How to Choose the Best Broadband Provider and Package
Where would you be without broadband? Probably round at your mate’s house using theirs!
There are so many deals around that it’s difficult to know where to start if you’re about to switch.
To guide you through the maze and help find a provider that’s reliable and will best meet your needs, here’s a few things to think about.
- How many people will be using it? The more friends and family you have using the connection, the slower it will be.
- If you live with a large tribe, look for a package fast enough to make sure everyone can use it at once such as unlimited fibre optic broadband.
- Share your home with up to four people and an unlimited broadband deal should be right for you.
- If you live alone and are a bit of a lightweight mostly using the internet for email, social media, and browsing, the cheapest packages with a fixed rate of usage will provide the best value for money.
- Broadband speeds basically boil down to two choices – fibre or ADSL (standard) broadband.
- Go for superfast fibre optic if you want to stream TV and video in HD or 4K quality; download large files from file-sharing sites; play video games; live with the aforementioned big tribe who have a lot of gadgets on the go at once; want the most reliable connection.
- Go for standard if you stream video in HD quality; use the internet mostly for emails or checking websites and social media; want the lowest cost package available; or simple can’t get superfast fibre optic in your area.
- If you’re a bit of a Netflix nut or can’t get by without Amazon Prime Instant Video or BBC iPlayer, unlimited usage is an absolute must. Fibre, if you can get it, will also reduce annoying buffering but is not a deal-breaker.
- Most broadband providers throw a home phone package into the mix. If you need one, think about which kind of call plan would work best for you.
- If you use a landline a lot and are at home during the day, upgrade to anytime calls. It will work out cheaper in the longer run.
- Inclusive evening and weekend calls will work better if you’re out at work during the day, and tend only to use your home phone after 7pm.
- If you have friends and family living abroad, you can usually bolt on an international calls package that makes keeping in touch far more affordable.
- If you never use a landline and prefer your mobile, consider a pay-as-you-go package so you’ll only ever be charged for what you need to use.
- Bundling your TV with your broadband is the best way to save money if you want both services. BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Plusnet are the five main providers. Each offer something a little bit different so it’s worth spending time working out which is most appealing to you (and your tribe).
- The broadband prices and packages you can get are dependent mostly on where you live. Some providers like Sky or BT have a very wide footprint whereas TalkTalk or Virgin Media only operate in specific areas.
On a final point, price is obviously the biggie. But don’t be fooled into thinking the cheapest package available is the best for you. Obviously only go for what you can afford, but as a top priority make sure your internet connection is going to be strong and stable and supports the needs of, you guessed it, your whole tribe.