Broadband Speed

  • See what broadband speed you could enjoy, or make it the best it can be with our improvement tips and checks.
  • Get a broadband speed estimate with our Line Checker tool.
Broadband Speed

How fast will my broadband speed be?

The broadband speed you can expect will depend on a number of factors.

The main ones are the quality of your phone line and the distance between your home and your local telephone exchange. But your home wiring and even the time of day play a part too.

Use our line checker now to check what speed we could offer you, with no obligation to buy. We'll test your line and tell you the 'line speed' your broadband should be capable of if everything's working at its best, such as ‘5-11 Mb/sec’.

line speed checker example

Things to know:
We can only give an estimate of your likely download speed. The true speed could be reduced by the quality of your phone line, home wiring, electrical interference and the number of people using your network at once. Speeds can be a bit slower during evenings and weekends, too (see What can impact speed?).

What can impact speed?

What can affect my broadband speed?

Lots of factors can affect your broadband speed. Some you can control, others you can't.

If your broadband seems slower than expected, it could be due to one of these:

Distance to your local telephone exchange
The closer your phone line is to the exchange, the quicker the connection usually is. We have to reduce the speed over longer distances so the broadband signal gets through okay.

Length and quality of home wiring
You'll usually get better broadband speeds if the wiring from the master socket to your router is shorter and of good quality.

'Noise' on your phone line
Older lines strung from telegraph poles or those running underground, beneath motorways or large buildings, can suffer 'noise'. The more of this interference, the worse your connection.

Number of connections in your home
If several devices use your broadband at once they can slow your connection. The only real way to avoid this is choose a higher connection speed to begin with, so the pace doesn't drop too much.

Wireless connections
Connecting to a router wirelessly will always be slightly slower than connecting to it with a physical wire.

Weather conditions
Like your TV signal and mobile phone coverage, bad weather can affect your home's external wiring and slow broadband connection. You can only really wait for it to pass.

Other gadgets
Electrical equipment like mobile phones with Bluetooth, microwaves and cordless phones can interfere with your wireless signal. But usually only if lots are switched on at the same time.

Malicious software
Computer viruses, malware and adware can slow down your computer and connection. So check your computer and equipment regularly checked for signs of it.

Time of day
Unsurprisingly, more people go online during the peak time of 6pm-11pm than any other, so you may find download speeds slower during these hours.

Tips to improve speed

How can I improve my broadband speed?

There are a few things you can do or check to make sure you get the optimum broadband speed at home:

Use your master socket
The closer your wireless router is to the master phone socket the better. Plug it straight in with the filter and cables we supply.

Avoid extension cables  
These can interfere with and weaken your broadband signal. If you do need to use one, it should be short and high quality.

Keep your router switched on 24/7 – even at night
This will make sure you get the best speeds possible. Switching it on and off can make your line look unstable, and its speed may be slowed automatically to make the line more reliable.

Check your equipment
A newer computer, wires, sockets and other equipment will give you better performance. Swap any old modems or routers with your Post Office WiFi router.

Plug in microfilters
We'll provide two microfilters with your WiFi router, which stop your broadband signal and phone lines interfering with each other. Plug a filter into every phone socket with telephones or other equipment attached, or your broadband speeds may be slower or not work at all.

Choose where to visit
Some websites send information slower than others. Sites hosted overseas can be slower to download than sites hosted in the UK.

Decide when to view
Websites that stream video may struggled to keep up with demand and buffer at peak times. It's nothing to do with your connection. The server can't send data to everyone who wants it fast enough. Give it time to load, or download the file if you can.

Share the connection
Having several people and devices on your home's connection at one time can slow everyone down. So why not agree who'll use it when?

Check your software
Some internet applications can slow broadband down. It easy to find out by switching them off and testing your speed. Peer-to-peer and file-sharing programs are common culprits.

Check for viruses and spyware
Malicious software will slow you down. Use up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software to keep it out. And run a regular scan to check nothing's in your system already.

Speed issues

Why is my speed fluctuating?

Within the first 10 days of joining Post Office Broadband you may notice some variations in your broadband speed. Your connection may be even drop out at times.

This is normal and nothing to worry about. We're just running tests to find the best balance between speed and reliability on your line.

Please keep your Post Office Wi-Fi router switched on 24/7. It will help us get maximum information about your line's performance. We'll then select the best settings for your connection, and your broadband speed should settle down after 10 days.

How do I solve speed problems?

First, follow our Tips to improve speed. These will help solve or rule any common factors that could affect your connection.

If this still doesn't solve the issue:

  • Check the download speed estimate we sent in your welcome letter when you joined. It will show the speed range we think your line's likely to get.
     
  • Do a basic online speed test on your connection. Lots are available. We recommend this  Internet Speed Test
     
  • You may need to complete a few tests to get an idea of your current broadband speeds throughout the day
     
  • Compare the online speed test result with our speed estimate. Does it fall within the estimate range?
     
  • If not and you’re still having issues,  please get in touch

See how fast Post Office broadband is in your area.

Call Charges

0800: Calls to 0800 numbers are normally free from UK landlines and mobile phones.

0345: Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02). Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages.

*Calls to our Broadband and Phone Customer Care Line 0345 600 3210 are free when made from an active Post Office phone line.

Contact us

0800 092 0514 8am-8pm, Mon-Sat
9am-6pm, Sun
Closed on bank holidays

Existing customers call for free* on:

0345 600 3210 8am-8pm, Mon-Sat
9am-6pm, Sun