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What Home Broadband Speed Do I Need?

May 23, 2024
What Home Broadband Speed Do I Need?

We all know we want decent broadband - it's pretty essential for everything from TV streaming to working from home and using our mobiles!

However, understanding the different broadband speeds, what they mean, and how much you should expect to pay isn't always quite so obvious.

If you don't know your download speed from your fibre, not to worry (you're far from alone!) - we've summarised here what it's all about and how your broadband requirements impact your choice of provider.

Home Broadband - What's the Need for Speed?

Let's begin by running through a comparison of the download speeds available from some of the best home broadband providers on the market - as rated by our independent team of Best10 broadband reviewers!

Speed is measured in megabits per second, so if you see a figure followed by Mb or Mbps, that's what it means.

In order of fastest to slowest:

Broadband Provider

Download Speed

Upload Speed


59 Mb

16 Mb

Virgin Media

54 Mb

5 Mb


38-46 Mb

10-52.9 Mb


11 Mb

1 Mb


11 Mb

1 Mb

Shell Energy

11 Mb

1 Mb


10 Mb

1 Mb


10 Mb

1 Mb


8-16 Mb

1 Mb

MB is important because if your broadband is painfully slow, you'll struggle to get anything done.

Likewise, superfast fibre broadband isn't worth paying the extra for if you aren't going to use it!

Reasons to Opt For a Faster Home Broadband Service

Lower-cost broadband is more than sufficient for many people and will ensure you balance your budget against your connectivity needs.

Standard broadband speeds are fine for uploading images, checking emails and online shopping - and can be suitable for TV streaming provided you use one device at a time.

If any of the following apply, you'll probably be better off with something a bit speedier:

  • Multiple people use the same broadband connection for different purposes at the same time.
  • Regular movie downloads or downloads of large files such as graphics and video.
  • Using TV on-demand streaming on two devices simultaneously.
  • Uploading videos and other big files to the internet.
  • Playing live videogames or video games online, especially those with multiplayer functions.
  • Contacting people through video-calling services.

Broadband speeds also depend on the area you live in - not everywhere has superfast broadband or fibre, so sometimes you might be limited depending on the average broadband speeds available nearby.

Fibre is ultimately a better option since it's more reliable and faster, but not a prerequisite to decent connections if you don't have a heavy usage household.

Broadband Priorities Other Than Download and Upload Speeds

We're talking here primarily about broadband speeds, but bear in mind that the Mb available isn’t the be-all and end-all!

You can also select your home broadband package based on:

  • The cost, contract flexibility and any setup costs.
  • Reliability, customer service and how easy your provider is to deal with.
  • Bundle deals often combine broadband with phone and TV services.

The quickest way to find the best broadband offers out there is to start with Best10 - we review and rate all of the top providers, saving you the leg work - and maybe a few pounds a month too!

Visit our latest rating to find which broadband service currently tips it to the top of the rankings.

What Home Broadband Speed Do I Need?

Lauren Edwards-Fowle

Lauren is a freelance writer passionate about how we develop rewarding experiences, and overcoming the barriers we face to living our best lives. Lauren writes regularly about the modern world of dating, relationships, parenthood, and social dynamics.