Broadband speed test
By Jon Barrow
Broadband speed test: check and fix your internet speed
Are you getting the broadband speed you were promised by your provider? Use our free speed test to investigate.
If your broadband isn't as fast as it should be, there are simple steps you can take to speed up your connection, and these can really make a huge difference. Read our top tips in our guide on how to speed up slow broadband.
How to use our broadband speed checker
For the most accurate results, you should use a cable to connect your computer to your router before running the test. If you need to test wirelessly, then position yourself as close to your router as possible.
You should also make sure that nothing else is using your internet connection, or running on your computer, while performing the test.
What do the speed checker results show?
The tool measures the response time, or latency, of your broadband connection, as well as your download and upload speeds.
The response time, measured in milliseconds (ms), shows how quickly you get a response after you've sent out a request. More responsive connections – indicated with a low number – are necessary for applications where timing is everything, such as interactive video games.
The download speed shows the rate at which data is transferred from the internet to your device, while the upload speed shows the reverse: the rate that data is transferred from your device to the internet. Download speeds are usually of more interest, as most tasks require you to download information.
It's important to note that the speed test results only represent a snapshot of your broadband connection at the time of testing. So to build an accurate picture, we'd suggest that you run several tests during a single week, in peak usage time (between 8pm and 10pm) and during off-peak times.
The results also only show the speeds you're getting on the device you're using for the test – the speed your provider is delivering to your house may be higher, especially if you're performing the test wirelessly at some distance from your router.
What you can do if your speeds are slow
If your speeds are significantly less than you expected, your broadband provider may be in breach of contract. We suggest calling your internet service provider (ISP) as a first step to see what it can do. Start by providing evidence of your internet speeds – it's a good idea to keep a diary of interruptions, and to regularly use the speed checker tool to build up a true picture of your service.
If your broadband contract started after October 2015, and you're with one of the providers that has signed Ofcom’s voluntary Code of Practice (BT, EE, KCOM, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Virgin Media and Zen Internet), then your provider must help you with any speed issues.
If you're not happy with your ISP's response, follow our guide on how to complain about your broadband speed.
Which are the best broadband providers?
If you're unhappy with your current broadband provider, consider one of our Recommended Providers instead. We can't guarantee that they'll give you the fastest speeds, but they continually top our broadband satisfaction surveys and have thousands of happy customers.
Which? Recommended Providers - Broadband
|Connection speed||Connection reliability||Customer service||Value for money||Customer score|