Our favourite cheap broadband deals this week:
TalkTalk Fast Broadband | 12 month contract | 11Mb average speed | Line rental inc. | FREE upfront | £17 per month
There's a lot to love with this offer from TalkTalk. Whether that's the lack of upfront costs or the affordable monthly costs. Average speeds of 11Mb means you won't have to face speeds lower than average and TalkTalk has no data caps, meaning you can stream and search to your hearts content.
Now Brilliant Broadband | 12 months | 11Mb average speed | Line rental incl. | FREE upfront | £18 per month
Now Broadband is always competitive when it comes to purely cheap internet. That's standard. But what makes it stand out is the add-ons that make it even better. For example, adding a Sky Entertainment Pass only costs an extra fiver a month, which gives you over 300 box sets and access to Sky Atlantic (which also means Game of Thrones. And a further pound fives you Sky Cinema, instead.
Vodafone Superfast 1 | 18 months | Avg speeds 35Mb | Line rental incl. | FREE activation | £21pm
When it comes to fibre, this is about as affordable as it gets. Coming in at £21 each month, there is very few packages that can beat for price. With speeds of 35Mb and no activation fees - there is a lot to love about this offer.
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, cheap broadband only deals are all you'll need.
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 - cheap broadband doesn't have to mean a bad deal as 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 internet plans generally and the broadband only deals offered by BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and others.
- Check your internet speed with Techradar's broadband speed test
What broadband speed do I need?
If you simply want cheap broadband for the lowest 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. And falling prices mean that it's now possible to get cheap broadband only deals that also offer up more than ADSL speeds - welcome to low-cost fibre broadband.
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 plans 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.
John Lewis broadband plans 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 plans 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 offers 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.