Cheap broadband deals explained
By Dan Howdle | Thursday, December 27th 2018
In this guide
- What's the cheapest deal?
- Why cheap broadband?
- Cheapest broadband providers
- Things to consider
- Cashback and rewards
- Limited or unlimited deals?
- Bad credit
Most people in the UK are paying far too much for their broadband, and you could be among them. Remember, there's more to choosing the cheapest broadband deal than just opting for the lowest price. Our handy guide breaks down everything you need to know about finding a cheap broadband deal.
What's the cheapest broadband deal?
The cheapest broadband deal in the UK right now is TalkTalk Fast Broadband priced at £17.95 per month on an 18 month contract with a £40 voucher. Total average monthly cost including voucher is £15.72 per month.
What are the cheapest broadband deals this month?
- Post Office Unlimited Broadband | 11Mb average speed | Unlimited monthly usage | Free set-up cost | 12 month contract | £15.90 per month
- TalkTalk Fast Broadband | 11Mb average speed | Unlimited monthly usage | Free set-up cost | 18 month contract | £17.95 per month | Cable.co.uk exclusive £40 voucher
- SSE Unlimited Broadband | 11Mb average speed | Unlimited monthly usage | Free set-up cost | 18 month contract | £18 per month
- NOW Broadband Brilliant Broadband | 11Mb average speed | Unlimited monthly usage | £24.99 set-up cost | 12 month contract | £18 per month
- NOW Broadband Brilliant Broadband | 11Mb average speed | Unlimited monthly usage | £60 set-up cost | 1 month contract | £18 per month
- Plusnet Unlimited Broadband | 10Mb average speed | Unlimited monthly usage | Free set-up cost | 12 month contract | £19.99 per month | £75 Reward Card
- Sky Broadband Essential | 11Mb average speed | Unlimited monthly usage | £9.95 set-up cost | 18 month contract | £20 per month
- Vodafone Superfast 1 Fibre Broadband | 35Mb average speed | Unlimited monthly usage | Free set-up cost | 18 month contract | £22 per month
- EE Unlimited Broadband | 10Mb average speed | Unlimited monthly usage | Free set-up cost | 18 month contract | £22 per month
- TalkTalk Faster Fibre Broadband | 38Mb average speed | Unlimited monthly usage | Free set-up cost | 18 month contract | £22.45 per month
Why choose cheap broadband?
It doesn't necessarily follow that a cheap broadband deal will always provide you with slower speeds or some sort of data allowance or limit. Although, this can be true in some cases. And, the less data and speed you are using or need can in those cases save you some money.
More commonly, though, the amount you pay and whether your broadband deal is considered cheap will depend on the deals and offers currently available. Also, your choice of provider and the equipment they supply you, and of course what you consider 'cheap' in the first place will also play a part. Thankfully, it's easier to switch than you think.
Who are the cheapest broadband providers?
To see what offers are available right now you need look no further than the table at the top of this very page. However, generally speaking, the following providers tend to be known for their cheap deals over and above most others.
As the only provider of the biggest four that pitches itself as a budget provider, TalkTalk tends to be cheap all year round. TalkTalk also offers some deals that promise not to hike the price you pay at any point in exchange for a longer contract. Compare TalkTalk broadband.
Still somewhat a newcomer, Vodafone already has an excellent reputation for itself for both a high-quality service and rock-bottom prices. Vodafone offers great value for money. You'll get high-quality equipment and good speeds with Vodafone broadband, you just won't pay as much for it. Compare Vodafone broadband.
SSE was once known only as an energy supplier. These days SSE also supplies broadband. Its key feature? It's cheap. SSE isn't cheap all year round, but when it is, it is very cheap indeed so keep an eye out for sale time. Compare SSE broadband.
You may have heard of NOW TV, Sky's TV streaming service. Although Sky already offers its own broadband, NOW Broadband aims for the cheaper end of the market. Plus, there are no credit checks with NOW Broadband, making it an excellent choice if you have a few money troubles in your recent past. Compare NOW Broadband.
Post Office Broadband
Aimed at the older generation, Post Office Broadband is cheap. It's also designed to make things as easy as possible for those without much technical knowhow. If you want something with no frills and a low cost, Post Office Broadband is a choice worth considering. Compare Post Office broadband.
Five things to consider when comparing cheap broadband deals
- How much data do you need: Chances are you'll want to stream Netflix or iPlayer or Amazon Prime. In which case, you can ignore this consideration since you're going to need an unlimited deal. If, however, you only use the internet to surf, shop and use social media, you could save some money on a limited package. Limited packages cost less, but cap the amount of data you can use
- Check the fine print for hidden costs: Primarily you're going to want to make sure you understand the up-front costs involved. Lucky for you all of our comparison tools add up and display the up-front, costs so you can take it into consideration
- Contract length and leaving fees: Think carefully about how long you want to be tied in. Most broadband contracts are 12 months and there are some heavy fees for leaving early. TalkTalk offers some deals with two-year contracts, and for that commitment they promise not to raise the price during that time. Not every contract length will suit everyone, so consider it carefully
- Don’t wait for a better deal: If you see a deal you like, snap it up. Deals come and go frequently, so it's always best to get a deal you like now rather than later. It may not be here tomorrow
- You could save with a bundle: If you're also interested in a subscription TV service from the likes of Sky or Virgin Media, consider getting broadband and TV as a bundle. Bundles are almost always cheaper than the two services would be sold separately
Will I get cashback, gifts and rewards with low-cost broadband deals?
Compare our cheap deals using the tools at the top of this page. Deals with freebies, cashback and other rewards will be clearly marked. For the most part, though, you're going to find that the more 'budget' the deal, the less likely it is you're going to get extra stuff thrown in.
Are limited broadband deals cheaper than unlimited deals?
Limited broadband deals can save you a little money if you don't use very much data. They're actually quite rare these days with few providers still offering them. In fact, at the time of writing there were currently no limited deals on the market. However, they do come back from time to time.
Sky and BT are the two providers who tend to offer them. You just need to be sure you're not going to go over your monthly limit. A good rule of thumb is that if you stream a lot of video (watch films and TV on Netflix, Amazon, BBC iPlayer and so on), you probably use more data than a limited deal will provide.
Our advice is to opt for an unlimited deal. You'll have far more choice available and you will never have to worry about hitting your limit and potentially incurring fees.
Can I get cheap broadband if I have bad credit?
Yes – providers will offer you a deal no matter how poor your credit rating is. Policies vary and change over time, but there’s no reason to assume you won’t get a cheap deal from your chosen provider. If you want to be absolutely certain, try NOW Broadband – it carries out no credit checks whatsoever.