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Student News

Revealed: Which cities have the best internet coverage?

New rankings reveal the best cities for internet connectivity, based on broadband speed, WiFi availability and 4G coverage. Where does your city rank?

cities with fastest internet

Credit: Manchesterphotos - Wikimedia

Whether you're binge watching a new Netflix series or racing to meet that essay deadline, we all know how important good internet coverage is.

New rankings from GoCompare show which student cities are the most well-connected - and which students are more likely to face WiFi drop outs than others.

Unsurprisingly, some of the UK's biggest cities made the top 10, but there were a few surprise areas in there too.

Use the table below to search for your city and see how it compares to others for internet coverage.

Looking for a new broadband deal for your student house? We've collected the best value student broadband deals for 2018 - with no hidden costs!

Student cities ranked by internet coverage

best wifi UK

It won't surprise anyone to see London in the top spot - it ranks strongly for 4G coverage, broadband speed and WiFi hotspots.

However, outside the capital it's Manchester leading the way, with the most public WiFi hotspots in the country. Fellow Northern city Newcastle ranks best for 4G coverage, while Hull ranked top for the fastest download speed in the UK.

The worst connected cities, were mainly based in the South and Midlands, with the likes of Swansea, Lincoln and Norwich all featuring in the bottom ten.

However, Exeter has the slowest download speed in the country, and also ranks as one of the worst for 4G coverage. Although, let's not forget to spare a thought for those in Hereford, where 4G coverage is apparently 0%.

Of course, since these figures show an average score for each criteria, they likely won't reflect the reality for everyone - you might live in these areas and receive much better (or worse) internet coverage than the numbers suggest.

Use the table below to search all 57 urban hotspots and find out where your city ranks.

RankCity4G coverageAverage download speedPeople per public hotspot
1London60.92%31.70Mbps698
2Manchester60.92%30.44Mbps395
3Nottingham60.92%31.24Mbps904
4Salford59.54%33.02Mbps1,560
5Birmingham60.77%30.82Mbps650
6Glasgow60.92%31.02Mbps756
7Southampton38.08%32.86Mbps1,179
8Leicester60.92%30.62Mbps1,285
9Coventry60.92%30.90Mbps1,406
10Brighton and Hove44.69%33.90Mbps1,446
11Liverpool60.92%31.70Mbps1,117
12Belfast37.92%32.74Mbps660
13Newcastle61.08%30.58Mbps1,246
14Cardiff37.92%31.06Mbps886
15Derby46.54%23.43Mbps1,128
16Bristol38.08%33.12Mbps929
17Portsmouth34.69%32.86Mbps1,323
18Wolverhampton60.92%31.78Mbps1,904
19Sunderland53.92%29.68Mbps1,853
20Leeds54.38%30.14Mbps1,210
21Edinburgh59.08%29.42Mbps571
22York45%29.00Mbps1,489
23St Albans48.31%31.24Mbps2,068
24Aberdeen29.85%27.78Mbps990
25Plymouth36.31%31.40Mbps1,341
26Sheffield56.31%27.94Mbps1,144
27Stoke34.77%30.10Mbps1,383
28Bradford50.69%29.54Mbps1,576
29Wakefield47.46%28.04Mbps2,245
30Dundee37.54%25.54Mbps1,525
31Chichester24.08%30.10Mbps1,116
32Peterborough28.15%29.56Mbps706
33Chester20.77%26.38Mbps784
34Bath22.15%28.64Mbps689
35Preston26.23%28.96Mbps935
36Canterbury34.69%29.20Mbps1,843
37Oxford18.08%29.48Mbps787
38Lancaster26.25%28.96Mbps1,472
39Lichfield28.31%28.24Mbps1,342
40Chelmsford29.77%27.98Mbps2,439
41Winchester15.08%30.58Mbps1,476
42Worcester8.69%27.70Mbps1,219
43Hull35.85%36.72Mbps1,735
44Ely7.08%29.14Mbps921
45Durham22.69%32.06Mbps1,926
46Truro1.31%26.90Mbps458
47Cambridge7.08%29.42Mbps975
48Ripon13.15%27.58Mbps1,856
49Gloucester11.31%29.30Mbps1,205
50Swansea24.31%31.14Mbps2,043
51Salisbury3.00%28.72Mbps746
52Lincoln6.38%27.48Mbps624
53Wells0.62%26.08Mbps1,171
54Norwich5.62%27.16Mbps908
55Hereford0.00%25.14Mbps1,732
56Carlisle6.00%25.92Mbps2,068
57Exeter6.31%26.84Mbps1,166

How to get a better broadband deal

searching for jobs in LinkedIn

Living in an area with slow broadband speed might not be something you can control, but you can at least avoid paying an extortionate amount to sit and watch your Netflix buffer.

When setting up WiFi for your new student house, there's a lot to think about - contract length, broadband speed and hidden installation fees for a start.

Head on over to our guide to the best student broadband in 2018 for a list of this year's best value deals.

All listed prices are lifetime costs, meaning we've included any router or installation fees so you won't be faced with any hidden surprises.

Don't forget that many broadband contracts last for 12 or 18 months, meaning you might end up paying for WiFi you don't need, or be stung with cancellation charges - so make sure you check the small print before you sign up.

What's the internet coverage like in your city? Let us know in the comments!

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