It can be hard to know which broadband package will be right for you. There are a number of different packages and speeds available to you and it can be very confusing if you have no idea what anything means. What does “Mbps” mean? What’s the difference between 24Mbps and 330Mbps? Why is fibre so expensive for me, but not for my friend? All these questions, and more, will be answered shortly.

Speeds Explained

Broadband speeds are measured in bits per second. The higher the bits per second the faster your download and upload speeds will be. 50Mbps is faster than 24Mbps. Using a site like download-time you can work out how long it would take to download a file at a certain speed. Mbps stands for megabits per second. You will also come across Gbps on our site. This stands for gigabits per second. 1Gbps is equivalent to 1000Mbps.

Your broadband speed does not just affect how fast you can download or upload a file. Your speeds also determine how many people can use your broadband connection effectively at one time. With speeds of 24Mbps there is relatively little bandwidth allocated per person if even as little as 2 people are using the connection at the same time. It does depend on the activity, but streaming HD videos, for example, can be very slow, if not impossible when multiple people are connected. Speeds of 40Mbps are much better if you have multiple downloading/uploading files, streaming, or gaming, since there is more bandwidth available. If you want to stream 4K videos, 40Mbps will severly cut down on waiting time. Once you move to speeds of 80Mbps, you are paying for efficiency more than anything else. If you work from home, you may prefer the speed of fast fibre broadband (40Mbps+) because it will save you a lot of time. Video conference calls will behave more consistently when you have higher speeds because your application will not be constantly compressing and uncompressing your video from all the speed fluctuations, and you will also hear and see other people more clearly because you will be able to download their video streams faster. It is hard to say with any certainty which speeds will be best for you because everyone uses the internet in different ways. That is why Ballscoigne works with you, like no other ISP, to help you get the best speeds for your usage.

Technologies Explained

Without getting too technical, there are 3 main “types” of broadband connection available to you in the UK. The first is ADSL. Nearly everyone will have access to it. Data is sent over your copper phone line to the cabinet. The maximum speeds for this type of connection are 24Mbps. The main downside to this type of connection is that the farther away you are from the cabinet the slower your speeds will be. However, if you just browse the internet or watch the odd YouTube video here and there, ADSL will be more than enough for you.

The next step up from ADSL is fibre to the cabinet, or FTTC. FTTC is much faster than ADSL because a fibre optic line delivers data to the cabinet much quicker than its fully copper counterpart. However, the data still has to travel over copper to get to your house, so some of the speed is lost. The maximum speed for FTTC is around 80Mbps with Ballscoigne. More and more areas are being upgraded to FTTC, so it is very likely you have access to it.

The final type is fibre to the premises. This is the fastest connection available to Ballscoigne customers. The connection is fully fibre, so the speeds are very fast (up to 1Gbps). However, FTTP can be quite expensive – especially if you are requesting a new line be built to your house. You may be lucky and live in an area where there is already a fibre line to your house, in which case it will just need activating without any of the setup fees. FTTP is incredibly fast compared to FTTC and ADSL, and provides you with a very reliable connection to the internet.

Which Technology is Right For Me?

As a rule of thumb, for low intensity usage like browsing the internet, watching YouTube videos, or doing certain remote work involving small files, ADSL will be absolutely fine. If you video conference call lots, use streaming services like Netflix, play online video games, work from home using RDP or VNC, FTTC will be more reliable than ADSL. Finally, if you rely on the internet for work, have a huge household, or just want the fastest speeds available, FTTP will be your best option. If you are still having trouble in deciding what to go for, you can contact us via email or live chat, or you can call us. All details are on our Contact Us page.