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How to find the right broadband deal

The right broadband deal isn't always the cheapest, the fastest, or the one with the most attractive extras — it's the deal that is best suited to you and your household.

By comparing deals, you can find an offer that matches your needs the most, at a price that suits the speed and quality of service you require.

If you only use the internet occasionally for email or social media, a good broadband deal would probably be the cheapest one you can find. However, a great broadband deal could also be one that offers the fastest or most reliable connection. Especially if you:

  • Stream TV shows and films in HD and 4K
  • Regularly work from home
  • Live in a household of three or more people
  • Download big games and play competitively online

By searching for a broadband deal with Uswitch, you could save an average of £162‡ per year. Our 4.8 Trustpilot score shows that we can be relied on to help you make a confident decision with your broadband.

Here's our advice on finding the best broadband deal for your household.

What's the best broadband in my area?

The best broadband deal is the best one for you. But as the needs of your household change over time, it's a good idea to keep checking if there's a better tariff available for how you use your internet now.

When you compare broadband offers for your household, you should consider:

  • How many people will be using the internet in your household
  • What they will all be using the internet for
  • What extras you’d like to get (TV bundles, landline calls, mobile phone contracts, etc)
  • What you definitely want to avoid

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

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

Our best broadband deals on Uswitch.com in December 2022

PackageBroadband speedContract length
Hyperoptic 150Mb Fibre Broadband - 12 Months158Mb average*12 months
Sky Superfast Broadband59Mb average*18 months
Virgin Media M125 Ultrafast Fibre broadband only132Mb average*18 months
Sky Ultrafast Broadband145Mb average*18 months
Virgin Media M250 Ultrafast Fibre broadband only264Mb average*18 months
BT Fibre 2 Broadband67Mb average*24 months
Community Fibre 150Mbps Fibre Broadband150Mb average*24 months
Three: 5G Hub150Mb average*24 months
Vodafone Fibre 267Mb average*24 months
Vodafone Full Fibre 100100Mb average*24 months
More broadband deals

Which broadband offers are available in my area?

The range of home broadband deals in your area will depend on the types of internet connection that are available there. Some have better coverage across the UK than others, so it's worth regularly checking the broadband availability in your local area.

For example, if you have your heart set on a provider that advertises gigabit download speeds, you might end up being disappointed if it turns out your home can't get that speed because the network isn't in place in your postcode.

However, gigabit broadband providers are constantly expanding their networks, so make sure your regularly check to see what's available.

If full fibre broadband has been installed on your street, then ultrafast broadband and even gigabit 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 fibre broadband, or even 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.

Use our broadband postcode checker

How to compare internet deals in the UK

Here are a few things to consider when you run a broadband comparison 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're no longer locked into a contract with your provider, you'll likely be paying expensive out-of-contract fees. So a new broadband deal will usually be cheaper than your current one.

You most likely would have committed to a fixed-term contract when you signed up for your last broadband package. These usually last between 12-24 months, depending on the provider you choose. But when that period runs out, providers often hike up the price by a significant amount — Uswitch has found this 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.

End of contract notifications

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 youcan't remember when your contract was meant to end, you might be paying more than you should be right now.

If you can't recall when you signed up, there's no need to worry. Ofcom now requires internet 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 paying more than you should for your broadband.

This notification must also come with an offer of similar deals that the provider currently has available, but it's worth noting that there could be better offers on the market than those. So it's always a good idea to browse deals from 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 internet speeds in your area

Broadband speed is one of the most important deciding factors when choosing a broadband package. Faster download speeds let you do a lot more online and allow you to stream movies, TV shows and music 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 for your demand, but don’t go for more speed than you need if you want to keep costs down.

If you search for the cheapest broadband package on offer, but the speed isn't fast enough for your household's demand, it won't really be that much of a good deal for you.

Check your current internet speed and run a Wi-Fi comparison with what's available in your area.

Check the contract length

Broadband contracts tend to be offered in either 12-, 18- or 24-month long fixed periods, but a few providers offer flexible rolling plans too.

You shouldn't necessarily be scared of longer contracts — despite being a lengthier 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 cancel your contract before the fixed-term is finished when you move out.

Keep setup costs in mind

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

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

Compare Uswitch mobile contracts and SIM-only plans.

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 bit more.

These rewards are typically limited-time offers, but don't let that force you into making a decision too quickly.

Essentiallty, 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.

Broadband provider reviews

Another good way to find out which broadband provider is right for you is to see what the customers are saying.

At Uswitch, we've conducted in-depth reviews of each of the major providers, which includes asking 10,000 UK broadband customers what they like the most (and least) about their broadband provider.

Take a look at our Uswitch broadband provider reviews to see which provider might be best suited to your needs.

Can I get fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is much more widely available than you think, with around 97% of UK properties able to access some form of it. That means you're already extremely likely to be able to get it at your home.

Also, superfast fibre broadband is typically quite reasonably priced these days, often costing roughly the same as standard copper deals.

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

  • Much faster speeds: Fibre broadband is much faster than ADSL, with speeds ranging from roughly 36Mbps (three times ADSL speeds) to well beyond 1Gbps (one-hundred times), depending on the type of fibre connection you choose and the price you're willing to pay.
  • Better reliability: Thanks to better quality cables, fibre broadband offers a more consistent, robust connection than ADSL. Plus, 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.

Superfast fibre broadband

Superfast fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband is the most popular type of broadband in the UK. Superfast fibre relies on a mixture of fibre-optic cables and the existing copper phone lines that are already connected to your property.

This means it's a lot easier for providers to get it to your home compared to full fibre, because they only need to run fibre cables to your local green street cabinet. The rest of the journey is taken up by the phone lines that are already in place, and that's why 97% of the country can access these connections.

Internet speeds with this type of fibre connection are considerably faster than standard broadband — between 30-70Mbps compared to the 10Mbps you get with copper ADSL connections.

Full fibre broadband

Full fibre is currently the gold standard of broadband, and providers are working hard to connect it to as many properties as possible this decade.

It connects fibre-optic cables all the way from your provider's network exchange to your home, which eliminates the slowdown of copper phone lines and gives you access to amazingly fast speeds.

At this moment, around one third of UK homes can access this type of connection, with the aim of 85% being set by the UK government by 2025.

Full fibre supplies internet speeds well in excess of 1Gbps (that's 1000Mbps), but currently the fastest speeds you can get max out at around this speed. This is more than twelve times the current average broadband speed in the UK.

At the moment, gigabit speeds are too fast to be worth the money for most people. But full fibre connections can provide a range of more modest speeds at more reasonable prices that will prove very useful to many. Plus, it's a great technology to invest in if you want to future-proof your broadband's connection for decades.

What broadband speed do I need?

The faster your broadband speed, the quicker you can download files, films, TV shows and games — and the better your picture quality will be when streaming, too. But what broadband speed do you really need, and are the fastest options really worth you paying a more expensive monthly price?

When you compare broadband deals on Uswitch, you can filter out packages with speeds that you don't need. Just go through the left sidebar and choose the speeds you'd like to see.

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 a speed similar to your current package.

A good way to find out what speed you currently have is to run a broadband speed test on Uswitch while you’re at home and connected to Wi-Fi.

This will tell you the download and upload speeds you have with your current package, provided your connection isn't interrupted or slower than it should be. You can then use that reading to search for broadband deals that match the speed you're comfortable with.

If you’re already finding your internet 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)

  • Ideal for those that only really use the internet for browsing the web or scrolling through social media.
  • Mostly serviced by ADSL broadband, which offers average download speeds of 10Mbps.

30-60Mbps (3+ users per household)

  • Suitable for small households with multiple people occasionally using the internet at the same time, especially when streaming video.
  • Fairly regular streamers and smaller houses can likely get away with a broadband deal offering these speeds, provided they don't stream in 4K.
  • Superfast fibre broadband packages will give a more consistent, reliable service.

60-100Mbps (serious streaming households)

  • Good for larger families or a small household of heavy internet users.
  • You’ll want to make sure you’ve got a steady connection to try to avoid buffering, especially if multiple people are streaming or gaming at once.
  • Aim to have at least 63Mbps to ensure uninterrupted streaming, gameplay and frequent file downloads.
  • 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 large households, 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 and send lots of large files throughout the day.
  • Faster connections are vital for households with multiple work calls running at once, and those that want the fastest speeds for high-quality gaming and 4K streaming.

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

BT broadband

BT is the UK’s oldest and largest telecommunications provider, and has a company history spanning back over 160 years.

BT broadband deals are slightly more expensive than other providers as they often provide more services. Its customer service is very comprehensive, with many measures in place to make sure you're getting the best experience with your broadband. And there are a range of add-ons you can access from BT's extensive range of products and services.

BT price increases 2022

BT increased its prices for a number of its broadband and TV services for mid-contract customers in early 2022.

The provider includes in its terms and conditions that prices will increase annually by the CPI rate of inflation + 3.9%, so customers who sign up won't be able to leave their contract early without paying an early exit fee, because they would have agreed to these terms when purchasing the BT service.

Sky broadband

Sky is best known as one of the biggest TV brands in the UK. You can enjoy a great selection of Sky TV and broadband bundles, and its new streaming TV, Sky Glass, is its first ever internet-supported TV service.

Why has my Sky bill gone up?

Sky announced in Febuary 2022 that it was increasing its monthly prices for mid-contract customers across a number of its services in 2022.

Customers who received a notification of the price hike were given a 30-day window to switch broadband provider without paying a penalty fee. Once that window passes, normal early termination costs apply for leaving your Sky contract before its end date.

Virgin Media deals

Virgin Media is one of the few providers that runs broadband and TV services on its own dedicated high-speed network, offering some of the fastest speeds in the country.

The provider recently merged with mobile network operator O2, and introduced a huge new bundle called 'Volt' that includes broadband, TV, home phone and an O2 mobile SIM.

When does Virgin Media increase its prices?

Virgin Media announced price rises for its existing customers in January 2022, and those incrases came into effect on the 1st March.

Customers who received the bill hike were initially able to switch from their contract penalty-free, but the deadline Virgin offered to do so has now passed.

TalkTalk broadband

TalkTalk is well-known known for its range of competitively-priced packages that focus on value for money. It's one of the 'big four' broadband providers in the UK.

TalkTalk price increase 2022

As is the case with all of the major broadband providers, TakTalk hiked its prices by over 9% in April 2022.

While the hike was a slightly smaller amount than BT's, TalkTalk has the same terms and conditions rule on price rises, where you can't leave your contract early as a result of the increase without paying an early exit fee.

Plusnet broadband

Plusnet is a popular brand for value-led broadband products and great customer service. For example, it had the highest average rating for customer service in our Uswitch broadband customer survey.

Plusnet price increase 2022

As Plusnet is part of the same company as BT, its 2022 price increase is the rate at 9.1%. You also won't be able to cancel your contract early as a result of this price hike.

Vodafone broadband

Vodafone, one of the UK’s largest and best-known mobile network operators, also provides superfast and ultrafast fibre services with discounts available for mobile subscribers.

For an additional amount per month, you can choose a Vodafone Pro deal that comes with a strong 'unbreakable' Wi-Fi guarantee, free internet security and, in some cases, even Apple TV 4K.

Find more internet providers on our dedicated page to see what suits your needs best.

Hyperoptic

Hyperoptic is a full fibre-only provider that prioritises connecting blocks of flats and urban areas. It offers speeds up to 900Mbps, and is one of the less expensive full fibre providers.

It offers social tariff broadband deals for customers on Universal Credit, so if you're receiving financial support from the government you will be able to enjoy its ultrafast speeds for a heavily discounted rate.

It also notably doesn't include any price rises for mid-contract customers, so you know that when you sign up for a broadband deal with hyperoptic, you will pay a fixed price until that contract ends.

However, because full fibre is hard to install in many areas, Hyperoptic's coverage isn't very broad. So make sure to check your postcode to see if its network is available in your area.

Cheap broadband deals

If you're doing a broadband comparison to save money on your next contract, many providers offer more affordable deals for simpler contracts that just focus on providing a good broadband connection.

Take a look at our range of cheap broadband deals on Uswitch for some great-value offers and exclusives.

Alternatively, if you're on Universal Credit or another type of financial support, you could benefit from a low-income social tariff. These are usually the cheapest broadband deals you can get, but they're only available if you qualify.

See our guide on broadband for Universal Credit customers to see if you're eligible for one.

Will I get the advertised broadband speed?

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

In order to be advertised accurately, 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 in the area.

This means you’ve got a 50/50 chance of getting speeds above or below this number every time you use your broadband.

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 copper ADSL internet. This is largely because fibre-optic cables can transfer much more data in a shorter time period. Plus, they suffer from fewer interruptions than the copper wires ADSL relies on.

If you happen to use a mobile broadband connection, average speeds can range from 24Mbps to 300Mbps depending on whether you have a 4G or 5G service. But mobile network signal is less consistent than a fixed-line broadband cable, so your broadband speed could vary a lot more.

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. So the farther your property is away from that cabinet, the more your connection relies on copper cables, which means your broadband speed might be slower. But it's still a lot faster than ADSL broadband, usually offering maximum speeds of around 70Mbps.

But there's a growing network of broadband connections that don't rely on copper cables anymore. Full fibre, on the other hand, connects 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 and higher) 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, you should keep your router in a central, open area of the home 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 internet 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 Uswitch guide.

Can I get satellite broadband?

Satellite broadband has been around decades at this point, but it's getting a new life in the form of companies like Starlink and OneWeb.

Starlink, which is run by Elon Musk's SpaceX, is now available anywhere in the UK — but its prices are very high right now, as it is a brand-new service that costs a lot of money to run.

Bundle your Wi-Fi deals with more services

While broadband is pretty much a household utility nowadays, it probably isn’t the only essential service you could get from a telecoms provider.

So if you’re looking to have a landline or TV subscription as well as your broadband, it could work out cheaper to combine them into a bundle of services.

Broadband and phone packages on Uswitch

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, compare our best Uswitch broadband and phone deals on our comparison page.

Broadband and TV deals on Uswitch

In addition to calls packages, a number of major broadband providers offer TV services bundled together with their broadband deals.

Just bear in mind that these are better value only when you’re looking to take full advantage of the TV package you get with it, 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 Uswitch broadband and TV deals on our featured page.

Broadband savings methodology

‡£162 is our calculated savings figure from August 2022, which details the potential amount a customer could save per year by choosing a broadband deal on Uswitch.

Find out in more detail how we calculate our savings figure.

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

If your contract has ended, you can switch broadband without needing to cancel your current plan, and you 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 above any agreed increases in the terms and conditions of your contract.

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.

You can then find the right broadband deal compared to your out-of-contract deal.

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.