As I reported before, the download speed of the connection between my house and the ISP is typically not the factor that the determines the overall responsiveness on most web sites. However, I recently decided to sign up with one of the broadband/TV/phone packages with UPC and I was tempted to upgrade my internet connection speed from 25Mbs to 50Mbs at the same time because the cost difference was minimal (€5 per month). I must compliment the UPC staff for how helpful they were in making the upgrade process as simple as possible.
The first thing I did after installing the new router was to test the connection speed using the SpeedTest.net service. The download speed when connecting from my desktop computer (which was connected to the router by an ethernet cable with a nominal speed of 100 Mbs) was a very impressive 47.5Mbs
Next I tried running the test from a laptop which was connected by wifi link with a nominal speed of 56 Mbs (I was sitting right beside the router so the signal would have been very strong). Unfortunately, I could only achieve ~20 Mbs download speed. Since I was using the same test service and the same ISP link, it is clear that it was the link bertween the laptop and the WiFi router that was causing the bottlekneck.
I tried connecting via Android phone I could only achieve a download speed of about 10Mbs, but when I disabled encryption on my WiFi router the speed of the connection from my phone increased to 20 Mbs (the same as the laptop connection). Clearly the CPU load on my phone to encrypt the packets was limiting the transfer speed. As a result I decided to disable encryption on my router in common with my policy of allowing casual sharing of my network link with anyone nearby.
I was quite pleased to see that the upload speed had increased from the 1 Mbs I was getting with the 25Mbs package to 4.6-4.7 Mbs with the 50 Mbs. The upload speed did not seem to vary much from measurement to measurement which incicates that the connection between my house and the ISP was indeed the limiting factor in the overall performance. I think that this increase in upload speed alone will justify the extra €5 per month that they charge for the faster service.