Finding a broadband deal that suits your family’s needs (and your wallet) can be a daunting task. Does the price include TV? How fast will it be? What contract will I be on?
Don’t worry – we’ll help you get the deal that’s best for you and your family.
Whether your household is a bunch of download-happy surfers where speed is a priority, or you just want the cheapest deal – we’ve looked into what all the best deals broadband providers are currently offering, so you don’t have to. Below is your handy at-a-glance guide to the best broadband deals.
- Find out what ‘broadband usage allowance’ actually means
- Choosing the best broadband (and speed) for you
- The costs to consider
Plusnet – cheapest broadband deal
If you’re after a great value broadband and calls package, then this deal from Plusnet is for you. They’ve got one of the cheapest broadband/calls deals going.
But they don’t just offer value for money – their service is recommended by consumer magazine Which?, while Plusnet’s customers are on average more satisfied than those of Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk.
Another plus is that they make the process of switching over to them a doddle – and there’s no upfront costs to worry about (their deals include the activation fee, which normally costs £25, and you also get a free wireless router).
How much does it cost?
Pick the best deal for you with broadband and phone deals that start form just £2.99 a month.
Unlimited broadband and calls: An ideal package for families that love surfing the web. From £2.99 a month for the first 12 months plus £14.50 line rental. You’ll get:
- Up to 16Mb broadband speeds
- Wireless router included
- Unlimited usage
- Plusnet Protect by McAfee included for online security
- Free activation fee
- Weekend inclusive calls to UK landlines, 0845 and 0870 numbers
- Free calls to Plusnet Phone customers
- Free calls to Plusnet Support
Unlimited Fibre Broadband and calls: Want something speedier? From £12.50 a month for the first 9 months plus £14.50 line rental try this and get all the features above, plus:
- Up to 76Mb download speeds
- Up to 19.5Mb upload speeds
Don’t need a phone package? Get the broadband only deal from £12.49 for Unlimited Broadband and £22.49 Unlimited Fibre Broadband.
Pssst! Don’t forget once you’re all signed up to tell your friends, family or work colleagues about Plusnet – they’ll give you a handy discount on your monthly bill – bonus!
BT – best for online security + child safety
BT not only have some good package deals, they’re a good choice for parents worried about their children’s safety online.
BT’s award-winning online security and parental controls are completely FREE for all BT Broadband and BT Infinity customers, and they’re pretty effective.
Their free parental control features are especially useful in helping keep your kids safe online. Their package means you’ll have peace of mind on any device connecting to your home internet connection or any BT Wi-fi hotspot.
You can set the filter level so it suits your family and even pop them on a timer. There’s no annoying software to download either.
There are plenty more extras BT offer included in the price from fully trained, UK based Tech Experts to help you get more from your gadgets to unlimited wi-fi minutes at more than 5 million hotspots in the UK.
How much does it cost?
BT Broadband 18 month phone and broadband contract package is £10 a month (£5/mth for 6 months) plus £15.99 line rental. This includes:
- BT sport app and online player for FREE
- Unlimited wi-fi
- BT Parental Controls
- BT SmartTalk
- BT Home Hub 4
- 2GB BT Cloud
- Up to 16Mb download speed
- 10GB usage
- FREE weekend calls
- £25 Sainsbury’s gift card
Unlimited Broadband includes everything above PLUS totally unlimited usage for £16 a month (£8/mth for 6 months) plus £15.99 a month line rental.
Unlimited Broadband extra includes everything above PLYS 50GB BT Cloud and BT NetProtect for £21 a month (£10.50/mth for 6 months) plus £15.99 a month line rental.
BT Infinity 1/ Unlimited BT Infinity 1/ Unlimited BT Infinity 2 – superfast fibre-optic broadband between 38MB- 76MB download speeds and from 20GB, to totally unlimited usage along with a £50 Sainsbury’s card. Get all this from £15-£26 a month (half price for 6 months) plus £15.99 line rental and £30 activation charge.
Virgin Media – Best for fast family broadband
These guys offer the best value fibre optic broadband, TV and phone bundle around. We’re talking Usain Bolt fast broadband, a 500GB TiVo box and unlimited weekend calls.
At 4x faster than regular broadband from £10 a month for 6 months it’s a speedy bargain you don’t want to miss out on.
It means that if you’ve got a family of gadget-mad internet surfers who like to play games online, watch videos online and all using the net at once – this is the broadband package for you.
How much does it cost?
Best value fibre optic broadband, TV and phone bundle: £10 a month for 6 months then just £20 a month + Virgin Phone line £15.99 with an 18 month contract.
- Up to 30Mb fibre-optic broadband
- Free installation worth £49.95
- 60+ TV channels with your 500GB TiVo box
- Unlimited weekend calls
- WiFi calling with SmartCall app
There’s plenty more on offer including broadband and phone deals where you can save £48 in the first 6 months and broadband only offers with £5 off for 3 months.
Sky – best for TV, movie and sport extras
Best known for its digital TV packages, go to Sky for your package bundles if you like your sport, movies and more. They’ve got loads of handy bundles to satisfy your family’s needs and they’re currently running 50% OFF deals too.
Sky broadband includes:
- Best ever wireless router
- Sky Broadband Shield
- Sky Talk and Line Rental from £15.40 a month
- Sky Wifi available in thousands of hotspots across the UK
Depending on your needs you can build a broadband package with Sky to suit you. Bolt on the extras like Sky TV with Sky Sports and or/Sky Movies and take advantage of their HALF PRICE offers!
Sky Broadband Lite up to 16Mb, 2GB usage allowance for daily internet browsing and email – FREE with Sky TV from £21.50 a month plus Sky Talk and Sky Line Rental £15.40.
Sky Broadband Unlimited up to 16Mb, no usage limits and just £3.75 a month for 12 months (then £7.50 a month) with Sky TV (from £21.50 a month) and Sky Line Rental (£15.30 a month)
Sky Fibre Unlimited up to 38Mb, no usage limits at £10 a month for 6 months (then £20 a month) plus sky Line Rental (£15.40 a month)
Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro up to 76Mb, twice the normal speed for the highest of internet demands, no usage limits at £30 a month plus Sky Line Rental (£15.40 a month). Join without TV and receive a £100 M&S voucher.
What does broadband usage allowance mean?
Your broadband package will usually come with a limit of usage – this basically means the amount of data that you can download.
For example a 10GB monthly allowance for light users will give you roughly the equivalent of:
- 2,500 songs (based on 4MB music files), OR
- 14 films (based on 700MB film files), OR
- 10,000 photos (based on 1MB digital photos), OR
- 5,000 documents (based on 2MB document files)
With 20GB these figures are doubled. Remember, there are unlimited broadband usage packages available which mean you can download as much as you fancy.
Watch out for how Unlimited your broadband deal really is. Some service providers put restrictions on certain traffic at peak times so you might experience slower speeds.
Choosing the best broadband for you
How fast does your broadband need to be?
Broadband speed is how fast you can download (and upload) info through your broadband connection.
So every time you view a webpage, listen to music online or watch a Youtube video, you are downloading information the internet. The faster your download speed, the quicker webpages, music, videos and photos will load.
Broadband speed is measured in megabits. The more megabits per second that speed is, the quicker the connection and download will be.
A slower speed doesn’t mean you can’t do things online, it’ll just mean it’ll be a bit longer. For example, downloading a photo that’s 1MB will take 2 seconds on a 4Mbps speed – but just 0.5 seconds with a 16Mbps.
So how fast does your broadband need to be? For basic web browsing and emails, 14Mbps should be more than enough. If you like downloading and watching lots of films and music, play games online, or have lots of people online in your house at once, then it’s worth considering a 30Mbps+ deal.
The main types of broadband
- ADSL broadband is the most common and widely available type of broadband in the UK. You get it delivered to your home over the phone network from your local telephone exchange. Speed varies depending on how close your home is to the telephone exchange. If you’re near the exchange, speeds can be pretty fast – up to 24Mbps.
- Cable broadband is an option for those who want fast broadband (30Mbps+). However it is only accessible to about 45% of the UK (mainly in urban areas). The main cable provider in the UK is Virgin – you can check on their website whether cable is in your area. Offers very fast speeds but tends to be more expensive than ADSL.
- Fibre optic broadband is a fairly new development that means you can get a super fast connection to the internet through fibre-optic cable. It’s not available everywhere
Costs to consider
When you sign up for a broadband package there will often be additional costs you need to bear in mind.
- There will be a line rental – a monthly fee (usually around £16) and you’ll often be signed into a contract for 12-18 months.
- You may have to pay an installation fee upfront, and/or for the wireless router (often offered free but can be up to £30)
- There’s no need to pay extra for a super speedy connection you don’t need, or a TV package you won’t use. Pick a broadband plan that suits everyone and get the cheapest deal around.
If you’re having issues with Virgin Media, then don’t hesitate to contact us. There has been an increase in complaints lately, and help is available when you need it.