Student life wouldn't be complete without the internet, so you’ll want to sort out your broadband as soon as you've found a place to live. Split between you and your housemates, and with ‘term time’ deals for students available in the summer, it can be cheap and easy to get your uni house connected...
Choosing a student broadband deal
Your parents might disagree – mainly because they managed perfectly well without the internet “in their day” - but broadband is a utility these days, like water or electricity, not a luxury. There’s a ton of providers and packages to choose from. Some aren’t as suitable for student life as others, with certain providers offering student-specific packages in the summer months. To help you get started, here’re the four main things you need to bear in mind when comparing broadband for students…
- Speed - To make sure there’s plenty of bandwidth to go around - remember, you’ll all be sharing one connection - you’re probably best plumping for superfast fibre optic broadband.
- Usage - Stick to unlimited broadband, as there’ll be no mum or dad keeping an eye on how much anyone’s downloading or streaming. Cheap broadband deals deals with a usage limit could mean you end up costing you more.
- Contract length - Some providers do broadband especially for uni students, which is subject to a nine-month contract instead of the usual 12, 18 or 24-month contract, so you won’t have to pay for it if over the summer.
- TV Channels - Want to watch TV with your housemates? Bundling broadband with TV’s the best way to get more channels and value for money. BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media all do broadband and TV deals
For more help picking the best student broadband deal, check out our complete guide.
Student broadband providers
The provider you pick matters less than what you actually get for your money. Remember, you’ll all share a connection - so you’ll need a lot of speed to keep everyone happy when they’re using it at the same time. It’s also a good idea to ignore any packages with a usage limit, as the chances of a house with several people online not exceeding it are slim. A good place to start is with BT and Virgin Media, as both offer student broadband deals on a nine-month ‘term time’ contract…
- BT - The UK’s biggest broadband and phone provider offers BT Superfast Fibre, with average download speeds of 67Mb, on a nine-month contract. You need an active phone line to get it, which means paying line rental, and there are deals that include TV as well.
- Virgin Media -You don’t need a phone line to get Virgin Media broadband, which offers packages with average speeds as high as 354Mb in the UK, and you can get it, and TV, on a nine-month contract.
Mobile phones and 4G for students
If you’re going to uni and want to upgrade your phone for the start of term, you should check out our mobile deals. If you don’t fancy sharing a broadband connection, you could actually just use your mobile internet instead. For the best speeds, you’ll need 4G - now available in most UK cities with a university - but you’ll also need a generous data limit to avoid racking up extra charges for exceeding your allowance.