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Broadband speeds in urban areas are at their fastest at 4am, a new study has revealed.

Research conducted by reveals that early risers are able to take advantage of the fastest downloads and uploads, with speeds dropping off by 28 per cent by the evening.

This is because more people want to use their broadband connection at this point in the day, placing greater strain on service providers' networks., which conducted 2.3 million consumer speed tests over the past six months, found that in some areas speeds drop off by as much as 60 per cent at peak times.

The fastest time to surf the internet in the UK’s biggest towns and cities is at 4am, when the average download speed is 14.83Mb.

Conversely, the slowest time is 9pm, when average speeds fall 28 per cent to 10.72Mb.

Consumers living in Birmingham and Middlesbrough enjoy the fastest evening broadband speeds - 12.88Mb and 12.87Mb respectively.

However, peak connection speeds in Aberdeen (6.08Mb) and Swansea (6.99Mb) are only half as fast.

Broadband users in Stoke-on-Trent experience the most consistent broadband throughout the day, with speeds fluctuating by just 0.7 per cent during the day.

Julia Stent of said the research shows the "incredible strain" that is placed on broadband when everyone logs on at the same time, particularly in densely populated areas.

"And the big rise in streaming and downloading - be that films for our tablets, or games for our smartphones - means that striving to deliver consistent speeds will be a long, hard slog for broadband providers," the telecoms expert stated.

"It certainly explains why some people may never actually feel like their connection is as fast as the one promised by providers when they signed."

Ms Stent said the "obvious solution" of setting your alarm at 4am to use the internet is "far from practical".

Instead, she urged users to run an online speed test at home to check they are getting the best possible service available.

"If you think you could do better, consider shopping around for a new deal," Mr Stent advised.

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