Broadband speed – guide to technical terminology

There are many terms used when it comes to the connection speed for your broadband membership plan, each with a different meaning. Choose a term below to find out more:

This is the speed that data is transferred from the internet to you.

A faster download speed gives you:

  • Quicker download times for music, photo and video files
  • Smoother video streaming, with less pausing, buffering and continuous loading

This is the speed that data is transferred from you to the internet.

A faster upload speed:

  • Makes it quicker to send emails with photos or other large files attached
  • Allows faster uploading of photo and video files to social networking sites
  • Reduces lag in online games
  • Enhances the quality of video and phone calls you make over the internet

When you join NOW Broadband, we'll let you know your minimum guaranteed download speed. This is based on the speed that the bottom 10% of lines like yours can get. 

If your download speed falls below this, you have the right to cancel your NOW Broadband Membership without paying any termination fees. See below for more info.

These are the speeds you'll normally get between 8pm and 10pm every day (when lines are busiest).

These are the fastest speeds that you can get at peak times. It's the average speed that the top 20% of lines like yours can get.

This is the speed on your device when using your broadband connection.

Your throughput speed will be lower than your access line speed. This is because throughput speed can be affected by other things too, including:

  • The number of devices connected to your broadband at the same time
  • The volume of users trying to access the same website at the same time as you
  • The distance from your device to your NOW Broadband Hub
  • Whether or not you have microfilters set up correctly to reduce interference on your line
  • Electrical devices near your Hub, such as microwaves, cordless phones, baby monitors, Bluetooth controllers, wireless game controllers and fluorescent lights.

This is the advertised ‘average download speed’ for your NOW Broadband Membership plan.

This refers to the peak time (8-10pm) median average download speed, as measured in the annual Ofcom UK Home Broadband Performance report.

This is based on information including the length and quality of your phone line, and refers to the download speed between your Hub and the local telephone exchange.

To measure your access line speed:

  1. Open a new browser window and type into the address bar, then press Enter.
  2. When prompted, enter the username admin and the password nowtv.
  3. Once signed in, select Maintenance from the options at the top.
  4. You'll find your access line speed in the Modem section, labelled as DownStream Connection Speed.

The actual download and upload speeds that you experience when using the internet will be slower than the access line speed for your line. This is because of various factors, including:

  • The Wi-Fi connection between your device and your NOW Broadband Hub. Wi-Fi connections can be slowed down by thick walls in your home, other electrical items such as baby monitors or cordless phones, and local congestion if there are a number of connections using the same Wi-Fi channel in your neighbourhood.
  • The number of people that are using the website you’re trying to access.
  • Time of day - you connection might be slower at peak times (weekday evenings and weekends), when the number of people using the internet in the UK is highest.

Speed and connection testing

Please leave your NOW Broadband Hub turned on for the first ten days so we can test different broadband speeds and settings on your line.

Your starting speed will be the best speed your line can support, based on factors including the condition of your line. During these first ten days you may notice some variations in speed and your connection might be intermittent at times.

More infoBroadband speed fluctuation in first ten days


Not getting your Guaranteed Minimum Download Speed?

If you're not getting the Minimum Download Speed we promised when you joined or NOW Broadband, first try our online technical checks to test your line and find out about network issues.

If our checks don't improve your broadband speed, just get in touch by phone to speak to an advisor.

NOW Broadband subscribes to Ofcom's Voluntary Code of Practice on broadband speeds, so if we're unable to provide the minimum guaranteed speed we promised you, you'll have the right to cancel your NOW Broadband Membership early without paying any termination fees.


Need a faster connection?

If you're a Brilliant Broadband Member, upgrading to NOW Fab Fibre or NOW Super Fibre Membership will improve your download and upload times and your connection. Get in touch by phone to upgrade.

Alternatively, NOW Powered by Sky offers faster, more reliable broadband with a full fibre connection. Find out if it's available in your area.

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