Follow our step-by-step guides to help you get up and running with EE.
Improving your broadband speed
Broadband speed tells you how fast data is sent (upload speed) or received (download speed) along your phone line. It's measured in megabits a second (Mb/sec), usually shortened to Meg or Mb.
The speed you'll experience on your computer (or device) is influenced by a number of factors.
The speed of your package (headline speed)
We offer three types of broadband package:
- Broadband - with download speeds of up to 17 Mb/sec and upload speeds of up to 1 Mb/sec
- Fibre Broadband - with download speeds of up to 38 Mb/sec and upload speeds of up to 10 Mb/sec
- Fibre Plus - with download speeds of up to 76 Mb/sec and upload speeds of up to 20 Mb/sec
You can see which packages are available in your home using our Speed and Availability checker.
The speed your line will support
Our Speed and Availability checker will give you a good estimate of the access line speed you could get in your home.
If you already have EE Home Broadband, log in to your account online to see the speed we estimated for your line when you first signed up, moved house or changed your broadband package.
What affects my access line speed?
Your access line speed is the maximum speed you'll experience. In general, the closer you are to our broadband equipment, the faster your access line speed will be.
- with Fibre Broadband the broadband equipment lives in a cabinet on your road
- with standard broadband this is found in your local telephone exchange
Other factors such as the quality of your phone line (both inside and outside your home), any set up problems and even bad weather and electrical interference can all affect the speed of your service.
Your actual broadband speed
The actual speed you see on your computer or devices in your home is known as your throughput speed. Your throughput speed will be lower than your access line speed, due to a number of things:
- how many people are using our network and the Internet at the same time (from six until nine at night are usually the busiest times)
- the speed and number of people using the web site or service you're using
- how many people (or devices) are connected to, and using your broadband connection
- the distance and quality of the connection between your computer or device and router - in particular with wireless connections
- computer issues, for example spyware or older computers
- the type of internet service you're using - you'll find more information about how we manage our network in our network management pages
Testing your broadband speed
You can check your actual broadband speed using a broadband speed tester. See our guide to testing your broadband speed below for more help with this.
Improve your speed
If you find that your actual broadband speed is much slower than the speed we estimated your line could support, don't worry. You'll find loads of tips and suggestions in our guide below to improving your broadband speed.
- Getting started
Problems with your broadband can be caused by incidents in your local area.
You can check using the Openreach local network status checker.
Simply enter your home postcode. If any issues have been reported you'll find details about the problem, and when it will be fixed.
If there are no incidents, you can continue to work through the steps below.
Test from home
Make sure you're at home and connected to your EE Home Broadband connection.
Connect with wires
For best results, connect to your router using a wired connection. Turn off any devices using your wireless connection while running the test.
Tip: Using a wired connection first will help you understand if your wireless connection is limited your speed. You can test using wireless later.
Stop using your connection
Shut down any other programs or devices in your home that could be using the Internet, e.g. email, peer2peer, internet browsers or smart TVs.
- Running the test
Once you're happy that nothing else is using your connection, run your speed test.
We recommend the BT Wholesale Broadband Performance Test (link opens in a new tab or window). The tester doesn't work with iPhones/ iPads or other devices or computers that don't have Flash installed. Other sites are available - use your favourite search engine and search speed test.
- Go to http://speedtest.btwholesale.com/
- Click Yes and then click Begin Test
- The site will test the speed of your broadband connection
- Your results
Once complete, the site will show the results to the download and upload tests.
- Comparing with your speed estimate
In this example our standard broadband line has a download speed of 16.15 Mb/sec.
You can compare this to the speed we estimated for your line when you signed up to broadband by logging into your account and selecting the option Your broadband speed under MY HOME BROADBAND.
Your speed estimate will be shown, similar to the example below:
If you find that your speed is acceptable when using a wired connection, our guide on improving wireless performance offers some helpful tips to improve your speed.
- Comparing with your access line speed
If the speed you're getting is much lower than the estimate we gave you, start by comparing the results to your access line speed. You'll find this in your router's admin pages. See our guide below for more help.
How to check my Home Broadband access line speed
If your access line speed is significantly lower than your estimated speed, see the section My access line speed is slow.
- Further diagnostics
Following the link to Further diagnostics will show a summary of your results will be displayed, alongside advice about acceptable speeds for your line.
- Enter your Home Phone telephone number and click Run Diagnostic Test
- A summary of your results will be displayed
- The Best Effort Test results show your download speed, the maximum achievable speed for your line and also a range of speeds that are acceptable for your connection
- Remember, the actual speed of your connection could go down at busy periods - you can find out more about this in the guide About broadband speeds.
If the site picks up a problem with your connection and you've followed our advice, we'll be happy to help. You'll find our number on the get in touch page.
- Enter your Home Phone telephone number and click Run Diagnostic Test
- My access line speed is slow
Start by checking your phone line is working OK. If you can hear noise on your phone line, or you're finding that calls are cutting off regularly there could be problems with equipment connected to your line, or even a fault.
See our guide Home Phone - fixing faults for more help.
If you've got a phone socket with an inbuilt filter (like one of the ones below), make sure you use this socket. You don't need to worry about filter set up on other sockets so you can skip this step.
If you've got a standard phone socket (like one of the ones below):
Make sure there's a broadband filter connected directly into to the socket.
This includes sockets for:
- TV services e.g. Sky
- Answer phones
- Alarm systems - you might need to talk to an alarm engineer about this
Forgetting to use filters causes interference on your line. Interference results in connection problems. Connection problems are improved by reducing the speed of your line. So, by fitting filters you can reduce interference and improve your speed.
It could take up to three days before you notice any improvements to your speed after correcting your filter set up.
You can buy more broadband filters at EE Home Broadband and TV accessories. If you use our standard broadband service select ADSL filter. Or, if you have our Fibre Broadband service our VDSL filters are recommended.
Check your wiring
Extension cables and extension sockets can reduce the speed of your connection.
Try connecting your router directly to your main socket - that's the socket your phone line connects to as it enters your home. After around three days, you may find your connection speed increases.
If you continue to experience problems, follow our guide to check if internal wiring is causing your slow speed issue.
From time to time, it can help to turn your router off, then back on again. To do this:
- Turn your router (and Openreach modem if you have one) off at the power
- Wait a minute
- Turn it back on again
- It will take around a minute to restart and for your connection to come back on
Important: continually turning your router off, then back on again can appear like a connection problem which can in turn cause our systems to drop the speed of your line. So, don't do this too often, and if possible try and leave your router turned on.
Try moving your router (and any phone line extension cables) a few meters away from things like:
- HiFi speakers
- Televisions and set top boxes
- Computer monitors
- Halogen desk lamps
- Faulty central heating thermostats
- Microwave ovens
Faults on your broadband line
Faults on your broadband line can cause the speed of your connection to drop. Even when the fault is resolved, it can take up to three days for your speed to return to normal. If you think there might be a fault on your line, get in touch.
- Slow wireless connection
Put your router in pride of place
So, where you position your router can make a big difference to the speed of your connection.
- Do: Put it on a shelf or table
- Don't: Put it on the floor - especially if you've got thick carpets
- Do: Place it away from sources of interference such as microwave ovens, baby monitors cordless phones and HiFi speakers
- Try not to: Obstruct the wireless signal between your router and device - thick walls, fish tanks, fridges and radiators can all cause problems
- Try to: Move your router close to where you use the internet the most
Change your router's wireless channel
Your neighbour's WiFi, computers, microwave ovens, baby monitors and all your lovely gizmos give off signals that can affect your wireless connection. Not good. Changing the channel or frequency on your router can help fix the problem.
Search our help channel for more help changing channel.
Older wireless devices
If you have older wireless devices connected to your router, these can cause the speed of your wireless connection to reduce.
Try turning off older devices as a test, then restart your router and see if the speed increases.
It may help to contact the manufacturer to see if any driver updates are available. These might improve wireless connectivity.
- My actual speed is slow
The age and health of your computer make a big difference to the overall speed you experience online. But there are a few simple things you can do to get moving faster:
- Restart your computer (and router while you're at it) - it really can make a difference
- Clear your computer's cookies & cache
- Reset your browser
- Update your operating system - you'll find more help in our Microsoft and Apple guides
- Check you've not got a virus (or spyware and malware) - you can take advantage of our free year's subscription to Norton Security Premuim™
- Check old anti-virus software isn't causing a problem - try uninstalling any software you no longer need
- Close any programs you're not using - especially if you're using an older computer
- Check Java and Adobe Flash player are installed - some websites need these to work properly (including the speed tester)
What happens during busy times?
The speed of your connection will go up and down. The number of people using our network and your connection at home, all impact the speed you'll experience. You'll also find some websites appear to go very slow if lots of people are using the service.
We aim to provide you with an excellent broadband experience at all times of the day, so we manage our internet traffic according to certain rules at busy times. You can see how we do this in our network management pages.