What's the fastest broadband in my area?
Fast internet is useful for all kinds of things - speedy downloads, the ability to watch Netflix without waiting for it to buffer, livetweeting Game of Thrones to the second - and some of us want the absolute fastest possible. Here's what you can get, and how to get it.
How to find the fastest broadband in your area
Easy - use the postcode checker above.
Broadband availability varies by town, neighbourhood, and your property, so the only way to find the fastest broadband you can get is by entering your postcode. Then, sort the results by speed to see the best deals at the top - or pick a minimum speed from the filters at the side of the page.
What's the fastest broadband in the UK?
The fastest widely available broadband available in the UK comes from Virgin Media - its top package has download speeds up to an incredible 300Mb. And most stats show that the majority of homes with that connection do indeed get speeds well beyond 250Mb.
If you can't get Virgin Media in your area, you'll need to rely on Openreach-based providers - including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and many more. The fastest you can get here is fibre optic broadband with speeds up to 76Mb.
Thanks to Openreach's rollout efforts, more than 90% of homes and businesses in the UK have access to fibre, so your chances of grabbing a speedy connection are pretty high.
Sadly though, if fibre isn't available to you, the fastest packages you can get offer speeds of up to 17Mb on standard ADSL lines.
Remember to take those speed figures with a pinch of salt too - they're just the 'up to' speeds on each package, which only the top 10% of homes can reach. The actual speed you get may be a fair bit lower, as it can vary a lot based on your precise area, property type, distance from the local cabinet and exchange, and other factors.
Those are the fastest broadband packages you can get nationally across the UK, but there are also a handful of local and niche providers in certain areas that offer high-speed internet. The top speeds on offer here vary a lot depending on where you are, but you can get up to an unbelievable 1Gb with some providers.
These are often smaller providers with their own local network, and sometimes offer FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) broadband. That means the line is fully fibre optic, all the way from the exchange to your home - as opposed to FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) broadband, which still uses a copper line between your home and the local street cabinet. Needless to say, FTTP is markedly faster.
There's also BT's budding G.fast network, which offers speeds up to 300Mb - but again, it's only available in a small number of selected areas.
Another thing to bear in mind is that broadband this fast is often pretty expensive. It's almost certainly cheaper to go with Virgin Media or an up to 76Mb fibre package if they're available.
What speed do I need?
Most households don't necessarily need broadband quite as fast as 300Mb. You could save money by choosing something less intensive. An up to 38Mb fibre connection is pretty capable, for instance - it's enough bandwidth to stream HD video on two or more devices at once, easily.
An ultrafast, up to 300Mb line is best for a really big household with lots and lots of devices, or anyone who wants the fastest possible speeds for downloading large files, gaming, streaming in 4K quality, work, and so on. Most other households will get on fine with a slower package.
We recommend using our speed checker tool to give you an idea of what your current connection is like, and what speed you reckon you'll need.
And see our guide on how to choose broadband for a bit of guidance on what to pick.
Can you get fast business broadband?
Need fast broadband for your business? You've got even more options available.
Dedicated business broadband is available at a range of superfast speeds all across the country. Full-on enterprise broadband can come with speeds up to 10Gb in some special cases - and even if you don't need internet quite that fast, you'll usually at least get symmetrical upload and download speeds.
Packages also tend to include other business-friendly features such as static IP addresses and service level agreements, and you sometimes have the option to scale your package (and therefore speed) up and down as your business changes.
Read more about business broadband, and compare deals, right here: