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How much broadband speed do you need?

When choosing your broadband package it's important to think about what speed is best for you. Your total broadband speed will be shared amongst all your connected devices. If you’ve got lots of devices doing different things online, all at the same time, you’ll need speeds that can keep up.

To help you, this guide explains the speeds you need for common online activities. We've also summarised the speeds you can expect from our packages, along with how long it would take to download your favourite music, movies, games and TV shows.

The term "speed" refers to throughput speed. You can check yours using our broadband speed test.

How speed is measured

Broadband speed is digitally measured using Megabits or Megabits per second (Mbps). The more Megabits your broadband can transfer per second, the faster your connection is and the more you can do online. 


How much speed you need

Here are the throughput speeds you need for common online activities, as recommended by Ofcom.

This table advises the speed needed for each activity
Activity Throughput speed required
Web browsing & Email 1Mbps
Video streaming (SD) 3Mbps
Video streaming (HD) 5Mbps
Video streaming (Ultra HD) 30Mbps
Music streaming 2Mbps
Online phone service (e.g. WhatsApp)* 0.256Mbps
Video calling (e.g. FaceTime)* 1Mbps
Gaming* 3Mbps

*These services are more likely to be affected by broadband latency.


You can use the figures above to estimate how much speed you'll need on your home connection. For example, if you wanted to stream HD video on 2 devices and browse the web on a third device, your broadband speed needs to be at least 11Mbps. If you've often got multiple devices connected at the same time, you'll likely get the best experience with Fibre broadband.


How speed affects download times

Here are the average speeds and download times you can expect on our packages.

This table advises the average download times
  Average Download times
TalkTalk Product Average Throughput Speed (Mbps) 0.1GB File e.g. Photo Album download 0.5GB File e.g. Music Album download 1GB File e.g. Movie (SD) download 10GB File e.g. Movie (HD) download 100GB File e.g. Game or Movie (UHD) download
Fast BB 11 1 min 20 secs 6.5 mins 13 mins 2 hrs 10 mins 21hrs 40 mins
Fibre 35 38 25 secs 2 mins 4 mins 35 mins 6 hrs
Fibre 65 77 12 secs 1 min 2 mins 21 mins 3.5 hrs
Fibre 150 152 5 secs 29 secs 59 secs 10 mins 1hs 39 mins
Fibre 250 290 2 secs 14 secs 29 secs 5 mins 49 mins
Fibre 500 525 2 secs 10 secs 20 secs 4 mins 34 mins
Fibre 900 944 1 sec 5 secs 11 secs 2 mins 19 mins