How fast are Wi-Fi internet speeds in Belfast?
If you live in Belfast, you’ll be pleased to know that superfast internet coverage is available almost everywhere across the city.
According to Ofcom’s latest Connected Nations report, 99% of homes in Belfast were able access superfast broadband in 2019 - at least 30 megabits per second (Mbps) - while 92% could get ultrafast internet coverage (at least 300Mbps).
Compare the Market’s own British Broadband Index also reported an improvement in 2019, with average download speeds for Belfast up by 15.1 Mbps to 79.8Mbps, compared to 64.7Mbps the year before.
Did you know?
When it comes to high speed internet, Northern Ireland takes the top spot in the UK. Full fibre services are available to 31% of the country, compared to 12% in Wales, 10% in England and 8% in Scotland.
Which internet providers offer deals in Belfast?
There’s a great range of internet providers to choose from in Belfast, from the top UK names to smaller, independent providers. That’s why it’s a good idea to shop around and compare the latest deals on offer.
Here are some of the top broadband providers offering deals in Belfast:
The UK’s biggest broadband provider offers a great range of deals for customers in Belfast. Depending on your internet needs, you can find deals ranging from 10Mbps up to 67Mbps.
Virgin is one of the fastest internet providers in the UK. Thanks to its Project Lightning programme, Virgin offers ultrafast internet speeds of up to 516Mbps in Belfast. And if that’s not fast enough for you, Virgin has now unleashed Gig1 Fibre in Belfast, promising download speeds averaging over 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).
Choose from broadband-only deals to bundles which include broadband, TV, phone and mobile all in one package.
A good choice for customers on a budget, TalkTalk offers a fixed-price guarantee for the length of your contract. That means no nasty mid-contract price hikes. TalkTalk has a range of home broadband and TV packages to choose from.
Sky Broadband ^^
Sky offers broadband and TV packages which include a number of TV add-ons such as Sky Entertainment, Cinema or Sports. Sky’s broadband Essential package with average speeds of 11Mbps is a good choice for light users, while its Superfast package with average speeds of 59Mbps is ideal for gaming and streaming.
NOW Broadband ^^
If you’re looking for a simple, hassle-free broadband deal, NOW offers monthly rolling deals without the need to sign up for a long-term contract. NOW offers 11Mbps Brilliant Broadband, 36Mbps Fab Fibre and 63Mbps Super Fibre deals.
^^ Please note, we don’t currently compare NOW and Sky broadband and TV deals.
What types of broadband are available in Belfast?
There are a number of broadband options available in Belfast, depending on where you live and what your internet needs are.
- Standard ADSL – delivers internet to your home through the copper wires of your phone line. Download speeds up to 30Mbps.
- Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) – delivers superfast internet from the telecom cabinet on your road via fibre optic cables. It then travels from the cabinet to your home through the copper wires of your phone. Download speeds up to 300Mbps.
- Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) – delivers an ultrafast, full-fibre internet connection directly into your home via fibre cables that go all the way up to your property. Download speeds up to 1Gbps.
- Cable – a mixture of fibre optic and coaxial cables used by Virgin Media to deliver ultrafast internet speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Check the broadband speed in your area with our speed checker
To see what broadband deals are available in your area of Belfast, enter your postcode here
Frequently asked questions
Which is the fastest internet provider in Belfast?
The roll-out of ultrafast, full-fibre broadband in Belfast is dominated by Virgin Media and Openreach (BT).
It’s an ongoing process with both companies adding more areas each month. Since 2015 Virgin Media has brought gigabit-capable, full-fibre broadband to more than 330,000 properties in Northern Ireland.
Virgin’s Gig1 Fibre Broadband has recently been launched in Belfast and surrounding areas. Promising download speeds averaging over 1Gbps, Virgin’s fastest, new-generation broadband claims to be 3x faster than BT and Sky’s fastest ever speeds.
Openreach continues to extend its ‘Fibre First’ programme across Northern Ireland. In the Belfast area 120,000 premises now have access to Openreach Full Fibre broadband. That’s more than 60% of homes and businesses.
Meanwhile Fibrus, a new full-fibre ISP, plans to build a 1Gbps full-fibre broadband network across Northern Ireland over the next five years.
It looks like the competition for ultrafast broadband is heating up – which could be good news for Belfast residents looking for cheaper broadband deals.
Is full fibre available where I live?
Here’s a list of the fibre-enabled exchanges now available in Belfast according to Openreach. If you live in one of these areas, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get fibre:
|Exchange||Type of fibre available|
|Belfast Balmoral||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Belfast Cregagh||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Belfast East||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Belfast Fortwilliam||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Belfast Knock||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Belfast Malone||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Belfast North||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Belfast Ormeau||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Belfast Stormont||FTTC/P & FOD|
FTTC – Fibre to the cabinet
FTTP – Fibre to the premises
FOD – Fibre on demand
What broadband speed do I need?
We appreciate that it’s all very well talking about ultrafast speeds up to 1Gbps, but what does this all really mean for you? Before you start comparing broadband deals, think about the speed you need based on how you use the internet.
Here’s a rough idea of the speeds you’d need for the following internet activities:
- Casual use, emails and general browsing – 5Mbps
- Online shopping, social media, SD video and music streaming – 10 Mbps
- HD video and music streaming, Skype and Zoom video calling, light online gaming – 25 Mbps
- Families with multiple devices, Ultra HD video streaming, Netflix and Amazon Prime, gaming, smart home devices and security cameras – 30Mbps
- Multiple heavy users, frequently downloading/uploading large files, heavy gamers – 50+Mbps
Like most of us, you may also find that the speed you need has changed during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, if you’re now working from home, you might need more Mbps for Zoom calls and frequent file sharing.
What should I think about when comparing broadband deals?
There are a few things to consider before choosing a broadband deal. Think about:
- The type of broadband you want and what types are available in your area
- What you use the internet for and the speed you need
- How much you’re willing to pay – is it worth paying more for ultrafast fibre if you don’t actually need it?
- How long you’ll be tied into a contract
- Do you want to bundle your broadband with a phone and TV package?
Once you’ve got an idea of what you need, you can start comparing deals to find the best one for you. To find out what broadband deals are available where you’re based in Belfast, simply enter your postcode below. We’ll take you to a list of the latest deals in your area.
How much does broadband cost?
How much your broadband will cost, can depend on a few things.
|Do you want broadband only, or a bundled package?||What type of broadband will suit your needs? Standard, superfast or ultrafast?||The length of contract you want.|
What do I need to find a broadband deal in Belfast?
Finding the right broadband deal for you couldn’t be easier. Simply pop your postcode in the box and we’ll send you a list of deals currently available in your area.
Why use Compare the Market?
|Compare broadband deals in less than 1 minute**||Compare deals in Belfast from both large and small providers||92.4% of users would recommend Compare the Market to friends or family***|
**On average it can take less than 1 minute to find broadband deals through Compare the Market based on data in November 2020.
***For the period 1st March to 31st May 2021, 9,781 people responded to the recommend question. 9,033 responded with a score of 6 or above, therefore 92.4% are likely to recommend.