It can be difficult to know where to begin when choosing a broadband provider for your home. There are dozens on the market, all promising various benefits to prospective users. It seems that every provider promises the best speed, the best value for money and the best customer service – the choice can be overwhelming.
This article explores the factors that you need to consider when shortlisting the best broadband providers and packages for your needs.
The best deal isn’t necessarily the cheapest, the fastest, or the one with the most perks — it’s the deal that best meets your needs.
Before you begin your search, it is useful to figure out what kind of user you are. This will give you a better idea of what you’re looking for and give you a better chance of finding the best speed and price for your needs.
- Light Use: If you mainly use the internet for day-to-day activities, such as sending emails and general web browsing but rarely download files or stream video and music content, an affordable 10 to 25 Mbps package is likely going to be enough for you.
- Moderate Use: If you engage in slightly more intensive activities than a light user, such as occasionally streaming or downloading music, movies or TV; or if are working or managing a business from home, a speed of 25 to 50 Mbps should suit you.
- Heavy Use: If you use the internet for streaming 4K movies or gaming it is likely that you fall into the heavy user category. In this case, we suggest that you go for a broadband plan with a speed of more than 60 Mbps and unlimited downloads.
How to Choose the Best Broadband Provider
Once you have identified your usage requirements, you can go about looking at various providers and packages that match your needs. Here are the main things to think about when choosing the best provider for you:
Not all providers and deals are available in every area. Some types of connection are more prevalent across the country than others, so be sure to check the broadband availability in your local area before selecting a broadband package.
- Customer Service
When choosing a broadband deal, good customer service is hugely important as you might need some help and advice from your broadband provider at some point during your contract. For example, if you experience lower than expected speeds or service outages.
In addition to finding a package that suits your budget, be sure to factor in additional setup costs for installation and / or a new router.
- Contract Length
Broadband providers are only allowed to tie you in for a maximum of 24 months, but this is still a significant length of time. Your circumstances and requirements might change during this period and you might end up paying cancellation fees to switch deals early. There are also monthly, 12 months and 18 months contracts available.
You may be able to save money by combining your broadband with a TV or mobile subscription so keep an eye out for bundles.
Many broadband providers offer deals with gift vouchers, tech devices, cashback and other rewards to entice you.
It’s a good idea to ask neighbours and friends who live nearby which broadband they have, and whether they would recommend it. You can also check a comparison site for a list of the best broadband providers in your area. When asking for recommendations, make sure you are asking those who have similar speed requirements as you.
Run a Speed Test
Once you have found a provider that you think is suitable for you and have had it installed, it is important to run a speed test to ensure that you are getting the speeds you were promised. When you enter into a contract with a new broadband provider, there will always be a cooling-off period where you are able to leave without paying any additional exit fees – this is the time to run the speed test and ensure you are happy with the service you have chosen, before the contract comes into effect fully.
How to Compare the Best Broadband Deals
By using comparison websites, you can compare this across multiple providers to see which one suits you best.
We provide the easiest way to find out which broadband packages are available in your local area, as well as a thorough and accurate comparison of the speed and price for each package. We have listed some of the most trusted broadband providers in the UK along with their speeds, packages and all other relevant information you need to know. All you need to do is enter your postal code, select your address and we will do the rest for you.