Check you’re getting the broadband speed you pay for
Published 5 October 2015
If your broadband is running slower than it should be, there might be a problem.
If you stream a lot of TV shows and films or you like to game online, you’ll probably be paying for a decent broadband speed. However, if you find your internet is running slower and slower, this can be really frustrating.
No one wants to be paying for a service that they don’t think they’re getting and if your internet speed isn’t what was advertised, you might think about switching to a different provider or even getting your money back. We’ll take a look at how to check your broadband speed and what you can do if it’s not as fast as it should be.
When it’s slowed down
It’s easy to check your broadband speed – there are numerous internet speed checkers online. Try this one from Which? or this from broadbandchoices. These broadband speed checkers will typically check how long it takes your internet connection to download a file, and it will also check your upload speed. If you’ve used a checker on a price comparison website, you might be able to see other deals you could get so that you could be on a faster broadband speed. It’s also worth running a few tests at different times of day to see if there’s any variation when it’s peak internet time (after 5pm).
If your internet speed is considerably lower than it should be, there could be something wrong with your connection. You should get in touch with your network provider and ask them to diagnose any problems – they’ll be able to tell if there’s anything wrong. They might be able to send out an engineer to fix some problems, like if there’s a loose wire, for example.
However, if there’s nothing wrong with the connection but it’s still running slow, it’s worth checking the terms and conditions of your internet package. A lot of broadband deals are advertised with the maximum speed e.g. “up to 38Mb” but this doesn’t mean your phone line is necessarily built to run this fast – it might only be able to cope with considerably slower speeds.
Getting a better deal
After you’ve checked the terms of your deal, you might feel that your broadband provider isn’t giving you the speed that they advertised. You can speak to them to see if there’s anything they can do about this to make it faster but if you think you’re being short-changed, you could complain to Ofcom.
You might be able to get a faster speed for a better price from a different internet service provider. Check on a price comparison site to see what deals are available for you – but remember that not all providers will supply to your area and even if they do, they might not offer the top speeds.