If you have been to University in the past 10 or 20 years, you will understand that having a broadband connection is one of the first things you enquire about when moving into a new place or student halls. An Internet connection is a sacred thing for a University student, and there are many reasons for them to need one. With house sharing comes shared Internet access and so it’s wise to make sure, as a student, you get the best broadband deal for your household. We will discuss the best type of packages to look for at the end of this article, but for now, let’s look at the main reasons students need a good broadband connection and what kind of activities they get up to.
University life can be hard, and you may think the majority of student life is about learning and writing essays. While some students may tell you, they don’t have time to relax due to all of the assignments they have to finish. The majority will spend most of their time procrastinating, or at least I did anyway.
The rise of popular platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime has seen many students look to get a broadband deal as soon as they move in, sometimes even before they have the keys. As a former student myself, I can tell you that students love nothing more than getting up at midday and turning on their favorite TV shows and watching several episodes back to back. Only pausing to let the Domino’s delivery guy in. Amazon Prime, in particular, will offer students a Six-month trial and then 50% off the standard price. An amazing deal for those that have spent up most of their student loan already.
Music steaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Music have become very popular with students, and many student households will hammer the broadband connection with multiple streaming sessions at once. Take a household of 5 students, all getting on with their assignments while listening to their favourite Daft Punk song (I know their probably not listening to Daft Punk nowadays, but I had it on repeat) several connections at once is likely to slow down a broadband connection that doesn’t have superfast speeds.
Not only are students listening to music as they work but also when they are partying, which we all know they do at least five times a week. The streaming services all know they do this, so they even offer them a discount for their services with Spotify offering their premium service for just £4.99 per month, half the price of a standard subscription for us proper adults.
Broadband was essential in any household I was a part of during University, and that was for the gaming. It wasn’t too long before myself and a couple of friends chipped in together to get an Xbox console and the latest copy of FIFA and Halo to start our day long sessions of online domination. Well, that’s what we thought we could achieve anyway, most of the time we were throwing the controller half way across the room due to the ‘laggy’ connection we had. Online gaming requires a fast connection in order to perform to its best and when you share your household with three other guys who are either playing their own console game or streaming a movie in their room, the broadband connection soon start to strain under the heavy usage.
Gaming is one of the most social activities for students, especially the guys. When you’ve used up your last student loan pennies and going down to the pub is out of the question. Picking up a controller and playing 5 hours of Halo seems a great idea. The whole house can get involved thanks to link up capabilities within a home network.
Fortunately, companies such as Virgin Media offer gaming fibre broadband packages. Like the VIVID 200 Gamer with speeds up to 200mb and unlimited downloads with no traffic management. If only that were around when I was a student, it would be £50 per month well spent.
Okay, I’ve left this obvious one for last. While all of the above is true, and students do primarily think of broadband as a recreation tool. There are lots of times when a student needs to knuckle down and get on with their latest essay. The Internet has made University life considerably easier nowadays and allows students to research anything they need without having to head down to the library.
Not only that but most UK Universities today will have some sort of Student Intranet, allowing students to access their learning portals from wherever they are in the world. Some Universities even go as far as live streaming their lectures or recording them to go online at a later date. So, if you're feeling a little rough after a heavy night out then there’s no need to get out of bed to get to the 9 am lecture.
If you are sharing a household, it is important to take into account how everyone in your house will be using the broadband connection and how they will be accessing the Internet. If you have a few housemates, it is worth considering getting unlimited downloads, as this way, there will be no squabbles over who’s overused the Internet this month. I’d also suggest looking into Fibre Optic superfast broadband as it is likely that with a few of you accessing the Internet at any one time, whether that is for learning or for watching the latest Netflix show. There will be a slowdown at some point, and it can become very frustrating.
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