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Comparing broadband deals: A handy guide

When choosing between broadband packages and providers, it's really important to compare all the options available to you and make sure you're getting the best possible deal. Simplifydigital's handy broadband comparison guide will help you save as much as possible on the right service for your home. You can also call us to switch providers, on 0800 542 4704.

By on August 21, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Guides
Broadband
Comparing broadband deals: A handy guide

To have an expert compare broadband deals for you, call Simplifydigital on 0800 542 4704.

Choosing a broadband deal

Picking the right broadband package can save you up to £252* a year, and keep your family happily browsing away without complications. All you need to do is take a few minutes to compare the available deals in your area, or let an independent comparison service like Simplifydigital make sure that the package you're signing up ticks all the boxes for price, quality and value.

When you've not got much time to find the right package, but you want to do your own research before committing to a deal, it helps to be able to see the best special offers quickly. Simplifydigital provides a last chance broadband offers page, where you'll find this week's best packages that are ending soon, as often these can offer some of the deepest discounts or best rewards.

Quick start info:

If you're ready to jump right in and compare broadband deals, call our free Switching Service on 0800 542 4704 or pop your postcode into our Ofcom-accredited Price Comparison Calculator:

How do I choose a broadband package?

By price

One of the most important factors when choosing a broadband service, is how much money it will save you over time. There are two main expenses when it comes to broadband:

  • The broadband service itself - this is how much you are paying your ISP to provide an internet connection to your property.
  • Line rental - this is the amount you pay to rent a landline from your ISP, in order for them to supply telephone and broadband to your home.

View cheap broadband packages

Often, line rental is far more expensive than broadband on its own. Unless you have cable broadband from Virgin Media, or satellite broadband from a provider like Astra Connect, unfortunately line rental is pretty much still essential with most providers, even when you opt for superfast broadband. A good tip is to pay your line rental up front, as most ISPs offer significant discounts if you pay the annual amount in one go, rather than in monthly installments.

By speed

There are two main types of home broadband services widely available in the UK, with significantly different "up to" speeds:

  • ADSL broadband - this is the older generation of broadband that works via your copper telephone wiring, it is normally limited to around 16Mbps maximum speeds.
  • Fibre broadband - most UK ISPs now offer superfast fibre broadband services, which suffer less interference than ADSL and can carry signals over vaster distances, with greater bandwidth. You can send and receive a lot more data because the connection speed is a lot faster. Top fibre optic broadband packages can supply you with speeds as quick as 120Mbps.

    Fibre broadband availability varies by property - to check if you can get fibre for your household, call Simplifydigital's free Switching Service, or check with your ISP.

View fibre broadband packages

By availability

If you live in a rural area, fibre and standard ADSL broadband may not be available. Or, your predicted speeds may be so low, that you wish to consider other options. In this case, your two main options are:

  • Mobile broadband - available via a mobile broadband "dongle" USB stick that you can easily connect to your computer or laptop, or by "tethering" your mobile device to Wi-Fi enabled device like a laptop or PC. Standard 3G mobile broadband deals are often available with unlimited data, depending on how much you're happy to pay, but the newer 4G standard, which provides faster speeds and better reliability, usually carries data restrictions.
  • Satellite broadband - supplies broadband via a satellite dish on the side of your house, sometimes the only option for internet in remote and isolated locations.While speeds are improving, they are still usually somewhat slower than standard home options, and most satellite broadband packages do carry monthly usage limits. Installation can also be a costly affair. Astra Connect is one of the only satellite broadband providers to offer unlimited data packages, up to 20Mb download speeds and rent-to-own schemes that help you balance the cost of your equipment.

View satellite broadband packages from Astra Connect

Why are broadband deals dependent on area?

  • Cable/fibre optic internet services are slowly being rolled out across the UK, but because this involves an engineer manually changing wiring and installing cabinets, ISPs are investing in large, densely populated areas first. If you live in a rural area or smaller town, fibre might not yet be available
  • ISPs purchase or lease the lines for standard broadband or the cables for fibre optic broadband from BT. If there is no commercial agreement between BT and your preferred ISP in your area, they will not be able to provide you with the deal you wanted and prices may be higher to reflect the additional cost of supplying the service
  • If you live in a rural area, most ISPs are unable to supply ADSL or fibre/cable broadband services because of the distance between your house and the nearest exchange or cabinet. Take a look at our guide to rural broadband and learn more about your options

What if I can't get the broadband deal I want in my area?

Fibre not available for your property yet, or no ADSL broadband option from your preferred supplier? If you can't get the exact deal or ISP you want in your area, here are some top tips to help you find an alternative:

  • Pick a broadband deal that's cost effective - cheap is great, as long as you're getting the internet speeds and download allowance you need to enjoy all your regular online activities without lags or service interruptions
  • Understand all the costs - sometimes deals are advertised as having 'half price' or 'free' broadband, but because they carry line rental fees or up front costs, or the discount runs out half way through your contract, it is actually less cost effective than you think. Make sure you are aware of any 'hidden costs', sometimes these might be unexpected, like paying postage on a router, or paying an installation fee, so ask your ISP for a full cost breakdown before committing
  • Bundle your services - the best way to save is to get all your digital services from one ISP, reducing your bills and providing you with extra benefits, so take a look at the broadband bundles available in your area, rather than just broadband only deals

Call Simplifydigital

Still not sure which broadband deal to choose? Call Simplifydigital on 0800 542 4704. We are Ofcom-accredited and can help you to find the perfect broadband package in minutes. We will compare over 11,000 deals and recommend the best package based on where you live, what you want to pay, and what you're looking to get out of your new broadband connection.

We hope this handy guide has helped you pick the perfect broadband service for your home. Remember we're always here to help, and happy internetting!

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