With so many broadband providers out there today it can be a confusing place to be when choosing the right broadband package for you. I hear you! Wouldn’t it be simple if there was just the one broadband provider that everyone had to sign up to in order to get their on-demand shows or access their online banking everyday! Well no, not really. Competition in the broadband market is what allows you to get the best deals possible and is what drives the industry forward by giving you superfast fibre broadband and unlimited bandwidth. Sifting through those providers, however, can be tricky, so here’s a few tips to get you started.
Unlimited broadband sounds like a great idea, and it is if you are a power user and spend your days and night downloading huge files. However, if you are out a lot of the day and only around in the evening, are you really going to benefit from an unlimited broadband package? Unlimited bandwidth allows you to download and stream as much as you want (within fair usage policy guidelines) and comes in handy if you find yourself watching a lot of TV and Films on demand. If this is not something you find yourself doing daily, there is a good chance unlimited broadband is not for you.
Some broadband suppliers will provide packages with usages caps, Plusnet Broadband offer cheap broadband deals for lower usages customers, with caps as low as 10GB a month and most of these low bandwidth packages are less than £10 per month. There are however less of these packages around as households become heavier users due to larger files sizes and Ofcom asking providers to be more transparent.
This may be a limit to what broadband packages you can purchase. Fibre optic broadband is great and perfect if you are a power user needing to download large files. It is, however, important to use a broadband speed checker to find out what your line is capable of, some areas are still awaiting fibre optic broadband to be installed by BT Openreach and until then have to make do with ADSL Broadband.
Often, however, this is a blessing in disguise. A lot of Broadband provider marketing revolves around their fibre optic offerings, and they will make it seem like you must have this luxury item. Unless you use your broadband heavily for gaming, streaming or large file downloads, you probably don’t need 72mb broadband in your house. Speeds up to 17mb are widely available across the UK, and those speeds are fast enough for most users.
If you find yourself wanting to watch a lot of premium channels such as Sky Movies, Sky Sports or BT Sports, it may be worth looking into a package deal with providers such as Sky Broadband, Virgin Media, BT or TalkTalk Broadband. These are all broadband providers who offer TV services alongside your regular broadband package. Most of the time buying a package like this will mean that your broadband will work out a lot cheaper as it is often added on for a small price, often as low as £5 with providers like Sky.
Make sure you choose your package carefully and decide what sort of TV Channels you actually need. The idea of a full package might be very appealing to you, and if you have a large family where the TV is always on, it may be perfect for you. However, if you don’t often make use of the sports channels and don’t often watch movies at home then perhaps an unlimited package is not for you. I often advise people to go with a lower package initially and see how you get on. If you decide at a later date that you really need the sports channels or movies, then you can always ring up or visit the companies website and add it on with a flick of a switch. Likewise, if you’ve already purchased the full package you can ring up your provider and ask them to downgrade your package to something more realistic and affordable.
Brits love a good bargain, and so getting a bargain with your broadband is no different. At the time of writing this, there are many Black Friday deals and some broadband providers are getting involved this year. Head over to BT Broadband and Sky for some excellent deals.
There are deals to be found throughout the rest of the year too, so it’s worth browsing around to see who has what deals on. They may not always be on the site homepage, so it’s worth checking out sites like Money Saving Expert which will have a lot of the best deals available.
Make sure you check out the cashback sites to see which provider is offering the most discount on their packages. This is overlooked by many as they are not familiar with the sites, but great savings on your broadband can be made. Most providers will offer over £100 cashback on larger broadband packages, and it should be factored into the overall costs as you will get this money back within six months usually. Some providers might have cheaper initial costs, but if the cashback is low, it might not be as great a broadband deal as the one with the higher cashback. Always calculate the final price.
Vouchers are available too, and sites like HotUKDeals and VoucherCodes are a great place to look for discount codes on your broadband.
Take into account any rewards providers may offer you. Sky Broadband are well known for offering £50 prepaid Mastercards or M&S vouchers when you buy broadband with them. Again factor that in to the overall cost as it may make a big difference.