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Deciding between 52Mb and 76Mb BT Infinity broadband

Wednesday, November 8th 2017

Like many important purchases, comparing broadband packages often comes down to the same tough decision: should I get this one or that one?

Deciding between BT Infinity’s two speeds is simple enough when you know which is best suited to your needs. And deciding on what your needs are is... wait... you know what you need, don't you? Sure you do.

Should I get 52Mb or 76Mb BT Infinity broadband?

BT no longer offers its old entry-level fibre speed of 38Mbps, having recently increased it to 52Mbps. For the majority of internet users, 52Mb BT Infinity 1 should be ample, but for those living in a hyper-connected, overpopulated home, or for those who regularly upload photo's or vidoes, 76Mbps BT Infinity 2 would be a better option as the upload speed is twice as fast.

The 52Mb package is plenty fast enough for browsing, HD video streaming and downloading multimedia files online and there’s more than enough power to support several devices at once.

To warrant 76Mb BT Infinity, you need to regularly upload large files, video's or photo's, have several different devices simultaneously connected to your BT router, or regularly stream in Ultra HD. You’ll find more details on the suitability of both packages below.

  • BT Unlimited Infinity 1 + Calls

    BT
    • Pay nothing today
    • Weekend calls
    • UK's best Wi-Fi router
    Offer ends 21st December
    £29 .99
    £59.99 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal
  • BT Unlimited Infinity 2 + Calls

    BT
    • Pay nothing today
    • Weekend calls
    • Free BT Smart Hub router
    Offer ends 21st December
    £39 .99
    £9.99 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

Get 52Mb BT Infinity 1 if you want to…

Browse online, use social media and send or receive emails

Whether you’re shopping online, updating your Facebook status or sending a string of emails, BT’s 52Mb connection can handle it with one hand tied behind its back – not that it has hands or a back… that would be weird and they’d probably get in the way.

You don’t necessarily need fibre broadband to do any of this; a 17Mb standard broadband (ADSL) package is just as capable and generally cheaper. Alternatively, you could consider a 38Mbps fibre service from a different provider.

Watch multiple high definition video streams

If you use video-streaming sites or services such as YouTube, Netflix or BBC iPlayer, then 52Mbps BT fibre broadband should serve you well, especially if you want the extra detail of high definition (HD).

With a download speed of up to 52Mbps, HD videos should play instantly and without interruption. In fact, it’s fast enough to support several HD video streams at the same time, which is good news if you’re a household that loves watching videos on demand.

Play games online

When it comes to downloading updates, patches, or entire games, the 52Mbps download speed can reduce the time that you’re left waiting to play.

For actual online gameplay – especially in fast-paced, multiplayer scenarios – the upload speed of BT Infinity 1 (9.5Mb) is more than enough to keep you connected to the action.

If you’re an avid player of games such as Minecraft, Counter Strike or Starcraft and you’re interested in setting up your own dedicated server to play with friends, Infinity 1 – and its admirable upload speed (9.5Mb) – will do the trick.

Connect several devices at once

Fibre broadband is designed to support numerous connections at once and BT’s 52Mb connection shouldn’t have any trouble serving several people or devices around your home.

It’s fast enough to handle the mixed usage of families or multi-screeners throughout the day.

If your household has several HD video streams on the go at once, you may start noticing a more sluggish response from your connection.

This may impact your viewing and the general online activity of other users on your network, which could mean webpages take longer to open and files take longer to download.

BT won’t actively slow down your connection (known as throttling), but you may still experience slower speeds at peak times while your network and the wider network in your area is in higher demand.

Get BT Infinity 1

Get 76Mb BT Infinity 2 if you plan on…

Uploading photos or videos regularly

For those wanting to upload large files on a regular basis – be it for work or leisure – 76Mb BT broadband won’t leave you waiting around for long, as the upload speed is almost twice that of BT Infinity 1.

Based on the advertised download speed and the average observed by Ofcom (61Mb), you could expect to download a 5GB file in around 10 minutes.

Streaming Ultra HD (4K) video

According to popular streaming services, Ultra HD video (UHD or 4k) calls for a minimum broadband speed of no less than 25Mb.

In reality, we reckon you need a lot more oomph to keep these super-detailed videos running smoothly, which means BT Infinity 1 – and its headline speed of 52Mb – is cutting it very close.

With 76Mb BT fibre, you can comfortably stream UHD video and still have ample broadband power left over to support other online activity.

Connecting dozens of devices

If you live in a house where online devices outnumber people upwards of 3:1, you should consider getting 76Mb BT broadband.

The speed of your internet connection is influenced by a number of factors, one being the amount of devices connected to it.

The higher the speed of your connection, the more devices it can concurrently support without individual users suffering reduced download rates.

Certain online activities demand more megabits-per-second than others, so if your connection is supporting one or two Ultra HD video streams while simultaneously downloading large files, don’t expect flawless performance for every other device connected to the internet.

BT Infinity 2 is fast, but it has its limits. If you want download speeds beyond 76Mbps, the only other widely available options are those supplied by Virgin Media.

Get BT Infinity 2

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