Compare cheap broadband and phone deals
Let us help you save money by comparing the cheapest broadband deals in the UK. Our comparison is free, safe and approved by Ofcom.
How to compare and buy cheap broadband deals
How do I compare different packages?
Prices for broadband have steadily decreased since it became more widely available and generally regarded as a household essential. With a number of budget broadband providers coming onto the market offering cheaper broadband deals, competition is growing, so we’ve created this comparison page to help you navigate the choppy waters of budget broadband. The table can be ordered according to your preference by clicking on the column headers so, if finding the best speed is more important to you than the monthly cost, you can re-arrange the results.
Before you start to compare broadband, it’s best to see what’s available in your area. If you put your postcode into the checker at the top of the page it will limit your results to those that are available to you.
Check the detail
It’s easy to get drawn in by the sometimes shockingly low prices on offer from budget internet service providers (ISPs). Always check the detail of the package you’re interested in before diving headfirst into the cheapest broadband deal you can find.
Make sure you know what you’re getting before you make your mind up
Remember, not all broadband was created equally and you should read through a package’s details, fine print and terms and conditions thoroughly before you select your deal. Because we’re mainly looking at the cheaper end of the broadband market, there may be more limits imposed on you that could increase your bill in the long term – so make sure you know what you’re getting before you sign up for anything.
Why choose a cheap broadband deal?
So what are the benefits of opting for a budget broadband deal? Here are three things we think will appeal to those looking to make the switch.
It’s cheaper than a cup of coffee
Budget broadband is cheap; whether it’s cheaper than a cup of coffee depends on which package you opt for and where you buy your coffee from, but the bottom line is – it can still be pretty cheap. One thing to bear in mind, however, is that the prices you see on the comparison table do not include line rental, so you’ll need to take that into consideration.
Simplicity means value
If you subscribe to the idea that less is more, then a cheaper broadband deal might be perfect for you. Top-end packages tend to be crammed with extra features that may be superfluous to your requirements. Paying extra for public Wi-Fi, endless security apps and an all-singing, all-dancing wireless router are not good value for money if you’re only looking to send the occasional e-mail and order your shopping online once a week.
You’ve got a better chance of receiving an ADSL line than a fibre optic one
The majority of the budget services are carried on BT’s ADSL network, which means it has fairly good coverage throughout the UK. You can check the availability with the postcode checker at the top of this page but, fundamentally, these packages have better availability than those that use fibre optic technology.
Pros & cons
- The budget packages are cheap
- Simplicity means you only get what you need
- ASDL is widely available
- Packages usually come with little or no extras
- Cheap deals usually come with limited data
- The routers supplied are usually fairly basic
Which package is right for me?
If you’re thinking about a picking up a broadband package from the cheaper end of the market, there are some things to take into consideration.
The speed you receive is average for ADSL broadband
You’ll notice that the top speed of the budget packages is around 14Mbps to 17Mbps, which is standard for ADSL broadband. The standard broadband speed is fast enough to do most things, such as sending e-mails, making video calls and streaming music and movies. As these are ‘up to’ speeds, you should also check what you’re actually likely to receive at your property using our broadband speed checker.
Make sure you know the penalties for exceeding your data allowance
Many of the cheapest broadband deals will come with data usage allowances, which shouldn’t cause a problem if you’re a particularly light user, but if you use the internet a lot, and use Wi-Fi for any of your devices, you may want to take this into account. If you do choose a package with a data allowance, make sure you know what happens if you exceed your limit; some providers impose charges for going over.
If you find you’re running over more often than not, that great value deal might not seem as great as you first thought and you may want to consider a fibre optic broadband package instead.
Make sure you know about all additional costs
Internet service providers have had a bit of a race to the bottom where price is concerned, but the figure that the company shout about is not always the price you will pay monthly. The cost of line rental can fluctuate from provider to provider, and the price advertised may just be an amazing introductory offer, not the amount you will pay for the duration of your contract.
What will I need?
There are some things you’ll need if you want a cheap broadband deal.
You may need to have a phone line installed at your address
Depending on where you are and what is already installed at your address, you may need to have a phone line set up at your property. This may mean an engineer has to visit and extra charges will be levied.
If you want to connect your wireless devices, you’ll need a wireless router
If you have wireless devices, such as a mobile, a tablet, or a games console, that you want to connect to the internet, then you’ll need a wireless router. Luckily, all budget providers supply their customers with such a device which, while not being as technically complex as that of a more expensive provider, will get you up and running and do everything you want.
How do I switch?
After you’ve found out what’s available in your area and decided which package offers the best broadband deal for you, it’s time to contact the provider. It’s best to do this when your current contract has come to an end, as you’ll want to avoid any early termination charges.
Contact your current provider to say you’re leaving
Following that, you need to contact your current provider and tell the customer services team that you’re leaving. Chances are this will result in you being offered everything under the sun not to leave, but if your mind’s made up then you should stick to your plan. After that you need to contact your new provider to set up your new connection. This can be done on our comparison table above.
Six essential questions before you buy
- What can you get in your area?
- How much do you want to spend?
- Are you comfortable switching to a new provider?
- How much data do you use in a month?
- How much is line rental on the new package?
- What call plan is included with the package?
With broadband, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for. A budget broadband provider will cut corners to pass savings on to the customer so, for example, you might find that the router you receive is not as good as BT’s Home Hub 5 or the customer service might not be particularly helpful, but for those caveats, you can get a very cheap service.
If you’re a light to medium user, budget broadband might be for you
A budget broadband deal can be perfect for the right kind of person, but you should work out what kind of broadband user you are before going for the cheapest thing you see. A light to medium user who uses the net for browsing, shopping, checking e-mails and other low usage activities might not scratch a usage limit, making some of these deals difficult to ignore. If you’ve got a budget broadband package then we’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.