How to measure your broadband speed – are you getting the Wi-Fi speeds you’re paying for?

Average UK broadband speeds have largely performed well during the coronavirus lockdown, despite increasing demand from home working, online lessons and TV streaming. Ofcom’s Home Broadband Performance Report revealed how broadband speeds changed before and after the lockdown measures came in – when there was a surge in broadband use, with download and upload speeds decreasing by only two percent and one percent respectively. Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s Group Director for Strategy and Research, said: “Broadband in the UK has really been put to the test by the pandemic, so it’s encouraging that speeds have largely held up. “This has helped people to keep working, learning and staying connected with friends and family.”

How to measure broadband speed:

Broadband in the UK has really been put to the test by the pandemic

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s Group Director for Strategy and Research

Checking the broadband strength in your home is fortunately very straightforward.

With some of the UK’s biggest broadband suppliers such as Sky and BT offering money-back guarantees, it is important to check you really are receiving what you pay for.

The best way to test broadband strength is to download a speed test app.

Numerous options are available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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However, industry experts recommend either Ookla’s Speedtest, or FAST from Netflix as the best available options.

And Google also offers an easy speed check directly from your web browser.

A simple Google for “test internet speed” should bring this up at the top of the results.

All you need to do is tap the test button and you will receive a result revealing exactly how fast your broadband is.

Testing broadband speeds in different areas of your home can reveal whether there are any dreaded broadband black spots.

Fortunately, these dead zones can usually be fixed with broadband boosters.

Spaces nearest to the router should receive the best download speeds.

And speeds will likely slow the further you move away from your router.

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If speed performance is poor throughout the entire area, you should seriously consider connecting directly into the router via an ethernet cable.

Doing this will confirm whether the issue is the broadband speed itself – or whether there is an issue with the Wi-Fi signal itself.

If the connection is good when hardwiring straight into the router, try resetting the Wi-Fi.

This simple tip can often fix any annoying broadband glitches.

This involves switching off the router, waiting approximately 30 seconds then turn it on again.

Note, this reboot may take a few minutes and your home will be without broadband for this duration.

Those struggling to beam broadband to every corner of their home may want to invest in a mesh Wi-Fi system.

This system involves placing extra nodes strategically around your home to boost the signal and ensure you have sufficient bandwidth.

Regularly checking broadband speeds is crucial, especially for users who have signed up to a plan with a speed guarantee.

Popular broadband provider Sky will offer customers money off their bill if the speed drops below its guaranteed speeds for a minimum of three consecutive days during a 30-day window.

And BT’s Stay Fast Guarantee allows customers to terminate their contract if the firm is unable to fix internet issues.

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