Suspect you’re paying more for your broadband than you need to? You’re probably right. Read on and we’ll help you get the most for your money. Better still, we’ve handpicked some really good cheap deals for you too.
How do I find a cheap broadband deal?
The best and fastest way to find really cheap broadband is to use our comparison tables. Just filter by ‘lowest price’ and we’ll show you the lowest priced broadband deals on offer right now.
Generally, the cheapest contracts will be for a standard broadband service with average speeds of 10Mbps-11Mbps, for which you should expect to pay between £15-£20 per month.
These are fine for households with one or two occupants, who mostly use the internet for browsing, checking email, online shopping and watching the odd video.
The cheapest fibre broadband deals typically come in at between £23-£25 per month.
What are the cheapest broadband providers and packages right now?
Household names, such as TalkTalk, Plusnet and Now Broadband, offer really good value broadband deals that’ll get you a reliable service for your money.
But if you’re looking to save money on energy too, it can work out cheaper to take broadband from energy providers, who offer discounts when you sign up for both services.
- TalkTalk – Specialises in value broadband and TV packages, with a key selling point of no mid-contract price rises.
- Plusnet – Highly rated customer service and fixed-price, value broadband. Available on one-month, 12-month or 18-month contracts
- Post Office – Cheap and easy to set up. Customers are guaranteed no mid-contract price rises and can pay their bill in person at their local Post Office.
- Vodafone – Offers affordable fibre broadband, with savings of £2 per month when you also sign up for a mobile phone contract. Money back if you don’t get guaranteed minimum speed.
- Shell Energy – Keenly priced broadband deals, with discounts for existing energy customers and money off vehicle fuel. Shell Energy pledges no price hikes when you come to the end of your contract.
- Now Broadband – As well as low cost standard broadband and fibre, Now Broadband allows you to sign up for short-term TV passes on a pay as you go basis.
- Onestream – Notably cheap broadband and simple-to-understand packages. Option to add call packages for cheap international calls and calls to mobiles.
- SSE – Offers money-off when you sign up for energy and broadband, as well as guarantee of no mid-contract price rises. Allows you to cancel penalty-free within 60 days if you’re not happy with your service.
Can I get cheap BT, Sky and Virgin Media deals?
The best known broadband providers aren’t usually the cheapest. But if you’re lucky and take advantage of a time-limited special offer, you can still get a very competitively priced deal from BT, Sky, Virgin Media and other household names.
Better still, larger providers frequently sweeten their broadband deals with free gifts, vouchers or tokens.
So although the likes of the Post Office or Now Broadband are likely to be cheaper, it’s well worth checking to see what the likes of BT, Sky and Virgin Media are offering when you’re shopping around.
How to check the true cost of ‘cheap’ broadband deals
Some providers offer a very attractive monthly price for the introductory period of your contract.
But close inspection you may notice they punish you with extra charges, such as set-up fees.
Or you may find you get hit by hefty price hikes after the initial discount-rate period ends.
To make sure you get the full picture of how much you’ll be paying and ensure you really are looking at the cheapest deals, make sure you filter by ‘total cost’ when you’re using our comparison tables.
This factors in the total price you’ll pay for the entire contract, including set-up fees.
Will I save money with a broadband bundle?
It’s pretty much always cheaper to sign up for multiple services (such as broadband, TV, home phone and mobile phone) from the same provider, compared with taking them from separate providers.
But pay TV isn't a cheap service and adding it will usually make your monthly outlay significantly more expensive, especially if you sign up for TV from the likes of BT, Virgin Media and Sky.
If you’re on a budget and really want pay-TV, we’d suggest you take a look at TalkTalk’s more affordable TV bundles.
Or consider Now TV, which lets you sign-up for one-month TV passes on a pay as you basis. It also offers one-day and one-week sports passes for Sky Sports.
Is it cheaper to get broadband without a landline?
In fact, broadband and landline bundles often work out cheaper than standalone Virgin Media and Hyperoptic fibre broadband.
So we’d suggest that before you sign up for a broadband-only deal, you take a good look at home phone and broadband bundles available in your area. You can do that with our handy postcode checker.
Can I get by with a cheap, standard broadband service?
If you live alone and you’re a light internet user (that’s to say you just go online to browse, shop, check your email and watch the odd video), you can definitely get by with a low-cost standard broadband service.
But if you live in shared house or family home with multiple occupants who stream TV a lot and play online video games, we’d suggest you spend a bit more and get a faster fibre broadband service.
In the latter instance, you’d likely find that standard broadband would be too slow for your needs. And would mean your TV viewing would be patchy and interrupted by buffering.
The good news is that if you do sign up for a broadband package that's not suitable, your provider will allow you to upgrade to a faster service.