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What broadband speed is suitable for me?

Finding the best broadband deal will usually come down to finding a broadband provider that is capable of providing the broadband speeds required.

Speed is the common focus for many broadband providers, with different speeds available with different types of broadband packages.

Super-fast broadband is more likely to suit frequent internet users for example, especially compared to users that just want to check emails and to browse through social media.

You can check your broadband speed easily using our free speed test.

Typical broadband package speeds

ADSL broadband packages usually offer speeds of up to 10Mbps when using copper-based wires from the local exchange to carry the signal. For customers closer to the exchange and with more recent generation of ADSL, this speed could be increased up to 24Mbps.

The marker point for super-fast broadband is set in the region of above 50Mbps, and these connections offer some of the best for those who download and stream large volumes of content on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, from 100Mbps all the way up to 1000Mbps lightning speed services are steadily increasing in availability and these new services create the best broadband connections.

A number of other factors can also influence broadband speeds including the distance from the exchange, traffic management methods, household congestion (in cases where many people are accessing the net at once) and even the time of the day.

Compare the latest super-fast broadband on our dedicated super-fast broadband deals page.

What speed do I need?

The broadband speed required will depend massively on the usage of any particular household, with costs increasing and decreasing accordingly.

Some services will also be counted towards a broadband usage limit, so it’s important to factor in Pay TV usage or other services which could eat into the available limits.

Simply put, light broadband users will need relatively low speeds as their everyday usage – from using email and social media to online shopping and watching the odd YouTube video – does not require high speeds.

For those streaming catch-up TV or playing online games, as well as those in larger properties, the next scale up of speeds will be just right. Super-fast broadband may be an option but cheaper alternatives are available for customers who are not particularly bothered about download times and speeds.

In households where downloads and file sharing are commonplace and where multiple devices are connected at once, then fibre optic broadband services could be an option.

This meets the needs of the entire household, and would be deemed useful for heavy broadband usage. Student houses will often fall into this category, due to the sheer number of users likely to require the service at the same time.

What broadband speed can I get?

The speeds providers can actually offer depend on your location and the quality of lines servicing your house.

A number of providers across Ireland, including eir now offer lightning speeds of up to 1000Mbps.

Vodafone uses the same lines as eir, so can also offer speeds of up to 1000Mbps, as can Pure Telecom.

Meanwhile, superfast broadband from Virgin Media is available at speeds of up to 360Mbps.

Sky can offer speeds of up to 100Mbps, while Imagine offers a service up to 70Mbps.

In addition, Magnet and Digiweb both offer a range of speeds between up to 24Mbps and up to 100Mbps.

These speeds are all ‘up to’ speeds and the actual speeds received, in most cases, are unlikely to be as high as those advertised.

What speeds can I get with satellite broadband?

Speeds with satellite broadband are considerably slower than you would get with other types of broadband - Digiweb and Europasat offer packages with speeds up to 20Mbps.

Broadband speeds by supplier

Below is a table showing the maximum speeds available, by provider. Remember that not all packages will be available in each area, so make sure you check which ones you can get using our broadband deal checker.

Broadband provider Maximum ‘up to’ speed  
Digweb 100Mbps  
eir 1000Mbps  
Europasat 22Mbps  
Magnet 100Mbps  
Pure Telecom 1000Mbps  
Sky 100Mbps  
Virgin Media 360Mbps  
Vodafone 1000Mbps  

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