Choosing a broadband provider
Can you even remember life before broadband? When websites had hardly any pictures and online video was just an idea? We’re so used to fast internet speeds today, and it’s broadband that has made it possible.
With so many broadband providers (previously called ISPs or internet service providers) out there today, it can be hard to know whether you’re getting the best service or the best price.
That’s why comparethemarket.com has set out to make it easy to compare broadband deals.
How to get started
To start comparing you just need to enter your postcode so that we can check broadband availability in your area, and you should decide if you want to compare broadband only, or include your home phone and TV package.
You’ll get to a quote page showing all our available packages for your home, with our cheapest broadband deals at the top. But there are some more choices you can make to help you compare based on different features and narrow down the search.
Broadband speeds and usage limits
First, what broadband speed would you like? We group speeds into three ranges. Basic is 0-30 MegaBytes (MB) per second, fast is 30-60MB per second, and superfast is over 60. If you watch a lot of video online in your home, or you have a lot of devices accessing the internet at the same time, you might benefit from superfast speeds so that your streaming or connection speed interruptions are kept to a minimum.
You can also choose whether to limit your broadband usage. It can keep the price down, but remember that you could be charged if you go over your monthly limit. If you don’t use video much, or use the internet to share pictures or other large files, this could make sense. On the other hand, a lot of providers today offer unlimited broadband which means you wouldn’t need to keep an eye on your usage.
Another option is to choose fibre optic broadband – this is usually how you can get the superfast speeds. It isn’t available in all areas yet, but if you live in or near a city you may well be able to access it. We make it clear whether a provider is using fibre to deliver your service.
You might find that at the top of the table of home broadband deals there are a number of offers – where you might be able to get free broadband for six months or more. Usually these are on a contract that lasts at least 12 months, so you need to check carefully what the price will rise to after the free period ends.
It’s well worth looking at the home phone and TV broadband packages. Many households no longer use their home phone much, preferring to use their mobiles, so if you don’t make many calls you could save by using phone and broadband deals. If you do use the home phone for calls, check carefully how much local and national calls might cost as part of the package. Our quote page will help too – you can choose deals offering free daytime, evening or weekend calls.
You can also select the TV packages you’re interested in as part of a deal. You can choose from various TV packages including Freeview, Sky Movies, BT Sport, music channels and many more, so that you can be sure to get the channels you want. You can also select HDTV and the ability to record and rewind live telly if that’s important to you.
Checking the details
When you find the deal you want, click ‘more details’ to get some more information about what’s involved. You might find that there’s an activation fee, or that you need to pay for a broadband router or other equipment and installation. We also make clear what the line rental cost is per month and per year.
You might find that there are some other perks included in the deal, like free subscriptions to TV on demand providers, so choosing the right deal depends very much on what you want and need from the package.
There can be quite a lot involved in a broadband contract, especially if it’s a package, so do read all the details properly before you sign up. If you’re not sure about anything, you can call the number shown on each page to speak to one of our broadband experts.
Before you do switch broadband contracts, you should also check the one you are currently on, in case there is a cancellation fee for leaving them early. If not, you’re all set to switch.
Not only does comparethemarket.com make it easy to find broadband offers, but if you click through from our site to sign up with a new provider, you’ll qualify for MEERKAT MOVIES.*
That means you can get 2 for 1 cinema tickets on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, every week, for a whole year . A great opportunity to leave your broadband-enabled home for an evening. Even with online video it’s hard to beat the real cinema experience.