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Broadband, Phone & TV

How to test your broadband speed

How to test your broadband speed
Mark Whelan

Mark Whelan

Staff Writer

Broadband speeds of 360 Mbps and even 1,000 Mbps are advertised widely, but the actual download rates achieved by many Irish households are just a fraction of these speeds.

We rely on our home broadband for everything from streaming TV shows to ordering food, 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 new deals.

Test your speed

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 – this will help you to decide whether or not it's time to look around for a new broadband deal.

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 25 Mbps is required for a connection to even be officially deemed “broadband”.

Virgin Media can provide a maximum speed of 360 Mbps while SIRO and eir are now able to reach 1,000 Mbps in select communities thanks to their new network roll out.

What is my upload speed?

Your upload speed is the rate at which you can send 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 follow our 7 steps to speeding 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 signup incentive.

Right now, for example, you can get a free €50 One4all voucher by signing up for any of Virgin Media’s Tripleplay deals on

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.


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