; first, though, let’s talk about a few points so that you’ll be able to make the best choice for you. Consider the following:

How much do you use broadband?

What are you going to use your broadband for, and how much are you going to use it? For example, if you’re on the Internet a lot, you should choose a plan that has no download limits and has a faster connection. By contrast, if you are only online rarely and you don’t do a lot of downloading, slower but less expensive broadband deals will save you money and still meet your needs.

Should you choose cable, or ADSL?

Where you live is going to determine how fast your broadband connection is going to be, and whether you should choose ADSL or cable. If you live in an area where cable is already available, this will generally the best choice, as broadband speeds are much more reliable with cable versus ADSL.

On the other hand, if you live in an area that does not have cable, ADSL will at least get you Internet access. ADSL uses existing phone lines and download speeds are not accurately portrayed; you’re guaranteed only that you’ll get speeds ‘up to’ a maximum level. In other words, if at all possible, choose cable-based broadband deals.

So you have to use ADSL

Several ADSL providers are slowly waking up to the realisation that their technology is sorely lacking. Therefore, instead of using BT equipment, they’re using their own, which means that broadband speeds utilising now ADSL2+ technology can easily triple the speeds versus traditional ADSL technology, from about 8 MB to about 24 MB.

If you’re still using your phone line to receive broadband

If you’re still using your phone line to receive broadband, your distance from the exchange and the condition of the line may affect how fast the broadband is. The further away you are and/or the worse the material condition of your line, the worse your speed will be.

If you do live quite far out, do consider switching from ADSL to ADSL2+ broadband deals, which should still significantly improve the speed of your broadband despite other possible shortcomings.

One of the difficulties with providers’ ability to fairly provide broadband speed to their users is that traffic jams can often result at busy times. To get around this, broadband providers organize ‘traffic’ flow so that ‘traffic jams’ are less likely.

Unfortunately, that means people who’ve already used up their bandwidth allocation or have in some way disrespected their providers’ fair use policies will usually have speeds cut so that other users may have their turns. Because of this, make sure you look at broadband providers’ fair use policies before you decide to sign up with particular providers; broadband deals are truly only ‘deals’ if they provide you what you need, which is adequate broadband speed and unfettered access.

This article was written on behalf of Broadband Choices.

Article kindly provided by

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Waverly, Alexander "Broadband Speeds – How to compare." Broadband Speeds – How to compare. 5 Jan. 2011. 17 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Waverly, A (2011, January 5). Broadband Speeds – How to compare. Retrieved July 17, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Waverly, Alexander "Broadband Speeds – How to compare"

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