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 the comparison table at the top of the page. Just enter your postcode and we’ll show you cheap deals in your area.
But to ensure you’re really getting the most for your money and a deal that’ll meet your household’s requirements, there are some other things to consider besides the price you pay.
We’ve outlined them below…
Rewards and bill credits
Big-name providers, such as BT, TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin Media, often sweeten their deals with time-limited promotions.
These might bag you a free electronic gadget, such as a Fitbit or headphones. Or perhaps more preferably, you might get a voucher to spend online or at high-street stores.
To make it easier to track down this sort of promotion, we’ll always clearly mark deals with freebies in our comparison tables.
As you may know, it’s generally much cheaper to get multiple services from the same provider than it is to get them from separate suppliers.
So if you’re on a tight budget, it’s well worth doing some sums to see if you can save by getting a package made up of multiple services.
Planning to stay at your current address for a while? Then you probably won’t be averse to signing up for the 24-month and 18-month contracts that are now standard with the likes of BT, TalkTalk and Sky.
However, if that seems like too long a stretch at your address or you think that your circumstances are likely to change over that time, 12-month contracts are still available from Now Broadband, John Lewis and Zen Internet.
You can also get nine-month student-friendly contracts from BT and Virgin Media, which mean you won’t have to pay for broadband at your term-time address while you’re home for the summer holidays.
Find the right broadband speed
Live alone or with one other person? As a ‘light usage’ household, you’re likely to be able to get by with a low cost ADSL standard broadband deal that provides average speeds of 10-11Mbps.
But if you’re an online gamer or live in a busy family home or shared accommodation, you’re almost certainly going to need a fibre broadband service.
The good news is the cheapest ones are only around £3 to £5 per month more than standard ADSL broadband. But get you a much faster connection.
Could use some help working out the speed you need? Head to our one-stop guide to broadband speeds for all the information you’ll need.
Keep extra, hidden costs in mind
Although most providers waive set-up costs on the majority of standard broadband and fibre deals, you’ll probably still be liable to pay a charge if you’re signing up for an ultrafast service from the likes of Sky, Virgin Media or BT.
By the same token, most providers won’t charge you anything for installation when you sign up for pay TV either.
But the major exception is Sky TV, which levies a fee for installing the satellite dish that’s required to get its Sky Q TV service.
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.
What's the most affordable type of broadband?
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.
Which providers offer the cheapest broadband deals?
At the time of writing, the cheapest broadband provider is Shell Energy. Choose its Fast Broadband package and you’ll pay less than £220 over the first 12 months (including line rental).
Now Broadband’s Brilliant Broadband bundle costs around the same, while Plusnet, Onestream, and John Lewis broadband aren’t far behind.
Note that these cheap packages are all standard (ADSL) broadband – not fibre. But the cheapest fibre broadband packages aren’t too much more expensive. Vodafone, TalkTalk, Plusnet, Now, Shell Energy, and Onestream all have cheap fibre packages at around £22-24 per month.
Can I get low-cost fibre broadband?
Yes you can. Fibre packages are offered by pretty much every broadband provider, so they’re very competitively priced. If you can get fibre broadband where you are, there are almost certainly cheap options available.
The cheapest fibre options do tend to have the “slowest” speeds available on fibre, but that’s still around 35Mbps and above. In other words, fast enough to stream HD TV and play online games without a hitch.
With providers such as TalkTalk, Plusnet, Vodafone, Now, Shell Energy, and Onestream, you’ll only pay around £22-24 per month – less than £300 per year.
And if you’re lucky enough to live in an area where they’re available, the cheapest entry-level full-fibre connections from Hyperoptic, Community Fibre, and WightFibre start at around £20 per month.
Cheap broadband in my area
To find the cheapest broadband providers in your area, just enter your postcode in our availability checker below. You'll then just need to filter by total cost and we'll show you the cheapest packages available right now.
Should I get a cheap broadband deal?
If you're a light internet user (by which we mean you really just use the internet for browsing, shopping, checking your email and watching a few videos) or you live alone, a low cost broadband deal will almost certainly be fast enough for you.
But if you live in a multiple occupancy house or a large family home where lots of people are going to be using the internet simultaneously, we'd recommend you pay a bit extra and get a fibre broadband package.
Similar broadband packages
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.
Will inexpensive broadband be fast enough?
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.
Can I get cheap broadband if I have bad credit?
You can. Plusnet broadband packages and BT’s Basic package do not require you to pass a credit check.
Evidence suggests TalkTalk is also more likely to accept customers with impaired credit ratings than some of the other household-name providers. So you may want to give them a look too.