How to run an internet speed test
When you’re ready, tap ‘Start’ to run the internet speed check. If you want to run the test again in another room, just tap ‘Restart’ and the speed checker will do the rest.
What do the broadband speed test results show?
This internet speed check includes your download speed test results, upload speed, jitter and latency times, giving you an accurate overall picture of how fast your connection was to your device during the test.
How fast you can receive data from the internet to your device – higher the Mbps (megabits per second), the faster your speed and the quicker you can get downloads (files, photos, music). Powers activities such as streaming videos, receiving emails and online gaming.
How fast you can send data from your device to the internet – higher the Mbps (megabits per second), the faster your speed and the quicker you can do uploads, such as posting photos on social media, emailing files, using cloud storage, video calling and streaming your online gaming.
How consistently data travels through the network – lower, the better. Below 1ms (milliseconds) is a smooth, reliable connection, with good sound and picture quality for voice and video calls, online gaming and smart security cameras. High jitter causes buffering.
How fast data travels from your device to the server – lower, the better. Below 40ms (milliseconds) is a superfast and stable connection. Any higher than 100ms will cause significant lag and make online games difficult to play.
How long does it take to check my internet speed?
A matter of seconds. You might like to repeat the WiFi test in rooms around your home and at different times of the day, to come up with an average speed.
How accurate is the WiFi speed test?
Our broadband speed test is generally pretty accurate and the results are a good reflection of the speeds you were getting during the test. If anything, it’s more likely to underestimate speeds – it’s a strict, Ofcom-approved test (other speed checkers may not be). And if your results vary, don’t worry that’s normal, due to factors such as the time of day and number of devices sharing your broadband when you repeat the internet speed test.
Obviously, you can run a WiFi test to check what speeds you’re getting around your home. But using an Ethernet cable to connect your device to the Hub will give you the most accurate broadband speed test results and a faster connection than wireless broadband.
Ways to make your internet speed check more accurate
- Close all other browser tabs, windows and apps.
- Disconnect your other devices or consoles from the WiFi as they can interfere with the signal.
- Switch off antivirus software and firewalls, if possible.
- Check your device is not too old to be compatible with high broadband speeds.
- Test your broadband speed at different times of day for an average reading.
Fastest average speed
1,130Mbps - 16x faster than UK average download speed*
*Subject to availability, network capacity and credit check. UK’s Fastest Major Broadband Provider: based on Gig1 Fibre avg download speed 1,130Mbps vs avg download speeds of major UK ISPs. To verify, see virginmedia.com/broadband/speeds. Virgin Fibre areas only. Availability of services from other major UK ISPs will differ from Virgin Media’s services. 16x faster: Virgin Media Gig1 Fibre Broadband (avg 1,130Mbps) vs UK average speed 8-10pm (69.4Mbps), based on UK Home Broadband Performance Report, measurement period March 2023.
Why should I test my broadband speed?
It’s quick and easy
The WiFi test is a useful tool to help check how your broadband is performing and if you’re getting the speeds you were promised.
Address any slow speeds
Internet speed test results can help you find and address potential connection problems, such as fixable WiFi blackspots.
Maximise fastest times of day
Multiple broadband speed tests over time can show if and when speed fluctuates. The best times to game online or make big downloads, for example, would be when connection is fastest.
Find right speeds for you
Results give you an idea of what speed you really need. The speed checker helps narrow your options when you’re looking for your next deal, such as cheap broadband deals or any broadband no setup offers, which are available from time to time.
Internet speeds can fluctuate throughout the day, so it’s a good idea to run a WiFi test multiple times over the course of several days to find out your average speed. The more tests you do, the more it’ll help you to get accurate results. Obviously, broadband speed tests are especially useful when you’ve noticed your speed is slower, but running an internet speed check is also a good habit to get into more regularly to make sure your broadband is performing as it should.
Here’s a few possible explanations of what could be causing slower speeds:
- Hub hasn’t been positioned properly or rebooted in a while.
- Too many devices online at the same time.
- Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to work from home, especially during peak office hours.
- Fault with the broadband services in the local area or your home.
- Going online at peak times (8-10pm) or using an older device to connect to the internet.
These tips and tricks can help improve connection and combat slower speeds. You can also follow our guide on how to improve latency. But if you’re getting broadband speed test results that are close to our estimated speeds for your package and you’re finding that the connection is too slow, it may be time to upgrade your broadband to a faster speed.
Check the WiFi Hub
- Is it in its happy place?
Upright. Lights facing the room. Positioned at least half a metre away from objects such as TVs, wireless speakers, cordless phones and radiators (keep the Hub cool).
- Try restarting the Hub
Turning the Hub off and on again to reboot it, every two months, helps correct slow speeds caused by buffers.
- Test your connection
Run our clever tests to find and fix issues with your home’s connection and check for issues in your area.
Free up bandwidth
Disconnect devices around the home that aren’t currently being used to try to speed up the internet connection and boost WiFi signal. If a device is still struggling with WiFi speed, check the latest software is installed and update your internet browser – quick note: newer devices have better reception than older ones.
Try a wired connection
Using an Ethernet cable to connect devices, like your online gaming console or laptop, to the Hub is a reliable way to get fast speeds. Unlike an Ethernet connection, WiFi signal can be disturbed by obstacles such as walls, furniture and doors.
Using a VPN?
Try disconnecting and reconnecting to the VPN (Virtual Personal Network). If you’re working from home using a VPN, this extra level of protection could be affecting your broadband speed, especially during peak office hours.
Online at peak times?
The internet may be faster in the mornings or on weekdays when fewer people are online, compared to busy peak-times when there’s high local demand for the internet (around 8-10pm or during big events e.g. live-streamed football matches).
Computers, laptops, smart phones, tablets – the internet speed check above works with all modern desktop and mobile browsers. There’s greater accuracy when you’re using an Ethernet cable to connect your device to the Hub, so you may want to start testing on gadgets that have a port or that will connect to an Ethernet adapter, such as a MacBook.
- Start 2 to 3 meters away from the Hub – The most accurate way to run a broadband speed test is to connect your device to the Hub using an Ethernet cable. Alternatively, if you’re running a WiFi test, you’ll want to be able to see the Hub and make sure that walls and obstructions aren’t blocking your WiFi signal.
- Check all around the home – In rooms where the Ethernet cable can’t reach, simply connect your device to the WiFi and run a WiFi test to see how performance differs room-to-room throughout the property.
Broadband speed test results are specific to one device and time. So if you repeat the internet speed check – on a different device, in another room or at a different time of day – it’s normal for results to vary as test conditions will have changed. Such as:
- Distance from the Hub.
- Age of the device.
- Browser (Chrome, Safari, Edge, etc) used.
- Available bandwidth – How many devices are connected to your broadband will vary the results.
- Local demand – Results at peak and off-peak times will vary. Or a sudden surge in demand can affect results (network conditions change every second).
Good to know – Download speed and other internet speed check results are less likely to fluctuate on a wired connection when you’re using an Ethernet cable to connect your device to the Hub.
The legal stuff
*Monthly price of Virgin Media’s main services and O2 Airtime Plan will increase each April from April 2025 by the Retail Price Index rate of inflation announced in February each year plus 3.9%. Doesn’t apply to any add-ons you may have selected, out-of-bundle charges or admin costs, which may increase separately. See www.virginmedia.com/prices and www.o2.co.uk/prices for details.
Virgin Media £75 bill credit: This offer is available to new Virgin Media customers ordering M250 broadband only packages online. This bill credit will be applied to your first bill. Any that’s left over will be applied to your following bills until it’s all used. This offer runs from 19th February 2024.
No setup fee
This promotion means you won’t pay the usual setup fee of £35. No setup fee is available on all bundles, broadband & phone, and broadband only packages. If you can set up using a Self-Install pack, but choose to use an engineer for the installation, you’ll still be charged £30 for this service.
- Read the terms on the Priority app or at o2.co.uk/terms
Get fast, reliable WiFi gliding through every room or money back
Eligible Virgin Fibre areas only. WiFi Guarantee available with M50 broadband or faster. £8p/m extra or included with Gig1 or Volt. At least 30Mbps download speeds in every room or £100 one-off credit. Up to 3 WiFi Pods if needed. Exclusions & legal stuff apply.
†To verify, see: https://www.virginmedia.com/legal/awards. Best in Test: based on umlaut Fixed Broadband Benchmark 2023 comparing major UK ISPs on download speed, upload speed, latency and stability. Uswitch Most Popular Broadband Provider: based on Uswitch consumer research Dec 2022 - Jan 2023 conducted by Opinium comparing broadband sales volumes and overall customer satisfaction of major UK ISP operators, split equally to form a combined score. Best Combined Connectivity Experience: based on GWS test results Oct 2022-Apr 2023 comparing data connectivity performance of major UK mobile operators and their associated ISP partners to form a combined score across both mobile network and WiFi experience.