Wondering how you can get the best broadband deal? Take a look at the seven steps below to see how you can save on your monthly cost.
Finding The Best Broadband Deal
None of us would be here without the Internet. Literally. We could now be doing something useful like watching the TV instead of reading this. It has developed so much over the last 20 years that it’s got to the point that it is now close to impossible to live without.
From finding the best deals to ordering food or doing the kid’s homework, I cannot remember the last day I didn’t go online. The broadband companies know how important it is to us and charge accordingly. And figures show that your broadband bill will rise by £234 per year when your contract finishes, so it’s important to look for a good deal.
So here is a seven-step guide to help you along the way in choosing a new provider.
1. What do you need? Broadband or Fibre?
This depends on how much you use the internet and the speeds you receive. Internet speed is measured in Mbps (megabits per second), and the higher the number, the better. The speed you receive will vary on many factors such as to where you live or the quality of your line.
Broadband speed at it’s best, you could receive 18 Mbps which would be enough for a small family who watch videos and browse online. However, this could go down to well under 5 Mbps, which may be okay for a single person watching a video on YouTube with a little bit of loading, but not much else.
Use this handy checker from BT to get an indication of speeds.
So if you have slow speeds or have a large family, then Fibre is the way to go.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Fibre comes at different speeds too and the faster you want, the more you pay. The majority of companies offer two Fibre speeds – typically up to 38 Mbps or an even faster version of 76 Mbps. However, you can find speeds up to 300 Mbps.
76 Mbps will be fine for most families that play games online and watch movies. In fact, 38 Mbps should be enough, although you may find it a little slow during peak periods.
And do you have capped or unlimited? This means the amount you can download per month. If you’re a bigger family with lots of internet use, then always go with unlimited. You’ll find that there many capped packages around anymore, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for. Going over the cap can be very expensive.
And finally… do you need line rental? Some companies now offer broadband without line rental, so if you never use your home phone, this might be an option for you. Take a look at my post whether it provides value for money.
2. Find out the monthly cost
Fortunately, thanks to a ruling from asa, broadband companies must tell you the total monthly cost for broadband. Whereas before they would break costs into different packages to make it harder to understand, for example one price for line rental and another for internet. Now you get just one price.
3. Find out the one-off cost
Most broadband companies charge you a connection fee and a postage fee for your router (whether you want it or not). At the time of writing Plusnet charge just £6.99 as an up-front fee. Conversely, BT (who own Plusnet) can charge up to £59.99 – almost £5 per month extra on a year’s contract!
These fees come and go depending on whether there are any offers on. It’s important to take them into consideration though as there is no point saving £2 per month for a year, if you’re paying a £50 charge.
4. Find out the length of the contract.
Generally, you will be tied in between 12-18 months. However, in recent times I have these contract lengths creeping up to two years. No matter how long your contract is, it’s important to note when your contract ends though, as this is when you can look for a cheaper deal.
Don’t expect your broadband company to tell you when you’re out of contract, as they rarely do.
5. Any other benefits?
Some contracts will give you some added extras for free. For example, BT throws in free weekend calls. However, it’s down to you to decide if they are useful. I never use my home phone to make calls, so it’s never something I consider. They do offer free caller display for a year which is always a bonus.
6. Any cashback deals?
Always, and I mean ALWAYS check cashback sites. The likes of TopCashback and Quidco can offer as much as £150 back. (Find out about cashback sites). This is very important to help you find the best broadband deal. Also, check to see if there are gift cards on offer. Over the last year, BT has offered a free prepaid credit card to new customers, usually worth between £100-£150. TalkTalk has previously offered Love2Shop vouchers and Virgin at the start of 2018 offered a £50 gift card.
7. Where to look for a better broadband deal?
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but price comparison sites are the easiest place to compare deals.
You can take a look at several comparison sites, although I find that most offer similar deals.
All you need to do is enter your postcode and compare.
And a little bit more?
An extra tip for finding the best broadband deal…
If you’re happy with your old router and it’s compatible with your new broadband supplier, then sell the new router you receive. On eBay, you can generally earn anything between £30-£40 for a brand new router, which will easily cover a month’s worth of broadband.
…That’s not quite all either. There is room for a bit of extra negotiation. Let me tell you a story…
Just under two years ago I swapped from BT to TalkTalk. I started the swap around three weeks before the end of my contract, thinking the changeover would happen once I was out of contract. However, I received notification from TalkTalk telling me that the swap would happen on a date two days before my BT contract finished!
I then received an email from BT telling me that because I was terminating my contract early, they would charge me the cost of my router which came to around £90! So I fired off an email to BT that I was shocked about this charge and also called TalkTalk to tell them I wished to change the move date. TalkTalk told me they couldn’t do this, but was willing to give me £50 credit to continue the swap. I accepted this and a few days later received an email from BT apologising for the email they sent and said they were willing to waive the fee.
So after an email and a quick phone call, I was £50 better off. And TalkTalk had no idea if I was telling the truth.
Hopefully, some of these tips will help you find the best broadband deal. Good luck!
Please not that this post contains affiliate links.