Dad’s using his laptop, the kids are on the Xbox, gran’s got her tablet - a big family uses a lot of broadband. Picking the right package, however, can be a bit confusing.
What speed do you need? Do you need unlimited downloads? How much is that going to cost? Well, keep reading, and tell you everything you need to know to choose a broadband package good enough to handle your household - without breaking the bank.
How to pick the right deal
Finding the right broadband deal is easier than it looks, thanks to our comparison tool. Find all the things you want from your broadband - like download speeds, favourite providers, and contract length - and select them from the filters on the left hand side. We’ll show you all the deals that fit your requirements and are available in your area. To find the cheapest deals, sort the results by cost. And presto, here are your deals.
Do I need fibre?
If you can get it in your home, we’d definitely recommend a fibre package - especially for a large family. Fibre optic broadband will give you…
- Faster speeds
- More bandwidth, so you can get loads of devices online at once
- Lower latency (lag), meaning better Skype calls and online gaming
It costs a little more, but if you can swing it - and if it’s available where you are - it’ll save a lot of headaches in the long run.
What’s the best broadband for a large family?
Large households tend to be crammed full of computers, smartphones, tablets, games consoles, and smart TVs - so you’re going to need broadband fast enough to handle them all.
‘Superfast’ broadband is defined as a connection with a download speed of 24Mb or over - which is fast enough for most families. But if your household streams a lot of video, watches a lot of catch-up TV, plays online games, or works from home, it can’t hurt to go faster.
Most fibre optic packages start with advertised speeds of around 35Mb, which is quite fast, though Virgin Media offers packages with average speeds of 362Mb, which is really fast.
- For a house of three or four people: take a look at broadband with advertised average speeds of 35Mb and above.
- For a house of five or more people: see packages with average speeds of 67Mb and beyond.
You’ll definitely want broadband with unlimited downloads - a large household will breeze through a download limit in a matter of days. Luckily, nearly every broadband provider offers unlimited packages, including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media. You won’t be short on choice.
Keep an eye out for ‘truly unlimited’ packages too - this means there’s no web traffic management that can slow down your connection at peak times.
Want pay-TV for your home as well? Take a look at providers that offer broadband and TV combo packages. Bundling your services together is super convenient and, even better, it costs less than it does to get them separately.
You can get broadband, TV, and home phone in a handy singular package from these providers:
- Sky - offers the most comprehensive TV service in the UK with more than 300 channels
- Virgin Media - up to 245 channels and some of the fastest broadband around
- TalkTalk and BT - both offer extra channels through a YouView box, including kids’ TV packs
- Now TV - monthly rolling ‘Passes’ that give you entertainment channels, kids’ TV, and more
Don’t forget about the ol’ landline. Broadband almost always comes with a landline service, and if you’re a chatty house, you can add on some inclusive calls. Depending on your provider, you may be able to wrangle:
- Inclusive evening calls after 6pm
- Evening and weekend calls
- International minutes, so you can keep in touch with family and friends overseas
Or, if you don’t use the phone at all, have a look at broadband deals without a landline.
A few broadband providers also offer mobile phone deals - including discounts and goodies for broadband customers, and special plans designed to suit families. Providers with both broadband and mobile packages include:
For more info on family mobile plans, take a look at our guide.