Comparing broadband deals from different providers has become a lot easier in recent years, but it’s not always clear what deals are actually available to your home.
When searching for a new broadband deal online, you will usually be asked to enter your postcode to see which deals are available in your local area. However, this won’t always bring up the most accurate results.
Some types of broadband are only available to a select number of properties within a postcode, so searching that way might show some deals that your home can’t really get.
If you’ve ever clicked on a broadband deal that was available in your postcode, then entered your address on the provider’s website, only to be told your home can’t actually get that deal, you’re not alone. Many disappointed people have run a search only to find the speeds available to them are much slower than those indicated by the postcode check.
Thankfully, here at Uswitch, we’ve come up with a solution: the Broadband Network Checker. This new platform will ensure the results you get show speeds estimates for your home. No disappointments. Find out how it works with our guide.
What is the Broadband Network Checker?
The main reason why postcode checkers return some inaccurate results is because they lack certain information about each broadband network.
A broadband network is the system of connections that spread a certain type of broadband across the country, or a particular area. Most broadband providers don’t own their own cabling infrastructure, so will instead offer their services through different networks.
For example, fibre broadband availability differs depending on the type of fibre you choose. Openreach’s fibre-to-the-cabinet network covers 95% of the UK and hosts superfast connections from BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet, Vodafone and many more providers. Its fibre-to-the-premises (or full fibre) network, on the other hand, covers roughly 18% of the UK and only hosts BT and Sky’s ultrafast connections.
Read our guide on broadband providers to get an idea of the different networks and connections available in the UK.
Network providers don’t usually share the individual addresses they cover with price comparison websites, so postcode data is normally the most specific information you’ll see in your searches. However, after working closely with network providers to get their address-level data, our Broadband Network Checker will finally offer accurate results for your home.
This checker will confirm the broadband speed estimates for your property, and suggest deals based on what you’re looking for. So you should know what you can get straight away, without having to confirm on a provider’s website.
How will the Broadband Network Checker help me find a good deal?
The Broadband Network Checker aims to give you personalised results. And that doesn’t just mean the speeds available to your home. Whether you're looking for fast broadband deals or cheap broadband deals, it recommends packages that are most suited to the information you provide.
You’ll get the chance to add extra information about your current deal, such as your provider, current monthly bill and broadband speed. But you can also say whether you’re looking to save money or search for faster speeds.
We’ll then recommend to you some bespoke deals from providers hosted on the Broadband Network Checker using the specific information you provided. So you can rest assured that the results you get are tailored to your needs.
How to use the Broadband Network Checker
Here’s how you can get accurate results for your next broadband deal.
Visit our Broadband Network Checker page.
Press the ‘Get started’ button, or scroll down to see which providers are registered on the checker.
Fill in your personal details and any information you have about your current broadband deal.
Then select whether you’re looking for ‘Faster Speeds’ or ‘Cheaper Deals’.
Browse the range of deals we recommend for you.
We’ll try to offer you a selection of deals based on your internet usage and the type of deal you’re after.
- Everyday use: For households that have a few devices using the internet at any one time, and only use them for low-intensity tasks like scrolling social media or streaming HD video.
- Powered up: For large households with many devices in use at once and multiple people gaming or streaming high-quality or 4K video.
Select ‘Buy now’ on the deal you’d like to purchase.
You’ll then be taken to the relevant provider’s website to complete the sale and signup process.
Read more on how to switch broadband with our dedicated guide.
What if the Network Checker doesn’t give me the results I want?
If the results aren’t what you were looking for, it’s still a good idea to compare all broadband deals using your postcode. Not every provider is signed up to the Broadband Network Checker at the moment, but we’re working to onboard more very soon.
Searching with your postcode might give you more options, but you will be running the risk of assuming you can get a certain broadband speed that isn’t actually available to your home.
So it’s very important to check that a deal displayed on a comparison table can definitely be installed in the property before making any big decisions, such as putting down a deposit on a new home or cancelling an existing contract.
Compare broadband deals using your postcode to browse more options available in your local area. Just make sure to check their availability to your address as well.