What is fast broadband?
Fast broadband would generally be considered to be a reliable broadband connection with speeds at or above 30Mbps. This is also the minimum target speed as set out by the National Broadband Plan.
Who provides superfast broadband?
There are many broadband providers in Ireland who provider ‘superfast’ broadband plans. Of course, the speed you actually get will depend on where you live and the type of connection available in your area.
Meanwhile, Virgin Media offers standalone broadband plans and broadband bundles in certain areas of the country, with speeds of up to 360Mbps available.
Who is the fastest broadband provider?
In 2018, Virgin Media was voted Fastest Home Broadband Provider at the Switcher.ie Awards. This means that, on average, Virgin Media achieved the highest speeds across thousands of real-life customer speed tests taken on Switcher.ie. The provider offers broadband with speeds up to 360Mbps, and has also been named Ireland’s fastest broadband provider by Ookla. Virgin Media plans are not available all over the country, so make sure you check this out before deciding on a plan.
Why choose superfast broadband? Do I need it?
It’s hard to get by without a reliable broadband connection and decent speeds these days. Choosing superfast broadband would be a good option if:
- You have a large household with many devices connected to the internet at the same time;
- You like to stream content or use catch-up services frequently;
- You work from home and need access to the internet for your job;
- You want to spend less time waiting for files to upload or download; and
- You play online games or use online calling services, like Skype.
How fast is fibre broadband?
There are a couple of different types of fibre connections. The majority of fibre connections are known as Fibre-to-the Cabinet, because the fibre connection goes to the nearest exchange, and the connection to your house from the cabinet is normally through copper cables. Speeds with this type of connection are generally up to 100Mbps, while Virgin Media offers speeds of up to 360Mbps. The actual speed you get will depend on how far your house is from the cabinet.
Meanwhile, the likes of SIRO, eir and enet are now rolling out more and more ‘lightning speed’ connections. These are known as Fibre-to-the-Home connections, and this means the fibre connection goes all the way to your home, rather than stopping at the cabinet. Speeds with this type of connection can reach up to 1,000Mbps.
What is the fastest broadband in my area?
The broadband speed available in your area will depend on what types of connections are available and what providers are operating. Take a look at our broadband in Ireland comparison tool to see what’s available where you live.
How can I get faster broadband?
It can be really frustrating if you’ve signed up for a particular speed and aren’t achieving that speed at home - remember providers advertise ‘up to’ speeds, so there’s no guarantee of the speeds you’ll actually get.
The first thing to do is carry out a few broadband speed tests at various times throughout the day to get an idea of your average speed. If you’re not getting the speeds you expect, remember you’ll get slower speeds using WiFi than you would if you were connected directly to the router. If it’s feasible, try connecting your device directly to the router - you should notice a big improvement in speeds.
If you need to use WiFi, there are a number of things you can do to improve your speeds, as follows:
- make sure the router is not encased in a cabinet or surrounded by things that may block the signal;
- ensure the modem is not near devices that could interfere with it - like microwaves, baby monitors or cordless phones;
- move the router into the room where you use the internet most; and/or
- use a WiFi extender.
If you live in an apartment building or an area with lots of wireless modems and lots of devices you may experience some wireless interference. Simply rebooting your modem - by unplugging it, leaving it for 30 seconds and plugging it back in - will automatically select the most appropriate channel for you.
Also, if you have a large number of devices connected to the WiFi, it may be that one of these is causing an issue. You could try disconnecting all of your devices one by one to see if there’s a particular one that’s causing you a problem.
If you try the tips above and your speeds don’t improve, you should contact your provider to see if they can offer a solution. They may have some other advice for you, or could offer you a newer modem which may help to improve things.
If they can’t help, you may want to look around and see if you can find a broadband deal with better speeds or a different type of connection.
How do I compare high-speed broadband deals?
Comparing high-speed broadband packages - including broadband and phone, TV and broadband packages and broadband, TV and phone deals - is really easy. When you’re considering which deal to go for, make sure you think about price, contract length, broadband speed and any installation costs.
Alternatives to superfast broadband
In certain areas, particularly in rural areas, fibre & superfast broadband deals are not available. This is usually because the broadband providers can’t supply broadband services because of the distance between your house and the nearest cabinet or exchange.