All about cheap broadband deals
Broadband doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you’ll find a vast choice of cheap broadband offers which can help to reduce your monthly outgoings.
What are the cheapest broadband deals in May 2022?
For the week beginning the 23rd of May 2022, these are the best broadband deals you’ll find on Broadband Genie.
This is simply the cheapest deal on Broadband Genie without taking into consideration any other factors.
We calculate this (and all the deals below) on 'effective monthly cost', which takes the value of any rewards off the monthly price.
- 10Mb average speed
- £18.99/month for 12 months
- £0 setup
- Free gift: £75 Reward Card
- Effective monthly cost: £12.74
- Offer ends 1st of June 2022
Cheapest fibre deal (35Mb+)
We generally recommend fibre optic as the best option for the majority of homes. This will allow you to take advantage of everything the internet has to offer without running into problems with the speed that could ruin the experience.
Below you'll find the best offer available for entry-level fibre optic. With superfast fibre broadband speeds of ~35Mb, these are suitable for small households/medium usage (2-3 devices streaming, gaming or downloading simultaneously).
- 38Mb average speed
- £21.99/month for 18 months
- £0 setup
- Free gift: £100 Amazon voucher
- Effective monthly cost: £16.43
- Offer ends 5th of June 2022
Cheapest faster fibre deal (65Mb+)
This level of download speed is most suitable for a medium to heavy usage household (i.e. 3-4+ devices simultaneously gaming/streaming/downloading).
Exclusive: Vodafone Superfast 2 + £80 reward
- 67Mb average speed
- £22/month for 24 months
- £0 setup
- Free gift: £80 reward of your choice (Amazon, Tesco, or M&S)
- Effective monthly cost: £18.67
- Offer ends 29th of May 2022
Cheapest ultrafast broadband deal
Ultrafast broadband is rarely cheap, but in terms of bang for your buck, it can offer great value.
Availability can be far more limited, so we'd recommend you pay a visit to our full-fibre deals page and enter your postcode to see what's available.
Which are the cheapest broadband providers?
The following providers are usually the cheapest on Broadband Genie; all offer broadband packages from under £25 per month.
- iTalk. iTalk offers unlimited broadband starting from just under £20 per month.
- NOW Broadband. NOW is a great value provider which offers flexible broadband and TV bundles, using TV passes that give you access to premium Sky channels without a satellite dish.
- Plusnet. As well as being inexpensive, and offering great rewards and cashback, Plusnet has a good reputation for technical support and customer service.
- Shell Energy Broadband. Cheap broadband with free setup, and includes a reward program and savings on fuel at Shell stations.
- TalkTalk. The most popular budget broadband provider in the UK. Offers very cheap WiFi with free setup and regularly includes free gifts and rewards too.
- Vodafone. They only supply fibre deals, but Vodafone's prices are some of the best out there and they tend to offer amazing rewards.
What to look out for when buying cheap WiFi
While getting the cheapest broadband deal may be beneficial for your bank balance, there are some things you need to look out for to ensure you’re getting a good deal, and that it doesn’t end up costing more than you expect.
A low monthly cost
It goes without saying, a low monthly cost is a great place to start when you're looking for a great value deal. Expect ADSL to start at around £15-16, 35Mb fibre around £20-22 and 66Mb fibre at around £25.
Always go unlimited
Unlimited broadband is always the best type of broadband. While you might still find some cheap data-capped packages, this is no longer the money-saver it once was. Unlimited broadband is now readily available and very affordable.
If you exceed the limit on a data-capped service, you might end up being charged extra, eliminating any potential savings. Unlimited broadband means you never have to worry about additional internet costs.
Do keep an eye on your provider's traffic management and fair usage policies to ensure you don't face slower internet speeds at peak times — or even extra fees — if your usage is deemed 'excessive'.
Get the speed you need
The cheapest deals will almost always be standard broadband (ADSL), which has an average download speed of 10-11Mb. This might be fine for one person, or maybe two people just browsing, shopping or using social media, but it's not fast by today’s standards.
For what is quite often a minimal price increase (if at all), entry-level fibre (~35Mb-50Mb) is the right option if you're going to have multiple (2-3) devices streaming Netflix, video calling, or gaming on the same broadband connection.
If you've got 4-5 heavy users, then faster fibre speeds (around 65Mb) are your best bet. If you've got even more devices than that, then it's worth looking at 100Mb+ and FTTP deals, although these won't be as cheap!
Upfront costs and hidden fees: Installation, equipment and delivery
Most cheap broadband deals have no setup fee, but not all of them. This is a fairly minor expense in the grand scheme of things but is still something to check when comparing offers.
Setups fees can include the following:
You may be charged upfront for installation, or particularly in the case of broadband and TV, to cover equipment such as routers and TV boxes. We show these fees as part of the overall 'Set-up cost'.
Some providers will charge a small fee for the delivery of your router and any other equipment. We also show these fees as part of the overall 'Set-up cost'.
It's worth noting providers will frequently offer free installation, delivery, and equipment.
Also, if the broadband needs a phone line and you don’t already have an active line there will be a charge for installation and activation, even if the deal includes free setup.
The cost varies between providers but can be more than £100. This happens in a very small minority of cases, but we are unable to display these fees on Broadband Genie. Your provider will tell you when joining if there is a charge for line installation.
First month upfront
It is standard practice for a provider to charge you your first month's payment in advance, although this is not always the case.
Read more on our broadband with no upfront costs page.
Are there exit fees?
You will almost always have to pay something for the early termination of a contract, however, a few providers also charge an exit fee regardless of your contract term. Check the small print or speak to customer services to see whether this applies.
Also, be aware that some providers ask for the return of Wi-Fi routers and TV boxes, and will charge if you don’t send the equipment back within a specified timeframe.
To find a provider's exit fees, find your provider in our cancellation guide and click through to their dedicated cancellation page.
Can the provider increase prices mid-contract?
Providers are allowed to raise prices even if you’re in the middle of your broadband contract. But some ISPs offer fixed price guarantees, which means you won’t encounter any surprise price rises in the monthly broadband bill.
Could a reward deal be better value?
Check out the offers in our broadband comparison table and you’ll almost always find a deal that includes a free gift.
This can include prepaid credit cards (also known as reward cards), shopping vouchers, cashback, and even free TVs and other gadgets.
When you take the value of these freebies into account it might make some deals cheaper than packages that have a lower monthly fee.
Add up the total cost of the package over the length of the contract and deduct the value of the freebie to see which offers you the best value for money.
Our price comparison tables include an 'effective monthly cost' calculation which does this for you.
This is an interesting consideration: A 12-month contract can mean you can negotiate/switch/get a new deal (and possibly another reward) earlier. However, if you get a great monthly price, an 18 or 24-month contract can lock in your great deal for longer!
A shorter contract can also mean a lower 'effective monthly cost', as the reward is split across fewer months and means a bigger monthly reduction!
Standard contracts tend to start at 12-18 months as a minimum. You can also get one, three and six-month deals. While these can save you money if you definitely only need broadband for that time, they tend to cost more per month and have high (often £50+) set-up fees.
Can you save money with a broadband bundle?
Broadband deals that combine internet access alongside other services such as TV packages, home phone (i.e. free weekend, evening or anytime calls packages), and mobile phone plans can be an easy way to save a little extra.
This will often work out to be slightly cheaper than maintaining separate subscriptions, and it also simplifies your monthly bill as you're paying one company for multiple services. You may also benefit from free extras too.
Is broadband without line rental cheaper?
The majority of home broadband services use the Openreach (BT line) telephone network, and an active landline is required for this to work. As such, almost all broadband services include phone line rental.
One notable exception is Virgin Media, which operates its own network. You need a Virgin cable line, but you do not have to take phone services.
However, this won’t necessarily save money because Virgin tends to be at the pricier end of the market, and often its broadband only deals are more expensive than the broadband and phone bundles.
You can also get home broadband without a landline with a Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) provider such as Hyperoptic. This needs a fibre optic cable, but phone calls are an optional extra.
If you don't use the phone for calls but you are required to get a phone line for broadband, then look for a deal without inclusive calling, as this may be cheaper.
On the other hand, if you regularly use the phone you'll find that an inclusive calling package offers the best value.
Top tips for getting a cheaper broadband deal
Check if you’re out of contract
Millions of people simply let their WiFi contract lapse and never look at what else is out there. As a result, you might be paying more than necessary, often because prices can increase at the end of a contract once a special offer has expired, but also because costs tend to go up annually.
But switching is easy so there’s really no need to pay more than necessary.
Check with your provider to find out when your contract ends; if you’re no longer within the minimum term then you are free to find a better deal.
If you’re still in contract, make a note of the end date so you know when it’s time to start the search for a cheaper package.
Haggle with your current provider
New customer deals are often the best in the market, but that's not always the case. Sometimes you can get a better price with your current ISP by telling the provider you’re thinking of leaving and asking if they can offer you a new deal to stay.
Don't be afraid to go as far as saying you've found a new deal and cancelling, or even starting to switch to someone else. We've heard plenty of stories of providers offering fantastic deals once they see you leaving.
Compare the latest offers
Use the Broadband Genie comparison tables to find the best deal. Start by entering a postcode to see what’s available in your area. Use the filters to narrow down options, then sort the table by key criteria such as contract length and monthly price.
Compare the effective monthly cost
When you’re looking through all those great broadband offers, add up the overall cost of the package including setup fees, deduct any special offers, and divide it by the length of the contract to get an effective monthly cost.
But you don't need to do the sums yourself; you can sort our comparison tables by effective monthly cost to instantly see which ISPs are offering the best deals.
Frequently Asked Questions about cheap broadband
What is the cheapest broadband deal?
We've listed some of the cheapest deals right here.
But deals change all the time, so use the Broadband Genie comparison table and check out the latest offers. Use our table sorting options and filters to speed up your search.
The cheapest type of broadband is usually ADSL. However, this isn't always the case. Some fibre deals run it very close in terms of monthly price and offer much better value with the additional speed.
Can I get cheap fibre broadband deals?
Yes! Quite often, entry-level fibre (~35Mb) costs only a small amount more than ADSL broadband. If there is any at all, this extra cost is almost always worth it!
Can I get a cheap deal from Sky, BT, and Virgin Media?
BT, Sky, and Virgin Media are three of the most popular providers, but when you’re looking at the cheapest deals they won’t tend to show up because they do have higher monthly prices than some other ISPs.
But these providers do regularly have free gifts which can make their deals extremely good value. Check out our guides to BT rewards, Sky rewards, and Virgin rewards to see what’s on offer at the moment.
Is cheap broadband unreliable?
The cheapest broadband providers use the same underlying infrastructure as almost everyone else, so there is no major difference in reliability.
In the case of network problems, any Openreach-based ISP (that is, one that uses BT telephone lines) will rely on the same Openreach engineers to fix problems.
Similarly, even if you get a cheap broadband deal, you should still get a reliable router. All the routers supplied by providers are perfectly fine for most domestic requirements. Some providers such as Plusnet offer a slightly lower spec router on ADSL deals, but again this should not impact your experience too much.
Can you get a cheap broadband package with bad credit?
NOW Broadband, Plusnet, and Direct Save Telecom all offer cheap broadband without a credit check.
Read our guide to getting broadband when you have bad credit for more help.
Can you get cheaper packages if you're on benefits or a low income?
Yes, technically. Although the best value standard packages are often the best deals you'll find across the whole of the market. You can find out more in our guide to broadband for people on benefits.
Do cheap broadband providers offer worse service?
Cheap broadband doesn't mean bad service by any stretch of the imagination. Ofcom data reveals that, of the major providers, none offer truly terrible customer service. Data that is backed up by our home broadband survey.
Does it cost less to buy broadband with a data limit?
There’s often no advantage to choosing broadband with a data limit; generally, the cheap deals you’ll find on Broadband Genie include unlimited data.
Even if you do find a very cheap deal with a data limit we would not recommend it because unlimited broadband lets you use the internet however you like without ever worrying about additional costs or restrictions.
Are there any alternatives to cheap home broadband?
Your best option might be to consider 4G or 5G mobile home broadband. This is rarely cheaper than fixed-line broadband, although it might be an option in a rural area where alternative options are limited. You can read more about this in our guide to using mobile broadband at home
While the cheapest broadband deals are less likely to include free gifts such as vouchers you can still find cheap broadband with rewards. For example, Post Office and Plusnet regularly offer free gifts on its cheap broadband.
Visit our broadband rewards page for the latest offers.