Dual carriageway in city at night with lights from cars

Broadband speeds in Ireland

The speed of a broadband connection is a very important factor to consider when selecting a broadband package. Today’s Internet user wants access to rich media websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. while the move towards watching movies and TV online means that speed of connection is vital for a quality, hassle-free broadband service.

Average broadband speeds

Broadband suppliers in Ireland provide a range of packages which may be priced according to their connection speed.

Broadband providers in Ireland do offer connection speeds of 24Mbps to 360Mbps with some even claiming speeds of 1000Mb via lightning connections.

A fast connection speed will mean ease of surfing with quick downloads all adding up to a more enjoyable online experience.

Watching videos, playing games, downloading music, viewing on demand movies or catching up on TV shows you may have missed via digital TV players will all be impacted by the broadband connection speed that you are on.

Check your broadband speed

What is a good upload speed?

The upload speed you need will depend on what you use the internet for. The vast majority of us probably only upload things like pictures, or attachments on emails. For this kind of activity, an upload speed of 3Mbps is probably sufficient, but the quicker your upload speed, the faster you’ll be able to complete these tasks.

What is a good download speed?

The download speed you need will really depend on what you use the internet for - for example if you only use the internet to check your email, a speed of around 5Mbps is probably sufficient, but most of us are using the internet for a lot more than this these days. Netflix says it takes 5Mbps to stream its HD content, while the 4k ultra-HD steam requires 25 Mbps. Generally, the faster your broadband speed, the better, as you’ll be able to carry out all of your online tasks much quicker if you have fast, reliable broadband.

I use WiFi - how can I improve my broadband speed?

You will 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.

My wired connection is slow - how can I improve my broadband speed?

First things first, contact your provider. They may be able to give you a newer modem, or give you some other guidance on improving your wired connection speeds.

If your provider 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. If you’re shopping around, remember that providers advertise ‘up to’ speeds and these are not a guarantee of the speed you will get.

The speeds that are achievable vary hugely depending on the type of connection you have - for example ADSL broadband will be slower than Fibre-to-the-Home - so moving to a provider that offers a different type of connection, if possible, might be the best bet.

Switcher.ie’s free broadband deal checker shows you all of the deals available in your area, along with information on the type of connection, and maximum speeds for each provider.