How to find the best broadband packages
In this guide
- Best broadband packages in May 2021
- What’s available in a broadband package?
- Which providers offer broadband bundles?
- What type of broadband is available in a bundle?
- What to consider when choosing broadband bundles
- Frequently asked questions
Choosing a brand new broadband provider, or switching to a new package with your existing provider, should be a quick and simple task. In reality, with so much competition in the market and advancements in technology happening all the time, there are more options than ever before.
Plenty of choice is great for the consumer, but it can be confusing trying to understand what broadband packages include, the differences between them, and which one’s right for you.
This page will help you understand the basics of broadband packages, what the different UK providers offer, and what to consider when finding a broadband bundle that’s right for you.
Best broadband packages in May 2021
We’ve looked through all of our broadband bundles and have picked the best for you this month.
Virgin Media Big Bundle
£33 p/m£35 one-off cost See Deal
- 54Mb average speed
- 100+ channels
- Inclusive calls
Sky Broadband Superfast + Anytime Calls
Save £64£37 p/mZero one-off cost See Deal
- 59Mb average speed
- Unlimited usage
- Inclusive calls
TalkTalk Fibre 65
£75 gift card£25 p/mZero one-off cost See Deal
- 67Mb average speed
- Unlimited usage
- PAYG calls
What’s available in a broadband package?
There are three main types of broadband packages: broadband and phone, broadband and TV, and broadband TV and phone. Some providers might even include a mobile as part of the package too. We’ve broken down what you can expect to find in each:
Broadband and phone
Almost all types of broadband connection require a physical landline in order to deliver internet service. Many people choose not to make any calls on this, or use it on a pay-as-you-go basis, being charged for the individual calls they make.
If you know you’ll be using your landline regularly, a combined broadband and phone package could save you money, as well as offering the convenience of paying one bill for two separate services and dealing with one provider if things go wrong.
Most broadband and phone details include things like free evening or weekend calls, though restrictions apply, so always check the small print.
Broadband and TV
If you’re a fan of digital TV and have reached the end of your existing contract or haven’t yet signed up to a provider, you can add TV services to your broadband package. This can save you money as well as being a convenient way to manage monthly bills. Many of the UK’s most popular broadband providers also offer TV services, with BT, Sky, Virgin Media and NOW Broadband leading the field.
Broadband, TV and phone
For the biggest savings and an ultra-convenient service, some providers offer deals that bundle together a broadband internet connection, TV services, and landline calls in one package.
The definition of a ‘broadband only’ package varies between providers. When we refer to a broadband only deal, we mean a package that includes internet provision plus pay-as-you-go calls only, with no additional call package or TV services. Paying as you go for landline calls can be expensive, so you should check in advance what the billing rates will be to both other landlines and mobile phones, in the UK and abroad.
Which providers offer broadband bundles?
While some providers only offer broadband packages, most also combine either broadband and landline phone calls, broadband and TV services, or all three together in one deal.
Here’s a run down of what broadband bundles are on offer from the UK’s biggest and best broadband providers, from no-frills budget provision to the all-singing, all-dancing super-fast deals available from the likes of Sky and Virgin Media.
|Provider||Broadband & phone||Broadband & TV||Broadband, TV & phone|
The type of broadband package that’s right for you depends on a number of factors. Always weigh up the pros and cons of each deal against your individual needs before signing up, and be sure to check the small print to ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises part-way through your contract.
What type of broadband is available in a bundle?
ADSL / standard broadband: With all the hype around faster broadband, you might think you have to have fibre in order to get decent service. In reality, ADSL or standard broadband, while not quite as fast or reliable as fibre, works well for people who live alone or smaller households made up of light internet users. It’s also widely available in most areas of the UK. This type of broadband delivers average speeds of 10Mbps.
Fibre broadband: Fibre broadband is a fast, affordable and reliable way of delivering an internet connection to your home or business. With average speeds of between 30Mbps and 60Mbps, it’s faster and more reliable than ADSL broadband, and the price difference between the two is shrinking all the time. For a household of 3 or more people, a fibre broadband deal is usually the sensible choice. This is especially true if anyone regularly streams video, plays games online, or downloads large files.
Cable broadband: Cable broadband is the fastest widely available broadband service in the UK. For large families or big groups of students sharing accommodation where everyone wants to be online at the same time, cable broadband can make for the best internet experience. Speeds now reach the dizzying heights of up to 516Mbps.
Mobile broadband: Mobile or portable broadband fills in the gaps for people living and working in locations where fixed-line broadband isn’t an option, or when you need to connect to the internet while on the go. There are a few different devices and technologies, including dongles, hotspots, MiFi devices and data only sims, that fall under the mobile broadband umbrella. These largely deliver the same thing - internet without the need for a fixed line or router.
If you’re not sure what broadband speed you’ll need, use our broadband speed guide to work it out. Or if you want to test your current broadband speed to compare this with speeds offered by providers you’re interested in, you can use our handy speed checker to get an accurate reading today.
What to consider when choosing broadband bundles
There are a number of factors to take into account when choosing broadband packages and providers.
Think about the broadband speed that will allow you and the rest of your household to do the things you enjoy online with ease, the monthly cost, contract length, any upfront charges you’ll pay for installation or equipment like routers and set top boxes. You should also weigh up the incentives offered by providers for new customers, like money off monthly payments, vouchers and free gifts. And take a look at the customer service history of your chosen provider too, as this will be important if you need support at any point.
Frequently asked questions
How long does a broadband contract last?
Most broadband packages come with a 12 or 18-month contract, although there are monthly rolling broadband deals available from providers including Virgin Media and NOW Broadband.
How do I complain to my broadband provider?
It’s often best to make sure the problem isn’t something very simple you can fix yourself, then talk to your provider’s customer service team to see if they can help. All the information you need is in our guide to complaining to your broadband provider, including how to make a formal complaint.
What does average speed mean?
The average speed you see used to advertise a broadband package must be achievable by 50% of the provider’s customers during peak times.
How long does it take to get set up with my new provider?
Most broadband switches should take about two weeks, although of course it depends on what providers are involved and whether there are any additional services to switch such as TV. Our guide on how to switch broadband providers might help.