Finding the perfect broadband deal can be difficult. Everyone uses the internet in different ways, so there isn’t always an obvious option for the best deal for you.
That means that before you choose a package it’s a good idea to determine exactly what you'll need from a broadband internet connection.
What type of broadband deal do I need?
Broadband Deals - If you are just getting started with the internet then you will probably want an easy-to-install broadband package that offers fantastic customer care.
Heavy-Use Broadband Deals - If you live on the internet and spend a lot of time downloading movies and music, streaming TV shows and playing online games then you’ll want a top tier package with unlimited download and usage limits.
Business Broadband Deals - If you run a business, online business broadband packages offer essential extras including fixed/static-IPs, email addresses, added security software and online storage space.
Mobile Broadband Deals - If you use the internet on the go and from a laptop, 3G or 4G mobile internet is a good option because it gives you broadband access wherever you are.
Mobile broadband packages provide you with a MiFi or USB dongle that connects to your laptop – providing internet access wherever you receive mobile phone signal.
- Family Broadband Deals - Families are often very heavy internet users thanks to the amazing increase of web-enabled gadgets in the home in recent years. If you own multiple computers, internet TV’s, tablets and games consoles you are likely to need a large internet package.
How fast is the internet connection?
While there are many factors to consider with a broadband deal, perhaps the most important is the speed of the internet connection.
When it comes to advertised connection speeds, you should remember that speeds vary. It's for this reason that advertisements for broadband feature the 'typical' speed that you can expect to receive.
One major influence on speeds is that your ISP will share your connection with other users (this is why connections slow at popular times).
The distance between the telephone exchange and your house coupled with the quality of the cables used will also determine the speeds you can actually receive.
Super-Fast Broadband – Offers speeds up to 300Mbps in select areas. Virgin Media and BT's fibre to the premises (fttp) cable broadband services are the fastest around.
Fast Broadband – This is a good option for heavy users because it allows you to stream in HD, download extensively and play games online. The only downside is that during peak hours the connection may slow significantly.
Cheap Broadband – Cheap packages are fine for light internet users. They allow you to check emails, surf the net, watch videos on YouTube and play computer games.
However, the quality of the connection and speeds are somewhat lacking and will struggle more often with activities such as streaming HD video.
Data limits are an important part of a broadband package because they determine how much you can use the internet each month.
Data limits start at around 10GB a month and become unlimited on larger packages.
Extra data you use above your limit can be charged at a high premium. So it's a good idea to get more than you usually will use.
Mobile internet limits are usually significantly lower than home broadband, with limits mainly ranging between 500MB and 1GB a month.
Customer service is incredibly important if you’re an average internet user.
Check out our [broadband provider page] (/broadband/providers "Broadband Providers") to find out what other users think of their suppliers' customer service and general performance.