When choosing the best broadband deal for your needs, it's not always simple as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option.
The first step is to figure out what you’re actually going to need from your broadband connection. Read our guide to help you work out which is the best broadband deal for you.
What kind of broadband package do I want?
Broadband deals - If you're just starting out, it's likely that you're looking for a package that's easy to set up, not too expensive and offers good customer support. This page can guide you to some of our most popular packages.
Heavy-use broadband deals - Do you enjoy downloading or streaming oodles of songs and movies, using peer-to-peer software or online gaming? It's almost certain that you'll be classed as a heavy user, meaning you'll want faster speeds and higher data limits.
Business broadband deals - If you're looking for broadband for your business, check out these deals tailored to businesses. These packages differ from consumer deals as they offer extras like static/fixed-IPs, webspace and email addresses, as well as routers and security suites.
Mobile broadband deals - Mobile broadband providers will send you a 'dongle' (modem) or MiFi that you connect with your laptop (or desktop) to access the Internet, at broadband speeds, wherever there's mobile phone coverage. Since this type of broadband is accessed via mobile networks, you can use the network at home or on the go, making these packages ideal for remote workers or frequent travellers.
Family broadband deals - With more and more devices like laptops, tablets, TVs, set-top boxes and gaming consoles connecting to the Internet, families can be among the heaviest users. These packages include high speeds and data limits, and many options also include parental controls to keep kids safe online.
How fast is it?
There are a lot of factors that can affect your choice of broadband service, but the biggest is probably the connection speed.
Where broadband speed is concerned, it’s worth remembering that you aren't always guaranteed the speed touted in providers' adverts. This is down to a number of factors.
One is that your ISP will share your line with other customers, which is why it’s slower at peak times. The distance of your house from the telephone exchange, plus the quality of the cabling used, will also substantially affect the actual broadband speed you receive.
Super-fast broadband – Offering speeds of up to 300Mbps in the UK, fibre broadband is the fastest home broadband technology around. With an unlimited data allowance, this is the all-you-can-eat Vegas buffet of the broadband world.
Fast broadband – This is a seriously good middle-ground. Fast broadband will allow you to stream HD, download HD, upload movies and game heavily, but at peak times, and with all these things running, you may notice it struggling.
Cheap broadband – These packages can handle all the little things. You’ll have no problem checking emails, surfing, laughing at cats on YouTube or sharing photos on Facebook. You’ll be able to download and play games reasonably quickly, but you may experience some buffering and slowdown. If you've got lots of things going on at once, especially with multiple users or devices, you’ll really notice your connection struggling.
Data limits are also a big part of package choice. Although there are many packages nowadays that offer unlimited GB per month, some packages are still capped at around 25GB. Any extra data used is chargeable, with these rates varying between ISPs.
For mobile broadband the limits tend to be a lot lower, usually between 1GB and 32GB, making them suitable for light users.
If you’re an average user with average needs, this can be the major swing factor in your choice of provider. Visit our broadband provider page to see what people are saying about customer service, reception and advertised vs actual speeds.
Looking for super-fast broadband? Compare the best fibre broadband deals.