Best ADSL ISP in South Africa

Ookla’s results and MyBroadband’s custom speed test shed some light on the network performance of ADSL ISPs in SA

By - June 13, 2011

With a multitude of ADSL ISPs in South Africa it can be a daunting task to select the right package and the right service provider.

The performance of an ISPs is very difficult to gauge without using the service first, but public forums such as MyBroadband can help to see what subscribers say.

Another method is to look at the results which are made available through Ookla’s Net Index which lists service providers according to average upload and download speeds.

Filtered results

Many consumers and broadband service providers have complained that Ookla’s Net Index results may be skewed with tests conducted from a core network rather than a broadband connection.

Ookla’s CEO Doug Suttles explains that they don’t really see the problem with ‘testing from a core network’ in larger volume testing countries since the number of tests compiled into the indexes is so massive that it is not viable to try and “game the system.”

Despite Suttles’ reassurance, MyBroadband used the latest results and filtered out the obvious core network tests to compare ADSL ISP speeds.

The following table provides the average download and upload speeds of South Africa’s prominent consumer ISPs.

Average download speed Average upload speed
WebAfrica 2,466 401
Altech Technology Concepts 2,065 412
Telkom 1,955 354
Internet Solutions 1,950 377
Cybersmart 1,925 355
Africa INX 1,900 329
MWEB 1,780 309
Vodacom Business 1,555 365
MTN Network Solutions 1,454 395
Neology IPClub 1,418 322
BCS Group 1,062 254
XDSL 574 438

Different ADSL speeds

The various maximum ADSL line speeds – 384Kbps, 1Mbps, 4Mbps and 10Mbps – create complications when it comes to average ADSL speeds.

A service provider with many 384Kbps DSL customers (such as Telkom and MWEB) is at a big disadvantage when competing against a service provider with mostly 4Mbps and 10Mbps subscribers.

MyBroadband set out to filter results based on ADSL line speeds using a short survey before a test is conducted, and the following table provides an overview of the latest local and international download results.

Average Download Speeds from Johannesburg Server
ISP Service Speed
Web Africa ADSL 10Mbps 5.32 Mbps
Telkom ADSL 10Mbps 5.19 Mbps
Internet Solutions ADSL 10Mbps 4.99 Mbps
Cybersmart ADSL 10Mbps 4.5 Mbps
MTN Business ADSL 10Mbps 4.36 Mbps
Altech Technology Concepts ADSL 10Mbps 3.59 Mbps
Altech Technology Concepts ADSL 4Mbps 2.76 Mbps
Telkom ADSL 4Mbps 2.69 Mbps
Web Africa ADSL 4Mbps 2.63 Mbps
Cybersmart ADSL 4Mbps 2.52 Mbps
Internet Solutions ADSL 4Mbps 2.3 Mbps
FNB ADSL 4Mbps 2.23 Mbps
MTN Business ADSL 4Mbps 1.82 Mbps
Vodacom Business ADSL 4Mbps 1.77 Mbps
Vox ADSL 10Mbps 1.05 Mbps
Vodacom Business ADSL 10Mbps 0.83 Mbps
Average Download Speeds from London Server
ISP Service Speed
Internet Solutions ADSL 10Mbps 5.25 Mbps
Web Africa ADSL 10Mbps 5 Mbps
Cybersmart ADSL 10Mbps 4.3 Mbps
MTN Business ADSL 10Mbps 3.4 Mbps
Web Africa ADSL 4Mbps 2.71 Mbps
Altech Technology Concepts ADSL 4Mbps 2.46 Mbps
Cybersmart ADSL 4Mbps 2.38 Mbps
Internet Solutions ADSL 4Mbps 2.19 Mbps
Telkom ADSL 10Mbps 1.91 Mbps
Telkom ADSL 4Mbps 1.81 Mbps
MTN Business ADSL 4Mbps 1.77 Mbps
FNB ADSL 4Mbps 1.74 Mbps
Vox ADSL 4Mbps 0.93 Mbps
Vodacom Business ADSL 4Mbps 0.25 Mbps

MyBroadband explained that this is only the first step to get the most accurate speed test results possible, and that the next phase of improvements are already being worked on.

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