Fast broadband means uninterrupted, smoother video streaming, speedy downloads and a better online gaming experience. But whether you can get a really fast service depends on where you live. Here we’ll look at what you can get in your area and how to get it.
What's the fastest broadband in my area?
You can find the fastest broadband providers available at your address by entering your full postcode in the postcode checker below.
Done that? Good news. You’ll then need to ‘sort by speed’ to see the fastest packages available at your address.
Which broadband provider is fastest?
The UK's fastest widely available broadband service is from Virgin Media.
Its top-of-the-range fibre broadband package gets you an average download speed of 516Mbps.
For instance, the average speed for BT’s fastest widely available Superfast Fibre 2 service is 67Mbps.
And the average speed for Sky’s comparably priced Superfast service is 59Mbps.
What's the fastest non-fibre broadband service?
The fastest standard broadband packages get you average speeds of around 10Mbps and are available from an extensive range of providers, such as BT, Plusnet and TalkTalk.
Will I get the advertised broadband speed?
You've got a good chance of getting the speed advertised. But it's not guaranteed.
Regulations stipulate that advertised broadband speeds must be available to at least 50% of people at peak time.
The variance between advertised speed and actual speeds is because the real-world speed you get depends on your precise location and property type, as well as your distance from the local phone cabinet and exchange.
Keen to find out more? Read our one-stop guide to broadband speeds.
What broadband speed do I need?
As a rule of thumb, the more people live in your home, the faster the broadband service you’ll require.
But you also need to take into account how you use the internet.
Here's a guide to the sort of speeds we think you'll need, as determined by the number of occupants in your home.
- 3Mpbs-10Mbps - Suitable for homes with 1 or 2 occupants, or a couple with very young children who aren't yet internet users.
- 11Mbps-35Mbps - Apt for student homes or for family homes with between 3-4 occupants, all of whom have smartphones, tablets and separate TVs to watch streaming services
- 35Mbps or above - Faster speeds suit homes with 5 or more occupants, all of whom are internet users and own consoles or stream TV regularly.
Need a bit more help choosing a package? Use our speed checker to find out your current speed and see deals that are available in your area.
What’s the difference between standard and fibre broadband?
Fibre broadband, also known as fibre optic broadband or cable broadband, is much faster than standard broadband.
Fibre broadband is so much quicker because its journey into your home is entirely, or partly, via fibre optic cables that are capable of transmitting data much more efficiently than the ageing copper wire telephone network that’s used to deliver standard broadband.
The catch is that fibre broadband is generally a bit more expensive and less widely available.
If you live in a city or large town, you’ve got a very good chance of being able to get fibre.
But if you’re in a more remote location, your options may be limited to standard broadband.
Sold on fibre broadband? Take a look at our best fibre broadband deals.
Don't need fibre? Find our handpicked selection of standard broadband packages.