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Wireless broadband deals are pretty much the only broadband deals you'll see these days. It simply means a Wi-Fi connection with a wireless router, which is by far the most popular way of getting online at home or work.
It means that everyone at home can access the internet at the same time via their smartphones, laptops and tablets, and everyone at work can log on with whatever device they use for work.
To set up a wireless internet connection for your home you'll need a Wi-Fi router, which comes included in any offer when you compare broadband deals from major UK providers. They’re usually free of charge and are very simple to set up, with no technical skills required.
|Package||Broadband speed||Contract length|
|Virgin Media M125 Ultrafast Fibre broadband only||132Mb average*||18 months|
|Sky Superfast Broadband||59Mb average*||18 months|
|Sky Ultrafast Broadband||145Mb average*||18 months|
|Vodafone Full Fibre 500||500Mb average*||24 months|
|BT Fibre 2 Broadband||67Mb average*||24 months|
|Vodafone Fibre 2||67Mb average*||24 months|
|Virgin Media M250 Ultrafast Fibre broadband only||264Mb average*||18 months|
|Hyperoptic 150Mb Fibre Broadband - 12 Months||158Mb average*||12 months|
|Community Fibre 150Mbps Fibre Broadband||150Mb average*||24 months|
|Virgin Media Big Bundle, Ultrafast Fibre Broadband + Phone||125Mb average*||18 months|
You'll be able to find great Wi-Fi deals from every major broadband provider in the UK. The speed and reliability of that wireless internet connection then depends on what broadband deals are available to your property, and what type of deal you choose.
Superfast fibre broadband is widely available across the country, and its prices are very similar to (sometimes cheaper than) copper internet deals, despite being more than three times faster.
However, it’s always worth checking to see if there are fast Wi-Fi deals available where you live. Chances are, there certainly will be.
When comparing Wi-Fi deals, here are the key options that you should be aware of:
All fibre broadband connections will be wireless. The vast majority of homes in the UK can access fibre broadband, but there are still a few places that miss out.
Hard-to-reach rural parts of the UK might not have access to fibre broadband yet, and some urban areas are still not connected, often due to difficulties in laying the necessary fibre cabling (especially in purpose-built flats).
However, this applies to less than 4% of UK properties, and if you are affected, there may be more suitable options at a similar speed to fibre, such as 4G and 5G mobile broadband.
To find out what speeds are available in your area, and which fibre deals you can get, enter your address into our Postcode Checker.
We'll show you what speeds you can expect on your street and what home Wi-Fi broadband offers are available where you are.
A wireless router works by sending signals throughout your home in the form of Wi-Fi.
Almost all computers, laptops and mobile devices will have an inbuilt receiver that can connect to the internet without the need for wires. Though if you have an older machine, you can still connect wirelessly through an internet dongle or external network adapter.
While there's a lot of jargon related to Wi-Fi, there are a few key numbers you need to look out for:
These refer to international standards for Wi-Fi that indicate how fast your wireless network will be and how many devices it can handle at any one time.
Older and cheaper routers will only use the 802.11g standard, which transmits in the 2.4GHz bandwidth — a signal that has a good reach but is slower than some more modern connections. Newer models may be listed as 802.11n, which still uses this bandwidth, but comes with better technology for faster speeds.
However, for the best performance at home, you should look for routers that are 802.11ac certified. This means they can also transmit on the 5GHz frequency, which translates to much faster performance between device and router.
The next generation of Wi-Fi routers is 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6. It's expected to make Wi-Fi much easier to use in busy areas like stadiums and airports — but eventually our homes too, given its larger capacity for bandwidth and more devices.
You can learn more about wireless routers with our guide.
While some providers offer this new technology in their more advanced routers, more basic options on cheap Uswitch broadband packages usually won't have this capability, so you may have to buy your own router to take advantage of it.
Most routers provided with broadband packages will already be set up to supply your home Wi-Fi internet network, so you'll have to do very little to get them up and running.
In the majority of cases, if you're choosing any regular broadband package, all you'll have to do is plug your new router into your home's master phone socket, connect it to a power socket and you’re good to go. Many providers use Openreach's network, which means no extra installations are needed to set you up on a new Wi-Fi connection.
However, some types of broadband, such as Virgin Media's cable connections and full fibre packages, may require an engineer to visit your home to install the necessary hardware for a fee. If this is the case, you can arrange this when you sign up to a service.
You may not choose your broadband provider based on who has the best wireless router, but it doesn’t hurt to consider it before you make your purchase. All the major broadband providers on Uswitch have invested in their products in order to ensure they have the best Wi-Fi router available for new customers.
Here are the routers that come with the most popular broadband providers' packages:
There are some slight differences between each provider’s Wi-Fi hub, but perhaps the biggest difference is between old routers and new ones. If you’re on an old contract with your provider, upgrading to a new router (or getting one for free when you switch to a new provider) could improve your Wi-Fi strength and the broadband speeds in your home.
In most cases, once your Wi-Fi internet router is set up, you should immediately be able to connect to your home broadband. But if your wireless internet isn't working, or is slower than expected, there are a few simple things you can try to fix this.
If these tips don't work, learn more with our guide to internet connectivity problems for more information.
Instead, if you're looking to bring your Wi-Fi connection wtih you, take a look at our range of wireless mobile broadband offers.
Wireless broadband lets you access the internet from anywhere in your home, on any device, so it gives you more freedom than a wired connection. However, it may not offer the same speeds as a wired alternative, which is something to consider if you need the highest performance.
Wi-Fi is the most popular way of getting broadband. It essentially means 'wireless broadband', because it uses a wireless router to connect all your devices to the internet at the same time.
This is almost certainly how you already connect to your broadband at home. So Wi-Fi isn't different to broadband — it's just a technology that allows you to use it.