13 October 2016
Broadband internet has evolved from a useful accessory to a vital component of modern living and working. Fortunately Ireland has a bustling market of broadband providers, ensuring that you’ll be able to find a service which suits and complements your individual internet needs.
Broadband providers in Ireland
Virgin Media Ireland
With an ever expanding customer base, Virgin Media is already one of Ireland’s largest provider of digital cable television. The size and success of the company naturally provides it with a great foundation to offer broadband in Ireland.
It’s a great choice for customers looking for super-fast broadband speeds, as its fibre-optic broadband packages can provide top-speeds of up to 360Mb. This speed is now standard across all Virgin Media packages.
Sky has an extremely strong broadband presence in Ireland, with good availability throughout the country and internet bundles which can include digital TV subscriptions. Sky Fibre offers superfast download speeds of up to 100Mb, as well as totally unlimited broadband with no usage caps - perfect for heavy users.
Sky’s advertised broadband speeds are up to 100Mb but broadband speeds will vary depending on your area.
Offering free connection as standard and download speeds of up to 1000Mb, eir has made a name for itself by combining its broadband deals with a diverse selection of call packages, such as unlimited off-peak calls to landlines. As one of the largest providers of broadband services in Ireland, the business is a household name across the country, further bolstered by the recent release of eir’s eir Vision digital TV service. Its internet packages offer free access to its ‘hub’ products (such as eir StudyHub, eir WifiHub and eir Security).
Vodafone already has a strong market presence through its provision of a mobile phone service, ensuring that many potential customers will already be accustomed to dealing with the company. For broadband services in Ireland, packages come with an unlimited download allowance as standard, with speeds of up to 100MB. Vodafone’s broadband and home phone packages offer unlimited anytime landline to Irish landline calls, among other features.
Launched in 2004, Magnet distinguishes itself by offering broadband deals and packages without a contract, enabling customers to cancel at any point or renegotiate their needs. It currently offers a ‘Fatpipe Fibre 24’ (available for the majority of homes in Ireland) and a ‘Fatpipe Fibre 100’ service (available for around 320,000 homes), offering broadband speeds of 24MB and 100MB respectively. Many of Magnet’s packages come with no downloading limitations, which is useful when you want broadband in Ireland which won’t restrict your data access.
Launched in 2002, Pure Telecom is an Irish owned company that has been offering fixed line and broadband services to customers since 2002. It currently offers a ‘Purely Broadband’ which is a broadband only service offering broadband speeds of up to 100Mb without the need for a landline. This package also comes with an unlimited broadband usage allowance.
Types of broadband connections in Ireland
There are four main types of broadband services available in Ireland:
Typically, ADSL at least 10 times faster than dial-up internet, and uses your existing phone line for connectivity. However, unlike dial-up, with ADSL you can continue to make phone calls with your landline while staying connected to the internet.
A feature of this type of connection is that its download speeds are usually much faster than its upload speeds – top download speeds for this broadband in Ireland can range between 2MB, and 24Mb while top upload speeds are usually around 1MB - 6MB.
Compare the latest ADSL broadband deals.
Fibre optic broadband
Fibre optic broadband, also known as cable broadband, is much faster than ADSL, but usually more expensive, with top speeds of up to 360Mb in select areas. This makes it one of the fastest types of broadband connections in Ireland.
However, it’s important to note that while fibre optic broadband doesn’t cover all areas, its field of reach is always increasing. Its speed is increasing too, with many predicting that it won’t be long before you’ll be able to get even faster speeds with this type of connection.
Compare the latest fibre optic broadband deals.
Mobile broadband is a huge and dynamic market, with a great number of options available depending on your device and needs. 3G and its faster, next-generation equivalent 4G, can usually be accessed by internet-enabled mobile phones by default.
By using a specific USB stick (often called a dongle), laptop users can also use these networks to connect to the internet. The amount of data you’re permitted to download will depend on the specific price plan you negotiate with the provider.
Compare the latest mobile broadband deals.
Satellite broadband is generally only used by customers who live in rural areas which don’t have access to ADSL or fibre optic broadband. It’s more expensive to set up than these other services, and connectivity can be affected by adverse weather.
It’s still a good alternative to dial-up, as satellite broadband can provide download speeds up to 20MB, making it a useful service for many people who otherwise wouldn’t have broadband in Ireland.
Compare the latest satellite broadband deals.