Saturday, 09 Aug, 2008 Technology

Broadband: Speeds and Deals


For those unaware of what broadband is, let's say shortly that it's what people use when considering a fast internet connection. It is worth mentioning that the main factor to take into consideration when picking a deal is speed.

Internet connection speeds is sometimes a rather confusing topic. Let's start with the fact that Internet transfer speeds are estimated in kilobits or megabits per second. Do not confuse them with kilobytes and megabytes, which are applied when talking about the capacity of hard disks and files.

In order to better understand the numbers here's a simple presentation:

  • With a 56K dial-up modem you can download a 5 megabyte MP3 file song in 12 min 30 sec and a webpage in 14 seconds.
  • With a 256K broadband speed the figures are certainly better. A typical song can be downloaded in 3 min, while a webpage in 3 sec. Besides it allows you to watch online video, though in low quality.
  • Faster internet speeds connections allow faster downloads of videos, audio files as well as web pages. The speed of 6Mb and 8Mb allows an instant download of a typical song and webpage. Besides, with an Internet speed of 8Mb you can start watching online videos with a TV quality.

Despite the fact that download speed is very important, with an increasing number of people using the Internet to download music, videos and watching television online, still millions pay for the speed that they do not actually receive.

Some broadband speed tests showed that mostly those who pay for a 2Mb deals get what they pay for.

Some of the most popular providers of broadband speed are: Be, O2, Sky, Zen, TalkTalk, Orange, Madasafish, BT, Freedom2surf, Plusnet and Virgin. Some users of Be state that paying for a 18Mb package they get what they really pay for. However, when performing a speed test it sometimes showed 8Mb/s, but since some updates of the firmware and a cable that replaces Wi-Fi, users managed to receive a speed of 18mb/s.

In Britain those who pay for a 8Mb connection argue that they hardly receive what they pay for. Some users that performed speed tests after midnight state that the connection was quite high.

The broadband speed may vary due to several factors. One of them is linked with the distance from the local telephone exchange, which means that people in the countryside will get lower speed than those living in urban areas. is a website that collects information on all major ISP's in order to reveal the real speed delivered to their clients. It also provides a broadband speed test developed to provide accurate results. It mostly suits users of the UK broadband, but it may also provide accurate results for other countries.

Broadband Expert performs comparisons and features review of all the top deals. It also provides fair advice and shows the most advantageous broadband deals users can get in their area.

The website's speed test offers actual Internet speed connection for both uploads and downloads. It works for any type of connection, whether it's ADSL or mobile broadband. For performing the test there are a number of steps that need to be passed so the result would be as accurate as possible. Users will receive the actual speed compared to the marketed speed.

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