Broadband comes in a range of shapes and sizes and have many, many providers all across the UK. If you live in a city, you can pretty much pick from one of the multitude of providers available, however if you live in a less well serviced area, your choice can be severely limited

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What is super-fast broadband

Superfast broadband is defined as a connection which offers speeds of more than 24MB. In almost all cases this is achieved with a fibre optic cable, although you can also get these superfast speeds through various mobile broadband offerings. In comparison, the standard type of broadband which has traditionally been delivered through your standard telephone wire has average speeds of 10-12 MB.

When we say fibre optic, we really mean fibre optic – the same cables used in lamps and light shows. The light that travels along the cable flashes in a way that computers interpret as information, and because light travels extremely fast, you get quick internet in return.

Do I need superfast broadband?

It’s always nice to have the quickest internet, but not everyone needs it. If you’re only occasionally browsing the internet or booking the odd holiday, then you could consider cheaper internet. On the other hand, if you’re household has to support a bunch of internet-capable devices then you might benefit from superfast broadband.

If you use the internet in the following ways then you should consider superfast broadband:

  • Streaming

If you use iPlayer to catch up on the latest episode of Doctor Who, or you consume box sets on Netflix, then you will benefit from the quicker loading times and increased quality. To stream Netflix and Amazon Prime in 4K HD requires a minimum download speed of 25Mbps.

  • Gaming

If you are a big gamer, or you have a big gamer in your house, then the games will have less lag and faster uploads if you have superfast broadband. When it comes to gaming you need to consider upload and download speeds. To play games comfortably you’ll need a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps and a minimum download speed of 3Mbps.

  • Video Calling

If you’re catching up with friends and family across the world or trying to catch a meeting with a work colleague in another country, a superfast connection will see smoother video, fewer dropped calls and a much clearer sound. Calling in HD on Skype for example requires a download speed of 1.5Mbps.

  • Larger households & big downloaders

If you have a large household which will see heavy use of the internet and loads of downloading, you can stop any arguments with the higher speeds on offer.

Download vs Upload Speeds

When it comes to broadband providers will most often talk about their download speeds, but download speed isn’t the only thing to consider, there’s also upload speed. But what is the difference? Download speed refers to how fast you can pull data (i.e. videos, images, text, webpages etc.) from the server to you, and upload speed is the opposite of this, how fast data can be transferred from your computer to the server. The reason why Download speeds is spoken about the most is because downloading data from the internet is much more common than uploading.

Who has the best offers

About a decade ago, the only provider who offered fibre optic broadband was Virgin Media, but luckily for the customer, other competitors have entered the market and offer very compelling deals and competitive prices.

These guys are the real veterans of the market and they still offer some of the fastest speeds in the business. With speeds of up to 360Mbps, they offer great deals which could save you time as well as money.

With speeds of up to 75-80Mbps, Now TV offers a great deal on its super fibre packages.

This provider has been going for several years and offers speeds of up to 63Mbps. They are also one of the only providers who guarantee non mid-contract price rises, making them very popular.

EE has a range of high-speed broadband offerings from as little as £45 per month. They have a reliable service that is well known for its speedy broadband. EE’s “fastest ever” broadband offers download speeds that average at 300Mbps.

One of the biggest competitors in the market, Sky offers reliable service and high-speed internet options. They are competitively priced with a variety of unlimited and limited packages. They have speeds of up to 57Mbps.

We compare UK suppliers including

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