What broadband speed I can get at my address?
To find out what broadband speed you can get where you live, type in your postcode above, and select your address.
Depending on where you live in the UK, you might be able to get:
- ADSL broadband, with download speeds of about 10 Mbps.
- Superfast fibre broadband, with a download speed of 24-300 Mbps.
- Ultrafast fibre broadband, with a download speed of 300-900 Mbps
- Cable broadband with Virgin Media, which offers a download speed of up to 1130 Mbps.
- 4G broadband, with an average download speed of about 30 Mbps.
- 5G broadband, with an average download speed of about 300-500 Mbps.
Can I get ultrafast broadband where I live?
Approximately 77% of UK addresses can access ultrafast broadband at the moment, with average download speeds of at least 300 Mbps. Therefore, chances are, you should be able to access ultrafast broadband at your address.
To tell for certain whether you can get ultrafast broadband or not, use the postcode checker at the top of this page.
What determines the broadband speed I can get?
The main thing that determines the internet speed you can get is the broadband infrastructure at your address.
If you live somewhere with only old copper cabling, you will likely only be able to get ADSL broadband speeds. On the other hand, if you live somewhere with fibre broadband, the speeds you’ll get will depend on how the fibre is installed.
If you have fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), you’ll likely only be able to get superfast broadband speeds. On the other hand, if there is fibre to the premises (FTTP) available where you live, you’ll be able to get ultrafast download speeds.
The main fibre broadband network in the UK is Openreach, which is owned and operated by BT. Most other providers, such as Sky, Plusnet, and TalkTalk, all use the Openreach network.
On the other hand, Virgin Media has its own cable broadband network, which is completely separate to Openreach. If Virgin Media is available at your address, you’ll be able to get download speeds of up to 1130 Mbps with their fastest broadband plan.
Separate to all of this, if you have good 4G or 5G signal at your address, you might be able to use mobile broadband to get online, giving you an average download speed of 30-500 Mbps, depending on the technologies available where you live.
What is a good download and upload speed?
As a general rule, a good download speed for most households is about 100 Mbps, while a good upload speed is about 8-10 Mbps.
However, the exact download and upload speed you need depends on how many people live at home, and how you use the internet.
A 100 Mbps download speed is good for a family, but it might not be enough if you have multiple people working from home full time, and you often need to download large files.
To find out what is a good broadband speed for your specific household, you can use our online tool that calculates how much bandwidth you need.
Can I get faster internet speeds with 5G broadband?
If you can only get superfast broadband speeds of 300 Mbps or less at your address, and you have good 5G signal in your area, chances are, you can get faster broadband speeds using 5G technology.
In testing, we were able to get a download speed of 700 Mbps with 3 5G home broadband, which is much faster than we can get with fibre broadband at our address.
The 5G Hub is also very reasonably priced compared to ultrafast fibre broadband, and is also very easy to set up. EE also sells its own 5G broadband deal, in case you can’t get Three 5G at your address.
The downside to using mobile broadband instead of fixed broadband is your latency will be higher. When playing online games, you might experience a bit more lag, but it’s not noticeable most of the time.
Which broadband provider should I choose?
Depending on where you live, you’ll likely have a range of different broadband providers to choose from.
- Openreach providers such as BT, Plusnet, and TalkTalk are available nearly everywhere.
- Virgin Media is available in just over 50% of the UK.
- Altnets such as Hyperoptic, Community Fibre, and Gigaclear are available in certain parts of the UK, especially major cities.
- Mobile broadband providers such as Three are available in most of the UK.
Once you’ve chosen whether you’re going to buy fibre or mobile broadband, you will need to choose a broadband provider.
One of the most important things to prioritise is the provider’s download and upload speeds. It might be that Virgin Media for example offers the fastest broadband at your address for example, which might make you inclined to choose this provider.
However, there are lots of other things to consider when comparing different broadband providers, such as:
- Their upfront costs, if any.
- Their monthly costs.
- Their customer service. Consider whether the company has UK-based support, for example.
- The Wi-Fi router included – does it have enough Ethernet ports, and does it support the latest Wi-Fi standards?
- Any free gifts or benefits included.
- Any discounts on offer for bundled services. For example, you can get a cheaper price on Vodafone broadband as an existing pay monthly mobile customer.
To learn more about the best broadband deals on the market at the moment, and the differences between each provider, read our broadband deals guide.
Will I always get the broadband speeds I pay for?
Once you join a broadband provider, you might find that your speeds are not always exactly as advertised.
It’s common for your internet speeds to slow down in the evening for example, when the network gets congested. When lots of other people in your neighbourhood get online, you might find that your broadband speeds slow down.
Fortunately, most good broadband providers will offer a minimum speed guarantee. If your speed drops below this minimum, you’ll be able to complain to your provider, and you might be able to leave the contract if they cannot fix the issue.
What latency will I get?
While having fast download and upload speeds is very important, it’s also important to consider your latency.
Latency, also known as ping, is a measure of how fast small packets of data (rather than large files) can be sent or received. It measures the responsiveness of your connection.
A good latency is about 30 milliseconds, and having a lower latency is better. With ultrafast fibre broadband, you can expect to receive a latency of about 10-15 ms over a wired Ethernet connection, or 15-25 ms over Wi-Fi.
Having low latency is especially important when playing online video games. If your latency is high, or you have ping spikes, you will experience lag in-game, which will make things unplayable.
Alternative ways to get fast broadband
If you can’t get superfast broadband where you live, there are two alternative ways that you might be able to get good download speeds.
- 4G or 5G broadband. Mobile broadband can allow you to get download speeds of at least 30 Mbps, and possibly up to 500 Mbps if you have good 5G signal at your address.
- Satellite broadband. Using satellite broadband technology, you can often get download speeds of at least 30-50 Mbps. The downside to this technology is it’s quite expensive, and your latency will be quite high – normally at least 100-200 ms.
About the author
Tyler is the co-founder of Broadband Savvy. He has been helping people improve their broadband connectivity since 2018 by writing about fibre broadband and mobile broadband providers, as well as creating tutorials to help people improve their broadband speeds and Wi-Fi signal.
Tyler is responsible for the majority of buyer’s guides and broadband reviews published on Broadband Savvy. He has a wealth of experience testing and reviewing different broadband tariffs, including fibre internet plans, as well as 4G and 5G broadband deals. He is responsible for testing and evaluating Wi-Fi routers, performing speed and latency tests, and comparing the value for money of different broadband providers on the market in the UK.
Before co-founding Broadband Savvy, Tyler had a long history of tinkering with computers. He built his first PC at the age of 12, and since then, he’s become obsessed with all things networking and internet-related. He’s a massive gamer, loves Rocket League, and also plays Sunday League football.