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There’s no one-size-fits-all answer as to what the best broadband deal is. Each home has its own unique requirements based on the number of people and devices using broadband, what activities you use your broadband for or what extras you’d like — or would like to avoid — in your broadband package.
At uSwitch, we make finding your best broadband deal easy by letting you compare broadband deals from a number of providers across the market. You can use our filters to narrow your search down to your must-haves, whether it’s a certain provider, price, broadband speed or TV channel you’re after.
To find the best broadband deal for your home, you should consider the following factors:
If you’ve been searching for a new broadband deal, you’ve likely seen speeds advertised as Mbps, which stands for “megabits per second” and refers to the download rate you can expect. When looking at broadband deals and evaluating broadband speeds, you probably know that a higher number of Mbps is faster. But just how much broadband speed do you need?
A good way to gauge what speed you need is to run a broadband speed test while you’re at home and on your Wi-Fi network. A broadband speed test will tell you the download and upload speeds available on your current connection. If you’re happy with your broadband speed, you’ll want to find a broadband deal that can match these speeds. If you’re finding yourself always buffering or unhappy with your current broadband package, then look for something faster.
Alternatively, you can always guess what broadband speed you need based on your home and what you mainly use the internet for.
The broadband speeds advertised on our broadband deals are average speeds, which is the current standard that providers have to adhere to. Average speeds are measured during peak time — between 8pm and 10pm when most people are online — and must be available to at least 50% of users. This means you’ve got a 50/50 chance of getting speeds above or below this number.
There are a number of other factors that can affect your broadband speed:
When looking for a broadband deal, it’s important to make sure it’s actually available in your area. Because broadband relies on fixed lines and infrastructure, not all broadband deals are available in every area. Before browsing our tables and comparing broadband deals, use our broadband postcode checker first to start narrowing down deals that you can actually get.
If it’s been a while since you’ve switched broadband, you’ll probably be surprised to know that over 95% of the UK now has access to fibre broadband. As its availability has increased, the price of fibre broadband has come down by a lot, and there are a number of fibre broadband deals available on our site from a number of major providers. If you sort our tables by speed or broadband type, you’ll see that most fibre broadband deals are only a few pounds more per month, and the benefits that come from fibre are well worth the extra outlay.
The benefits of fibre broadband:
Both ADSL and fibre to the cabinet broadband deals rely on copper phone wires, so for these types of deals, you’ll also have to pay for line rental. This is already factored into the advertised cost of all broadband deals and is not optional, even if you rely more on your mobile than your home phone. A number of broadband providers do offer call packages as well, which can potentially save you money if you’re still using your home phone. If you’re interested in finding a broadband deal with calls included, check out our dedicated compare page for broadband and phone deals.
In addition to calls packages, a number of major broadband providers offer TV bundled together with their broadband deals. Signing up for a broadband and TV deal can often save you money — but only if you’re taking full advantage of your TV package. Before purchasing a broadband and TV deal, take stock of what you want out of a TV package. Do you watch a lot of live TV or do you mainly use catch-up or streaming services? Do you frequently record series or could you make do with a set-top box that doesn’t include this function? What series do you need to watch as they air and which could you watch as a boxset?
Once you know what features and channels you want out of broadband and TV deal, you can compare broadband and TV deals on our featured page.
If you’re out of contract you can switch broadband provider at any time and won’t be liable for any early termination charges.
However, if you’re still within your contract term or haven’t reached the minimum period that your provider insists on, it’s likely you’ll have to either pay up your contract or pay a charge.
The exception is if, during the contract term, the provider you want to leave increases the price of the monthly subscription you agreed to when you signed up. In this case you’re free to leave without any financial penalty.
Ideally you’ll have noted down when your contract started. At uSwitch, we offer a contract reminder service for account holders. But if you haven’t recorded the start date, don’t worry — just ring your provider and ask. They’re legally obliged to tell you if you’re still under contract, as well as when your contract ends.
That depends on which type of provider you’re switching to and switching from.
If you're switching between providers on the Openreach network — which covers a lot of major providers, including BT, TalkTalk, Plusnet and Sky — switching is seamless and easy. Simply contact your new provider and they'll coordinate the start date with your current provider. This should result in minimal downtime for you.
To switch to or from Virgin Media, you'll need to contact both providers and coordinate the start and end dates to avoid overlap or downtime.
uSwitch Broadband Awards
For the past 11 years, uSwitch has polled customers and expert judges to determine the best in broadband. This year, we polled over 10,000 broadband customers to decide the winners in our consumer-voted award categories, including Broadband Provider of the Year, Best Provider Customer Service and Quad-play Provider of the Year.
Our expert judges — including industry experts and tech journalists — weighed in on Best Triple Play Provider, TV Provider of the Year and Best Smart Media Device.
To determine our Fastest Broadband Provider, we used results from our broadband speed test.
2019 uSwitch Award winners
|Broadband & TV Categories||Winner||Highly commended|
|Best Triple Play Provider||Now TV||BT|
|Best Provider Customer Service||Plusnet||Vodafone|
|Best Smart Media Device (judges’ award)||Amazon Fire Stick||Google Chromecast|
|Best TV Content (judges’ award)||Netflix||Sky|
|Best TV Streaming Service (judges’ award)||Netflix||Now TV|
|Best Value Broadband Provider||Vodafone||Plusnet|
|Broadband Provider of the Year||Vodafone||Plusnet|
|Fastest Broadband Provider||Virgin Media||BT|
|TV Provider of the Year||Now TV||EE|
|Most Popular Broadband Provider||TalkTalk||BT|
|Mobiles, Broadband & TV Categories||Winners||Highly Commended|
|Telecoms Innovation Award (judges’ award)||Google Pixel 3 - Night Sight Mode||Huawei Mate 20 Pro - Reverse Wireless Charging|
|Quadplay Provider of the Year||Sky||EE|
To see our uSwitch Award winners in Mobiles and to find out more about our awards, visit our dedicated uSwitch Awards page.
With millions of visitors and switches every month plus exclusive home and mobile broadband deals to suit every budget and need, uSwitch Broadband is the UK’s number one broadband comparison site.
We scour the entire market and the leading broadband providers to bring you the top broadband, TV and home phone offers and use our market position to secure market-leading exclusive deals that you won’t find anywhere else.
So if you’re looking for a top-of-the-range TV bundle or want to check out great value broadband only deals, we’re confident we’ve got what you’re looking for.
Compare broadband deals now on our best broadband deals comparison page.
Comparison tools and tables To take the strain out of switching, our comparison tables highlight the offers recommended by our team of broadband experts. You can buy with absolute confidence and be certain you’re getting the best broadband deal.
Want to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for? uSwitch’s broadband speed test is free to use and lets you check the speed of your home or mobile broadband connection in seconds.
It can also tell you how your broadband speed compares with other homes in your area, as well as other providers so you can see exactly what’s available to you.
Broadband news and guides Updated daily, our news section keeps you abreast of everything from surveys of the fastest broadband providers and new money-saving offers to ongoing drive to improve super-fast broadband coverage across the UK.
You’ll also find handy guides to help you make informed buying decisions and bite-sized breakdowns that get you up to speed with new broadband technology.
Need more help? We also have longer, more dedicated guides to help you out.
If you need to know the difference between standard ADSL broadband and fibre broadband or want some tips on switching broadband, this is where you’ll get the assistance you’re looking for.
How does uSwitch Broadband make money? When you sign up for broadband through uSwitch we’re paid a fee in commission from the broadband provider you choose.
The commission income enables us to offer a free service to compare broadband deals and allows us to develop broadband comparison tools we offer on the site.
uSwitch Broadband awards Decided by public vote and an expert panel of judges, the annual uSwitch broadband awards are the industry’s most respected, prestigious awards.
If we name a provider as the UK’s best for home broadband, mobile broadband or customer service, you can be sure it’s an award that’s well merited.
Want to see who was named best broadband provider? Find out the answer and much, much more at our dedicated broadband awards page.
Ofcom has set the date for the implementation of its new Universal Service Obligation (USO), which could see thousands of homes and businesses benefit from faster broadband speeds. Find out when this change takes place and how it could benefit you.
A new set of commitments laid out by Ofcom should ensure broadband suppliers are treating customers fairly and with respect. Find out what these commitments mean for you.
A new report from Ofcom reveals what Brits use the internet for, with video and other entertainment services especially popular. Read more to find out how much time we spend online and what else we get up to.