How to compare broadband and phone packages
Most providers include line rental in their broadband charges, so you often get some form of call plan thrown in as well. We’ve listed all the broadband deals, both standard and fibre optic, that come with a call plan, so you can find the best one. Our comparison table can be adjusted by clicking on the column headers at the top of the page, so you can list your results favouring whichever aspect of the deal is most important to you.
Once you have found the best broadband and phone deal, don’t be too quick to rush ahead and make a purchase without fully investigating all the ins and outs of what’s on offer first.
Introductory prices and speed promises are all well and good, but if the company that offers your chosen product has a poor customer service record or uses inferior technology (things that might not be obvious initially), your great deal could turn into a great deal of trouble. We have a range of guides and reviews on this site, crammed with information to give you a good insight into each company and their products.
Why choose a broadband and phone deal?
So what are the benefits of picking up a broadband and phone package? Here are three great reasons to make the leap.
Most major providers offer a triple bundle of broadband, TV and phone, so if you’re not a great fan of the old gogglebox and just want phone and broadband, then you can avoid the extra cost of a triple bundle.
Not getting hemmed into a broadband, TV and phone bundle gives you a much wider degree of flexibility if you eventually did want to pick up a TV subscription later on. With products like Now TV and Netflix on the market, there are more ways than ever to watch your favourite shows, so don’t feel pressured into taking a triple bundle.
Many of the smaller, cheaper providers do not have any TV options with their bundles, which removes them from the equation if you’re looking for a triple bundle. Not so when you’re just after a broadband and phone deal and, with some companies offering broadband for around £20 per month, going for a cheap broadband deal might free up your budget to go with a better TV option from another company.
Pros & cons
- Cheaper than taking a triple bundle
- Gives you more options for TV
- Opens yourself up to budget providers
- If you want TV you’ll have to deal with more than one company
- You could potentially miss out on the value of triple bundles
- The greatest cost is line rental, which is always included in broadband deals
Which package is right for me?
Before you pick up your broadband and phone package there are some things you should take into consideration to ensure you get the right one.
When it comes to looking at your broadband choices, you’re going to need to decide what speed you’ll need for all your online activities. There’s a full range of speeds on offer from the relatively slow 17Mbps standard broadband to the outrageously fast 200Mbps Virgin Media fibre optic broadband. If you want to know what speed you’re currently getting, you can use our broadband speed test to find out.
There are generally three basic call packages available: weekends, evenings and weekends, and anytime. It’s best to work out when you tend to make most of your calls and decide which call plan will suit you. Or, if you don't use your home phone much at all, it may be worth considering a pay-as-you-go option. Also, there is usually a wide variety of extra features you can add on, like mobile minutes or call barring, which can add value to your plan. Just don’t be tempted into signing up for any extras you don’t really need.
It’s easy to scroll through the comparison table and only see a list of speeds and prices but remember, there’s a company behind those figures and as each company is different you should take that into consideration. All the providers differ when it comes to things like customer service, technology and extras, so it’s worth doing some research on the company whose package you’re considering before you commit.
What will I need?
You will need a phone line to your property before you can connect to the internet. If you’ve had a phone line at your house in the past, or have one now, you should be able to receive standard broadband, but if you’ve opted for a fibre optic package you might need an engineer to pay a visit. All phone lines require you to pay line rental, which is included in the monthly price.
You’ll need a wireless router to get all your devices connected to the internet. All broadband providers will supply you with a router for free, but the quality can vary drastically. A good router will be able to support a large number of wireless devices, send a strong signal that will reach throughout your property, and be fairly future-proof. It’s important to know what your prospective provider offers in terms of a router, but it’s usually the case that the more expensive the provider, the better the router.
How do I switch?
Make sure the deal you’ve spotted is available in your area using the availability checker at the top of the page. Before you make the switch, double check the minimum term on your current contract, as if you leave early you may well be hit with termination fees.
Unless you are leaving or joining Virgin Media, there is no need to contact your existing provider – you can just get in touch with your new one and they will arrange the switchover. This is because Virgin operates its own network, and so the changeover process is slightly different than if you are switching between Openreach providers. If this is the case, you will have to call to cancel.
There’s a huge range of packages to pick from here, so take your time and find the right one for you before you sign up. The real question here is whether you’re going to miss TV, and if you’ve got a plan to watch your favourite shows another way. Either way, you can click the blue ‘See Deal’ button next to your selected package to be sent directly to the provider’s site.