If you upgrade to fibre you can choose your speed. Do you want a 30/10 package (30Mbps download and 10 upload)? Or maybe the 100/20 plan? Or splash out for a gigabit plan that can give you 900Mbps download?
It depends on what you want to do.
To load a basic webpage, such as Google or Consumer.org.nz, you only need about 40Mbps. Above that, you won’t really notice a difference in loading times. So if all you do is email and some light browsing then this a good limit to look for.
If you do anything else, then you need to look at speeds a bit closer.
If you stream video from services such as Netflix or even larger videos on YouTube, you’ll need closer to 100Mbps to get a good-quality high-definition stream. If you want to watch in 4K, you’ll need even more.
If you want to upload photos or videos to the internet, then you need a good upload speed; preferably 20 or higher. Fibre offers symmetrical speeds so you can get, for example, 100/100 plans, for better uploading.
So what would a gigabit plan be good for? Large files, lots of streaming, and heavy-duty web work. While most people don’t need it, you don’t buy a car that can only do 100km/h.
Download speed is the most important. It is the speed at which information is transferred from the internet to your computer, tablet or internet-enabled device. The higher the download speed, the faster you can get websites to load, videos or music to play or photos to load on the screen. If you have a slow internet connection, then you’ll experience buffering (loading delays) and sluggish web-browsing.
Upload speed is the speed at which information is transferred from your device to the internet. The faster the upload speed, the quicker and smoother the process will be. Slow upload speeds mean sending emails, uploading photos or videos or using cloud-based storage will be painful.
On most plans, download speeds on home internet connections are considerably higher than upload speeds.
Your broadband speed is determined by several factors. The most important are the type of connection and your broadband plan.
So first off – check your broadband speed. To get a realistic speed, test the device you use most often where it’s usually used. Speedtest will tell you what download and upload speeds you get.
Don't assume the speeds your broadband provider advertises are the speeds you'll actually get in your home. For example, if you see a package advertised as offering download speeds of up to 100Mbps, there is no guarantee you'll get that speed.
Generally, fibre plans are more likely than A/VDSL to get the advertised speed to the modem. The speed over your WiFi may be slower though.
Thankfully, you don't have to resort to just picking a package you like the sound of and hoping for the best. The Consumer Broadband Compare team keep a close eye on anyone who is off the pace.