Broadband is becoming increasingly cost-effective throughout the UK, with 65% of premises hooked up to broadband and average speeds having increased by nearly 70% in 2012 alone. If you’re about to switch to broadband, here’s how you can make sure to get the best broadband deals:
When you bundle, you can save nearly twice the cost of buying broadband, home phone, and TV separately.
When you’re weighing up different broadband deals, be careful to read the small print. Although a particular provider may look like it offers a good deal, you may have significant limits on your download allowance. An unlimited download package frees you from worry about exceeding your allowance and incurring penalties. In addition, unlimited download packages often have faster speeds as compared to limited download packages.
If you largely use the Internet at work and only send a few emails or make a few calls whilst at home, many providers offer specific broadband deals structured for evening and weekend users. Be careful, however, because these deals may have hidden charges like extra fees for mobile phone or international calls. Read the small print and then choose the best package at the lowest overall cost based on your average use.
Those so-called ‘free’ extras, such as new customer credits, may look good on the surface, but be careful. These are usually modestly valuable at best, and may be a cover for a service that has slower speeds, higher line rental rates, higher monthly costs and so forth. Ignore those extras, and choose a service that best suits your needs and will provide good value in terms of broadband speed, usability, cost and reliability.
Broadband providers want your business, and will vie hard for new customers to beat out their competitors. Research broadband deals on the Internet and see what’s offered in your area. You can do easier comparisons between providers and packages that way. Interestingly enough, the best deals are usually found on the Internet even so.
Choose a package that offers a connection speed of at least 14 MB, if not higher. You’ll pay a little bit more for a higher speed, but it’s worth it because you will have faster downloads and faster surfing speeds during high peak times, when many users are online at the same time. A guaranteed connection speed of at least 14 MB will prove much less frustrating for you.
Although not an option in every area yet, fibre optic broadband is increasingly available, and is less expensive than you might think. If you have more than one gamer in your household or all go online at the same time, fibre optic will give you the speed you need without you having to suffer through a lot of buffering. These packages also start at just £5, and are well worth it to avoid slow speeds. They also enable speeds of over 100Mb and if you want the fastest speeds available in the UK (according to Ofcom), Virgin Media’s website can be found here.
Before you switch to a broadband provider, make sure you actually can. Most contracts last between a year to 18 months. You may pay a heavy penalty if you try to leave before it’s up. The good news is that if you’re happy with your current provider and want to stay, it may be possible to strike a good broadband deal allowing you to save more money by staying with your current provider and not switching. If you’re not happy with your current provider, just wait out your current contract before switching to a better broadband provider.
Written by: Nathan Morgan has been a technology professional for 16 years and has diverse hands-on experience starting off with a couple of years of mobile phone SMT repair. That was followed by three years as a freelance Visual Basic developer and then a decade dedicated to Linux server security, ecommerce site management and coding in a variety of languages including PHP, SQL and Java.