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.

Typical broadband package speeds

ADSL broadband packages usually offer speeds of up to 8Mbps 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 broadbandis 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 super-fast broadband 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 speeds broadband providers are offering?

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

eir is Ireland’s fastest broadband provider and offers a wide variation of different packages, with speeds ranging between up to 24Mb and up to 1000Mb.

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

Sky can offer speeds of up to 100Mb, while Imagine offers a service up to 10Mb, and Digiweb offers a range of speeds between up to 4Mb and up to 100Mb.

Vodafone uses the same lines as eir, so can also offer speeds of up to 100Mb while Magnet offer two packages, one offering up to 24Mb broadband and another offering super-fast 100Mb broadband.

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