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Our Top 10 Broadband Deals + Free Gifts

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Broadband deals explained

What is a good broadband deal?

It may seem like an obvious question, but a good broadband deal is one that suits the needs of your household. It isn't always the cheapest, the fastest, or the deal with the most extras — it's the deal that has the most of what you need.

If you only use the internet occasionally and usually just use it for email and social media, a good broadband deal could well be the cheapest one you can find. If you have avid gamers living with you, Netflix shows constantly on the go, children at home who are always online, or you regularly work from home, a good broadband deal could be one that offers the most reliable connection and fast download speeds.

At the end of the day, the best broadband deal is the best one for you.

But remember, the needs of your household can change over time, which means that whatever makes a good broadband package now may not be suitable for you in one or two years' time.

When searching for the best package for your household, consider what you’ll be using the internet for, what extras you’d like to get (TV bundles, landline services, mobile phone deals, etc) and what you definitely want to avoid.

You can compare a wide range of broadband deals with Uswitch.com. Just filter your postcode search results by speed, price and provider to help you make the most suitable choice.

See our guide for more info on how to switch broadband to a deal that's better for you.

Best broadband deals on Uswitch.com in March 2021

PackageBroadband speedContract length
Virgin Media M100 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Phone108Mb average*18 months
BT Fibre 2 Broadband67Mb average*24 months
Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra & Phone Line66Mb average*18 months
Vodafone Superfast 2 Broadband and Phone Line63Mb average*24 months
TalkTalk Unlimited Fibre 65 and Phone Line67Mb average*18 months
Sky Superfast Broadband59Mb average*18 months
Plusnet Unlimited Broadband & Phone Line10Mb average*18 months
Virgin Media M350 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Phone362Mb average*18 months
Virgin Media M200 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Phone213Mb average*18 months
Three: 5G Hub100Mb average*12 months
More broadband deals

What are the best broadband deals in my area?

The best broadband deals in your area will depend on the types of connection that are available where you live. Some broadband networks are more available across the country than others, so if you have your heart set on a provider that advertises 300Mbps download speeds, you might end up being disappointed if it turns out your house can only get a fraction of that speed because the network is not established in your neighbourhood.

As a result, you should always check which ones your home can get before you choose your next deal.

If your street has had a full fibre or fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network installed, then ultrafast and even gigabit broadband speeds (1,000Mbps) could be yours for the taking. However, if you only have access to traditional copper phone lines, you might be limited to more widely-available but slower connections like superfast FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) broadband or standard copper-based ADSL.

Before browsing and comparing broadband deals online, first use our broadband postcode checker to narrow your search down to deals that you can actually get. You'll then have to confirm the availability at your specific address on the provider's site after you click on a deal you like.

How to compare broadband deals

Here are a few things to consider when finding the right deal for your household:

Check the monthly price

The first thing most of us look at when comparing internet deals will be the price. And if you've finished your initial contract, a new broadband deal will usually be cheaper than your current one.

You would have committed to a fixed-term contract when you initially signed up, but when that period runs out your provider will likely hike up the price by a significant amount — which Uswitch has found to be as high as 61% at times.

So straight away when comparing new deals, you know that you'll be able to save money by switching.

If you're looking to save money on your next contract, take a look at our range of cheap broadband deals for some great-value offers and exclusives.

End of contract notifications

Organising your household bills can be complicated. With so many contracts to keep track of, it's easy to forget when you initially signed up for each service. But it's important to know that if you've unknowingly finished your fixed-term broadband contract, you might be paying more than you should be right now.

If you can't remember when you signed up, there's no need to worry. Ofcom has made it compulsory for broadband providers to remind you when your contract is ending — or to let you know if you're already out of contract — in order to help you avoid an expensive price hike.

This notification must also come with an offer of similar deals that the provider currently has available, but it's worth noting that those deals won't necessarily be better than other offers on the market. So it's always helpful to browse deals across a range of providers before you go for the first one you see.

To get more information, like when you should be notified and additional services the provider might offer, check out our full guide on end of contract notifications.

Compare broadband speeds

After price, broadband speed is usually the most important deciding factor when choosing a broadband package.

Faster download speeds let you do a lot more online at any one time and allow you to stream in a higher quality, but they typically come with a higher monthly price as a result. So make sure you choose a broadband service that’s fast enough, but don’t go for more speed than you need if you want to keep costs down.

Of course, you could always prioritise finding the cheapest broadband package on offer, but if it’s not a fast enough speed for your household's demand, it won't really be that much of a deal for you.

Check the contract length

Broadband contracts tend to be offered as either 12- or 18-months long, with a few providers offering flexible rolling plans or, at the other end of the spectrum, 24-month contracts. But don’t be scared of longer contracts — despite being a lengthy commitment, they often just mean that you’ll be paying a lower monthly price for a longer period of time.

Just be cautious if you’re a student or renting your home, as you don’t want to get stung with early termination fees if you have to move before your contract is finished.

Keep in mind setup costs

Make sure to check for setup costs on the deal you want as they can offset some of the savings you make from a low monthly price.

Setup costs are clearly shown below monthly prices on all of the deals we display — they typically include all the delivery, installation and activation costs you will incur when purchasing a specific broadband package.

Extras, add-ons and bundles

There’s more to life than just broadband — there’s a whole host of additional services that are available with many broadband packages. You can compare broadband packages from providers that combine services like landline call plans, pay-TV subscriptions (known together as triple-play) or even mobile contracts (quad-play) from larger providers.

Free gifts, vouchers, reward cards and cashback

In order to make their deals stand out, providers will often “sweeten the pot” with some kind of reward or incentive — like cashback, bill credits or a free gift of some kind.

Depending on the value of these rewards (and specifically their value to you), they can make the effective monthly cost more 'worth it', or enrich your package a little bit more. These rewards are typically limited-time offers, but don't let that force you into making a decision too quickly.

If you know what you want from a new broadband deal, try not to be seduced by short-term wins like a £100 gift card if it's not the right deal for you. However, if the deal is what you're looking for, don't wait too long because you might miss out on some good freebies.

What broadband speed do I need?

The higher the speed, the faster you can download files and the better picture quality your streaming content will be. But how much broadband speed do you really need, and are the top-end options really worth you paying a higher monthly price?

Broadband speeds are usually quoted in Mbps, which stands for “megabits per second”. This refers to the amount of data you can download (and upload) in a second.

It's very easy to filter out deals with higher or lower speeds than what you're looking for on all of our Uswitch deals tables — just go through the left sidebar and choose the speeds you'd like.

Read our guide for more detail on what broadband speed you need.

What’s my broadband speed?

If you’re happy with how fast your current broadband connection is, then it’s a good idea to only search for deals that provide your current speed.

A good way to find out what speed you currently have is to run a broadband speed test while you’re at home and connected to your Wi-Fi. This will tell you the download and upload speeds you have with your current package.

You can then use that reading to search for broadband deals that match your speed criteria. If you’re finding your broadband is slow, unreliable, constantly buffering or taking ages to download content, then it would make sense to look for something faster.

Broadband speeds for your home

0-30Mbps (1 - 2 people per household)

  • Fine for those that don’t use the internet for much more than browsing the web or social media.
  • Mostly serviced by ADSL broadband, which offers average download speeds of 10Mbps.

30-60Mbps (3+ users per household)

  • Suitable for multiple people using the internet at the same time, especially when streaming video.
  • Infrequent streamers and smaller houses can likely get away with a broadband deal offering these speeds.
  • Fibre broadband packages will give a more consistent, reliable service.

60-100Mbps (serious streaming households)

  • You’ll want to make sure you’ve got a steady connection to try to avoid buffering, especially if multiple members of the household are streaming or gaming at once.
  • Aim to have at least 63Mbps to ensure uninterrupted streaming, gameplay and frequent file downloads for larger families.
  • Faster fibre broadband deals are usually only a few pounds more per month and are worth it for heavier broadband users.

100Mbps or higher (working with large files and downloads)

  • Ideal for serious online gamers and those with a lot of connected devices throughout their home.
  • Great for people who often work from home and need to download lots of large files.
  • Faster connections are vital for households with multiple conference calls at once and those that want the fastest speeds for high-quality gaming.

To get more detail on how much download speed certain devices use up, check out our broadband download speed calculator.

  • BT: The UK’s largest telecommunications provider — and the most established — with a history spanning back over 160 years.
  • Sky: Best known as one of the biggest TV brands in the UK, Sky has a great selection of broadband and TV bundles.
  • Virgin Media: Virgin Media is one of the few providers that runs on its own dedicated cable broadband network, offering some of the fastest speeds in the country.
  • TalkTalk: Known for its range of competitively-priced offerings that focus on value for money.
  • Plusnet: A popular brand for value-led broadband products and great customer service.
  • Vodafone: One of the UK’s largest and best-known mobile network operators, Vodafone also provides superfast fibre services with discounts available for mobile subscribers.

Find more internet providers on our dedicated page to see could suit your needs best.

Will I get the advertised broadband speed?

Broadband speeds are always advertised as 'average speeds', meaning you won’t always be guaranteed to get that speed every time you use the internet on your Wi-Fi.

In order to be accurate, average speeds are measured during peak times — 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.

What can affect your broadband speed?

There are a range of factors that can impact the broadband speed you get.

1. The type of connection you have

In general, fibre broadband offers faster and more reliable speeds than ADSL broadband, which makes sense since fibre-optic cables transfer more data in a given time period and suffer from fewer interruptions than the copper wires ADSL relies on.

2. How far you live from the exchange or cabinet

Despite its name, fibre broadband doesn’t necessarily mean your connection is serviced entirely by fibre-optic cables. In a lot of cases, it just means that most of it is.

If your fibre package is fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), the final journey of the connection from the local street cabinet to your home is serviced by the same traditional copper wires as ADSL broadband. Therefore, the farther you are away from that cabinet, the more reliant you are on copper cables, which means your connection might be slower.

However, fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, commonly known as full fibre, does in fact connect fibre-optic cables straight from the broadband exchange to your property, which eliminates the slowdown you get between the cabinet and your home. This gives you the fastest connections available, with gigabit speeds (1000Mbps/1Gbps) potentially in reach.

3. Where you put your router

If you’re experiencing slow internet speeds, the solution could be as simple as moving your Wi-Fi router to a better spot. Let’s face it — routers aren’t the prettiest of things, so we tend to hide them behind furniture or in cabinets.

However, this interferes with the Wi-Fi signal in your home and could slow your broadband connection down significantly, especially if it’s blocked by thick walls, surrounding metal, or even a fish tank. For a better signal throughout your home, keep your router in a central location out in the open and ideally away from any other electronic devices.

Take a look at our guide for more help on how to fix broadband connection problems in your home.

4. The time of day

Just like rush hour traffic, the busier the internet is, the slower it tends to be. With more people using their Wi-Fi during peak times, the demand on broadband providers drastically increases, which results in slower speeds for each household. Again, this is an issue that mainly affects people on ADSL broadband plans.

Sometimes a provider's Fair Usage Policy measures will kick in, which might occasionally cause slower speeds for you if there are others in the area who aren't getting their fair share of bandwidth.

Read more about the Fair Usage Policy in our dedicated guide.

Can I get fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is far superior to ADSL, and is now available to over 95% of the UK. Also, as its availability has increased the market has become much more competitive, meaning fibre broadband is usually very reasonably priced these days and often not much more expensive than ADSL deals.

The majority of providers offer fibre broadband deals that are well worth the few extra pounds per month. Compared to ADSL, fibre broadband has a couple of significant benefits:

  • Faster speeds: Fibre broadband will always be faster than ADSL and can range from roughly 36Mbps to 1000Mbps (or 1Gbps), depending on the type of fibre connection you choose. By comparison, ADSL broadband can usually offer around 10Mbps.
  • Reliability: Due to the infrastructure behind it, fibre broadband offers a more reliable connection than ADSL. Fibre-optic cables can carry more data than copper wires, so households with fibre broadband won’t experience the same sluggish broadband during peak times.

Compare broadband bundles and packages to find a better deal

While broadband is pretty much a household utility nowadays, it probably isn’t the only essential service you’d get from a telecoms provider. So if you’re looking to get a landline or TV subscription as well as broadband, it could work out cheaper to combine them into a bundle of services.

Broadband and phone packages

A number of broadband providers offer call packages as well, which can potentially save you money if you’re still using your landline. If you’re interested in finding a broadband deal with calls included, check out our dedicated comparison page for broadband and phone deals.

Broadband and TV bundles

In addition to calls packages, a number of major broadband providers offer pay-TV services bundled together with their broadband deals. These are better value only when you’re looking to take full advantage of your TV package, whether that's by watching exclusive content, recording shows or watching live sports or events.

Once you know what features and channels you want out of a broadband and TV bundle, you can compare broadband and TV deals on our featured page.

Can I switch at any time? Are there any restrictions?

If you’re out of contract you can switch broadband provider at any time and won’t be liable for any early termination charges. If you’re still within your contract term it’s likely you’ll have to either pay up your contract or pay a charge — unless the provider increases the price of the monthly subscription you agreed to when you signed up.

How do I know if I’m out of contract?

If you signed up for a Uswitch account when you got your last broadband deal, you’ll automatically get a reminder when your contract ends. If not, don’t worry — just call up your provider and ask. They’re legally obliged to tell you if you’re still under contract, as well as when your contract ends. Read more

What are End of Contract Notifications?

End of contract notifications are newly-enforced letters, texts or emails that your broadband provider has to send you before your fixed-term contract ends.

Beforehand, providers could get away with significantly increasing your monthly price once you fell out of contract without even telling you. Now, Ofcom has made it mandatory for them to tell you either:

  • when your contract is ending and what other deals are available
  • if you are currently out of contract and overpaying for your service

For more information, read our full guide on end of contract notifications.

Do I have access to fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is available to over 95% of the United Kingdom. With more providers connecting via fibre-optic cables, prices for fibre broadband have dropped significantly, becoming more affordable than ever.