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We know it can be difficult choosing the right deal or broadband provider. Our 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 contract that suits your household:
Price – Often a critical factor when choosing a new deal. If you’re currently in a contract, your provider may hike the monthly cost up once the fixed-term ends. For this reason, Ofcom has made it compulsory for providers to remind you when your contract is ending, so you’ll have time to find a cheaper broadband deal. There’s almost always a better price available if you shop around.
Speed – The faster download speeds associated with fibre broadband and cable broadband allow for better quality streaming, but are more expensive as a result. 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. A cheap deal is a false economy if it doesn’t provide the speed your household needs. Not sure what speed will be enough? Our guide to broadband speeds will help you figure out what’s right for you.
Length of contract – Although a few providers offer monthly rolling ‘cancel anytime’ contracts , most deals are offered as 12, 18, or 24 month contracts. If you’re happy to sign up for a longer period, you’ll often enjoy a lower monthly price. Students and renters in particular should be aware of early exit fees, as they’re more likely to need to cancel a contract part way through. This can be the full sum the provider would have received over the remainder of the contract.
Upfront and extra costs – 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 have a look at our comparison of broadband with no upfront fees.
Bundle deals – 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, can save you cash along with offering the convenience of dealing with one provider.
Incentives – 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! If you do go down that route, see our guide on how to claim your rewards.
We 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.
We've provided you with a table so you can quickly and easily compare our most popular broadband internet deals.
|Package||Broadband Speed||Contract Length||Monthly Price|
|BT Fibre 2||67Mb average||24 months||£32.99 per month|
|NOW Broadband Super Fibre Broadband||63Mb average||12 months||£23 per month|
|Virgin Media Big Bundle||54Mb average||18 months||£33 per month|
|TalkTalk Fibre 65||67Mb average||18 months||£25 per month|
|Virgin Media M500 Fibre Broadband + Calls||516Mb average||18 months||£44 per month|
|Virgin Media M350 Fibre Broadband + Calls||362Mb average||18 months||£38 per month|
|Virgin Media M200 Fibre Broadband + Calls||213Mb average||18 months||£32 per month|
|Sky Broadband Superfast||59Mb average||18 months||£28 per month|
|Virgin Media Bigger + Sports Bundle||213Mb average||18 months||£69 per month|
|Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Broadband||36Mb average||18 months||£21.95 per month|
If your contract has come to an end, you can switch providers quickly and easily at any time, without any early-exit charges.
If you’re part way through your agreement and moving house, it may be possible to move your contract with you to your new home – assuming the service is available at your new address.
If you’re part way through a contract and simply want to switch to a new deal, you may have to pay for the remainder of your contract or pay an early termination charge. Your provider will be able to tell you what policy applies to your existing deal should you want to cancel your internet contract.
There is an exception to this however – if, while in contract, your provider attempts to raise prices above inflation (RPI), or doesn't warn you of any rise then you're free to leave and switch to another provider – as long as you don't leave it longer than 30 days.
Broadband speeds are usually quoted in megabits per second, written as Mbps. This refers to the amount of data you can download or upload in a second.
The internet speed you need depends on a number of factors, including how many people you live with, how often you’re all online, and the types of things you do when online. Those of us who work or run a business from home may also need to consider a faster connection.
The higher the speed, the faster you can download files and the higher quality your streaming content will be. Our guide to broadband speeds can help you determine what speed will meet your household needs. In the meantime, we’ve listed a few things for you to consider.
Singles and couples – If you live alone or as a couple, and don’t use the internet for much more than web browsing, you’ll probably be fine with a connection speed up to 30Mbps. In fact, the cheapest broadband (ADSL) should be adequate for you, with typical download speeds of around 10Mbps.
Average-sized families – If you live in a household of three or more, where multiple people use the internet at the same time, you’re likely to need speeds between 30-60Mbps. This is especially true if you’re playing games or streaming video online. A fibre internet connection is a sensible choice, as you can expect a more consistent, reliable service.
Student sharers and serious streamers – For larger households like student living together, or for serious streamers, you’ll need a fast and steady connection to avoid problems like buffering. Aim to have at least 60Mbps to ensure everyone can enjoy streaming film and TV, playing games, and downloading large files at the same time. A faster unlimited option won’t set you back much more than a standard connection and will be well worth the extra expense for heavier users.
Home workers and heavy downloaders – If you or any of your household work or run a business from home, or simply need to download lots of large files, a connection of 100Mbps or higher is advised – where it's available. Really, the fastest possible home broadband is advisable if your work involves regular Zoom calls. And, while it's still early days, the roll out of Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) Broadband is accelerating, opening up access to speeds approaching 1000Mbps!
You can use our quick broadband speed test while you’re at home and connected to your WiFi to find out the download and upload speeds you currently have.
If you’re happy with your current speed, use the reading to search for broadband services that are similar. If you’re finding your internet connection is slow or patchy, if streamed content is constantly buffering, or if things are taking a long time to download, look for something faster to resolve these issues.
The speeds that you see advertised are averages, measured at peak times during the evening, when the highest number of users are online. This means that you won’t be guaranteed to get that speed every time you use the internet.
By law, average speeds must be available to at least half of users, in theory meaning you have a 50/50 chance of getting a speed either above or below the average advertised. At the level of individual customers it's not quite that simple and issues such as the distance from the cabinet and the demands of neighbouring properties always have a bearing.
Many factors can have an effect on the speed of your broadband service.
Type of connection: As a rule, fibre is usually faster and more reliable than standard / ADSL provision. And FTTP, often referred to as 'Full Fibre' is a quantum leap forward again.
Distance from the cabinet: How far away your house is from the cabinet or exchange (green boxes usually found on street corners) can certainly affect your broadband speed. FTTC provision (the most commonly available fibre service) is usually much slower than FTTP, as it relies on the use of traditional copper wiring, which is inherently limited and could of course be in poor condition. For more information about the impact the distance from the cabinet has on your broadband speed, read our guide.
Where your router is located: Sometimes, simply moving your home router can improve your internet speed. It's not the actual broadband connection that's at issue here, but the strength of wireless signal from the router to your computer or device. We often hide these behind furniture, or put them in drawers, which can slow down your connection - especially if it’s blocked by walls or metal. Keeping your router in a visible, central location within your home is best. It’s also preferable to keep it away from other electronic devices, to avoid interference. We’ve got some great advice on how to set up your WiFi, so you can get the best signal.
Time of day: Less of an issue than it once was, the internet still has peak times, which are usually during the evening between 8pm and 10pm. And of course the recent lockdowns due to Covid 19 have caused very specific surges in demand as more people worked from home. Then there are more predictable busy periods, such as during national holidays. These issues more commonly affect users on with ADSL connections.
Fair usage: Some providers still have Fair Usage Policies which are activated when other users in your area aren’t getting a fair share of access. If you’re concerned about fair usage policies and traffic management, you can learn more about them in our guide.
Fibre is currently available to almost all areas of the UK. Use our quick fibre optic checker to see what’s available in your area.
With the exception of mobile broaband, all broadband is 'wired', in that it's delivered via a phone line or fibre optic cable to your property. A wireless router then sends signals to every room in your house and this 'WiFi' makes it possible for you to access the internet around your home, giving you more freedom than a wired connection.
You can of course still use a cable to connect directly to your router if you wish, effecively giving you a 'wired' connection. This can be of benefit if you're suffering any problems with the strength of your WiFi signal. It may even be slightly faster. However, WiFi deals have become the preferred option for most households (the term has almost become synonymous with broadband itself), allowing for multiple devices to be online at the same time. It's just so convenient.
Although a few providers offer rolling ‘cancel anytime’ contracts, it’s most common in the UK to sign up for between 12 and 24 months. In theory, if you’re happy to sign up for an extended period you’ll often enjoy a lower monthly rate – but that's not always the case. If you decide to go for a longer contract, you should check what exit-fees might apply should you ever want to cancel part way through. Generally the shorter the contract, the less they're likely to be.
If you’re a student, you might be interested in a contract that will see you through term-time. Some providers offer 9 month broadband, so you won’t have to pay for provision during the summer holidays. You’re more likely to find them during August or September when students return to university, but the selection can be limited with only a few providers offering relevant deals.
If you only need internet provision in the short term, some providers offer no contract deals, though you’re likely to pay more than if you sign up for a longer term. Some providers simply charge a large one off fee, meaning they have some buffer should you opt out very early on.
If you’re not ready to sign up to a long-term agreement and you’re not sure a rolling contract is right for you, there are a couple of alternatives you might choose.
Phone tethering: Most mobile phone contracts allow you to use your data allowance to create a ‘hotspot’ that will enable you to access the internet using your laptop or other internet-enabled devices.
Mobile broadband: If you sign up for a dongle (often referred to as 'MiFi') on a one month rolling contract, you can cancel with only 30-days notice with the added bonus of being able to take your internet connection wherever you travel.
By law, your broadband provider must let you know when your contract is coming to an end. This is to prevent suppliers from making large price hikes when contracts come to an end without telling customers.
Your provider can contact you by letter, phone, or email, and must tell you what date your contract ends, and what other comparable deals they have available.
Naturally, nobody wants to spend a fortune for their internet access, and regardless of price, it’s possible to secure reliable provision and excellent customer service without paying over the odds.
However, while a deal may look affordable on paper, it’s also important to consider any extra costs in addition to your monthly payments, such as installation or delivery fees, along with the length of contract you’re tied into, and what charges you might incur if you wish to end the contract early. The type and speed of your internet connection also plays a role, as what’s included with a cheaper option may not be fast or reliable enough for your needs.
Not all providers perform credit checks when you sign up with them. If you’re worried about your credit history, then NOW Broadband, Plusnet and Direct Save Telecom are a few brands who don’t perform credit checks on customers.
Broadband isn’t the only service you can access through a telecoms provider. Many now offer phone and TV packages, which means you can say money and have the convenience of a single bill each month.
One of the most common bundles is a broadband and phone package. In fact, since most providers require you to have a landline, you usually get a phone line anyway, so combining the two makes a lot of sense, especially if you make a lot of landline calls.
If you do sign up for an internet and phone package, you’ll have the option to include weekend and evening calls. Choose add-ons such as international calls or unlimited any time minutes if you regularly use your landline. If you don’t use your phone very often, you might find it’s cheaper to use your mobile instead. But remember, with a few exceptions such as BT, you'll still be paying for line rental, whether you use it or not.
Combining your broadband and TV makes a lot of sense and can save you money on your monthly bill. They’re available from the following providers:
BT TV – BT generally offers three broadband and TV bundles – a combination of it's fast Fibre 2 FTTC broadband and either Entertainment or Sports options. Or beefed up versions of either. Plus they often come with a reward card as an incentive. See our BT TV channels guide.
Sky TV – Probably the most well know subscription TV service, Sky offers a huge choice of channels with some of the most popular shows. It also offers a bewlidering array of broadband, TV and phone combinations! See our Sky TV channels guide.
If you would normally pay for any of these services individually, it could work out cheaper to combine them, along with being more convenient to manage.
People usually look for a broadband without a landline when they know they won’t use their phone once it’s installed. They may also believe that going without a landline will get them a discount on their monthly broadband payments. Unfortunately you’ll usually still have to pay line-rental because that’s how the internet is delivered to your home from the exchange – in the case of FTTC at least. Two interesting exceptions to this are BT and EE Broadband who have recently started offering broadband products without any obligation to take on a landline.
The only other widely available ISP not requiring a phone line to deliver your broadband is Virgin Media, which has always been the case since they operate on an entirely separate network and a conventional phone connection simply isn't required.
You’ll find there are several providers who regularly offer free gifts or incentives. Some of the most popular offers include:
No set up costs – Providers will offer incentives like free installation, activation or delivery to sweeten the deals they provide. You’re more likely to find these on 12, 18 or 24 month contracts. Often providers will draw attention to their 'free' routers, but not charging for the router is now practically standard practise.
Free gifts – Some options include bonuses like free gifts to encourage new customers to sign up. These might include things like shopping vouchers from the likes of Amazon, Tesco, or M&S along with more specific items like games consoles. Free gifts are great, but you should always consider all aspects of a contract carefully before signing up.
Black Friday – Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping events in the UK calendar where prices on many different items and services are slashed by retailers. Broadband provision is no exception, with a wide range of offers such as cashback on monthly payments to free gifts and no upfront costs. Black Friday happens a few weeks before Christmas, with the date changing each year, so keep your eyes peeled for bargains.
Broadband is a type of high-speed internet connection that has become the standard way in which we get online in the UK. There are four main types of connection:
Standard or ADSL broadband – With a standard or ADSL connection, data is run along pre-existing BT copper phone lines. It’s the cheapest type of broadband on offer in the UK, and is great for singles or couples. However, it may not be fast or reliable enough for larger households, gamers or those working from home.
Fibre optic broadband – Also known as superfast, data is run along fibre optic cables rather than copper wires. As these can transfer more information in a given time period, and suffer from fewer interruptions, the connection is usually much quicker than ADSL. This makes a fibre optic connection the obvious choice for large and busy households.
Fibre broadband can be Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) or Fibre To The Home or Property (known as FTTH or FTTP). With FTTC, fibre optic cables run to the green cabinets located on street corners, followed by traditional copper wires that take the connection to your home. FTTP also runs to the cabinet, but extends the fibre optic cables directly to your home, rather than using any copper wires – making it much faster than any FTTC connection. For a deeper dive into the difference between FTTC and FTTP, read our guide.
Cable broadband – Only a couple of providers, including Virgin Media, can offer you cable in the UK. Virgin runs their own network that uses coaxial cables instead of copper wires. This provides a much faster connection than ADSL or FTTP. Only FTTP connections are comparable for speed.
At the moment, you can only get Virgin Media or other cable broadband services in some parts of the UK, but the availability is expanding all the time.
Mobile broadband – A mobile broadband deal will deliver the internet to your devices while you’re on the move. It’s typically run through a battery powered portable router that’s much smaller than the one you have at home. Rather than using fibre cables or copper wires, it uses the SIM card inside this to connect to a mobile network. This means it can join the same 3G, 4G or 5G signals as a mobile phone, making it easy for getting SIM-free devices like laptops online when no WiFi connection is available.
If fast access is absolutely essential, then mobile broadband can offer a really effective insurance policy – a 'back up' connection if you like. Indeed, some providers such as BT offer a service that will fall back automatically to the mobile broadband network should your conventional connection fail. You won't even notice there was a problem.
If you buy something from a page on our site, the provider will pay us a small commission for sending you their way. The price you pay will always be equal to – or quite often cheaper than – the price you would pay by going direct to the provider.
However, unlike some comparison sites, we show you every deal that's relevant to you – we don't hide or exclude deals that don't make us money. Quite simply, we want you to get the deal that's best for you. The most important thing for us is that you find the deal that's absolutely right for you. Whether we make a commission or not is very much an afterthought.
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Our experts are available from 9am-6pm Monday to Saturday
The best internet service provider is entirely dependent on what’s important to you. We’ve had a look at speed, reliability and price.
You can switch your supplier any time you want if your contract has ended. If you leave before the end of the contract, you’ll have to pay a fee and this varies with each provider.
If you have a problem with your supplier, such as an unexpected price hike or consistently low speeds, you may be able to get out of the contract early. Our broadband cancellation guide will help you out.
Your internet service provider will send you an end of contract notification. By email, text or letter 10-40 days before your contract ends. ISPs are required by Ofcom to notify their customers when their contract is coming to an end. This includes: