How to find the best broadband deal
Helping you find the best broadband deal is the reason we exist. Whatever you’re looking for, be it superfast fibre, bundled with TV that has all the channels you want or simply the cheapest package possible, we’ve got you covered.
What’s the best broadband deal?
The fact of the matter is the best deal is the one that meets your needs for the best possible price.
Ideally, then, before you compare, you should have an idea of what you’ll use your broadband for and what else you want it to include. When you know that, it’s a doddle to work out what broadband package is best for you.
So, here’s what to think about to find the best deal for you:
Unlimited broadband or usage limit?
Use the internet to watch TV and movies on Netflix, stream music on Spotify or play and download games to your console or PC? These types of activities can really guzzle the gigabytes, and if you do them regularly, you need unlimited broadband.
Conversely, if you mainly use it for browsing the web, emailing friends and family, checking Facebook, and maybe occasionally catching up on Eastenders on BBC iPlayer, you could be able to save money by picking a package with a monthly usage limit.
How fast do you need the internet to be?
Broadband comes in a variety of speeds, and it's important that you pick the right one for your home. Your speed choices essentially come down to:
- Standard ADSL - usually has advertised download speeds of 10Mb or so. This is the slowest kind of broadband you can get - as well as the cheapest - so it's ideal if you only use the 'net for a bit of browsing, email, and occasionally streaming.Compare ADSL deals here.
- Superfast - generally defined as broadband with speeds above 24Mb. Fibre optic packages count as superfast. Go for 24Mb+ speeds if you have a fairly large household, like to stream TV and music, make a lot of Skype calls, or need decent internet for work. Compare superfast deals here.
- Ultrafast - broadband with download speeds of 300Mb and above. Most of us don't need a connection quite that fast, but if you have a big household with tons of devices online at once, or want to stream in 4K Ultra HD without buffering, it's certainly worth a look. Compare ultrafast deals here.
Regularly download large files like video games? If so, fibre optic broadband, if you can get it where you live, is likely to be the best choice.
If you regularly stream video and music, and play games online, you’ll have a much improved experience with fibre. If you can’t get it, you can still do all that stuff with standard broadband, but not as well.
And if you only download big files occasionally, and primarily browse and use social media, you’ll get much more value for money from a cheaper package.
How many people will share the connection?
The more people that use your broadband at the same time, the more it will slow down. So, if you live with four or more people who’re often all online, you should look at fibre optic broadband, which is nippy enough to cope with the workload without speeds dropping to unmanageable levels.
Do you want TV?
Bundling TV with broadband is a great way to save money on both. There’s also considerably less faffing around involved than getting them separately, as you’ll only have a single bill to deal with, instead of two separate ones, and the two services will be designed to work with one another.
If it’s TV and broadband you’re after, there’re four providers that cover both bases in the UK: BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. Use our postcode checker to see what packages they offer in your area.
Don’t forget about phone
Most packages come with a phone line to deliver broadband, and may come with inclusive calls too. If you think it’s good to talk, a package with anytime calls may save you money. If you favour your mobile phone, pick a package with evening and weekend calls or no calls at all.
If you do rely on your mobile to stay in touch, you could save money by comparing mobile phone deals. If you want home phone calls and a better mobile deal, a quad-play deal (broadband, TV, phone and mobile package bundled together) might be worth considering.
Want rewards and free gifts?
Many providers offer extra incentives for switching, including cashback, vouchers and reward cards. It's worth keeping your eyes open for extras when comparing - while you should never pick a package purely for the perks, it can help swing your decision towards a particular provider.
Want more help?
Still not sure which deal’s right for you? Take a look at our guide: How to pick a provider. It takes an even more comprehensive look at how how to best package.
Compare broadband providers
See what you can get from some of the main broadband providers in our guides:
- BT broadband deals - for standard and fibre optic broadband, which you can bundle in with home phone, a bit of basic TV, and of course BT Sport
- Sky broadband deals - standard and fibre optic broadband, both unlimited or with a usage limit, which can be bundled with home phone and Sky's excellent TV service
- TalkTalk broadband deals - standard and fibre optic broadband on a budget, again with home phone and TV that you can bundle in
- Virgin Media broadband deals - superfast broadband with average speeds of an incredible 362Mb - available either on its own as standalone broadband, or grouped together with a landline and Virgin Media telly
For more, have a browse through all our broadband provider guides here.