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Our top broadband packages

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Broadband package deals explained

How to find the right broadband package deal

Whether you're purchasing your first deal or switching to a new provider, finding the right broadband package is quickwer and easier than you think. With so much competition between broadband providers and huge investments in improving internet speeds, there are more options available now than ever.

When you search for a broadband package on Uswitch, our deals tables will clearly show the details of each package, the monthly price, length of contract, as well as any exclusives, additional features, benefits or discounts that apply.

It'll also show you a breakdown of the costs associated with each broadband package — such as line rental, setup cost and regular price — with the “price details” button.

Make sure that you're happy with the contract length on display and look out for the out-of-contract prices your provider will charge once your fixed-term period ends when you're signing up. This information will help you know the right time to switch to your next package.

If the end of your contract is approaching but you'd like to spend a bit more time researching the best deal to switch to, you can sign up for regular email updates from us to get expert insight and advice. We'll also show you some of the latest money-saving deals on our site.

Compare broadband packages

To find the best broadband package for your household, you can filter all of our deals according to popularity, speed, download allowance, bundle availability, broadband provider, contract length and price.

It's also important to bear in mind the following when browsing broadband packages from the best internet providers:

  • Broadband availability: Very few areas of the UK have access to every broadband package on the market. Enter your postcode into our broadband postcode checker to find out what's available in your area.
  • Broadband and TV deals: Broadband and TV deals could benefit you greatly if you regularly use both services, as they help you bundle them into a single monthly bill. But it's only worth it if you actually want to watch enough of the channels it gives you access to.
  • Type of connection: The UK has a range of copper ADSL, fibre-optic, cable and mobile broadband networks, each of which have its pros and cons. You can find out more information below.

ADSL broadband

Most home broadband packages require a copper BT landline in order to operate. A connection that relies entirely on this type of broadband is called ADSL, which stands for 'asymmetric digital subscriber line'.

ADSL uses Openreach's phone lines all the way from your provider's broadband exchange to your home. If you have an active Openreach line, you can either choose broadband packages that offer standard ADSL, which the majority of internet providers in the UK sell, or ADSL2, which is slightly faster but less widely available. But you could also choose a superfast fibre connection if you want faster internet.

ADSL is the oldest broadband technology that's still in regular use today, therefore it's also the slowest and, in most cases, the cheapest broadband connection type in regular use.

Fibre-optic broadband packages

Fibre broadband has recently overtaken ADSL as the most widely-used broadband connection in the UK.

This is a faster type of broadband due to its use of fibre-optic cables, which use pulses of light rather than electrical signals to transmit data either partially, or entirely, to your home.

This means they can transfer much more data in a shorter time period than copper wires, so you can do a lot more with your broadband than the bandwidth ADSL offers.

There are two main types of fibre broadband:

  • Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC): The cheaper but more widely available type of fibre broadband, this uses fibre-optic cables from your provider's exchange to your local street cabinet, and then the same copper phone lines as ADSL from there to your home.
  • Full fibre: Also known as 'fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP)', this is currently the fastest type of broadband you can get, with fibre-optic cables connecting directly to your home.

Cable broadband packages

Cable broadband is a different type of fibre connection, and in the UK it's serviced exclusively by Virgin Media.

It uses the same fibre-optic cables as other providers from the broadband exchange to the local street cabinet, but instead of BT telephone lines for the final part of the journey, it connects its own 'coaxial' cables from the cabinet directly to your home.

This means you'll need an engineer from Virgin to set up the connection at your home if it hasn't previously been connected there.

Virgin's cable broadband is much faster than ADSL or FTTC broadband, providing UK customers with speeds of up to 600Mbps, and in a growing number of places, even 1Gbps (1000Mbps). However, for the most part, it's not as fast as full fibre broadband, which uses fibre entirely from the exchange to your house.

Its network currently reaches about 52% of UK homes. Learn more about cable broadband on our Virgin Media broadband deals page.

Mobile broadband packages

Mobile broadband runs on 4G and 5G mobile phone networks and therefore doesn't require any fixed-line cables to connect to the internet.

It's perhaps best suited to people who need fast broadband but don't have access to fibre broadband in their homes, or those who need to get online while they're on the move, including abroad.

5G is a newer mobile broadband technology and can offer ultrafast connection speeds at a maximum of around 300Mbps. But 4G, which supplies 24Mbps average speeds, is currently much more widely available.

Compare mobile broadband deals here.

What broadband package is best for me?

There are several factors to take into account when choosing a provider. Key questions include the speed, the monthly cost, any one-off setup fees and the length of contract you'll have to sign up for. Finding the best broadband package means understanding what you want to use it for, how much you want to pay and what extras are on offer.

How do I know what broadband speed I need?

The two main factors to consider when determining the right speed are the number of users and the expected usage. Here are a few rough guidelines:

  • Below 30Mbps: 1 or 2 users, mainly web browsing
  • 30-60Mbps: 3+ users, infrequent streaming and gaming
  • 60-100Mbps: 5+ users, frequent HD streaming, multiple connections
  • 100Mbps+: 8+ users, multiple simultaneous streaming, large downloads

What's the difference between ADSL and cable broadband?

ADSL broadband delivers data services using the same copper cabling that connects your phone, and requires an active landline. Cable broadband uses dedicated fibre-optic cables to provide services. This makes it much faster than ADSL, with speeds of up to 512Mbps on offer, although its availability is more restricted.

Broadband deals news

News8 July 2021

Openreach to make full fibre cheaper to speed up FTTP rollout

See how Openreach's new pricing offer might speed up the rollout of full fibre broadband in the UK.

Read more