The Uswitch postcode broadband checker is a quick and simple way to compare broadband deals in your area. It'll help you find a range of broadband packages that are available at your postcode in just a few simple steps:
You'll see a results table of broadband packages from many of the UK's top providers and, depending on the availability in your postcode, you'll get a wide choice of different broadband speeds in your area as well.
You can then compare those prices with your current monthly bill, and decide if what you're paying is about right or too much.
Whether you want to upgrade to a faster connection, add more services like a landline or pay-TV subscription, or just find a similar broadband speed for a cheaper price, you'll be given lots of options with our postcode checker.
The fastest broadband in your area will usually depend on how much fibre-optic cabling is in place.
Depending on which types of fibre connection are installed in your area, you could benefit from a huge internet speed upgrade with fibre broadband. Skip down to find out more about fibre-optic broadband in your area.
The best broadband deal for you is one that suits your needs the most. You'll often want to find a good balance between your budget, the number of people in your household, and what you want to use your internet for.
So when you search for "the best broadband in my area", the fastest or the cheapest may not necessarily be the best. Instead, you'll want to look for the most appropriate deal for your household, because that'd be most worth your money.
There are a few different types of broadband you can get, each with a different range of speeds and prices:
The most widely-available connection in the UK is ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) broadband, which is delivered over the same copper phone wires as your landline.
ADSL uses different frequencies on this line to let you use the internet and make phone calls at the same time (unlike the old days of dial-up).
Download speeds on ADSL often average around 10Mbps, depending on the quality of lines and connections in your area, as well as how far away you are from your local street cabinet.
It's referred to as 'standard' broadband because, now dial-up internet is largely out of use, this is the oldest and slowest type of broadband that's still widely available.
Nowadays, most providers offer fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) packages to their customers using the Openreach network, which provides what is known as 'superfast' internet speeds between 30-70Mbps.
These operate through fibre-optic cables that run to the street cabinets in most neighbourhoods across the country. The cabinets then deliver broadband to the surrounding homes in their vicinity using the same copper phone lines as ADSL.
So again, if you're using FTTC, your distance from the street cabinet might slightly affect your broadband speed.
Despite using the same phone lines for the final leg of the journey, the fibre connection between the broadband exchange and your street cabinet is what makes the difference. Fibre-optic cables can transmit more data in a much shorter time period, which is why average FTTC broadband speeds are often several times faster than ADSL.
Some providers' fibre broadband offers are even the same price as their ADSL ones, since fibre uptake is now very common and copper cables are being phased out of the telephone network.
With 96% of the country covered by Openreach’s FTTC network, there's a good chance you can get broadband from the providers who use it, including BT, Sky, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Vodafone, EE and many others.
Virgin Media's independent cable broadband network covers roughly 52% of UK premises, although its connections are increasing both in availability and broadband speed.
Its network makes use of the same fibre-optic cables from the broadband exchange to street cabinets, but from there it connects to individual homes with its own 'coaxial' cables, instead of traditional copper phone lines.
This makes it much faster than FTTC connections. And thanks to upgrades Virgin Media is making to its network in 2021, more of its connections are becoming as fast as full fibre broadband too.
A number of providers are also rapidly rolling out full fibre connections too. This technology is also called fibre-to-the-premises, or FTTP broadband.
As the name suggests, this involves fibre-optic cables running all the way from the broadband exchange to your home, which can offer speeds in excess of 1000Mbps (1Gbps).
Although the aim is for everyone in the country to eventually get access to full fibre, only around 24% of the UK currently has this type of broadband available to them.
The government recently announced Project Gigabit to speed this process up though. This will allocate over £1bn to make it more affordable for providers to lay fibre cables in rural and remote parts of the UK.
Adding this to providers' efforts to grow their own FTTP networks means that full fibre will likely be available to you in the next couple of years.
Simply put, checking your postcode to see exactly what's available in your area is the best way to find out how you can get the right broadband for your needs.
Broadband availability changes across the country due to the infrastructure in each location.
Our own research at Uswitch discovered that nearly one fifth of homes achieve speeds of less than 10Mbps, while one in ten can be as slow as 5Mbps. Ofcom has pointed out this is very unlikely to be enough to cover the average family's demand for internet, especially when accounting for music and TV streaming.
Thankfully, there has been a big push in the last couple of years to provide gigabit broadband speeds for as many UK homes as possible this decade. This is an ambitious target, but it should hopefully mean that soon those suffering on slow connections will get faster, more reliable speeds in the coming years.
Currently, 40% of UK premises can access some form of gigabit-speed broadband.
If your property can't access gigabit broadband yet, it's still worth checking Uswitch to see if you could benefit from switching providers. Especially if you're in a rural area and you feel you aren't getting the speeds you need.
According to figures from Ofcom, 96% of the UK can access FTTC broadband, so there's a good chance your area has fibre broadband in place.
Our broadband postcode checker will quickly show you if your location can access fibre broadband, and at what speeds. You can also filter the deals that come up to only show fibre broadband packages.
We'd recommend making use of our fibre-optic broadband checker to ensure you're pricing up exactly what you need and can access it in your area.
Once you enter your information on most providers’ websites — in particular your home address — you should get bespoke speed estimates for your home, including an average speed and minimum speed guarantee.
At Uswitch, we can show you deals from some of the best broadband providers, including:
Most providers offer tempting limited-time offers, where they will throw in free add-ons such as reward cards, mobile contract discounts, smart speakers or even entire TVs to sweeten the pot.
So while you should never choose a deal solely for its add-ons, try to keep an eye out for when a deal you like is offering them.
Broadband speeds can differ from those advertised online and on TV, depending on the local area, proximity to the street cabinet and availability of certain providers.
This is made very clear by Uswitch's annual Slowest Streets report. The most recent research was published in December 2020. It found that even nearby streets can be subject to wildly varying internet connectivity, making for something of a postcode lottery.
The difference in speed can be due to any number of things, but it's often the case that customers are simply sticking it out with their old broadband contracts rather than switching to a new offer.
Don't struggle with slow broadband, or put up with poor customer service – put your postcode into Uswitch's broadband checker and see if you could enjoy a better deal on your broadband with one quick, easy switch.