An egg sat on the sofa with a laptop

What broadband speeds do you need to work from home?

Josh | Social Media & Content Lead

Remote working can have many advantages; better work/life balance, less time commuting, more time with your pets! But if your internet speeds aren’t up to scratch, you could face awkward laggy video calls or painfully slow file downloads

Working from home with full fibre broadband

Less commuting. Less distraction. Less ironing…there are lots of good things about working from home. But one of the bad things can be a slow internet connection. Complete with snail-like downloads, frozen screens and b..b..buffering.  

Switching to full fibre broadband gives you the speed and reliability you need. In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of broadband speeds, shed light on the benefits of full fibre and show you how to make WFH your BFF. 

WFH. There’s no going back 

Since the pandemic changed the game, 44% of UK workers now work from home some or all of the time. Now, if your job’s mostly answering emails, browsing the internet and the occasional video call, your connection is probably fine. 

But if it involves things like downloading large files, working together online, screen sharing, connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or editing video, what you really need is full fibre broadband. 

The need for speed

We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of an important video conference with the team, sharing a spreadsheet and discussing key project updates. Suddenly, the screen freezes. Or the audio starts br-eak-ing up. SIGH  

High-quality video conferencing, seamless file sharing and cloud-based applications and all depend on a fast, reliable broadband connection. A slow, unreliable one will not only disrupt your flow but can also make you look, well, a little unprofessional. 

Ultrafast, superfast, lightning fast?

There’s a lot of confusion about broadband speed but it’s simply the rate at which data travels between your laptop and the internet. Measured in megabits per second (Mb), it determines how fast you can upload, download, stream and carry out tasks online. 

The speed you need depends on what you’re doing and how many devices you’re doing it on. For standard stuff like checking your emails, browsing websites and the odd video call, 10-20 Mb is plenty. For data-heavy tasks like video presentations or transferring large files, 30-50 Mb is recommended. 

Bandwidth hogging activities include:  

📽 Video conferencing  

📂  Large file transfers  

👊  Online collaboration  

🖼  Creative projects   

Of course, we don’t just work from home. Once you add in gaming, streaming and browsing, the need for speed goes up and up.  

Put your speed to the test 

It’s worth remembering that if you’re sharing your home (and connection) with friends or family, their gaming, streaming, zooming and browsing will slow things down. A good place to start is by checking what speed you’re currently getting.

It’s easy to run a quick speed test to find out how.  

Give your broadband a boost 

To avoid the misery of lagging, buffering and drop outs, you need to squeeze every drop of speed out of your broadband. If you can, switching to full fibre is usually the best option in the long run but here are a few other things you could try in the meantime: 

🤗 Cosy up to your route . Furniture and some building materials can block signal. So get as close to the router as possible. Best of all, connect by ethernet cable. 

🔌Try a Wi-Fi booster or extender . These handy plug-in widgets can help extend the range of your signal. 

📴 Switch stuff off . Most routers show you what’s connected. Disconnecting anything that’s not important will make a difference. 

💻 Close a few tabs . It’s easy to have a million tabs open at once but they could be eating up bandwidth. 

🔽 Time your downloads . Try to avoid downloading when you’re about to have a Zoom meeting. 

👩‍🏫 Share nicely . Big meeting? Ask your family or friends not to live stream games or HD stream Netflix for a bit. 

Fill your boots with full fibre 

Unlike the old copper cables many people still rely on, full fibre broadband uses fibre optic cables that run right into your home. (Copper cables have a maximum speed of only 80Mb, a whopping eleven times slower.) When it comes to performance, we’re talking chalk and cheese. A quick reminder that full fibre is:  

⚡ Fast . Full fibre offers speeds of up to 900Mb. You can share large files in seconds, stream 4K content without buffering and video conference in HD. All at the same time. 

🕰 Consistent . With full fibre, your connection shouldn’t slow down in peak times. It’ll deliver uninterrupted all day long. 

👩‍✈️ Reliable . Some copper cables were laid in the 1930’s and can be damaged by corrosion. Fibre optic cables are tougher and much more reliable. 

📳 Responsive . Full fibre has much lower latency (the official name for lag) which is the delay between a command you send and the action on-screen. 

Home sweet working from home 

As you can see, if you want working from home to really work for you, it’s worth switching to full fibre broadband.

Now available in 57% of UK properties, it gives you the speed and reliability you need to do your job without any hold ups. After that, all you have to do is start working on that Employee Of The Month speech…  

More from Cuckoo

card-article
    guideBroadbandHow stuff works

How to boost your Wi-Fi signal in your home

Is your Wi-Fi signal annoyingly unreliable? Fear not. There are loads of ways to give it a boost. Of course, what you need to do depends on the problem you have and the home you’re living in. All will be revealed in our handy guide. 

card-article
    guideHow stuff worksProduct

How to run an accurate broadband speed test

Ultrafast. Superfast. Faster-than-the-speed-of-light-on-a-bike fast. Lots of broadband providers make big promises when it comes to connection speed. But what is ‘a good speed’? And when it comes down to it, how fast is your internet really? 

card-article
    guideBroadbandHow stuff works

What is Full Fibre?

Full fibre broadband (also known as FTTP: Fibre to the Premises) is currently being installed across the whole of the UK. That’s great, but what does it mean? Discover what it actually is in the guide.

How fast can you go?