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Compare wireless broadband deals

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Uswitch rated takes into account deals that are proving to be popular with our customers, that are competitive in the market and have a smooth buying process
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Uswitch rated takes into account deals that are proving to be popular with our customers, that are competitive in the market and have a smooth buying process.

To find out more about the Uswitch Awards and how they are selected, please visit our awards homepage.

*The "average" speed displayed in Mb represents the speed available to 50% of customers with this product during peak time (between 8pm and 10pm). The actual speed you will get depends on your cabling, your area and (with non-fibre optic products) time of day and how far you are from the telephone exchange. Most providers will tell you the likely speed you will receive when you begin your online sign up — this may differ from the average speed displayed on our table.

The deals available at your postcode are subject to local availability. The provider will confirm availability for your line.

We aim to take the strain out of broadband comparison. Good broadband deals aren't just about the price, it's also about what's included in the product, the speeds offered and any extra incentives providers are offering. To balance all of these, we have developed a ranking formula that takes into account deals that are proving to be popular with our customers, that are competitive in the market and have a smooth buying process.

If you prefer, you can sort deals by monthly cost, speed or contract length. You can also choose to show costs as monthly or full contract, which lets you see the total spend over the contract period, including any setup costs.

Uswitch services are provided at no cost to you, but we may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to.

Wi-Fi deals explained

Almost every broadband deal on offer in the UK today provides wireless broadband. And with good reason, as this has now become the norm for every location with a broadband connection, be it a home, workplace or public space. With a wireless router sending Wi-Fi signals to every room, you can enjoy the internet from wherever you are.

Who is wireless broadband for? Everybody. Families use it to ensure everyone can get online at the same time via smartphones, laptops and tablets. Gamers will find it essential for connecting their consoles to the internet without having to place them within a wire’s reach of the router, and if you want to browse social media while in bed, Wi-Fi obviously is a must-have.

To enjoy the benefits of wireless broadband, you'll need a wireless router. However, these are usually included when you sign up with a broadband provider — often for free — and are very simple to set up, with no technical skills required.

Best wireless broadband deals on Uswitch.com March 2020

What types of broadband are available?

To get wireless connectivity, you'll need a broadband deal. There are several types of broadband available in the UK, though not all of them may be available to every home. However, the key options that you should be aware of include:

  • Standard broadband — Also known as ADSL, this is the most basic and widespread broadband type and is available almost everywhere, since it operates through home telephone lines. It offers average speeds of around 11Mbps.
  • Fibre broadband — Available to more than 95% of UK homes, this offers a significant speed boost compared to standard broadband, with average speeds between 36Mbps and 67Mbps, depending on the package.
  • Cable broadband — Available from Virgin Media, this uses a different technology to deliver service to your home. It can offer speeds of up to 516Mbps (if you choose the ‘Ultimate Oomph’ option) and is available to around 75% of homes.
  • Full fibre broadband — Whereas most fibre packages still use copper cables to connect your home to the nearest street cabinet, full fibre sends fibre cabling directly to your home. It's the least-widely available service — fewer than one in ten homes currently have access, but it can deliver blistering fast speeds of up to 1,000Mbps (or 1Gbps).

Can I get fibre broadband?

The majority of homes in the UK can access fibre broadband, but there are still a few places that miss out. These are often hard-to-reach rural parts of the UK, but some urban areas are still not connected, often due to complexities in laying the necessary cabling. However, this applies to less than five per cent of UK properties, and if you are affected, there may be other options available.

What's the broadband speed in my area?

To find out what speeds are available in your area and if you can access fibre, just put your address into our Postcode Checker and we'll show you what speeds you can expect and what broadband deals are available where you are.

How does a router work?

A wireless router works by sending signals through the airwaves in your home in the form of Wi-Fi. Most computers will have an inbuilt receiver that can pick up these signals to connect to the internet without wires — though if you have an older machine, you can still connect wirelessly through an external network adapter.

While there is a lot of jargon related to Wi-Fi, there are a few key numbers you need to look out for — 802.11g, 802.11n and 802.11ac. These refer to international standards for Wi-Fi that, in basic terms, indicate how fast your wireless network will be.

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 highest performance, 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 for users. While some providers offer this equipment in their more advanced routers, many cheaper options that are included for free with cheaper broadband packages won't have this capability, so you may have to buy your own to take advantage of this technology.

How to set up a router

Most routers that come with broadband deals will already be preconfigured to provide you with a home wireless network, so you'll have to do very little to get them up and running.

In the majority of cases, if you're choosing a standard or fibre broadband package, all you'll have to do is plug your new router into your home's master phone socket, connect it up to the power and you'll be good to go. You may have to install wireless broadband software on your PC to access all the control features.

Some types of broadband, such as Virgin Media's cable services and full fibre-to-the-premises packages, may require an engineer to visit your home to install the necessary hardware. If this is the case, this will be arranged when you sign up to a service.

Wi-Fi not working?

Is most cases, once your router is set up, you should immediately be able to enjoy fast, reliable Wi-Fi throughout your home, but if your wireless network isn't working or is slower than expected, there are a few simple things you can try to fix this.

  • Check your PC — It may be the case you haven't turned Wi-Fi on, or haven't connected to the right network, so check that everything is working on your device first.
  • Reboot your router — If the issue isn't with your device, start by rebooting the network. Switch it off and unplug it and wait for a couple of minutes before turning it on again.
  • Move your router — If your wireless signal is poor or patchy, try relocating your router. Make sure it's in a high spot near the centre of your home with no obstructions or other electrical items nearby that could interfere with the signal.

If these tips don't work, check out our guide to internet connectivity problems for more information.

Find our best broadband + free router deals.

Check out our range of wireless mobile broadband deals.

Is wireless internet better than wired?

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.

Does wireless internet cut out more often?

Today's wireless routers are highly reliable and should give a level of consistent performance similar to that of wired connections. However, they may have trouble penetrating to every corner of a home, which may mean you need a booster to enhance the signal.

How does wireless broadband work?

Home wireless broadband will need a Wi-Fi router. These are included for free in most broadband deals and come preinstalled with the right settings, so should be simply plug and play. You can buy your own if you prefer, but you'll have to set it up yourself - your internet provider can provide instructions for how to do this.

Compare our best broadband deals

Enter your UK postcode to check which home broadband deals are available in your area: