Our favourite cheap broadband deals this week:
Onestream Flow Unlimited Broadband | 12 month contract | 11Mb average speed | Line rental inc. | FREE activation | £9.99 delivery | £13.99 per month
Onestream showing once again that they can compete for the title of cheapest broadband. For just £13.99 a month you can get your hands on this fibre broadband package - that makes it the cheapest in the UK. The only other payment you'll have to make is a £9.99 upfront fee, we're telling you now you won't find better than this. View Deal
Sky Broadband Unlimited | 18 months | 11Mb avg speed | Line rental inc. | £9.95 upfront | £18 per month
Of the big name players in the broadband game, Sky currently beats the likes of Plusnet and TalkTalk to the cheapest monthly bills. Line rental is included, too, so there are no sneaky hidden charges here. You'll be tied in for 18 months, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your circumstances. Total cost of 18 months is £333.95
John Lewis Unlimited Broadband | 12 months | 10Mb avg speed | Line rental inc. | FREE Upfront | £20 per month + £35 John Lewis e-gift card
John Lewis may not have the very cheapest bills this month (although at £20, it's still pretty darn cheap), but the £35 e-gift card it's throwing in with basic broadband is a big incentive to go with this deal.
All of the major players on the telecommunications scene now offer internet, TV and phone package deals. But if you don't use a home phone and are happy with the standard TV channels, a cheap home broadband only contract is all you'll need. And just because Black Friday has now gone, doesn't mean there are no internet bargains to be had - especially with Christmas and New Year offers.
Use our postcode checker above to filter down the broadband deals available to you and whether you can go for superfast fibre broadband. Then use our comparison chart to home in on the perfect package - they all include a phone line, so you don't have to worry about getting one separately. And keep scrolling if you want some in-depth information about broadband plans and the broadband only plans offered by BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and others.
- Test your internet speed with Techradar's broadband speed checker
What broadband speed do I need?
If you simply want broadband for the cheapest price possible, you'll need to go for a standard ADSL connection. When you compare the prices of the cheapest standard speeds and unlimited superfast fibre, you'll see that you can save more than a fiver a month.
But if you're in the habit of streaming TV and films from the internet, or have lots of people in your household all online at once, then it pays to upgrade to fibre optic to allay annoying lags and slow webpage loading times. Broadband speeds are represented in megabits per second, or Mb - the greater the Mb, the faster the broadband speed (although your actual day-to-day speed will vary depending where you live).
0-25Mb It's not an acronym you see so much these days, but ADSL broadband is now the entry-level connection you can get for your home. With average speeds around 10Mb-11Mb - just over 1MB per second - it's perfectly fine for small households who want to surf the web, handle their emails and stream non-4k catch-up TV.
25-50Mb Average fibre broadband speeds start at up to 36Mb, so more than double what you get with standard ADSL. It's 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 want to stream uninterrupted 4K Ultra HD content from Netflix or Amazon Instant Video, then it's well worth going for superfast internet. The same goes if you know that loads of people will be using your router simultaneously. BT Superfast deals, for example, are at an average 50Mb. While only Virgin Media broadband can offer 100Mb and over - that's an incredible 12.5MB per second.
Fibre broadband checker - can I get fibre broadband?
If you've read our advice above but are wondering whether fibre broadband is actually available in your area (it can currently be accessed by around 90% of UK households), then wonder no longer! Head to the top of this page, bash in your postcode and if you see fibre broadband deals on the list, then you're all good.
What contract length should I go for?
Broadband providers can deal in 12, 18 or 24-month contracts, with some providers giving you the choice. If you've got commitment issues or aren't sure how long you'll be at your property, then it's worth bagging one year deal. While getting an 18 month or two year deal often means that your price is guaranteed for longer.
If you need even greater flexibility, some companies offer 30 day contracts as well. Take Virgin for example. But bear in mind that they tend to charge higher set-up fees for the privilege.
Will I have to pay anything upfront for broadband?
There are only a few exceptions to the rule that you'll have to pay at least a little something immediately when you sign-up for broadband. The best case scenario is that it's just to cover the cost of delivering the router, but some providers also charge a set-up or activation fee to get you connected.
But if you head to our comparison charge above and use the filter on the left, you'll see that some providers don't charge a penny up front. This varies from time-to-time, with companies such as BT, TalkTalk and Plusnet running limited-time promotions where they remove these fees completely. So fingers crossed...
Can I get a phone line and TV channels with my broadband?
If you're curious how much a combined broadband, phone and TV package might cost, you can use our filters in the comparison chart above to tailor the best broadband plan for you and your household. There are hundreds of combinations, allowing you to cherry pick the amount and type of TV channels you get or when you can make calls. So our table will take the pain out of choosing.
BT broadband only deals and speeds
BT Unlimited Broadband | Avg 10Mb
BT is still the most popular broadband provider in the UK. You get the Home Hub 4 with its standard internet, as well as a Reward Card that you can spend anywhere Mastercard is accepted (the amount varies from week-to-week, so check our comparison chart for more details).
BT Unlimited Infinity | 50Mb-67Mb
Infinity is the name BT gives to its fibre optic broadband service. Infinity 1 gives speeds of up to 52Mb (around 6.5 MB per second download speed), which is faster than most other companies' entry-level fibre. Upgrade to Infinity 2 and crank the speed up to 76Mb. With both, you get the rangey BT Smart Hub router and a more bountiful Reward Card.
Sky broadband only deals and speeds
Sky Broadband Unlimited | Avg 17Mb
Sky Broadband Unlimited is one of the most competitively priced broadband plans on the market. Unlike the other Sky broadband packages that tie you in to 18 month contracts, Sky Broadband Unlimited is 12 months only.
Sky Fibre Max | Avg 63Mb
Sky used to have a few fibre options but now you only have one choice, Fibre Max. Max will get you an average speed of 63Mb (7.875 MB a second) which is more than sufficient for big families, gaming sessions and streaming.
Virgin broadband only deals and speeds
Virgin VIVID fibre broadband | 50Mb-300Mb
Thanks to the new VIVID 50 package, you can now get Virgin Media's cheapest cable internet package for less than £30. But pay over £30 a month and you start to get some simply extraordinary speeds. Choose from 108Mb (13.5MB per second), 213Mb (26.6MB per second) or 362Mb (a jaw-dropping 45.25MB per second).
TalkTalk broadband only deals and speeds
TalkTalk Fast Broadband | Avg 11Mb
Don't let the name fool you, TalkTalk's fast broadband offers only standard ADSL 17Mb speed. You can choose between 12, 18 and 24 month contract terms, with a lower monthly premium if you choose a year-and-a-half.
TalkTalk Faster Fibre | Avg 39Mb-56Mb
TalkTalk's fibre optic broadband plans are some of the cheapest around. And with its maximum speed of around 9.5MB per second, you can pay extra for Speed Boost and a Super Router - the TalkTalk broadband plan to go for if you have a multitude of data-hungry folk in your home.
Plusnet broadband deals and speeds
Plusnet Unlimited | Avg 10Mb
Plusnet is owned by BT, but its prices are usually quite a lot cheaper than BT internet and Infinity. In fact, we often find that Plusnet has the cheapest broadband only prices in the UK.
Plusnet Unlimited Fibre | Avg 36Mb-66Mb
You can choose between Unlimited Fibre and Unlimited Fibre Extra, where the latter gives you Plusnet's fastest speeds. Either way, you'll get unlimited usage, 365 days a year support and a Plusnet Hub One router delivered to your door for free.
Vodafone broadband deals and speeds
Vodafone Superfast | Avg 35Mb
Better known for its mobile phone deals, Vodafone is a competitively priced broadband provider, too. It used to be that you had to have your mobile with Voda to get the cheapest tariffs, but that's all changed now.
Vodafone Superfast 2 | Avg 63Mb
If Vodafones Superfast 1 package isn't enough for you they also offer a Superfast 2 package which bumps up the speeds a little bit to 63Mb ( 7.875 MB a second) that's pretty fast.
SSE broadband deals and speeds
SSE Unlimited Broadband | Avg 11Mb
Already one of the 'Big Six' energy companies, SSE is offering cheap prices on broadband - which makes a change from its day job as one of the big six energy firms. There are special offers to be had if you use SSE as your energy supplier.
SSE Unlimited Superfast Fibre Broadband | Avg 35Mb
SSE promises zero price hikes during your contract and you can leave for free within 60 days if you are not happy with the service. SSE used to offer only one fibre package but now like many other broadband providers they are offering a Plus option as well.
SSE Unlimited Fibre Plus Broadband | Avg 63Mb
If those 35Mb speeds really don't cut it for you, SSE now offers a Fibre Plus package which gives you a whopping 63MB average speed. That works out at 7.8Mb a second which will easily power you through some heavy streaming sessions.
John Lewis broadband deals and speeds
John Lewis Unlimited | Avg 10Mb
John Lewis is a tried and trusted retailer, and now it's dipping its toe into the already crowded broadband market. But it has a lot going for it - there's no activation fee at all, and even the cheapest ADSL package includes a phone line and evening and weekend calls.
John Lewis Fibre | 36Mb-66Mb
John Lewis has two superfast fibre plans to choose from, and both give you unlimited use and free set-up. Fibre is the retailer's 36Mb tariff and Fibre Extra accelerates things up to 66Mb.
Post Office broadband deals and speeds
Post Office Unlimited Broadband | Avg 11Mb
Yet another name that you'll be more used to seeing in other contexts, and another internet provider giving weekend and evening calls. The Post Office tends to offer some of the cheapest broadband deals around.
Post Office Fibre Unlimited Broadband | Avg 36Mb-63Mb
Yep, you guessed it - 38Mb and 76Mb fibre optic broadband are the two options available from the post office, with the latter called Unlimited Fibre Broadband Plus. Unlike its ADSL prices though, superfast broadband from the Post Office is on the dear side.
Pop Telecom | 18 months | 11Mb avg speed | Line rental inc. | £9.99 activation | £14.99 per month
Pop may not be the best known name on the UK internet market, but you really can't argue with the bills you'll pay for its internet - the provider is the cheapest in the UK right now. It's an 18-month contract though, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your circumstances. Total cost of 18 months £279.81