Just to add to what sjr said, then some of my own.
Speedtest.net and all the other Ookla engine speed testers, that's most of them, are well know for behaving like this. I can get readings in tens of thousands from it on a 7Mbps connection, and others do too. It seems to be to do with your AV buffering it at the start of the test. Kaspersky was the first one widely reported, but I now have Avira and get the same effect.
I recommend the BT Performance Tester
as that also gives an important figure - the IP Profile
which is important on non-LLU ISPs as it actually determines your maximum speed.
Regarding your actual speeds, to achieve 409KB/s you must have had a connection speed of over 4Mbps for several days at that point. The BT tester above also tells you the connection speed
It can be a bit cumbersome. For a quicker test the one on tbb Main Site
is normally reliable and doesn't have the over-reading problem.
Re an ISP, I agree with sjr is a reasonable option. However the severe traffic management he linked to, and the fact you will be paying the full broadband price of £19.99 after the first 3 months isn't so good.
A bit more expensive but streets ahead in terms of quality is IDNet Home Max
, or if you really can manage with 40GB, (and note they don't count uploads, I think Plusnet do), the Home Lite is cheaper than Plusnet after the first 3 months. I link to IDNet which you have already said is short-listed in case you have been looking at the ADSL2+ packages
It isn't exchange congestion that is the problem with the poorly-reported ISPs you mention. It is mainly congestion at the handover point from BT Wholesale to the ISP, at the ISP end. Those connections on 20CN are through BT Centrals. A single Central has a maximum throughput of 622Mbps, so clearly a few heavy downloaders at 8Mbps soon kill it considering it is expected to service several thousand customers.
A Central costs over £1m per year rental. So are frequently obtained on the basis of users averaging just a few hundred kbps on browsing, emails etc. And these days TV catchup, which if a few hundred normal users are doing that is just as harmful.
In particular, it is the big mass-market providers that are the worst in this respect, as per your list. They have hungry share-holders to satisfy and stock-market values to maintain. The smaller ones such as IDNet have more flexibility in that respect, merely wanting a decent profit for their owners, and getting higher-paying customers who value the better performance.
Again, these smaller ones tend to get a fair proportion of businesses paying premium prices, and provide greater capacity per customer because of this. Then at the end of the working day a lot of the businesses go off-line and all that capacity is released just as domestic demand goes up. Win-Win!
Plusnet do manage a good compromise but at the expense of that traffic management to reduce the Central requirement.
21CN handovers are a bit cheaper than Centrals, which is why for example you will see the IDNet ADSL2+ packages are more generous than the ADSL Max.
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