How to switch broadband providers: a complete guide in 2022

Switch broadband providers
(Image credit: Kittichai Boonpong / EyeEm)

How to switch broadband providers can be a question that fills folk with dread. But the good news is that it need not. Not anymore. Now rules are in place that favour you, meaning it's easier than ever to switch broadband provider.

Whatever the reason for your switch, you no longer need to worry about physical infrastructure, moving of your details between providers or even contract problems, in many cases. 

This is good news as more and more broadband providers are offering faster speeds and better performance than ever. Since you likely want the fastest broadband with the best deal, a switch needs to be an option.

So you've decided to make the switch of broadband provider. Here's what you need to know.

 Why switch broadband provider?

If you want the fastest and most stable broadband connection, for the best price, then you may need to switch provider. That's the simplest reason to move. Of course it could be that you're physically moving home and need to change as your provider isn't available in the new area. 

Or perhaps there's a new service that's just rolled out near you and you want in on that high-speed action. That or maybe you've spotted a great deal that gets you all the speed you need for a far lower price. Yup, the best fibre broadband deals are tough to ignore right now.

But in actuality, the reason most people will be switching is that their contract is simply coming to an end. While you can keep your contract going after its end date, all providers charge increased fees at this point so leaving is for the best.

The best broadband deals can be a reason to move in and of themselves. Some offer lots of extras like phone and TV packages that make the deals too sweet to deny. Indeed you may want a phone line, or be changing TV package, which could also necessitate a broadband change.

Whatever the reason for your need to change broadband provider, fret not as it's done easily. Here's how.

How to switch broadband?

The first step in moving provider is to check that you can leave your current deal. You may be in a contract that requires you to keep paying monthly for a set period of time. In this case you may have the option to buy out early, so even that may not stop you moving. Either way, in this instance, it's a good idea to contact your provider and have a chat – you may end up getting a better deal where you are.

Once you've established you can leave your current provider, you need to find a new deal (you can find the best options at the bottom of this guide). In many cases it's best to go to the provider, pop in your postcode and check if that type of broadband is available where you live. Pick the contract that suits you, ideally getting all the extras you want.

Next, contact the provider you wish to sign-up with. They'll take the work out of letting your current provider know you're moving. That should mean you can leave it with them to sort everything else. The only exception is if you're moving from a cable provider, like Virgin Media, in which case you'll need to contact them to end the deal. Otherwise you should be good to relax and wait for your next broadband deal to kick in.

Luke Edwards

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.