Before you choose a broadband package, it's a good idea to determine exactly what you'll need from a home internet connection.
There are many things to keep in mind when looking for the right broadband deal. These include the monthly price, average internet speed and contract length — all of which can have a big impact on your service.
Read on to learn which broadband deal would be best for you and your household.
We've got a few pages you might want to check out to get started on your search, including:
Broadband deals — For those of you just getting started with the internet, you'll want an easy-to-install broadband package that offers fantastic customer care. Our Packages page has a wide range of options for many different households' needs.
Business broadband deals — Businesses have different needs than consumers, and online business broadband packages are tailored for these needs, with essential extras like fixed/static-IPs, email addresses, added security software and online storage space.
Mobile broadband deals — If you're often on the move and need access to the internet, a 4G or 5G mobile internet dongle is your best bet because it gives you broadband access wherever you are, as long as there's mobile network coverage.
While there are many factors to consider with a broadband deal, one of the most important is the speed of the internet connection.
When it comes to advertised connection speeds, you need to remember that speeds vary. Broadband providers advertise "average" speeds that must be available to 50% of customers — meaning you've got a 50/50 chance of getting higher or lower speeds than what's advertised. But most of the time, you won't be getting these speeds due to things largely out of your control.
One major influence on speeds is that your provider will share your connection with other users, which is why connections slow at popular times. The distance between the telephone exchange and your house coupled with the quality of the cables used will also determine the speeds you can actually receive.
We've broken speed down into three tiers:
Fibre broadband – Fibre broadband can offer up to 70Mbps internet speeds to over 97% of the country, and over 1000Mbps (1Gbps) in select areas. Full fibre connections and Virgin Media's cable broadband packages are some of the fastest around.
Cheap Broadband – Cheap packages are fine for light internet users. They allow you to check emails, browse the internet, watch videos on YouTube and play computer games. However, the quality of the connection and speeds are somewhat lacking and will struggle more often with activities such as more than one person in the home streaming HD video.
Data limits are an important part of a broadband package because they determine how much you can use the internet each month.
Although most new broadband contracts have unlimited data allowances, many mobile broadband providers still offer packages with data limits. So if you plan on using one of these deals, you might have to pay more for an unlimited package.
With data limits, you'll be charged for any extra data you use above your limit, so it's a good idea to get more than you typically use.
Before choosing a broadband provider, it's worth looking at broadband statistics on the number of complaints made per internet service provider, and what the complaints were about.
in the first quarter of 2022, the majority of broadband complaints made to Ofcom were due to faults, service, and provisioning with the service, with just over a third (37%) of complaints encompassing this. The handling of complaints proved to be an issue with customers across the industry, with Ofcom receiving a third (31%) of complaints about this. A further 14% were related to billing, pricing, and charges.
Customer service is incredibly important if you’re an average internet user.
Check out our broadband provider page to compare broadband providers, including their customer service numbers and information.
The history of broadband from the '70s until today. From dial-up to broadband, read up on developments in broadband over time.Read our history of the internet article
Want to switch your broadband service? Here's how to do it all, from finding the speed you need to choosing the right provider for you.Read our guide on switching broadband