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What is an internet provider?

Internet providers are companies that supply internet connections to consumers and businesses. They are usually referred to as Internet Service Providers or ISPs.

In a market as competitive as UK broadband, it pays for ISPs to be flexible and meet the needs of consumers. For that reason, several types of broadband and various different services are available to cater for the full range of users' requirements.

Bundles

Broadband bundles are packages that offer broadband along with other utilities such as digital TV, mobile and home phone. Here are some of the leading suppliers of broadband bundle deals:

  • BT - Great broadband, digital TV, live Premier League games on BT Sport and home phone packages mean BT's service is especially strong.
  • TalkTalk - Good value international calling deals and excellent broadband service mark TalkTalk out as one of the UK's best providers.
  • Virgin Media - Offers excellent value quad-packages - that is, those that include broadband, digital TV, home and mobile phone in one bundle. Its flagship fibre broadband products are among the fastest around.
  • Sky - Premium TV, including Premiership football and box office movies, makes Sky broadband TV packages a brilliant option for sports and film fans.

Home

The most common type of broadband, home broadband packages are offered by nearly all ISPs.

  • BT - The best-known Internet provider in the UK. BT offers great deals and excellent devices such as the HomeHub router.
  • TalkTalk - Famous for excellent home phone and broadband deals, TalkTalk has since expanded into TV. But its two play offers are still among the best value around.

Cable

Cable broadband is the newest, fastest and most reliable type of home connection, with download speeds of up to 100Mbps. Or 120Mbps if you live in area where Virgin Media has carried out its network upgrade.

  • Virgin Media – currently offering the fastest cable package in the UK, alongside television and call deals.
  • BT - The best-known internet provider in the UK, BT offers a 76Mbps cable broadband package in most of the UK with a service of up to 156Mbps in other parts with lots of great deals on home phone calls and TV. BT also offers the BT HomeHub router free with its packages.

O2, Sky, EE and a range of other providers have launched fibre products of their own, with speeds in line with BT whose fibre network they use.

Mobile

Mobile Broadband is portable broadband for those on the go. Whether it's 3G or 4G that you're using, mobile broadband is accessed by plugging a mobile dongle/modem into the USB port of your PC or laptop. Once inserted, broadband connectivity is accessible in any area where there is mobile phone coverage.

Lots of internet providers now offer 3G and 4G mobile alternatives to their home broadband packages. Click here to compare mobile internet providers.

  • Vodafone - Offering both business and consumer packages, Vodafone is among the UK's most popular mobile broadband internet providers.
  • Three - With mobile broadband contract deals starting at less than £10 month, this mobile broadband internet provider offers great value for money.
  • EE - The sole UK 4G provider. EE's 4G service is reputed to be up to five times faster than the 3G average.

Click here to compare mobile broadband providers.

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