Find the best broadband deal for you
Let's face it...shopping for broadband deals is a pain in the proverbial. With internet providers like BT broadband, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk all trying to get your business and all claiming to have the best rates, it can be bewildering to say the least.
And then there's all the different broadband plans you can choose from. Do you need superfast fibre broadband? Should you go for a cheap broadband only deal for less than £20 per month, or add TV and phone plans to your internet package? There are dozens upon dozens of combinations to pick from.
TechRadar's custom-built broadband choosing tool is here to help you decide. Simply pop in your postcode above and we'll give you a list of the cheapest home broadband deals available in your area. From there, you can play with the filters until you've narrowed down the deal for you - it literally takes less than a minute! It's difficult to look past Vodafone and its astonishingly priced £20 per month fibre deal at the moment, but dig deeper and you can get BT broadband with BT Sport and a £125 pre-paid Mastercard at a reasonable rate, too.
And below that, we have some handpicked handpicked favourite deals for fibre (if you can get it), broadband and TV packages and broadband only plans that are really impressing us this month. Keep scrolling down and you'll find our advice on what else you should consider when buying broadband - from the speed you'll need, to whether getting fibre broadband is a must for your household.
- Check your internet speed with TechRadar's broadband speed test tool
Best fibre broadband deals (subject to availability at your postcode)
BT Superfast Fibre Unlimited | 18 months | 50Mb avg speed | Weekend calls | £9.99 delivery | £31.99pm
BT remains the most popular broadband provider around with the not insignificant matter of the £120 pre-paid Mastercard and free activation attracting new customers in their droves. Plus, BT's entry-level Superfast Fibre stands out because of the lightning fast speed that you get - an average 50Mb, which equates to roughly 6MB per second! All you have to pay at the start is a tenner for router delivery. Standard broadband costs £7 less a month. Total cost of 18 months £585.81
Vodafone Superfast 1 | 18 months | 35Mb avg speed | Line rental inc. | FREE activation | £20 per month
More famous for its Vodafone mobile deals, the company has some great prices on broadband, too. In fact, it's the cheapest fibre optic internet provider by some distance with faintly ridiculous £20 per month prices. Ok, so it's recently gone up by a pound per month, but we think it's well worth it because Vodafone now guarantees a minimum speed of 25Mb, or money off your next monthly bill. We like...A LOT. Total cost over 18 months £360
Virgin Media VIVID 50 and Player TV bundle | 12 months | 54Mb avg speed | £20 upfront | £27pm
It may be Virgin Media's least fast broadband, but VIVID 50 is still faster than most entry-level fibre speeds out there. It costs less than £30 per month, which is fantastic, or you can pay a couple of extra quid to add Virgin's Player TV bundle. Only around 60% of the UK can get Virgin broadband though, so use our postcode checker above to see if you qualify. Total cost of 12 months £368
View this broadband deal from Virgin Media - or call 08000-492-102 to order by phone
The best broadband and TV deals in the UK this month
Virgin Media Full House Bundle | 12 months | 108Mb avg speed | Weekend calls | 230+ channels incl. BT Sport | £20 activation fee |
Included in the Full House bundle's 200-odd channels are the likes of MTV, the Disney Channel and the full suite of BT Sport stations. While on the internet side, you get the benefit of pulverising 108Mb average speeds - that should mean seamless 4K streaming and downloads at around 13MB per second. And if you act now, there's a £6 per month discount, too! Total cost for 12 months £608
View this broadband and TV deal from Virgin - or call 08000-492-102 to order.
NOW Brilliant Broadband + Entertainment Pass | 12 months | 10Mb avg speed | 100+ channels | £9.99 router delivery | £22.99pm
NOW Broadband offers some of the cheapest internet rates on the market, and the same applies if you want the provider to cater for both broadband and TV. All you have to pay upfront is a tenner for delivery and the monthly payments are fantastic considering you get access to 300+ box sets and premium channels like Sky Atlantic and Fox. Total cost of 12 months £285.87
Best broadband only deals in the UK this month
POP Broadband | 12 months | 11Mb avg speed | Line rental inc. | FREE activation | £16.80 per month
This is a frankly astonishing price for your home internet connection of the likes we very rarely seen. Your telephone line comes free, or pay an extra fiver a month to get unlimited anytime calls to UK landlines. There's nothing to pay upfront, either. And the cherry on the cake...this price is EXCLUSIVE to TechRadar readers. Total cost of 12 months £201.60
TalkTalk Unlimited Fast Broadband | 12 months | 11Mb avg speed | Line rental inc. | FREE activation |
£18.95 £17 per month (guaranteed)
You can't really knock TalkTalk when it comes to sheer price alone. It was impressing us well enough when the standard ADSL price came down to £18.95 per month. But now they've managed to knock some more of the monthly bills to a rather special £17. Activation is free and TalkTalk's hook is that it guarantees the price, so no unwelcome hikes during the term. Total cost of 12 months £204
Can I order these broadband deals over the phone?
We understand that buying broadband is a big purchase that you're going to be committed to for at least a year. If you feel more comfortable ordering over the phone, we can offer a call centre service - but only for a selected few providers:
- Sky broadband: 08000-142-334
- Virgin broadband: 08000-492-102
- TalkTalk broadband: 08000-492-103
What broadband speed do I need?
Superfast fibre broadband may sound appetising, but it may not be necessary for your home - especially if you want to cut costs. It could be worth considering slower, cheaper ADSL instead.
Broadband speeds are represented in megabits per second, or Mb. Crudely speaking, the more Mbs, the faster the broadband speed. But remember that the advertised speed is the 'average' (more on which below) and doesn't necessarily represent the actual speed you'll end up getting. That varies depending where you live.
0-12Mb This entry-level broadband speed is transmitted via an ADSL connection to your nearest BT exchange. The equivalent to just over 1MB per second, It should be fast enough for small households where only one or two people are using the internet at once. Be aware that if you stream TV, you may experience the odd interruption.
25-50Mb Where Virgin led the way, the rest followed. Now every big provider offers rapid fibre broadband. This is the sweet spot between fast speeds and good value and just the ticket for a family household where four or five members are all streaming, downloading and surfing at once.
50+Mb If you stream 4K TV or have loads of people trying to use your broadband connection at once, then it may be worth shelling out for the extra speed. It may cost you more, but you're pretty much guaranteed lag-free use - plus, the providers often sweeten the deal with added extras and rewards.
What is 'average' speed for broadband?
Since May 2018, the Advertising Standards Authority changed the requirements for how internet providers promote the speed of their service. Instead of 'up to' speeds, they must now give an 'average'.
For these purposes, average means the speed in Mb received by over 50% of their users between the peak usage hours of 8pm and 10pm in the UK. You're not guaranteed that speed though, so double check with the provider exactly what their minimum speed provisions are.
Is fibre broadband available in my area?
There's one very easy way to find out...scroll to the top of this page and input your postcode. We'll tell you straight away whether you can get fast fibre broadband.
Roughly speaking, 90% of UK homes now have the option of connecting to fibre broadband. But if you have your heart on Virgin Media fibre plans, it's more like around 60%.
What contract length should I go for?
Most broadband providers lock you in for at least 12 months, with one year plans being by far the most common. That said, perhaps taking their cue from mobile phone contracts, we are now seeing some providers experimenting with longer plans, with 18 month contracts rearing their heads.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, some providers now offer short term rolling contracts. Virgin Media, for example, have 30 day plans for commitment-phobes. The downside is you'll be expected to play a larger setup fee.
When your contract comes to an end, be prepared for your monthly tariff to be hiked - especially if you were lucky enough to get a great introductory offer at the outset.
Will I have to pay anything upfront for broadband?
Possibly. Sometimes known as 'setup', 'upfront' or 'activation' fees, most of the major broadband providers ask for at least some payment when you kick off your contract, even if it's just to cover the cost of delivering your new router. The amount usually depends on what level of package you go for, but it will likely be somewhere between £10 and £60.
But plenty of providers now bucks the old trend and have scrapped their activation fee completely (TalkTalk for example), while others run frequent promotions where they temporarily scrap their upfront cost.
There may be other added extras, too, however. If you take a broadband and TV package, you might be charged for the TV set-top box - that could be totally worth it if you don't already have a device to pause and record live TV.
Do I have to pay more to have a phone line?
If you still use a home landline to make and receive calls, you're in luck - many broadband plans don't just feature a landline, but they actually include it in your monthly price.
You will have to start paying more though when you have a personalised call plan. You'll see your standard monthly bill begin to escalate when you start adding unlimited evening, daytime or international calls to the mix.