Fast and accurate broadband speed test
Check your broadband connection with our internet speed checker. Click 'Start Test' to run a broadband speed test and see if you are receiving the speeds advertised by your Internet Service Provider.
Check your speed with our independent, proprietary algorithm to ensure accurate results.
By using the latest technologies, our test engine has been tuned for performance.
No app needed. Our broadband speed checker is ready to go on any device.
Running the speed test
Our free to use speed test gives an accurate calculation of the speed of your internet connection at the time the test was taken. The test uses the most modern methodology rigorously tested over a number of years of development and has been shown to be accurate from low speed (sub 1 Mbps) through to high speed (over 7 Gigabites Per Second) connections.
Any speed test is a "snapshot" of the speed of the internet connection at the particular time the broadband speed test is run. There are a number of interconnecting elements that will affect the result of the speed test, including the processor load on the computer, the load on your home network, the load on the local exchange, the load on your ISP and the load on the speed test Servers.
To get the most accurate result it is recommended that the test is taken on a device connected by wired ethernet cable to the router. However, this is not always realistic as most people and devices connect to the router (hub) via WiFi. So if the test is being run over WiFi it is recommended that the device is in the same room as the router and the device WiFi strength indicator shows the maximum connection to the router.
It is also recommended that in order for the test result not be affected by other the devices the network that it ensured that no other devices are performing high bandwidth actions such as playing games, watching BBC iPlayer or downloading data files (such as photos, movies, applications, etc). Also look out for software updates (such as Windows Update) running as these can consume a large amount of bandwidth.
Differing times of the day can produce different speed test results as there may be more users of the internet via the local exchange depending on the time of day. eg late afternoon as children come home from school and start using their home internet connection.
Additionally, some older computers and mobile devices may not be able to achieve the maximum possible speed of the internet connection. This can be down to older CPU's or limited network interfaces - some older generation network interfaces will be limited to 100 Mbps.
What is happening during the broadband speed test?
The speed test is split into two parts, download and upload.
The download portion measures the speed of the connection between the speed test servers and the computer running the speed test. The connection speed is measured in Mbps - which stands for Megabits per second or millions of bits per second.
The upload portion of the test measures the connection speed between the computer running the test and the speed test servers. Again the speed is measured in Mbps.
For the vast majority of internet connections, the download speed will be in the region of 4 to 6 times faster than the upload speed.
Why should you check your broadband speed?
There are a number of reasons for checking your broadband speed, for example:
- To check that your broadband provider is giving you the speeds you’re paying for.
- To see if your broadband speeds vary at different times of day.
- To make sure you’re getting the best deal available for your address.
- To compare your speeds with those of your neighbours and friends.
How do I test my broadband speed?
BroadbandUK offers a free-to-use broadband speed checker to test your internet speed in seconds. Just click ‘Start Test’ to begin.
How does the internet speed test work?
During the speed test appropriately sized blocks of random data are transmitted for the download phase between the speed test servers and the computer running the speed test. The reverse happens for the upload phase, the appropriately sized blocks of random data are upload between the computer running the speed test and the speed test servers. After allowing a small amount of time for the connection to "warm up" to full capacity the speed of the connection is calculated by the amount of data transmitted divided by the time taken to transmit the data, this happens separately for both the download and upload phases. This gives an accurate real-world representation of the speed of the connection at the time the test is taking place.
What factors affect my broadband speed?
Broadband speeds are affected by all sorts of factors such as the distance from exchange, the quality of wiring, the number of joints in the wiring, the telephone faceplate, the quality of the router and the time of day.
How can I improve my broadband speed?
- Change your router position. Keep your router as far away as possible from other electrical devices especially wireless ones eg. cordless phones, baby monitors etc. Try to place your router on a table or shelf rather than on the floor.
- Upgrade your router. The free router you receive when you sign up with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is usually pretty basic and you'll often get better speeds and improved performance by upgrading. Check out the best wifi router of 2020 here.
- Tackle phone line interference
- Plug your broadband router directly into your home's main phone socket
- Fit a broadband accelerator or filter device
- Update your browser to the latest version to ensure better security and performance.
- Try wired rather than wireless. Using an Ethernet cable rather than using WiFi should give you a faster, more reliable connection.
- Password-protect your router - If your broadband doesn’t require a password, anyone can use your internet connection. This will slow your broadband speed down, but is also a security risk
- Talk to your ISP
What Internet Speeds Do I Need?
This depends on your broadband connectivity needs. If you just have one or two devices for web surfing, email, social media and moderate video most broadband connections should suffice. However, if you have a few more devices than this and want to engage in multiplayer gaming or 4K streaming we would recommend 50-100 Mbps. Busy households with more than five devices who wish to share large files and do lots of things at the same time may benefit from 150Mbps+.
What Internet Speed Do I Need for Netflix?
- 0.5 Megabits per second - Required broadband connection speed
- 1.5 Megabits per second - Recommended broadband connection speed
- 3.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for SD quality
- 5.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for HD quality
- 25 Megabits per second - Recommended for Ultra HD (4K) quality
How Much Speed Do I Need to Stream Music?
Unlike video streaming, streaming music doesn’t require much bandwidth and most current broadband
packages are fast enough to let you stream your music without any issue.
How Much Bandwidth Does Skype Need?
- Calling: 100kbps download / 100kbps upload (Minimum: 30kbps download / 30kbps upload)
- Video calling / Screen sharing: 300kbps download / 300kbps upload (Minimum: 128kbps download / 128kbps upload)
- Video calling (high-quality): 500kbps download / 500kbps upload (Minimum: 400kbps download / 400kbps upload)
- Video calling (HD): 1.5Mbps download / 1.5Mbps upload (Minimum: 1.2Mbps download / 1.2Mbps upload)
- Group video (3 people): 2Mbps download / 512kbps upload (Minimum: 512kbps download / 128kbps upload)
- Group video (5 people): 4Mbps download / 512kbps upload (Minimum: 2Mbps download / 128kbps upload)
- Group video (7+ people): 8Mbps download / 512kbps upload (Minimum: 4Mbps download / 128kbps upload)
What are the minimum speeds for a Zoom call?
- 2.0 Mbps up and down for single screen
- 2.0 Mbps up 4.0 Mbps down for dual screen
- 2.0 Mbps up 6.0 Mbps down for triple screen
- For screen sharing only: 150-300kbps
- For audio VoIP: 60-80kbps