Broadband: Connection speed vs cost
Published Mon, Mar 5, 2012 Updated Tue, Feb 16, 2021
We all use the internet in different ways – some just stick to social networks and checking the news, others play games with people on the other side of the world and many use it to download TV, movies and music to consume whenever they want. When thinking about broadband providers, do you really need the fastest out there, or would a more modest package suit your needs? By thinking about the way you use the internet and what you want to get out of it you can easily find the best package for you.
Are you happy with what you already have?
First of all, are you happy with the price and speed of your connection at the moment? If you never find yourself complaining about speed, then you may not notice the difference if you downgrade your connection to a lower monthly fee. You should check the advertised speed that you are paying for and then do a broadband speed test to check what you are actually getting. If you are not happy contact your service provider who may be willing to offer a better deal in order to keep your business. You can also check the speeds of other providers in your area to see if a better offer is available elsewhere.
If you’ve only just got online, or only use it occasionally to check the news, then the odds are speed is not too important to you. In general, viewing websites uses a small amount of bandwidth because the amount of data you download is relatively tiny, when compared to downloading songs or movies. If you just want to check the news and weather then you should be more concerned with getting the cheapest price for you broadband connection rather than top performance. Check comparison sites like uSwitch are great for seeking the cheapest deals in your area.
If you use your broadband for streaming videos from sites like YouTube, Netflix, NowTV, iPlayer or 4od, among others, then speed will be crucial for your enjoyment. There is nothing more frustrating than watching a TV show or movie that is constantly skipping, or stops completely, and with today’s fast connections you shouldn’t have to put up with it! Again you should check the speeds of providers in your area to find the best deals, or contact your ISP – they will be only too happy if you want to upgrade. Some ISPs prioritise those on higher tariffs at peak times, so paying more could be worth it.
Many just couldn’t live without the internet, and a lot of them are online gamers. While games aren’t too heavy on data usage, maintaining the connection is crucial to make sure that you aren’t kicked off at a key moment. Consider switching to new super-fast fibre optic broadband from BT or Sky to stay online for hours. They are not available in all areas and can be pricey but will be crucial for that high score!