Broadband customers are surprisingly loyal. Research from Uswitch found that over a third of Brits have never switched to a different provider.
The real reason isn’t likely to be loyalty though: it’s either apathy or an incorrect assumption that switching is too difficult. But switching could save the average household over £160 per year. And with monthly bills continuing to increase because of inflation and other factors you stand to save even more than that.
If you can find a deal that’s just £10 less than you currently pay each month you’ll save £240 over two years, which is the typical contract period.
Switching broadband providers is easier than you might think. Simply use the tool below to find out what’s available to you and sign up.
If you’re reading this because you’re on a low income and need really cheap broadband then you can take advantage of a couple of different s depending upon where you live. One option is BT Home Essentials which costs £15 per month.
There’s also Vodafone Broadband Essentials which is even cheaper at £12 per month.
Virgin offers cheaper broadband for households on low incomes: it’s £12.50 per month, called Essential Broadband and gives you a 12Mbps download speed and 2Mbps upload.
A fourth option is Community Fibre’s Essential broadband. This costs £12.50 per month, but limits speed to only 10Mbps, whereas BT and Vodafone’s packages offer average speeds of around 38Mbps and are much more widely available.
To get BT or Vodafone’s cheap packages you’ll need to prove you’re eligible and are on benefits or income support. But there’s no need for any such checks with Community Fibre.
Best broadband deals
Here are all the best deals available this month. Bear in mind that you can’t simply pick the one you like most. You need to check if the service you want is available at your address. Coverage can vary in the same town or city. In fact, the speeds and providers available will depend upon the exact street you live on.
That’s why you’ll need to enter your postcode and click ‘Check availability to see which which offers apply to you.
What to look for when choosing a broadband deal
Here are a few questions to ask when looking at any deal:
- What are the setup / activation fees? Can I get the same speed and monthly cost with cheaper (or free) activation elsewhere?
- How long is the contract? You might not want to get tied in for too long.
- Is the deal for broadband alone, or does it also bundle phone calls and / or TV? Can I save money by bundling other services I’d pay for anyway?
- Can I get a better deal from my existing provider? It can be worth phoning to see if they will match or beat a deal you’ve seen online.
- Do I need to pay for really fast broadband? Even families streaming video to multiple TVs don’t need mega-fast speeds and can be fine without full fibre. Remember that you’ll need really good home Wi-Fi to deliver the fastest broadband speeds to all corners of your home. Otherwise you’re paying for speeds that you can’t make use of. We’ve a full guide on how to make your home network faster
Most of the very fastest broadband plans require a fibre-optic connection to your property. Providers call this ‘full fibre’, as opposed to ‘fibre’ which runs only as far as the cabinet in your area.
Some of the fastest broadband plans require a fibre-optic connection to your property. Providers call this ‘full fibre’, as opposed to ‘fibre’ which runs only as far as the cabinet in your area.
Full fibre is being rolled out to millions of homes right now, but plenty of areas still aren’t connected. Virgin, though, has an extensive cable network which now offers gigabit speeds, so that’s a good option for those who live on streets served by Virgin.
If you can’t get full fibre or Virgin, the lesser fibre broadband may well be available and offers a maximum of around 70-80Mbps, but could be as low as 30Mbps. Most broadband providers offer two packages: one with download speeds around 35Mbps, and the other with 70-80Mbps. Often, there’s not much difference in price, so it’s usually better value to opt for the faster package.
If you can’t get fibre at all (or don’t want to pay the extra for it) then you’re looking at ADSL. This will have download speeds of around 20Mbps or slower – in some rural areas it could be as slow as 5Mbps.
The good news is that old line rental charge has been bundled into the monthly broadband price. That means the price you see is the price you pay: no cheeky super-cheap deals with a surprise extra charge of £20-odd per month on your bill. However, don’t assume all broadband plans include a landline: some do not.
Where to get broadband deals?
If you want to hunt around yourself for a deal, here are all the major broadband providers in the UK.
Broadband speed claims guidance
In May 2018, the ASA issued new broadband speed claims guidance that gives a more accurate representation of the speed you can expect from the broadband package you choose.
The change followed research into consumers’ understanding of broadband speed claims, which found that consumers are being misled by advertising from internet service providers (ISPs).
Now, ISPs need to advertise the median download speed measured at peak-time or over 24 hours, or a range of download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users measured at peak time or over 24 hours.
See Ofcom’s broadband speed checking tool to find out your broadband speed.
What’s the best broadband?
Uswitch announced its broadband award winners for 2022, as outlined below:
- Broadband Provider of the Year: BT
- Most Reliable Broadband Provider: BT
- Bundle Provider of the Year: BT
- Most Popular Broadband Provider: BT
- Best Value Broadband Provider: Now Broadband
- Best Provider for Customer Service: EE