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Why does my broadband speed change throughout the day?

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Last updated: 03 March 2022

If you buy a broadband package with advertised speeds of 100Mbps, you can be forgiven for thinking that’s what you’ll get all the time. Sadly, this isn’t the case, with your actual bandwidth varying throughout the day. But why does this happen? Why can’t providers stick to their promises?

The reason your broadband speed will fluctuate throughout the day is down to two main causes:

Network congestion

The first of these will be the time of day that you are accessing the internet. If you log on during peak hours, which are typically between 7-11PM, you might find your bandwidth restricted. This is because ISPs engage in a process called throttling, which limits the speed customers within a certain area can achieve, allowing for a manageable minimum speed for everyone. 

Household usage

Closer to home, any other people using your network will dramatically affect your browsing experience. If five members of your household are all using the internet at the same time, the bandwidth needs to be split between them, bringing down the Mbps allotment for each person.

So, how can you resolve this? Well, you could try one of the following:

  1. Try to use the internet outside of busy times 
  2. Download a VPN
  3. Change internet provider

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Michael Quinn

Author: Michael Quinn

Michael is a dedicated author helping usave to write guides, blogs and news for the last four years. When not writing articles, you can usually find him at wine tasting events or having a political debate on the night tube.

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