Around 6 months ago I had some outages and instability which unfortunately coincided with some critical work I was doing which caused a major problems for the company I was working with. The next day I ordered Virgin because I didn't want to be put in that same position ever again
So I have been testing both systems side by side for the past 6 months and have been switching back and forth to try and get a feel for which is the better connection.
So far my testing is mostly unscientific in terms of how the connection "feels" - and I have been asking for opinions from my wife and family who are all avid internet users. I am planning on setting up a multi-homed mini-server which I can run some more scientific side by side tests. I am however using JD's Auto Speed Tester but because I'm changing connection frequently I haven't yet done some long term data gathering.
So first thought is....surely the 300mbit connection is better? Well not quite. In terms of real world throughput, Virgin is 4 times as fast. So if your priority is to download files as fast as possible, Virgin is the clear winner. However the user experience on Virgin doesn't quite match it's throughput capabilities.
The main difference is consistency. Virgin can go from 50-280mbit during the course of single day and it does vary that much throughout the week. The other obvious difference is latency. I play a lot of games and Virgin is consistently worse for ping and jitter, sometimes more than double that of Sky. Even off-peak at 3am the Jitter never goes below 20ms....
By comparison Sky is extremely consistent. Throughput sticks around 65mbit and my jitter is very low <4ms typically. Sites also just load faster. Fewer slowdowns on YouTube and other popular sites.
So as far as quality of connection, Sky certainly seems the better of the two especially If you play online games and latency/jitter are of a concern. If that isn't a concern then Virgin isn't that bad. It's a decent connection which often feels like an awesome connection in which you can have multiple heavy users at the same time with everyone getting a good chunk. It's just let down by the consistency. For example at 1:30 on a saturday afternoon I cant get more than 60mbit and my ping is bouncing around 30-80ms....
I will be keeping Virgin as I need to have a backup connection but I am going to remove the Homeworks package and move back to 200mbit because the line isn't achieving a consistent 200+mbit anyway so it's just money for nothing.
FWIW I live in East London. It would appear my local area has some contention problems.
Edited by dogzilla (Sat 19-Nov-16 13:42:02)