How to compare broadband and find the right deal for you
Broadband comes in many shapes and forms - and from a multitude of providers. Quite often the choice is so overwhelming that many of us don’t bother switching supplier. But with advances in information and entertainment technology - such as remote working and TV streaming services - broadband is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. But do you need fibre optic or ADSL? Should you combine your phone, broadband and digital TV into one bundle? Is unlimited the way to go? Sometimes even seasoned broadband users get bewildered and stick to their current supplier although they may be paying more than they should.
In fact, getting broadband or switching suppliers is easier than you think. Here, we give you a straightforward explanation of what broadband is, how to get it and how to find the best package for you.
What types of broadband are available?
Your choice of broadband connection will be partly decided by where you live and what’s available in your area. In addition, you should think about speed and cost, with faster connections likely to be more expensive. The speed you need simply depends on how you use the internet.
ADSL broadband: ADSL works over the same line used to provide standard telephone service, without disrupting regular telephone calls on that line. ADSL broadband is widely available in the UK, with coverage available to more than 99% of the population.
Fibre optic broadband: An increasingly common option, but not yet available everywhere in the country, fibre optic broadband offers speeds many times faster than ADSL or cable. However, this higher speed can often come at a higher price. Fibre optic connections are ideal for heavy users of streaming video, music and online gaming.
Cable broadband: Cable service gives you broadband using the same cables as a cable TV package. They’re around the same speed as DSL connections and can be ideal for those living in areas where the landline phone wiring is poor or particularly old.
Mobile broadband (3G or 4G): We don’t currently offer mobile broadband comparison. However you may find this type of broadband useful, as the name suggests, mobile broadband is a service you can connect to on the go – but it’s increasingly common at home. You’ll typically get a USB dongle to plug into your computer, or a special wireless box which will only need a power supply to work. There are no wires or cables and you can choose between pay as you go, contract or SIM-only short term rolling contracts of one month.
Why compare broadband with comparethemarket.com?
We’re here to help make sense of the complicated world of broadband deals. We can help you quickly compare deals from UK internet providers in order of monthly cost. You can also compare data usage, speed and contract length.
Everything’s laid out for you in a simple table of some of the best value high-speed and fibre-optic deals, as well as the latest bundles that include TV and phone.
If you buy broadband through comparethemarket.com you will get MEERKAT MOVIES*. Which will give you 2 for 1 cinema tickets on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, every week, for a whole year.
Before you begin comparing broadband deals
As broadband deals can vary from area to area, we’ll need your postcode to make sure we’re only showing you the deals which are relevant to you.
What speed broadband can I get?
The speed of your internet connection determines how much data can be sent or received. The faster your connection, the more you can do at once.
Urban areas generally have faster broadband speeds. Additionally, with ADSL broadband and some types of fibre broadband the distance of your house from the telephone exchange has a bearing on the speed that you can expect.
Use our comparison service as a broadband postcode checker to find broadband packages in your area.
Should I get broadband at the same time as my phone and TV?
Many providers now offer broadband bundles, which means that other services (usually telephone and digital TV) are tied in with your broadband.
Bundles typically offer the benefit of cost and convenience. They could be cheaper than separate deals, easier to pay in one single bill and all your customer support will be with the one company.
The key things to understand are whether line rental is included in the bundle price, and what the charges are for exceeding your calling or download allowance. Ultimately, make sure the package suits your lifestyle.
For example, if it offers unlimited daytime downloads and free daytime calls but you're only home in the evenings, there might be a deal that would suit you better.
How to claim your vouchers on broadband packages
If you’ve switched broadband, phone and TV packages through us and your package included extras such as a freebie, vouchers or other offers by the supplier as part of the deal, here’s how you go about claiming it.