Unlimited broadband

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How to compare unlimited broadband deals 

There was a time when surfing the internet was slow and expensive. But with the advent of unlimited broadband (via connections such as fibre optic, adsl and cable) we now use the net to do everything from streaming movies on our digital TVs to downloading music and apps. Skype gives you access to video calls and even your mobile can double up as a remote control. Unlimited broadband is obviously the way forward, and with providers now bundling their services into packages that also include your phone and specialist TV channels, there’s never been a better time to get a great deal.

Here’s how it works…

Frequently Thought Questions

If you’re not particularly savvy when it comes to techy matters, information about broadband might sound like a foreign language. We’re here to de-mystify things, and right here, right now we’ll give you some answers to some of those questions you might have.

What’s the difference between fibre broadband and normal broadband?

In short, typically fibre is much faster than normal broadband. Normal broadband is delivered to your home along your telephone lines. These are made of copper and the further the signal travels along copper, the slower it gets. That doesn’t mean it’s not good per se, and if you’re not a heavy user, it may be absolutely fine for your needs.

Fibre is delivered through fibre optic cables and provides much faster broadband speeds meaning you should see much faster response times. If you compare broadband packages with us, you’ll see that we add the name “fibre” against the broadband speeds that we quote so you can see which are which.

What does unlimited fibre mean?

When you use the internet, you consume data. That means every time you access your email, watch a video, download a movie and so on, though some activities use much more data than others. Unlimited simply means that you can consume as much data as you like each month without incurring any additional charges.

Do I need an unlimited package?

It depends what type of internet user you are, how you use the internet and of course, how many people there are in the household using it.

You’re likely to be a heavier data user if you or other members of your household do any of the following things:

• Have multiple internet users, often online at the same time
• Amongst you there are a number of devices; PC’s, laptops, TVs, tablets, mobile phones. Often more than one of them is connected to the internet at the same time
• Enjoy streaming movies, sometimes HD
• Watch catch-up TV
• Download or stream music
• Download video games and enjoy playing online

If one or more of these sound like you or your family, you’d be quite likely to use up a monthly allowance, and therefore an unlimited package might be right for you.

What type of fibre broadband deals can I choose from?

How much data do I need?

Some activities are hungrier for data than others. Here are a few things you might do online, along with how much data they tend to use:

Download a document - 2 MB
Download a music track - 4 MB
One hour of browsing - 10 – 25 MB
One hour on social media - 20 MB
Stream one hour of music/radio - 150 MB
Stream one hour non-HD video - 250 MB
Download a non-HD film - 700 MB
Stream one hour HD video - 2 GB
Download a HD film - 4 GB

We’d probably suggest you don’t need to work out your usage down to the last byte! Essentially, if you’re doing any of the data-heavy activities, you’re probably best off with an unlimited package.

What is a broadband cap or data cap?

This type of deal caps the amount of data you can use in a month. The advantage of this type of deal is that it might work out cheaper for you if you’re only an occasional internet user. The downside is that if you go for a capped deal and then burn through your data allowance you could be hit with extra charges to use more data or find that your broadband speed has all but disappeared.

Imagine for example, being half way through streaming a family movie when your broadband speed suddenly drops to a crawl. Or playing the latest online game with your friends and suddenly you’re booted out as you’re connection is too slow. Not good.

What is traffic managed broadband?

Traffic management involves your provider managing the speeds on its network. Essentially, if everyone in the area that you live in is accessing the internet at the same time, servers get congested and this could lead to a general fall-off in speed. To try and get around this, the provider might reduce the speeds on certain activities, for example file sharing. This helps maintain speeds on other services such as streaming.

What is a fair usage policy?

A fair usage policy includes a monthly data limit even if you’re on an unlimited package. Most users shouldn’t have to worry as the limits are usually set very high. However, if you’re a very serious data user it might be something to be aware of.

Will I get the advertised broadband speed?

At the moment broadband providers are allowed to quote “up to” speeds - though this might change in the future as the advertising watchdog has called for changes. Currently, the speeds quoted in broadband adverts only need apply to a minimum of just 10% of all customers. For now though, be aware that your speed might differ considerably from that quoted. Additionally, speeds will drop off if there are more people online, that’s why it might feel a bit slower at peak periods.

How can I find the right unlimited broadband deals?

Now you’re armed with all the information you need, it’s time to find out what the right broadband deal for you is. You could spend ages shopping around or you could save yourself the time by using our comparison page. All we need from you is your postcode and a few other details, then we can show the deals that are available to you. Try it today.

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