Fibre speeds and speedtest by Ookla

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Established Member
8 Mar 2009
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Kent. UK
I had Txxxx fibre installed last year 300/100Mbps which although it was error free in the most part didn't seem on my 10yr old PC to give much advantage over the old fttc at 30Mbps I had for years before that.
My contract ended and a black Friday deal gave me 900/300Mbps for the same price as the old 300/100 so I went for it.
I had been using Speedtest in a tab on my firefox browser with accurate results for some years so when I attempted to test my speed this way with the new 900/300 I was disappointed to see it maxing out at 434/257Mbps.
I contacted Txxxx support and they said use the Speedtest App stand alone in Win10 and see what that gives. I did that and got 943/323Mbps. This was to my old isp test point, not to the Txxxx that they advised for max throughput.
My question if you still reading is: How come my Firefox tab worked fine with 300/100 and lower but is unsuitable for 900/300? I feel like there is some snake oil stuff going on here, is there?
There is such a thing as to much speed, also it depends upon the other end because a network can only be as fast as the slowest device on the network. If you are connected to some old clunky server on a website then it will dictate the speed so you are not paying for a speed but what it could deliver. You have different synario's that suit the speed available / needed and depends upon how many people in a household will want to connect at the same time, speed equates to bandwidth. The very high speed packages are more aimed at businesses that need to transfer huge amounts of data between servers and maybe when we see 8K tv being streamed they will have a purpose in the home or people into high end gaming but for most a 300 package is fine. I cannot see how the broadband speed effects connections like Firefox, maybe you need to ask your broadband provider for answers.
I moved to full fibre almost 2 yrs ago, I'm not a heavy user so I took the 100/75 package which should be more than adequate.

I was surprised to find it wasn't much different from my old broadband over copper, but it was consistent which was a big +.

Fast forward to a few months ago and things were getting pretty slow, but ookla said I was getting the promised speed.

I'm using the edge browser so I googled how to speed up edge browser.

Of course there were youtube videos which I followed and low and behold the speed has improved immensely.

If you do the same for Firefox you may be pleasantly surprised.
The responsiveness you see on any screen depends on a lot more than the simple speed of the broadband connection to your home. You are going through many data switching nodes, accessing shared servers, all sorts.
The highest bandwidth uses most of us will need are either computer gaming or streaming 4K video. Netflix 4k ultra HD streaming takes up about 25Mbit/s. So if there are 6 of you at home all watching different movies in 4K or playing modern multiplayer games at the same time you'll be using about 150Mbit/s. Add a whole lot extra for good luck and 300Mbit/s more than covers it.

Full fibre is very nice to have but unless you are running a business from home, uploading and downloading hundreds of megabytes, I doubt most of us will ever push the limits of even a basic fibre connection.

This is worth bearing in mind because providers always want to sell you the most expensive package and use the "more is better" argument when we may only be using 10% of what we already have.

There may be other fringe benefits - I don't have fibre because I can watch a 4k movie and surf the web at the same time perfectly well on a basic 30Mbit broadband service, so I don't know - but if it came with a guarantee of lower contention ratio for accessing shared network resources or lower latency for faster response times, those might be worth having and you would notice these benefits, but they are different things from the speed of the connection to your house.
Being out in the country, we don't have access to fibre and the copper line was stated as giving 17MB/s max. We went with 4g and an antenna. This gave us 44 on a good day. The house sprawls a bit and has thick walls.

We have a mesh network and as the broadband signal relays its way around the house, with a few power line Ethernet connections just to help things a bit. Some of the extremities still enjoy a really poor signal. TV, even in SD, was buffering in some rooms. It was all down to wi-fi degredation, mesh daisy chaining and PLE interference.

We do like to have piping hot speeds throughout the house, even though there are just the two of us and, when the 4g gradually got worse, I gave in and bought Starlink satellite broad band.

We now get several hundred MB/s incoming and all rooms get decent wi-fi speeds. TV can be watched with HD and buffering is no longer the issue that it was. The system became less reliant upon power line ethernet and I soon realised that the limit wasn't the punch of the mesh network, but was more a combination of loss through the wi-fi and, most importantly, the speed of the incoming broadband. I have managed to Ethernet some parts of the house, but it isn't easy given the way the house is constructed.

I do agree that having high incoming speeds is more bragging rites than anything for most households but, for a few, having a higher incoming speed helps to overcome the limits of the physicality of the house and the infrastructure contained within it.
Just to put this to bed, I bought a new to me 3yr old Dell Optiplex to replace my aging Inspiron and using speedtest in a browser tab on the new pc gives the true maximum speed now. So somehow my old pc was messing with speedtest when used in a browser.

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