How can I get cheap broadband?
Choose ADSL, not fibre: If price is the most important factor choose ADSL broadband (which has an average speed of about 10Mb) over fibre optic as it is generally cheaper. However, ADSL is a lot slower and there are some good reasons why it might make sense to pay more for fast broadband.
Look out for discounts: Broadband deals with discounted monthly fees can save you a huge amount of money. Sometimes the discount only lasts a few months, but the best deals offer a saving over the entire length of the contract.
Get free setup: Save a few quid by searching for broadband deals with no up-front costs. Our guide to broadband with no up-front costs holds more information.
Choose the right contract length: If you only need short-term broadband, then you might want to check out flexible deals to avoid getting stuck with a lengthy contract. Similarly, students can find broadband packages just for the student year. You'll also find a few options for broadband without a credit check.
Take advantage of seasonal deals: Like it or loathe it, Black Friday is a great time for broadband deals. It won't pay to hang on to an expensive out-of-contract price for long, but if you do happen to renew around Black Friday then it's a great time to switch. Christmas and New Year can also be a good chance to get cheap broadband.
How do I compare cheap broadband deals?
You can find the cheapest broadband by using the very helpful comparison tools on Broadband Genie! But what should you look for?
Postcode: Enter a postcode to filter out deals that aren’t available in your location.
Monthly price: The monthly price is the fixed cost of the broadband and (if applicable) phone line rental.
Effective cost: Click “Offer details and pricing” on any deal in our comparison table and you’ll find we’ve provided an effective monthly cost, which includes discounts, free gifts (things such as BT Reward Cards or Plusnet Cashback) and extra charges to show exactly how much it will cost over the length of the contract.
Setup cost: Many cheap internet packages have upfront fees, so watch out for these as you compare. Free-setup deals are available though.
Data limit: If you need unlimited broadband, sort deals by this column, or use the filters to only show packages with unlimited data.
Speed: The cheapest deals will be ADSL broadband with an average speed of around 10Mb, so sort from slowest to fastest to view these packages. Or you can use the speed column to identify cheap fibre optic packages with download speeds of around 35Mb.
What do I need to watch out for with cheap internet?
Data limits: Often the cheapest broadband deals have monthly data usage caps. But if you exceed the limit it may result in extra fees which wipe out the savings. Unless your usage is very light we would recommend unlimited broadband.
Support: Some broadband ISPs have a poor reputation when it comes to customer service. Our home broadband survey can show how a provider performs for customer and technical support.
Price after discounts: Discounts on the monthly fee can save a significant sum, but pay attention to the full price after this discount ends to ensure it is still affordable.
Traffic management and fair usage: Many internet providers are now truly unlimited, meaning they have no traffic management or fair usage policy which restricts how the connection is used. Watch out for “restrictions apply” in the comparison table, and check the small print to see if the ISP has a policy which could hinder you.
What is the cheapest home broadband offer right now?
The best way to find the cheapest home broadband offer right now is to use the effective monthly cost. Click the ‘Sort by’ drop-down menu in the comparison table, and select “Effective monthly cost (low to high)”.
Which is the cheapest broadband provider in the UK?
The cheapest broadband provider changes all the time as new offers become available, but typically the lowest prices come from these ISPs:
- TalkTalk: One of the most popular providers in the country, partly because they’re often very cheap. TalkTalk frequently offers discounts for the first year, and free setup.
- Shell Energy: Unlimited broadband and a phone line from less than £20 per month, with no setup fees.
- EE: Cheap monthly costs, free setup, fixed price guarantee and EE will credit you £50 toward early cancellation fees when switching from another provider.
- Vodafone: Very cheap fibre optic broadband as standard, including free setup.
Is the cheapest package always the best?
If price is your only concern then the best broadband package for you will be the cheapest. But if you’re a little more flexible on the cost it’s worth compromising for a couple of reasons.
Speed: While ADSL is the cheapest, fibre optic broadband is significantly faster and not that much more expensive. If you’re regularly downloading large files, streaming high def video, playing games, or sharing the connection, it is worth paying extra.
Unlimited data: We would recommend unlimited broadband in most cases. Many of the cheapest deals are unlimited anyway, and the savings from a data capped service can be easily wiped out by the extra fees if you exceed the limit, something which is very easy to do.
Can I get low cost home broadband that is also fast?
Cheap fibre optic deals are available. Although ADSL broadband can be found for under £20 per month, fast fibre broadband packages are only slightly more, starting from around £25 per month (though there are sometimes even cheaper deals available for a limited time).
How do I get broadband with a cheap setup and connection cost?
Look out for deals in our comparison table with free or very cheap setup. But remember: free setup only applies if you do not need any engineer work to install a line. If you do not already have an active phone line there will almost always be an additional cost.
Will bundling my TV and mobile work out cheaper?
Triple play and quad play deals which include broadband, phone, TV and mobile can offer a saving compared to the cost of purchasing services individually.
If you are already signed up to a mobile network which offers home broadband (and vice versa) it is worth investigating their offers for other services because you may be entitled to a discount.
Will I still get Wi-Fi with my cheap home broadband deal?
The broadband might be cheap but that doesn't mean you'll miss out on all the extras included with other deals. Most cheap broadband deals will give you a free broadband Wi-Fi hub to share the connection around your home. Some providers even include free access to public Wi-Fi hotspots.
How do I make sure my broadband stays cheap?
Some of the cheapest broadband deals are discounted for the initial contract period, and after that ends the price increases to a standard rate. If you want to maintain a low cost be prepared to switch at the end of the contract to take advantage of the deals offered to new customers.
Of course, you can sometimes get a better deal out of your existing provider by telling them you’re leaving, so always try negotiating before moving elsewhere.