Internet Speed Test: How Fast Is Your Broadband?

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Broadband providers continually brag about having the fastest internet in Ireland, but what is a good broadband speed? Are you receiving the broadband speeds you were promised? Our complete guide to broadband speed allows you to verify your internet connection using our speed test tool and, more importantly, understand the results.


Why Is a Fast Internet Speed Connection Important?

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Whether it's for your home, farm, or business, faster broadband speeds mean better connectivity for those online meetings, online classes, and any other browsing you need to do.

Research has shown that, over the course of a full day's work, regularly downloading documents, even a few seconds delay in the loading pages can decrease productivity. We would suggest the same can apply to those having to regularly download documents for their studies.

Not only that, but with the increase in restrictions due to Covid, more people are now working and studying from home. Most family households will have multiple users using the same internet connection at the same time and since each person is ‘asking’ to download information from the internet at the same time, a faster broadband speed ensures everyone can use the web without hassle.

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What Is a Good Broadband Speed in Ireland?

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Most broadband providers in Ireland will be able to offer broadband speeds averaging between 24 Mbps to 150 Mbps.

Some providers can now even offer internet speeds as fast as 1,000 Mbps (or 1 Gbps). Depending on how many users and devices are connected at the same time, you may not need such a high-velocity plan.

To put these numbers in perspective, Netflix says watching a movie in HD online requires 5 Mbps approximately. Consequently, there would be little use in paying top dollar for a broadband plan with speeds above 24 - 150 Mbps for a single household dwelling.

What does Mbps stand for? Mbps stands for Megabits Per Second. Every bit is a tiny unit of data. 1 Megabit represents 1 million tiny units of data. When measuring broadband speed, the more Megabits you have, the more information you can transmit or receive per second. Think of it as if you are trying to get water through a pipe. The wider the pipe, the more water you can fit through it. This is exactly how broadband works.

Internet Speed Test in Ireland

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Wondering how fast your internet speed is? No problem - just use our internet speed test tool! Not only will it measure your download speed and upload speed, but also the latency.

No worries, you don’t need to enter any personal details, nor do we want to know the make and model of your router! Simply click the button below and in a matter of seconds, you will get your results.

If possible, we recommend you conduct this internet speed test via an ethernet cable, rather than a wireless connection. Ethernet cables offer a more stable connection. Therefore, it will measure the broadband speeds you have at your home, farm, or business more accurately.

Alternatively, practically every provider offers to complete an internet speed test via their website. The Eir internet speed test is quite popular in Ireland as is the Virgin Media broadband speed test page.

Now that you have your internet speed results, you can verify if you are receiving the broadband speeds you are paying for!

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Understanding Your Broadband Speed Test Results

You now have your test results at hand, but are perhaps wondering if the broadband speed is fast enough for your needs?

There are two broadband speeds you want to examine:

  • Download speeds: How quickly content can be downloaded from the web like movies or music.
  • Upload speeds: How quickly you can upload content to the web, like attachments to emails or load files onto a server.

Download speeds are important to people who do a lot of browsing and online viewing. Such as watching movies or attending online classes.

Upload speeds are important to people who play online videogames or participate with their camera and audio in online meetings.

To further answer this question, we look at other common internet uses and the speeds each activity requires.

Required Broadband Speeds
Internet Activity Broadband Speed Required
Sending email 1 Mbps
Social Media Activity 1-5 Mbps
Listen to music (Spotify) 2 Mbps
Watch a movie in HD 5 Mbps
Online gaming (Call of Duty, Fortnite, etc) At least 10 Mbps

Remember, these are the required speeds for each activity. Someone who's playing online videogames on their PC, has music streaming to their living room speakers, and is talking via Whatsapp to friends from their smartphone, will need at least 14 Mbps broadband speeds for all three internet activities to operate smoothly.

The same calculations are required if there are multiple people connected to the same router. Simply tally the broadband speed required for each activity to determine the adequate broadband speeds you need.

You will also want to verify if the results match what your broadband provider promised you in terms of broadband speeds. If the broadband speed test results are significantly lower than what you are paying for, you should contact them as you are being overcharged.

What Does Latency Mean on the Broadband Speed Test Result?

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Our internet speed test not only covers the download and upload speed, but also the latency.

Latency is the time necessary to send data and receive a response. Think of latency as when you drive a car. If the broadband speed is like the car speed, latency is the time required for the car to start moving after you hit the accelerator pedal.

Ideally, your latency result should be well below 30 ms (milliseconds). Anything higher than this number will result in lagging when navigating the web. For example, when a Skype call starts to break up or gets choppy all of a sudden, it's often because of high latency.

What Is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth is a measurement of the volume of data relayed over a broadband connection at any moment. Bandwidth can also be categorized into three forms: network bandwidth, data bandwidth and digital bandwidth. These typically refer to a range within a band of wavelengths or frequencies, such as those picked up by mobile phones or laptops.

What Internet Speeds Do I Need to Work From Home?

If you are lucky enough to have the option to work from home, maintaining a reliable internet connection is more important than ever. Whether you are simply sending a few emails, or uploading and downloading large data files throughout the day, you need to make sure that your broadband package is sufficient for your workload.

Work From Home Broadband Speeds Recommendations
Internet Activity Broadband Speed Required
Sending email 1 Mbps
General light browsing 1 Mbps
HD video meetings (Zoom, Skype etc) 6 Mbps
Light data/file downloads 10 Mbps
Moderately sized frequent downloads At least 10-25 Mbps
Data-heavy frequent downloads At least 25-50+ Mbps

These speeds are per person. This means that if you have a household with multiple people working from home, or who are otherwise using the internet simultaneously, you should multiply the above speeds by the number of people/activities in your home in order to get a more accurate approximation of the speeds you will require.

Why Is It Important to Conduct an Internet Speed Test?

Conducting your own internet speed test is very useful for various reasons, namely:

  • Confirm you are receiving the speeds your provider promised
  • Can help you troubleshoot connectivity issues
  • Makes you better informed when choosing a broadband plan

Why Does My Broadband Plan Say ‘Speeds up To’?

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Great point! Indeed, broadband providers advertise the maximum broadband speed they can offer.

This means that there will be periods when the broadband speed you have at your home is lower than the maximum speed.

Broadband providers advertise ‘speeds up to’ because the internet speed you get at your home will depend on the following:

  1. The type of broadband connection you have
  2. The router you have
  3. Where you live (rural broadband tends to be slower than urban broadband)
  4. The number of devices connected to the router.

While this may not be crystal clear for everyone, the one thing we would like you to remember about the importance of conducting a broadband speed test for your home is, to ensure you are getting what you are paying for!

If your broadband provider promised you speeds up to 100 Mbps and you are only receiving a quarter of that, you are being overcharged!

Know your rights and contact the citizens' information services for assistance. Your broadband provider needs to respect their end of their contract by supplying the speeds they promised. Feel free to examine our various broadband guides and learn more about the services you should receive from your provider.

What Should I Do if I Don’t Get the Speeds I Was Sold On?

As we have discussed, there are many factors that can affect your internet speed. For this reason, providers quote as "speeds up to" rather than an exact contractual promise. If you are only receiving a fraction of your internet speed, or your service is consistently intermittent, you should contact your provider to see if they can do anything to improve your service.

If you have raised a complaint regarding this which has either not been responded to or has not resolved the issue (in accordance with your suppliers' complaints procedure), you should consider contacting ComReg. All providers must agree to the provision of a minimum standards level, and so if they have provably failed in this, you may be entitled to a form of compensation such as a refund, credit added to your account, or the ability to cancel your contract early without penalty.

How Can I Speed Up My Internet?

Optimizing your internet speed should be a priority, both to ensure that you are getting what you pay for, and to utilize online services without frustrating load times or lag.

  1. Run an internet speed test to understand your current speed
  2. Contact your provider to see if they can improve your speeds or upgrade your package
  3. Consider changing broadband types. Fibre, mobile broadband, satellite broadband, SIRO and ADSL all have their limitations and may be stronger or weaker in different areas.
  4. Compare broadband providers

Alternately if you have poor WiFi signals, take a read through our guide to improving your WiFi signals to learn what you can do to squeeze a little more speed out of your home router.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Ping?

From the moment of your input (such as pressing a button) to it being registered on an online server, and returning a signal to your device, the total time measurement is classed as ping. Pings exceeding 150ms tend to result in noticeable lagging, which is particularly evident in online activities that require a fast level of responsiveness, such as online gaming.

What Factors Will Impact My Internet Speed Test?

To ensure that your result is as accurate as possible, you should ensure that no other devices are using your internet except the device on which you are completing the test. Avoid streaming, checking social media, playing online games and other such activities which would put a strain on your internet while completing the test.

It may also be useful to conduct the test at several points throughout the day, over a two-day period. By doing this, you will see if your speeds are consistent across the day, and roughly match with the following days. This is important to do as the overall load on your network will vary on certain days and times, and so working out an average will give you a better overall understanding of what your normal speed is, and when to avoid going online.

Should I Complete the Speed Test Over WIFI, or With an Ethernet Connection?

This depends on what exactly you wish to measure. Connecting your router to your device via an ethernet cable provides the strongest form of online connection possible due to your device now being directly connected to the network. As such, speeds over an ethernet cable will always be superior to WiFi.

If you primarily use devices over a WiFi connection (mobiles, tablets, laptops etc), then you will experience a deteriorated speed when compared to an ethernet connection due to signal strength variations, your router placement, and whether your device drivers are up to date etc.

Which Is the Fastest Type of Broadband?

While each type of broadband has its strengths and weaknesses, and of course not all types of broadband is available in all areas, in terms of pure speed, fibre and Siro broadband are the clear winners.

Full-fibre regularly provides speeds exceeding 500 Mbps, with some packages even providing speeds up to a superfast 1 Gbps. In Kilkenny, a 2 Gbps service has also recently been launched for households through the SIRO network, with hopes of rolling this out amongst other rural communities in the near future.

What Is Irelands Average Broadband Speed?

At present, the average download speed across Ireland is around 51 Mbps. Internet speeds within cities regularly exceed this, however, this is balanced out by the slower rural broadband connections.

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