If your broadband is provided by BT then the chances are you are getting the fastest service available.

Internet testing firm Epitiro collected data from all of the leading UK ISPs – checking the connection and download speeds every 15 minutes.

BT customers enjoy the best connection, followed by Virgin, Demon, AOL and Orange.

Broadband provided by cable companies such as NTL Telewest was not tested, however.

"Virgin, BT and AOL were the fastest services to actually connect to the internet, while Pipex, Orange and BT were up to four times faster than the industry average at delivering email," Gavin Johns, managing director of Epitiro, told the BBC.

Consumers will never receive a service that reaches the theoretical speeds claimed by the ISPs because of the effect of factors such as distance from the exchange, numbers of people using the line, and even the cables being used. Find out how fast your broadband connection really is here.