All about broadband packages
When you compare broadband packages, you'll probably notice that there are a lot of them to choose from. Tons of providers offer broadband in the UK, and they've all got a good few choices to pick between… and with loads of options like 'fibre optic' and 'unlimited' to choose between, it can all get a bit confusing.
So, what broadband packages are available? And most importantly, which one should you pick? Let's take a closer look.
What types of broadband package can I get?
First, let's look at the main types of broadband package available, so you can see how they all compare.
ADSL packages give you the basic kind of broadband that just about anyone with a phone line can get. These packages usually offer download speeds up to 17Mb. It's the slowest kind of connection, but it's also the cheapest - and a huge number of providers offer it, so you have loads of choice.
An ADSL package is great for a small household, and can handle regular web browsing and video streaming. If you want to stream in HD without buffering or do anything a bit more strenuous, however, you may want a more high-powered package…
Superfast fibre optic broadband is much faster and more reliable than ADSL - and you have more choice over what speed you go for. Most basic fibre packages have download speeds up to 38Mb, but you can get packages that go all the way up to 300Mb.
That makes it ideal for larger households with lots of connected gadgets, or anyone who wants to download big files, play games online, or stream TV and films easily.
Ultrafast broadband packages can be fibre optic, cable, or even ADSL in areas where G.fast technology is available. It's defined as broadband that can reach speeds of 300Mb and above - perfect for very big households, streaming in 4K Ultra HD, gaming, or using VPNs and accessing remote servers without losing too much speed.
You can only really get broadband packages this fast from a tiny handful of providers, but luckily that includes Virgin Media - which is available nationally.
Mobile broadband is a little different, in that it isn't delivered through wires - instead, it works over 4G like your mobile phone. You can get decent download speeds on mobile broadband packages, but it's less reliable than fixed-line broadband and download limits can be restrictive. It's best if you need a temporary connection, or if you want broadband in an area where fixed-line speeds just aren't up to the job.
Read more about mobile broadband, and compare deals on packages, here
Broadband, TV, and phone bundles
ADSL, fibre, and cable broadband packages can all be bundled with home phone and pay-TV. If you want two or three services, it's often cheaper to get it all from the same company on a single bill - and adding them onto your broadband package is easy and hassle-free.
Almost all providers will let you bundle in home phone. With most of them, you can upgrade your calls package to include things like evening and weekend calls, anytime calls, or cheaper international rates.
A handful also you let you bundle TV in as well. Those providers are:
To find broadband and TV combo packages, just select 'Include TV' on the comparison grid, or compare TV deals here.
How to choose the best broadband package
The first step thing you need to do is enter your postcode into our postcode checker. This will show you all the packages and providers available in your area.
Then you can filter out the results to only see those that suit what you need. Remember to think about:
- Speed - Faster broadband packages mean you'll have a smoother experience, and can connect more gadgets at once, but it costs a little more.
- Download limit - Unless you're a very light user who only uses your internet connection for a little web browsing and email, we'd recommend going for an unlimited broadband package.
- Contract length - Longer broadband contracts tend to have the cheapest monthly prices, while shorter 30-day ones give you more flexibility.
- Bundling - Do you want inclusive calls, pay TV, or a mobile SIM? You can bundle these in right away.
- Provider - There are plenty of broadband providers to choose from, and each one offers something a little different. See our provider guides for all the info you need.
What's the cheapest broadband package?
The cheapest packages of all usually have download limits, slower download speeds, and fewer features (like inclusive calls or free access to Wi-Fi hotspots).
However, it isn't a good idea to just go for the cheapest package available if it won't suit you. It's no good getting cheap ADSL if your home is better off with fibre optic speeds, for instance.
The best way to find the cheapest package for you is to compare your options with our tool. Select everything you want from your broadband, then sort the results by cost to see which providers offer what you need at the lowest price.