You can save money by bundling broadband with home phone, but there are several factors other than cost you should consider before signing up to such a package to make sure it suits your needs too.
You can make great savings by bundling your home broadband with phone calls, TV or even mobile broadband, getting yourself a better, more convenient service at the same time.
But with so many promotions and offers on the market, bundles can get a little confusing. Do they really save you time and money, or is it better to get your services from the cheapest individual providers?
There is no doubt that you can save a bundle by combining your broadband with a home phone package or other bundled service. Bundled providers offer very competitive rates, but there are other factors that you need to take into consideration before you sign up to a new service.
Broadband and phone deals
Monthly cost: £2.00
(for 6 months)1st year cost: £21.00
Monthly cost: £2.50
(for 12 months)1st year cost: £36.00
Monthly cost: £2.75
(for 12 months)1st year cost: £38.99
Monthly cost: £3.50
(for 6 months)1st year cost: £39.00
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Broadband reliability and speed
While cheap broadband is important, price isn't the only thing that matters. Research we've conducted found reliability was the most important factor when it came to choosing a package. This was followed by broadband speeds, and value for money came in third place. Think about your personal needs; what you want and what you will actually use, and take each broadband providers customer service and technical support into consideration too.
Although headline rates can make a package seem attractive, you need to take into account additional costs such as line rental that have to be paid on top. For example, the TalkTalk SimplyBroadband has a headline rate of just £2.50 a month, offers download speeds of up to up to 16Mb and is totally unlimited. However, when you add the line rental of £15.40 a month, while it's still a competitive offer, it's far less attractive.
Before signing up to a broadband and phone package it is important to look at the details. Call rates are one particular area where companies can make back some of the money they lose on their low headline rates.
If you are a high, or even moderate, home phone user you might benefit from paying for a slightly more expensive option that could save you money in the long run through cheaper call charges.
For example, many of the big broadband, phone and TV providers - BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media - charge more for home phone calls, while smaller providers like Primus Saver offer far more competitive rates on calling landline numbers.
As well as how often you use your phone, you should consider when you make most of your calls. Call charges vary depending on the time of day. If you make most of your calls during the day, when prices tend to be highest, you may benefit from paying a little extra for an 'anytime' calls package.
On the other hand, if you're a light home phone user and your main priority is to have high-quality, fast broadband then Virgin Media is a great choice. Regularly appearing at the top of broadband speed tests, it offers the UK's fastest widely-available superfast packages, which offer download speeds of up to 30Mb, 60Mb and 100Mb.
The roll-out of fibre optic broadband to 95% of the UK will be completed by 2017, giving the vast majority of homes and businesses access to superfast packages. BT Infinity is now available to two-thirds of the country and offers download speeds of up to 38Mb and 76Mb.
New phone line installation
If you want broadband and don't have a landline, you will need to get a new phone line installed before you can get broadband, unless you live in an area covered by the Virgin Media cable network - Virgin Media is the only major broadband provider that offers broadband which doesn't require a landline - or plan to use mobile broadband.
Some providers, such as BT and Virgin Media, will install a phone line for free if you are signing up to their broadband. Others will charge to do this, so make sure you look into it - getting a new line installed can cost as much as £130.
Building your own bundle
If you want a cheap call package with cheap line rental, but don't want to sacrifice the quality of your broadband, you don't have to bundle them together. Instead you can go with different providers for different services to get what you want at a price you can afford. For example, combining Virgin Media broadband with a low-cost home phone package from Primus Saver will ensure you have fast, reliable broadband, yet could save you money on calls.
However, you should compare any savings you expect to make against the cost of getting an anytime calls package as part of a broadband and phone bundle, which could be cheaper and more convenient, while also eliminating the need to keep an eye on how long your telephone conversations are.