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Are You Getting the Internet Speeds You’re Paying For?

Are You Getting the Internet Speeds You're Paying For?Husband and I were recently having a conversation about what our internet was like when we first started living together. At the time, we paid a fair amount for it and I think our speeds were around 5Mbps – we thought this was pretty good, but looking back it was terrible by comparison!

These days, our internet speeds are 500Mbps, and we often get much faster speeds than this too. It’s been a long time coming, to be fair – when we first moved to our current house, we were back to having 5Mbps speeds because the rural infrastructure was so ancient, so when it was all upgraded, we felt like we’d been catapulted into the future.

It’s all well and good paying for a decent internet package, but have you ever wondered if you’re really getting the speeds you’re paying for? Doing an online Speedcheck is the easiest way to find out but there are some things to remember.

Traffic Shaping

Traffic shaping is something that some internet providers do, which means that at peak times you may find your speeds are slowing down. They do this so that everyone gets an equal share of the bandwidth, but it’s not always legit as it means you’re not always getting the speeds you’re paying for, so it’s worth checking your contract to see if it’s mentioned in there. You can work out if your traffic is being shaped by doing speed checks at different times of day, both off peak and during busy times to see if there’s a consistent drop in speeds at a specific time.

Disclaimers Regarding Speeds

Sometimes, there will be small print on your internet providers service, meaning that although you’re paying for one speed, this may be subject to certain conditions. Keep an eye out for words like “up to”. Also, find out what the maximum speed you can receive through your infrastructure before commiting to a plan – it’s all very well taking out a package which offers “speeds up to 500Mbps” but if your local cables can only deliver 5Mbps, you’re going to be grossly overpaying for a service that it’s impossible for you to receive!

Check Your Neighbours Speeds

If you’re on friendly terms with your neighbours, it’s always a good idea to confer with them to see who they get their internet from, how much they pay and if they have a referral code which gives money off of theirs and your connection. If you know that your neighbours are getting a specific deal with isn’t being advertised, it gives you much better ammo for negotiating your price.

Wired/Wireless?

Another thing to bear in mind is that some providers will differentiate between wireless and wired speeds. If you use a tablet or laptop to surf the internet, you may find that your speeds are totally different to speeds you’d get if you were using a PC which was hardwired to your router. To check the difference, invest in a network cable and test your speeds both wired and through your Wi-Fi. If you’re not getting Wi-Fi connectivity you expected but the wired speeds are okaym your ISP (internet service provider) may be able to offer you hotspots which can be plugged in around the house to aplify your Wi-Fi signal.

Don’t forget, check your speeds at different times of the day using Speedcheck and keep a log of them for 7 days before speaking to your ISP. It could be great for price negotiations to have the data on hand!

Could We Live Without the Internet? #BroadbandandMe

I’m going to answer the above question here and now:

NO. I could not live without the internet!

I mean, obviously, my heart wouldn’t stop and I’d carry on breathing, but my life would be next to impossible without the internet. I work online through my blog and other remote writing jobs that I do. I do all of my banking online. I pay bills online. I shop online. I even pay for Sausage’s school meals online! We’ve had patchy connections a couple of times since living out in the countryside and it always makes life so much more difficult.¬†LMS Group advises on updating your broadband provider regularly to ensure you’re getting the best deal available

Aside from all of the practical stuff we do online, most of our entertainment revolves around having an internet connection, too; the girls use their tablets online, we watch Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, we use it for catch-up TV and online gaming. We would be SO BORED without an internet connection! I also spend a lot of time researching recipes on the internet, now that we eat a ketogenic diet – our meals would be incredibly limited if I wasn’t able to use the internet for inspiration and recipes.

TalkTalk Business have asked me to talk about¬†#BroadbandandMe, which is why I’m sharing all of this with you. Husband and I have toyed with the idea of getting a business line for our broadband on many an occasion because we both work from home and it would mean that repairs would be guaranteed to be dealt with in a much shorter time frame if anything ever went wrong with our connection. There has been a couple of occasions where I’ve needed to email a client and let them know that I may not meet a deadline because of patchy internet and it never gives a very professional impression to people I rely on for work.

When you’re a freelancer, there’s always the worry that someone else is going to come along with a smaller fee or a shorter turnaround period and steal work away from you, so having a reliable internet connection is imperative in that situation. Being freelance can feel a bit scary and irregular at times, so knowing you have a good internet connection backing you up goes a long way to making you feel a little bit more secure in your job.

What does your family use the internet for? Is it something you think you could live without? Have you ever done one of those crazy internet detoxes where you ban all internet devices for a period of time? Do leave me a comment below and let me know how you and your family feel about all of this! Thanks for reading.