Cheap broadband deals explained
Broadband doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you’ll find a great choice of cheap broadband offers on Broadband Genie that can slash your monthly outgoings.
On this page we'll cover everything you need to know about cheap broadband deals.
What are the cheapest broadband deals right now?
Right now, these are the very cheapest broadband offers you’ll find on Broadband Genie. We've calculated all the costs for this deal on an 'effective monthly cost' basis. This means we take into account the upfront costs, plus the value of any rewards, so you get a true sense of your monthly price.
Cheapest fibre optic deal (35Mb+)
We recommend a minimum of 35Mb fibre optic as the best option for most homes.
Fibre means fast broadband. A movie that takes ages to load, or a video call that freezes, can ruin your online experience, or make working from home very difficult. Fibre allows you to take advantage of everything the internet has to offer, without running into problems with speed.
Here is the current best offer available for entry-level, fibre optic broadband.
This package offers superfast fibre broadband speeds of at least 30Mb. It's suitable for small households who regularly use the internet a lot. We call this ‘medium internet usage’. A good example would be having 2 or 3 devices streaming, gaming or downloading simultaneously.
Need faster fibre for a bigger family or more devices? Look for a 65Mb deal.
Cheapest faster fibre deal (65Mb+)
This level of download speed is ideal for a medium to heavy usage household. Heavy usage means four or more devices gaming, streaming or downloading at the same time.
Cheapest ultrafast broadband deal
Ultrafast broadband (meaning speeds of 100Mb+) is getting cheaper and can offer great value. Here's our best value ultrafast deal:
Ultrafast broadband relies on a network that isn’t always available to everyone in the UK. So, because availability can be far more limited, we recommend enter your address into our deals checker to see what you can get at home:
Broadband Genie deals checker
Which are the cheapest broadband providers?
We’ve put together a list of the providers that usually offer the cheapest deals on Broadband Genie. All of them have broadband packages from under £20 per month.
- NOW Broadband: NOW is a great value provider offering flexible broadband and TV bundles. Plus, it uses TV passes that give access to premium Sky channels, without a satellite dish.
- Plusnet: as well as being inexpensive and offering great rewards with cashback, Plusnet has a good reputation for technical support and customer service.
- Shell Energy Broadband: Shell offers cheap broadband with free setup.
- Sky Broadband: Get Sky 'Superfast' broadband for £25 with no set-up costs. You can regularly snap up a gift card when you sign up too for extra value.
- TalkTalk: This is the most popular broadband provider in the UK for anyone on a tight budget. It offers very cheap Wi-Fi with free setup and regularly includes free gifts and rewards, too.
- Vodafone: Vodafone only supplies fibre deals, but the prices are some of the best out there. It tends to offer great rewards, making this great value for money.
- YouFibre: If you're seeing YouFibre deals when you add your address into our deals checker, you're in luck. Sign up to a speedy package with an average download speed of 150Mb for just £19.99 per month, with no set-up fee. For just a few pounds more, you can get sign up to YouFibre's 900Mb package and not break the £30 mark.
Looking for social tariffs?
If you're receiving benefits such as Universal Credit, Job Seekers Allowance, housing benefit, disability allowance or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you could be eligible for a discounted, social tariff on a broadband package.
Prices for broadband social tariffs are as low as £14 per month.
For more information on the broadband providers who offer social tariffs and how to apply, visit our guide: 'social tariffs and cheaper broadband deals if you're on benefits'.
What to look out for when buying cheap Wi-Fi
Although getting the cheapest broadband deal may be ideal for your bank balance, it has to give you the features you need. We don’t want your internet experience to be stressful. Here are some key things to look out for to make sure you’re getting a good deal for a great price.
A low monthly cost
This is the best place to start when you're looking for a good value deal.
ADSL packages offer the most basic type of broadband, with deals starting at around £18. However, it's pretty slow.
Faster fibre internet deals with 35Mb speeds come in at around £24-30 and is what we recommend as a minimum for most people as you get a lot more speed for the money.
Always go unlimited
All of the deals list on Broadband Genie come with unlimited data, but keep an eye on your provider's traffic management and fair usage policies. You don't want to face slower internet speeds at peak times or extra fees if your usage is deemed 'excessive'.
Get the speed you need
The cheapest deals will almost always be a standard broadband package or ‘ADSL package’. This offers slower internet with an average download speed of 10-11Mb. This might be fine for one person. You might also get away with two people browsing, shopping or using social media. However, even carrying out these basic internet tasks will be a hefty ask for an ADSL deal. Your browsing experience won’t be fast by today’s standards.
Genie tip: For a minimal price increase, you can find entry-level fibre deals with speeds between 35Mb to 50Mb. This is the right option if you're going to have multiple devices streaming Netflix, video calling, or gaming on the same broadband connection.
If you've got four or five heavy users, then faster fibre speeds offering around 65Mb or more are your best bet.
Got even more devices? It's definitely worth looking at 100Mb+ speeds and looking for full fibre/‘FTTP deals’ (fibre to the premises). These won’t be as cheap, but they'll give you an incredibly robust, speedy internet experience.
Earlier, we mentioned ‘effective monthly cost’. This takes into account all upfront costs and hidden fees you might encounter.
Let's break these down, so you know exactly what you’re paying for.
Upfront costs and hidden fees: Installation, equipment and delivery
Luckily, most cheap broadband deals have no setup fee. For those that do have a set-up fee, it usually works out as a minor expense, but it's still something to check when comparing offers.
Set-up fees can include the following:
- Installation or equipment fees: You may be charged upfront for installation or to cover equipment such as routers and TV boxes. On Broadband Genie, we show these fees as part of the overall 'set-up cost'.
- Delivery fees: 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 most providers will offer free installation, delivery, and equipment.
- Line installation: If the broadband you’ve chosen needs a phone line and you don’t already have an active line, there’ll usually be a charge, even if the deal includes free setup. Cost varies between providers but can be more than £100. This happens in a very small number of cases, but we’re 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’s standard practice for a provider to charge your first month's payment in advance, although it’s not always the case.
Read more about how to find a deal that takes this into account on our broadband with no upfront costs page.
Are there exit fees or small print I should watch out for?
All providers have early termination fees, which means you’ll have to pay something if you cancel before the end of the contract. However, a few providers 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, look for your provider in our cancellation guide and click through to their cancellation page.
Can my provider increase prices mid-contract?
Unfortunately, yes. Providers are allowed to raise prices even if you’re in the middle of your broadband contract. Some ISPs (Internet Service Providers) offer fixed price guarantees, which means you won’t encounter any surprise price rises in the monthly broadband bill.
We’d recommend reading the small print to find out which side of the fence your provider lands when it comes to mid-contract price increases.
You can find out more about how this will affect you in 2023 with our guide to broadband price increases.
Could a reward deal be better value?
This really depends how much value a freebie or reward is to you. Check out the offers in our broadband comparison table, and you’ll almost always find a broadband deal that includes a free gift.
This can include prepaid credit cards, also known as reward cards. Plus, 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. This way, you can see which offers the best value for money.
Our price comparison tables include an 'effective monthly cost' calculation which does this for you.
This is something else you’ll need to consider. A 12-month contract often means you can negotiate, switch, or get a new deal or reward earlier. However, if you get a great monthly price, an 18 or 24-month contract can lock into that great deal for longer.
A shorter contract can also mean a lower 'effective monthly cost'. This is because the reward is split across fewer months, so you’ll see 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. These can save you money if you only need broadband for a few months, but they tend to cost more per month and have high set-up fees. Sometimes totting up to £50 or more.
Can you save money with a broadband bundle?
Broadband deals that combine internet access with other services can be an easy way to save more and get a little extra with your money. You’ll find bundles including TV packages, home phone perks with free weekend, evening, or anytime calls packages, plus mobile phone plans.
These bundles often work out to be slightly cheaper than buying separate subscriptions. Plus, it 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. An active landline is required for this to work. This means almost all broadband services include phone line rental.
One notable exception is Virgin Media, which operates its own network. You’ll need a Virgin cable line, but you do not have to take phone services.
You can also get broadband without phone from BT. Like Virgin, this does still require a line, but you are not required to take phone services with these deals.
However, this won’t necessarily save money because Virgin Media tends to be at the pricier end of the market. 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.
Even if you don't use the phone for calls, you will often need to get a phone line for broadband. Look for a deal without inclusive calling, as this might give you a cheaper option.
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
If you’ve let your contract lapse before looking for a different WiFi deal, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re one of millions. Unfortunately, leaving it to the last minute to find a new deal means you’ll end up paying more than you need to.
Why? Well, prices can increase at the end of a contract once a special offer has expired and costs tend to go up every year.
We’re here to make the switch to a new broadband provider easy. Through Broadband Genie, you can find a great deal and avoid paying 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’re free to find a better deal. ‘Minimum term’ means the original length of the contract you signed up for. So, if you signed up for a 12-month package and more than a year has passed, you can leave to find a better deal more easily.
If you’re still in contract, make a note of the end date. ‘In contract’ means you've not come to the end of the original agreement you made. If you signed up for an 18-month package, and it’s only been a year, for example. Set a reminder in your calendar so you know when it’s time to start the search for a cheaper deal.
Haggle with your current provider
Before you’re swayed by a new customer deal you’ve spotted here, it’s always worth getting in touch with your current provider to see what else they could do.
New customer deals are often the best on the market, but that's not always the case. Sometimes you can get a better price with your current ISP by telling them you’re thinking of leaving. Ask if they can offer a new deal that would make it worth your while to stay.
Don't be afraid to say you've found a new deal. You can even go as far as saying you’ve begun the process of switching or cancel your contract for real. We've heard plenty of stories of providers offering fantastic deals once they see you’re really leaving.
Compare the latest offers
Use the Broadband Genie comparison tables to find the best deal.
- Start by entering your address to see what’s available in your area.
- Use the filters to narrow down options.
- Sort the table by key criteria such as contract length and monthly price.
Compare the effective monthly cost
When looking through all those great broadband offers, it pays to know the effective monthly cost. Here’s how we work this out.
- First, add up the overall cost of the package including setup fees.
- Then, deduct any special offers.
- Finally, divide this by the length of the contract and you’ve got your effective monthly cost.
But, as if by magic, on Broadband Genie you don't need to do the sums yourself. Sort our comparison tables by effective monthly cost and you’ll instantly see which ISPs are offering the best deals.
Don't be afraid to switch to an alternative network provider
You don't always have to stick to the big names! There are so many smaller, alternative broadband providers (altnets) out there that may do fantastic deals for your immediate area.
Not only do these often offer very fast, full fibre packages, but prices can be extremely competitive compared to some of the more well-known names.
Also, you'll find many altnets pledge not to raise prices mid-contract, which means you're not going to suddenly end up having to budget more for your broadband.
Visit our guide to altnets for more help and tips.
Frequently asked questions about cheap broadband
What's the cheapest broadband deal?
We've listed some of the cheapest deals right here, but deals change all the time. Use the Broadband Genie comparison table to see the latest offers. We’ve built really useful table sorting options and filters to speed up your search.
The cheapest type of broadband is usually ADSL. This is standard broadband and it operates on a slower network compared to fibre. However, ADSL isn’t always the cheapest on the market. 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 with download speeds of 35Mb costs only slightly more than standard (ADSL) broadband. It’s worth any extra cost for that stress-free Internet browsing experience.
Can I get a cheap deal from Sky, BT, and Virgin Media?
BT, Sky, and Virgin Media are three of the most popular providers. However, you won’t always see their names in the search results when you’re looking at the cheapest deals. That’s because they tend have higher monthly prices than other Internet Service Providers, or ISPs for short.
That said, these big-name providers do regularly offer free gifts. These freebies and extras 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?
There’s no major difference in reliability between cheap broadband deals. Even the cheapest broadband providers use the same network as the big guys. Standard broadband, also called ADSL, has a network that spans the UK. Most internet providers use this same infrastructure. So there is no major difference in reliability.
In the case of network problems, any Openreach-based Internet Service Provider (ISP, for short) will rely on the same Openreach engineers to fix problems. An Openreach network is one that uses BT telephone lines.
Similarly, if you get a cheap broadband deal you should still get a reliable router. All 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. Even this shouldn’t ruin your experience much.
Can you get a cheap broadband package with bad credit?
Can you get cheaper packages if you're on benefits or a low income?
Yes, you can. You can find out all about these in our guide to broadband social tariffs. Although, regardless of your financial circumstance, the best value packages are the same across the board.
Do cheap broadband providers offer worse service?
Cheap broadband doesn't mean bad service. No provider offers truly terrible customer service. Data that is backed up by our home broadband survey.
Are there any alternatives to cheap home broadband?
Your best alternative option might be to consider 4G or 5G mobile home broadband. This is rarely cheaper than fixed-line broadband, although it might be a good choice in a rural area where 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.
Visit our broadband rewards page for the latest offers.
When it comes to cheap broadband deals, Broadband Genie has you covered. We’ve got a great choice of cheap broadband offers here. Plus, we make it simple for you to figure out how much a deal will cost on average every month. So, you know you’re getting the best price.
Take your time to weigh up all the costs with any plan. Broadband with free gifts might be a great add-on, but make sure it really represents the best value for you before committing to a switch.
Check whether you’re out of contract. If you are, get in touch with your existing provider to see if they can sweeten the deal you already have.
Cheap broadband doesn’t mean you sacrifice quality connection. A quick browse on our site will show you there are some great deals to be found with fast fibre packages that won’t break the bank.