So is your broadband more tortoise than hare?
Are you always stuck with a bu…bu…bu…buff…buffering problem?
Read on and you will find out all you need to know to ensure you have the right broadband for your needs. We’ve got a broadband glossary to tell you exactly what all that crazy terminology means as well as some simple fixes and tips to give your internet speed a shot in the arm and hopefully achieve a good old fashioned broadband speed boost.
Here in Aotearoa we are big fans of speed… we love our cars, we love our bikes and we love our broadband… and when it comes to broadband there are few places in the world that have the potential for broadband speed that New Zealand does.
When it comes to our broadband speeds we want our internet connections to be fast enough to do all of the different things that we love. Whether it's Netflix, Lightbox or Neon to watch the hottest movies and shows online, streaming TV we missed from TVNZ on Demand or 3Now, or maybe it’s just using Facebook, Skype or email to keep in touch with friends and family… whatever we’re doing on the internet we want to be doing it with FAST broadband speeds!
But how fast does your broadband connection really need to be? Do you need gigabit speeds? With the likes of MyRepublic, Orcon and others constantly promoting ultrafast fibre broadband and gigabit broadband speeds, it's easy to assume you need your connection to be the fastest it can possibly be… but this isn't always the case and what you don’t want to do is find yourself in a speed trap…
Here at Broadband Compare we push to promote the best broadband plan for YOUR needs. Not every user or household needs the quickest, most expensive broadband package available, much like we don’t all need a Ferrari. Sure, we’d probably all like one but if we’re just driving to the shops once a week do we really need it.
It is very important to think about how you use the internet and who uses the internet to decide on the best broadband plan for your needs, but before we talk about usage and number we should really look to explain what we mean by broadband speed.
The two terms that are generally used when talking about broadband speed are upload and download – but what does that mean?
This is probably the most important of the two and is the speed at which information is transferred from the internet to your computer, tablet or internet enabled device. The higher the download speed, the faster you can get websites to load, videos or music to play or photos to pop up on the screen. If you are using a slow internet connection then you’ll experience occasional buffering (loading delays) and a slower internet browsing experience.
The speed at which information is transferred from your computer or device into the internet. The faster the upload speed, the quicker and smoother the process will be. Upload speeds are what are responsible for how quickly you can send your email or upload photos or videos or to a cloud based storage facility, like iCloud or Dropbox.
As a general rule, broadband speeds on home internet connections are considerably higher for download speeds than upload speeds so don’t be shocked when you see a big difference between the two quoted rates. When broadband connections were first introduced to the home it was obvious that downloading was more important and prevalent than uploading… or put simply more people are concerned with watching videos on the internet than uploading videos for other people to watch.
Chances are you are reading this article because you are having issues with your broadband, so probably not fast enough ones! Broadband speeds are determined by a number of factors, but mostly the type of connection and broadband plan that you are currently signed up to. If you don’t know your current broadband speed then knowing if you need to switch will be tricky… and knowing what package to switch too will be impossible. How will you know if you can get faster broadband if you don't know how fast the broadband you have is?
So first off – check your broadband speed. To do this, be on the device you use most, in the place you use it most and on the connection you want to test. i.e. your home internet connection if checking that for speed… yes, some people do try and check their home internet from work!).
So – ready to speed test your broadband? Click through here to use our recommended broadband speed tester to find out your current speed. It'll tell you exactly what download and upload speeds you get and confirm whether your broadband is as rapid as a mad march hare or more like a totally chilled tortoise.
One more VERY important point - and this one is a major point.
Don't assume the speeds that your broadband provider advertises are the speeds you'll actually get in your home. For example, if you see a package advertised as offering download speeds of up to 100Mbp/s, there is absolutely no guarantee you'll get that speed.
The advertised speed that the ISP’s quote are based on the broadband speeds that at least 10% of the people with that package get, so there is a very large possibility that you'll get significantly less than what it says on the brochure.
Yes, it's confusing, yes, it’s frustrating, yes, it's incredibly stupid, but those are the current advertising rules, so until they change the rules make sure you remember that 'up to' means exactly that. UP TO. Even then those up to speeds are related to perfect conditions, wired in at 0300 in the morning or something. So the speeds are indicative and not a guarantee.
Thankfully, you don't have to resort to just picking a package you like the sound of and hoping for the best – there are lots of people out there testing the broadband speeds that ISP’s are delivering and the team here at Broadband Compare keep a very close eye on anyone who is way off the pace.
Check out our latest news reports on broadband speed in the news section here and if you are concerned about your choice just get in touch and we’ll give our opinion.