What is fast broadband?
Fast or high speed broadband is normally a broadband connection that exceeds download speeds of or above 30Mbps. The majority of broadband connections in Ireland range from 24Mbps to 100Mbps, with Virgin Media offering speeds from up to 250Mbps and up to 1000Mbps.
High-speed broadband is being rolled out all the time, and some Irish providers are achieving speeds of up to 1000Mbps with ‘Fibre-to-the-Home’ connections from the likes of SIRO.
Who is the Ireland’s fastest broadband provider?
‘Fibre-to-the-Home’ broadband is supplied through a fibre optic cable straight into your home - meaning no sharing - so whether you’re working, gaming or streaming you won’t lose your internet connection or have slow internet.
However, this broadband is only available in certain areas. Other major providers such as Magnet - and more - offer fibre with speeds up to 100Mbps.
Who provides superfast broadband?
Superfast broadband is an informal term to describe broadband speeds of 30Mbps with most Irish providers now offering ‘superfast’ plans.
The speed you actually get will depend on where you live and the type of connection available in your area.
Why choose superfast broadband? Do I need it?
- You have a large household with many devices connected at the same time;
- You stream content or use catch-up services;
- You work from home and need access to the internet;
- You want to spend less time waiting for files to upload or download; and
- You play online games.
How can I check my broadband speed?
A broadband speed test can tell you exactly what your upload and download speeds are - and it’s quick and easy to do with the Switcher.ie Broadband Speed Test.
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 getting it - 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.
How to speed up your wifi
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.
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.
If you’re not in a fibre-enabled area, you may still be able to get a fast broadband connection via ADSL broadband connections or satellite broadband.