As the top broadband speeds increase, new marketing terms like ultrafast, hyperfast and gigabit broadband are becoming commonplace. We understand how confusing terms like this can be, especially when most broadband buzzwords all seem to be another way of saying 'very fast', so we've produced a new guide to ultrafast and hyperfast broadband that should help to answer all your questions.
More people than ever can enjoy ultrafast broadband speeds as Virgin Media's ultrafast 120Mb broadband increases in speed to up to 152Mb, double that of most fibre to the cabinet services. Virgin Media's mid-range formerly up to 60Mb service is now also increased to 100Mb, making it the most affordable ultrafast broadband on the market. Ultrafast deals start from £12.50 per month for the first 6 months.
Meanwhile hyperfast broadband provider Hyperoptic has started to install their gigabit fibre to the building services outside of London, with select apartment buildings now activated in Bristol, Cardiff and Reading. These join over 250 postcode areas already hooked up in London, with more added every day. Hyperoptic offer the UK's fastest broadband at up to 1Gb (or 1000Mb) making this a truly hyperfast service, what's more their connections are symmetric offering the same speed regardless of whether you're downloading or uploading. You can sign up for a gigabit service for only £25 per month for the first 6 months.
If you're not sure whether Virgin Media or Hyperoptic's services are available in your area, our broadband checker will tell you if either are serving your postcode and will allow you to compare their prices and features with other broadband suppliers.
All prices quoted are introductory offers that require montlhy line rental. Hyperoptic charge £12.50 for line rental and Virgin Media £15.99. All services mentioned are also available without any telephone line installed at your home. Hyperoptic charges £40 for setup, or more if your home doesn't have a faceplate preinstalled. Virgin Media is currently offering free installation as a limited offer.
March 2014 saw the national average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test surpass 20Mb for the first time, with most providers seeing a healthy speed increase and a 3.53Mb rise overall, bringing the UK average speed to 20.63Mb. Average upload speeds also saw an increase, rising by 0.39Mb to 3.45Mb overall.
Virgin Media's average download speeds increased significantly over the previous month, rising by 4.94Mb, and they retain first place at the top of the speed table at 38.19Mb. Upload speeds were also up by 0.44Mb averaging at 4.14Mb.
Early last month Virgin launched their boost from up to 120Mb to 152Mb, from up to 60Mb to 100Mb and from up to 30Mb to 50Mb, which has undoubtedly contributed to their average download speed increases. While the boost was initially for new customers only, these average speed increases are set to continue as Virgin roll out the higher speeds to existing customers over the next year, with customers in several areas already enjoying the boost.
BT Broadband came in second place on the speed table, with a download speed increase of 2.13Mb taking them to an average speed of 22.33Mb. BT also saw an upload speed increase of 0.56Mbps, with uploads now averaging higher than Virgin at 5.47Mb, in part thanks to the higher upload speed of BT Infinity 2 compared to Virgin's maximum.
EE have taken third place, overtaking both Plusnet and Sky with average download speeds of 14.21Mb (an impressive 4.55Mb increase over last month).
EE have started traffic shaping to prioritise web and streaming traffic, allowing them to last month announce a new headline speed of up to 17Mb. At least 10% of their customers have to be able to achieve this speed in order for them to advertise it, making them faster than any other standard UK phoneline broadband supplier! We're currently running an exclusive £70 Amazon gift voucher offer with EE that stacks with their reduced price offers. It's a limited offer for this week only, so hurry to take advantage of it!
While Plusnet have dropped into fourth place, their average download speeds have actually improved by 1.47Mb, taking them to 14.13Mb. Similarly, Sky have dropped to fifth place, but have a 0.86Mbps increase in download speeds, averaging at 11.2Mb. As spring arrives with sunnier weekends and brighter evenings, we'll likely see further small increases across all providers as peak time congestion from video services reduces due to more people en. The availability of higher speed fibre services also continues to roll out to more exchanges.
EE's headline speed for standard broadband has also recently increased from 16Mb to 17Mb thanks to traffic shaping to prioritise web and streaming traffic at peak times, making EE the fastest phoneline broadband on the market.
Voucher only available online. Line rental required, available from £11 monthly equivalent price if paid a year upfront. Quoted prices and features may only be available in EE network areas. Speed achieved depends on factors such as your distance from the telephone exchange, you will be provided with the fastest connection available. Full details will be provided before you sign up.
As a limited special offer EE are offering free 7-inch Android tablets with many of their superfast 4G mobile broadband deals. Just choose a data allowance of 5GB or more on a 24 month contract and, as well as either a USB dongle or mobile WiFi device, you'll receive the Alcatel One Touch 7 Android WiFi tablet at no extra cost!
Prices start from £21 a month and available usage allowances go up to 50GB per month. What's more, these deals all come with EE's new double speed 4G, the fastest mobile broadband available in the UK, with the most 4G-enabled cities!
All EE mobile broadband packages come with extra bonuses: you can enjoy inclusive WiFi at BT hotspots and London Underground coverage from Virgin Media, and free film downloads and 2 for 1 Wednesday cinema tickets with EE Film.
Superfast 4G speed depends on location and number of users. Data outside your monthly allowance can be purchased for £6 for 500MB or £15 for 2GB. Prices may increase during the life of your plan.
TalkTalk's great value TV bundles, which include phone services, truly unlimited broadband and TV services with Freeview, YouView, catchup TV, on demand and extra channels are now even better value with a promotion offering 2 months half price on the Entertainment Boost!
For only £10 extra per month, the Entertainment Boost adds an additional 33 channels to your TV service, including Sky 1 and 2, Sky Living, FOX, Universal, Watch, GOLD, Comedy Central and Discovery. And now for a limited period, you'll get your first two months of the boost for only £5 per month!
The boost is compatible with both of TalkTalk's TV bundles:
TalkTalk Essentials TV - £7.50 per month - Freeview + 7 day catchup TV + 30 minutes pause and rewind TV + evening and weekend calls
TalkTalk Plus TV - £15.50 per month - Record Freeview + 7 day catchup TV + pause and rewind TV + anytime calls + £30 shopping voucher
Other boosts are available adding up to 65 channels that aren't available on BT TV. You can also add Sky Movies and Sky Sports, with 5 decidated sports channels and 11 movie channels available.
On Demand services allow you to rent the latest Hollywood movies for 48 hours using TalkTalk Box Office.
TV services are available to both new and existing TalkTalk customers. Boosts can be added or removed on a monthly basis, just give 48 hours notice to remove a boost. Line rental is required, save by paying for a year up front, equivalent to £9.50 per month.
Moving house is a headache, and involves a lot of paperwork, phone calls, and stress even without needing to worry about moving your broadband with you. You could always switch your supplier...but this will subject you to extra setup and cancellation fees, and ultimately prove no less of a hassle. Thankfully, TalkTalk provide a Home Move Service to make this go a lot more smoothly for you. It's all done online, so you can do it at a time to suit you, track the status of the move, and change dates if there are delays. It's also fast, if you have all the details ready already, and if you do the installation yourself, it's free. TalkTalk Home Move Service is there to make moving house that little bit simpler.
With so many choices for TV packages available for consumers today, it can be hard to decide just what's right for you. Options range from the minimal cost services, like Freeview, all the way up to the expensive multimedia packages with all the bells and whistles from Virgin Media and Sky. If you're looking for something with more options and flexibility than Freeview, but still cheaper than Virgin Media and Sky, then TalkTalk TV may be the solution for you. Check out our handy guide below.
Fourth Generation (4G) mobile services have finally arrived in the UK, allowing users of mobile broadband to take advantage of the faster speeds now available to them. With download speeds of up to 40Mbps and upload speeds of up to 12Mbps in 4G-enabled areas, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for mobile broadband users, allowing them to potentially stream TV and HD video on the go. It's good news for gamers, too. 4G has lower latency, making games more responsive and reducing that annoying lag that can plague gamers at crucial moments.
So, where is it currently available? As of the end of March 2013, 4G coverage is available in 50 towns and cities around the UK, with plans to cover 70% of the UK by the end of 2013, and 98% by the end of 2014. Some of the areas with 4G available already include Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.
If you're interested in 4G, then you'll need a provider. EE are currently the only supplier of 4G services in the UK. Their services went live in October 2012, and they have a range of packages available to suit customer needs, from USB dongles for individual laptop users, to WiFi routers for multiple devices on the go, to packages including iPads for those who want the convenience of a tablet while out and about. However, EE won't be the only 4G suppliers on the market for much longer, meaning customers will have more choices for 4G suppliers available to them in the near future. BT, O2, Three and Vodaphone will also be offering 4G mobile broadband plans at some point this year, likely from the Summer onwards.
Interested in getting 4G mobile broadband? Check out our handy 4G mobile broadband comparison table to find the best deal for you!
December 2012 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test rise by more than 2Mb in comparison to the results from November, coming in at 19.37Mb. Average upload speeds saw a smaller increase, coming in at 2.33Mb.
Virgin Media's average download speed has increased by almost 5Mb compared to last month, now coming in at 37.22Mb with upload speeds remaining stable at 2.88Mb. Despite seeing a small download speed increase, BT Broadband dropped to 4th place with download speeds averaging at 15.76Mb and upload speeds of 3.38Mb. Instead Eclipse took 2nd place with 16.63Mb average download speed and 3.11Mb average upload speed.
Plusnet came in at 3rd place with an impressive 3.9Mb increase to 11.94Mb average download speed. Plusnet also achieved the fastest average upload speed of any provider, coming in at 3.62Mb. These increases are likely due to a greater number of customers switching over to Plusnet Fibre, combined with improvements in Plusnet's traffic management policies launched in December.
Please note, Orange are now trading as EE, and speed test results only include numbers from their fixed line broadband packages, and not their 4G mobile broadband packages.
November 2012 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test drop in comparison to the results from October, coming in at 17.1Mb. Average upload speeds remained stable at around 2Mb.
Virgin Media's average download speeds have decreased by 1Mb over last month to 32.39Mb with upload speeds remaining stable at 2.62Mb. BT Broadband takes second place with download speeds averaging at 15.57Mb (a 1Mb increase over last month) and upload speeds of 3.45Mb. Eclipse drops to third place with a 2Mb decrease to 15.1Mb for average download speeds, and a 0.5Mb decrease to 2.75Mb for average upload speeds. Plusnet came in at 4th place with 11.94Mb download, a small decrease in speed since last month.
Orange are now trading as EE, and speed test results only include numbers from their fixed line broadband packages, and not their 4G mobile broadband packages.