Sticking with the same provider can end up costing you hundreds of pounds more than it needs to. On top of that, it can also be a slower package than those available now, with fibre optic broadband becoming more and more available. It is understandable that you may wish to stick with the same supplier, whether that be through loyalty to a brand or because your have had no problems with them in the past. These are some of the most common reasons for sticking with the same supplier, however, the way that the broadband world works, they are not good reasons to stay with the same supplier.
Broadband is the most common way to connect to the Internet today and has been around since around 2001. Prior to broadband, the majority of people used a dial-up connection to access the Internet. Dial up internet, however, was limited to speeds of up to 56 kb per second, which is extremely slow in comparison to broadband today which can reach speeds of up to 200mb in some areas.
Broadband is available both at home and on the move via mobile broadband and choosing the best one for you is important. Home broadband has the benefit of being always connected and generally will have much quicker speeds than mobile broadband. Home broadband is also a lot less expensive and most mobile broadband packages will have unlimited data as standard meaning you can download as much as you wish.
Mobile broadband however, generally comes with a usage cap which means that it should only really be used for light use such as viewing the web or emails and perhaps a small amount of music and video streaming. There is a great benefit to mobile broadband however, which is that you can use it almost anywhere in the UK providing you have a strong mobile broadband connection. This may be problematic if you live in a rural area with little mobile signal but in urban and suburban areas you should have no problem.
Many people will sign up to a broadband package and then think that is it, why switch again if you already have a good deal? The broadband market is always changing, and great broadband deals can pop up at any time. It is also possible to haggle your own broadband supplier down by checking the prices elsewhere for similar packages.
Another reason to switch is that you may be able to get a gift or reward for switching. Sky broadband and BT broadband will often offer a broadband deal that includes a pre-paid Mastercard of up to £100 just for joining them.
Since June 2015, new Ofcom rules have made it much simpler to switch broadband supplier. This applies to any broadband supplier on the Openreach network and not to those switching to Virgin Media or vice versa. The new process is called a ‘one touch’ process and simply means that once you contact a broadband provider, they will do all the hard work of requesting MAC codes and switching everything over on your behalf.
Switching can take around ten days. However, this does not mean that you will be without broadband for that period. The switch will usually take place over a maximum of a few hours provided there are no complications, and often it can be a couple of minutes. You will be told the day which you will be switched over, and you can expect that sometime during that day your old broadband will be switched off and your new broadband deal will be switched on.
Often speeds are advertised as up to 76mb or up to 17mb depending on your line capabilities. However, this doesn’t always mean that it is available to you. Speeds can vary to your address for a number of reasons such as-
• Distance from the local telephone exchange- The further way you are the slower the speeds will be due to the distance the data has to travel.
• The number of people using broadband services in your area.
• The number of devices using the Internet in your household.
• The equipment that you are using and the length of the cables within the building.
It is always worth checking to see if you can remedy any of these issues in your home such as running antivirus and anti-spyware on your computer to speed up the system. Also, take a look into new cabling and routers to see if things speed up.
You can use a broadband speed check tool to find out what speeds you are currently getting at sites like speedtest.net which test the speeds of downloading and uploading from a local server.
Some broadband packages come with a usage cap, often as low as 20GB per month. These can be great for people who don’t download a lot of movies or TV shows. However, with the rise of on-demand content and streaming devices such as the Amazon Fire Stick, these data caps will soon be reached. Unlimited data packages are now a lot more common and a lot more affordable and allow you to download as much as you wish.
If you do not have an unlimited package, then you should consider switching to one soon if you think you will go over your data limit or if you are currently doing so.
Many broadband packages will come with a calls packages such as unlimited evening and weekend calls to UK landlines and mobiles. These calls package can add extra cost to your broadband deal, and in reality, you may not even use it. A lot of people now use mobile phones to make calls and use the landline purely for broadband.
It is possible nowadays to make calls using Wi-Fi on services such as WhatsApp and Skype and many other platforms like Facebook and Google. This means that less and less people are relying on a landline to make and receive calls and instead opt to use the free internet based voice and video calls.
If you are outside of your minimum term contract with your broadband supplier, you should consider haggling the price with your supplier. This will often work by finding a similar deal elsewhere for a competitive price and asking your current supplier to match or beat it. You can always leave for the new supplier if your current supplier doesn't budge.
Below I will look into some of the best broadband deals of the new year with different types of broadband such as Fibre, ADSL and Mobile broadband.
BT Broadband currently has a deal on fibre optic broadband with speeds up to 52M depending on the line capabilities in your area. This deal is only available until 5th of Jan, so you’ll have to be quick.
It costs £29.99 per month with a £59.99 upfront cost and has unlimited data with no traffic management. The deal includes line rental and has a minimum term of 12 months. BT offer a prepaid Mastercard of £125 which you can claim afterwards by filling out a claim form.
If you pay the line rental upfront and take into account the prepaid Mastercard, the total cost for this package is just £272.07 or £22.67 per month.
If you miss the BT Broadband deal, then there is a Plusnet Broadband deal which is available until 10th January. This deal is for Fibre Optic Broadband with speeds of up to 38MB per second. It costs £25 per month and is for an 18-month contract.
With this deal, you will get unlimited downloads and line rental included. There is however traffic management with this deal and so is not as great a deal as the BT Broadband deal. New line installation for this deal is £49.99
EE Broadband have a fibre deal for just £28.50 per month which boasts speeds of up to 38MB per second and has unlimited downloads as standard.
The deal is for a contract term of 18 months and has a £30 installation fee and also includes line rental fees. Paid upfront this can make the deal £545 form the 18 month period. Weekend calls are included with this deal however if your call lasts over 60 mins you will be charged.
If you are a current EE mobile customer, you can get an extra 5GB data allowance per month just by entering your mobile number when you sign up.
Currently Plusnet Broadband are offering a broadband deal of unlimited broadband with speeds of up to 17mb per second. The deal also includes line rental and is over a period of 12 months. The cost for this deal is £20 per month. The main drawback to this deal is the traffic management that is applied to the line.
Plusnet is also offering £50 cashback for the above deal, and if you take that into account, then the overall cost is just £160 per year if you pay line rental upfront.
Origin are offering broadband with speeds of up to 17mb for just £17.99 for the first 12 months of the contract. The contract itself has a minimum term of 12 months, and so you can switch at the end.
With this deal, you can get unlimited broadband and line rental included. There is no traffic management with this deal and so is arguably the better deal compared to Plusnet Broadband. There is also no upfront cost with this package.
BT are offering a deal for ADSL broadband up to 17mb in speed at the cost of £24.99 per month. Like the fibre optic broadband deal above, this deal is only available until the 5th of January, so you’ll have to be quick.
The deal features unlimited downloads and inclusive line rental. The upfront cost is just £9.99 which covers the router postage costs. You can also apply for a prepaid Mastercard after installation which has £75 loaded onto it.
Sky Broadband are offering an ADSL broadband deal with speeds up to 17mb per second and unlimited downloads over a period of 12 months. There is no traffic shaping with this deal which means no slow down or priority downloads to your neighbours.
The deal is available until 23rd Jan and costs just £17.50 per month with line rental included.
EE currently have a deal for just £19.50 per month which has speeds of up to 17mb per second and unlimited downloads. The deal also includes line rental and inclusive weekend calls.
If you want to take out Virgin Media Broadband, then they have a fibre broadband package with speeds of up to 50mb per second for just £32.50 per month. The contract length is a minimum of 12 months, and it does include traffic management at peak times.
If you don’t wish to be tied into a long-term broadband contract because you are moving soon or are just waiting for a better deal, then you can do no better than Direct Save Telecom Broadband who have a 1-month rolling contract. It costs £28.90 per month for speeds up to 17mb per second. However, it does have a very low download limit of 20GB per month. If you wish to have unlimited downloads, it will cost £33.90
With any of the deals, it is always good to check cashback sites such as Quidco or Topcashback to see if you can gain any extra cashback on the deals.
If you wish to see what broadband you can get in your area, then you can use our Broadband Postcode Checker on our homepage.