Deciding what broadband to get is a common problem for a lot of families. It is difficult to know whether to get superfast fibre broadband due to its obvious speed benefits or whether to stick with standard ADSL broadband for now. What works best for you and your family comes down to the way in which you use the Internet. What may work for one person may not be suitable for another so it is important to answer the questions below and you should then be able to decide what broadband connection works best for you.
First and foremost it is important to consider how often you will be at home and actually using your broadband to connect to the Internet. Many people make the mistake of opting for the full fibre package with all the works and then they are only around for an hour a day. This doesn’t make much sense if you are not using it to its full capacity.
If you find that you or other members of your family will be around for the majority of the day, then a full fibre package may be beneficial. The more you use it, the more you will be getting you money’s worth.
If you are only home during the evenings and weekends like most families, you may think that opting for standard ADSL may be fine. There are instances where a standard ADSL line may see significant drops in performance during these hours as it is usually the busiest time of the day or week for the rest of the street too. If there are a lot of people connected to the same ISP at the same time, you may notice some speed throttling so that the demand can be spread across its users or sent to the priority lines in some cases. This is especially common in suburban residential areas.
While a lot of TV can still be watched live via an aerial or via satellite dish, a large proportion of the United Kingdom now watch their favourite TV shows as and when they have time and often not via a live signal. If you find yourself doing this often, you will most likely be watching TV through catch-up TV, and this will require the show to be downloaded to your computer or device to watch it back.
The same thing applies to movies. Not a lot of movies are watched live today, even if you purchase a premium package via SKY or Virgin, it is unlikely you will wait for a start time on Sky Premier for example. It is much easier to find the same film and start it when you want it, or on-demand. Films will generally require a fair amount of data to be downloaded before it can be watched.
In order to watch a film or TV show via streaming, you will need to have a fast enough connection so that the data can be downloaded and keep ahead of the stream. If your connection is not fast enough, you may notice that it will stop occasionally and buffer to catch up before it’ll start again.
With large families comes increased demand for broadband speeds and data limits. Generally, a large family will require more bandwidth in order to allow all activities to be performed at once. If you currently have a large family and notice that when the whole family are in you have a slowdown in performance, it is likely to be due to a connection that is not fast enough to cope with the demand for speed.
A common example may be when you are watching a TV show downstairs, and the kids are upstairs playing a game online. The Tv show may start buffering occasionally, or your kids may start screaming “who’s downloading something!?” This is sure sign that your broadband connection is not sufficient for the way you use it. I would suggest considering fibre optic broadband in this instance.
Online gaming is one of the most data-intensive activities you can perform in a household and is often a source of major frustration to a lot of gamers. Modern consoles will demand to be connected to the Internet before they will work correctly due to the reliance on external servers to verify legitimate copies of a game and to download required updates.
Updates themselves can often be large files that will take a while to download on an ADSL connection. This can be very frustrating if you had intended to start a game and have a quick game before you go to bed, it is not ideal to be waiting several hours before you can actually pick up the controller.
In order to play online games without any performance issues, a fast connection is preferred. Latency is a common phrase use in gaming and the lower the latency, the better. Fibre optic is known for having lower latency speeds, often below 10ms which can be significant when playing certain online games.
If you feel that any of the above may be an issue for you, then I would consider looking into fibre optic broadband for your household. You can see what broadband deals are available in your local area by using our broadband postcode checker.