How to test your broadband speed
Daragh Cassidy
Head Writer

With the broadband speed test it's quick, free and easy to see how fast your broadband really is.

We rely on broadband for almost everything these days from streaming TV shows and shopping online to working from home, and most of us just don’t have time for slow connections.

There are many things that can affect the broadband speed you get, including the position of your router and the number of people online at one time. So in reality, very few households enjoy the maximum speeds advertised by their provider.

In order to get as good a service as possible, it’s important to regularly test your speed and shop around for better deals if necessary.

Test your speed

Broadband speeds of 500Mbps and even 1,000Mbps are now advertised widely, but the actual download rates achieved by many Irish households are just a fraction of these speeds.

With the Broadband Speed Test, you can find out exactly what broadband speed you’re getting in real time.

With one click, the test will measure your upload speed and your download speed in a matter of seconds for free – and will help you to decide whether or not it's time to look around for a better broadband connection.

What is my download speed?

Your download speed indicates how quickly you can access content from the internet. It measures how fast your broadband connection is at showing you a video stream, photograph or web page.

It is measured in megabits per second (Mbps) and the FCC in America deems that a minimum speed of 25Mbps is required for a connection to even be officially deemed “broadband”. However if you like to stream movies in HD and have two or three people using the same connection, a speed closer to 100Mbps will be necessary.

Virgin Media can provide a maximum speed of 1,000Mbps to almost one million premises nationwide while SIRO, a joint venture between the ESB and Vodafone, and Eir are now able to offer speeds of up to 1,000Mbps or 1Gbps in select communities and towns nationwide thanks to their new respective network rollouts.

What is my upload speed?

Your upload speed is the rate at which you can add or upload content to the internet. It measures how quickly you can attach a file to an email, upload a clip to YouTube or add a photo to Facebook.

Upload speeds are generally much slower than download speeds since consumers tend to do much more downloading than uploading. So don’t be alarmed if your upload speed is only a fraction of your download speed - that's normal.

Speeding up your broadband connection

If you aren’t happy with the result of your broadband speed test, the first thing to do is to read our list of simple ways to speed up your broadband connection - little things like moving your router into clear view of your device could give your speed a nice boost.

If that doesn’t do the trick, it could be time to switch providers – you may find a faster speed, lower price or even a nice sign-up incentive.

Whatever speed you get on your Broadband Speed Test, make sure you test and shop around regularly to make sure you're never paying too high a price for too low a speed.