Download Speeds

One of the areas that many broadband providers market themselves at the moment is for fast download speeds so that you can not only download large files but watch videos online without having to wait for the connection to catch up with your viewing.

In the old days of dial up there was no chance of seeing online video as the files were just too large and most websites had low sized graphics which meant it was easy to load them onto your computer. Of course technology has moved on since then and now almost all homes and businesses in the UK can get access to at least a basic broadband connection which may have speeds of 1 to 2 mb.

The trouble with all the marketing hype is that not many people can get access to the fastest speeds which are up to 24mb for the general fastest connections because they live too far from the exchange that the internet connection is made to. If you are in a city centre and certainly in a business park then the connections are going to be much faster because the investment made by British Telecom and other cable companies has been made because they know the demand for their services is the greatest in these areas.

The best way to see what type of speed you may be able to get either in your home office or if you are a business is to log onto one of the many free broadband speed test websites that are available. Whilst most are accurate some are not and if you want to get the real figure then you can telephone your current telephone and broadband provider who can provide you with the real number. Alternatively if you have a BT Hub you can log into the software from your laptop or desktop computer and it will tell you right there what your average speeds are. For some services such as the BT Vision package which streams television into your home or office you need at least 2mb speed and preferable 4mb.

Although investments are still being made into the general telephone networks and a new tax is being introduced to fund some of this investment many homes and businesses simply can't get the new speeds but it may not be of a concern if you don't play online games or watch video through for example the BBC iplayer.

And download speeds (and uploading files online) is only one half of the equation. You should also look at if you are limited to the amount of data you can upload. For most small businesses a limited or capped usage limit should suffice and most websites will show you what you can undertake on this usage limits. If you are just browsing and sending emails then the cheapest packages that start from just £10 per month should be fine for you. If you are a larger business and have hundreds of employees then perhaps a dedicated service may be more appropriate.