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By Dan Howdle
We know it can be difficult choosing the right deal or broadband provider. This broadband comparison help section contains useful information and advice for making your next broadband purchase easy and stress-free. There are several things to think about when looking for a broadband deal that suits your household, and we'll get onto those. First though, let's talk a bit about why you should switch broadband deals.
There are a wide variety of reasons you might want to switch your broadband provider. Being upset with your existing provider is quite common, but here let's take a look not at the reasons you might want to, but the reasons why you should:
Before choosing a new broadband provider and deal, it helps to understand what you need exactly. Understanding exactly what you need massively narrows down the packages and providers you have to consider. Here are the things you should know before looking for a new broadband package:
Probably the most important factor at the moment when choosing a broadband deal is your budget. If you’re currently in a contract, your provider may hike the monthly cost up once the fixed-term ends. For this reason, Ofcom made it compulsory for providers to remind you when your contract is ending, so you’ll have time to find a better deal. Most customers are very surprised to find out they can get better, faster broadband for less than they are currently paying but that is the case for most customers.
Broadly, the faster the download speed, the better your experience, but this has limits. For example, most households will notice a big difference switching from, say, 35Mbps to 100Mbps. However, it's a case of diminishing returns, where all but the most download-addicted gamer households would notice the jump from 300Mbps to 900Mbps. All the daily stuff you do with your broadband is small beer to those sorts of speeds – like lobbing a golf ball down a motorway tunnel. There's just a lot of room to spare.
Choosing a speed that’s fast enough, but isn’t faster than you need, is the best way of making sure you don’t pay over the odds, and a cheap deal is a false economy if it doesn’t provide the speed your household needs. Broadly speaking, we recommend at least 61Mbps for your average household, and homes full of gamers and streamers should opt for more. Here's an easy-to-follow overview, and if you want to really get into understanding your speed needs, we also have a full guide.
|Type of broadband
|Gamers or streamers
See our What broadband speed do I need? guide for full details.
Although a few providers offer monthly rolling ‘cancel anytime’ contracts, most deals are offered as 12, 18, or 24 month contracts, with 24 months, sadly, becoming increasingly common. Broadly speaking, if you’re happy to sign up for a longer period, you’ll often enjoy a lower monthly price, and it's even more true that opting for a one-month, rolling contract deal is going to cost you a lot more per month than a contract deal because a provider like NOW Broadband has to offset the cost to them for providing you a router and getting you set up for what may turn out to be just one month's service.
Keep in mind some providers add other costs, and these can offset any savings you make with a lower monthly price. These typically cover things like delivery of a router, installation charges, or activation fees. If you don’t want to pay any extra costs (upfront or otherwise), you should set the filter in the comparison table to not show deals that have them.
If you see up-front costs for packages from a particular provider, please note that these are rarely, if ever, perennial, and chances are if you pop back in a week or two they won't be charging it anymore. Some providers – especially BT and Sky – flit frequently between charging a set-up fee and not.
Many broadband packages include additional services like landline phone call plans, TV subscriptions, and even mobile phone contracts. A broadband and phone deal, or a broadband and TV bundle deal, will save you money – sometimes a lot of money – along with offering the convenience of dealing with one provider from all your services. The recent trend of adding Netflix for free with broadband and TV bundles only increases the money you can save.
To sweeten deals, many providers offer rewards and incentives like cashback, bill credits, shopping vouchers or other free gifts. While they can make a package seem more enticing, they shouldn’t always form the basis of your decision when choosing which option you want. They’re usually limited-time offers – so you may feel pressured to buy before you’re ready. On the other hand, they can be represent great value and be well worth grabbing while you can! Just be sure and calculate what that reward is worth versus similar packages from other providers that, despite not reward, may work out cheaper in the long run.
Cable.co.uk make it easy for you to compare broadband deals. Use the drop down to sort by price, speed or most popular and then filter based on what really matters to you. It’s that simple.
The tools on this page allow you to select and filter by all of the criteria we've talked about thus far. If you're finding it confusing though, no problem. Here are some pointers:
Of course, not everyone comes into their search knowing what speed they need. Don't worry! We have a tool that'll help you find out. Just hit 'Get started' below:
Let us help guide you to your new broadband deal. We'll check speeds and providers at your home, saving you time and money.
Once you've chosen a new broadband deal you'll receive some instructions from your new provider. These will include:
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The best broadband deal in the UK at the moment is Virgin Media M125 fibre broadband for £29 per month with zero setup costs and a £95 bill credit. For more deals, see our comparison.
We think Virgin Media is the best broadband provider. Virgin has the fastest widely available broadband in the UK and is competively priced. For more details, see our best broadband provider guide.
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