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How to get the best broadband for holiday homes, second homes, and Airbnb

Do you own a holiday or second home and need broadband access when you visit? Or do you operate a holiday villa, apartment, or Airbnb business and want to offer free Wi-Fi broadband to your guests?

Whatever the situation, there are a few things to consider when choosing broadband for a second home to ensure you get the right service because a standard home broadband deal might not be the best fit.

This guide will show you how to choose the perfect broadband service for second homes, holiday homes, short-term lets, and Airbnb properties.

Broadband options for second homes, holiday homes, and Airbnb

There are a few types of broadband which should suit most kinds of second homes and holiday lets.

Cheap broadband deals

A regular home broadband service on a cheap long-term (12, 18, or 24-month) contract will be a sound option for many second and holiday homes, especially if you are hosting visitors all year round. This includes the choice of very affordable ADSL broadband and faster fibre optic deals.


  • Can be very cheap, with unlimited broadband starting from under £20 per month. 
  • Fast fibre optic broadband can cope with multiple users and demanding activities (streaming, gaming, etc.).
  • Most packages include a free Wi-Fi router. 
  • Huge choice of providers and deals. 
  • Available to the majority of premises using a BT line or Virgin Media cable.


  • You’ll need to sign up for at least 12 months. 
  • Early cancellation can be expensive.
  • Speeds may be poor in rural areas.

Short term or no-contract broadband 

While most fixed-line home broadband requires signing up to a long contract, there are some short term or no-contract (rolling monthly) deals, which can be more appropriate for properties that are not occupied all year round. With these, you can get a similar choice of speeds as a regular broadband service without the long commitment.


  • Choice of ADSL or fibre home broadband. 
  • Cancel at short notice without penalties.
  • Available to the majority of premises using a BT line or Virgin Media cable.


  • Limited choice of providers and deals. 
  • Monthly and setup costs are higher than long-term contracts. 
  • You will need to pay for the Wi-Fi router (or buy your own).

Mobile broadband

If fixed-line broadband is not available or not suitable, then mobile broadband can be an alternative. Crucially, it offers much more flexibility in terms of cost and contracts than other types of broadband.

You can use mobile broadband with a basic USB dongle, easily share the connection with a Wi-Fi dongle, or get a similar experience to a regular home broadband connection by purchasing a Wi-Fi router that supports mobile broadband SIM cards.


  • Flexible contracts - get anything from pay-as-you-go up to long-term deals. 
  • Doesn’t need a phone line.
  • Portable.
  • Can be fast, especially with 5G.
  • Quick and easy to set up.


  • Most deals have a data usage limit.
  • A strong network signal is crucial.
  • Can be unreliable. 
  • May be expensive compared to home broadband.
  • Most packages do not include a Wi-Fi router. 

What’s the best broadband for a second home or holiday home?

The best broadband for your holiday home or second home is going to depend on how frequently the property is occupied.

Short or infrequent stays

If you only visit occasionally or stay for short periods you may be best served by either a no-contract home broadband deal or mobile broadband. 

No-contract broadband does require a phone line and you will need to allow two weeks for it to be set up (and pay installation fees each time). But it will usually provide the best speeds and most reliable connectivity. However, given the installation time and cost involved, this only makes sense if you are staying for at least a month or two at a time.

Dynamic deal panel
Dynamic deal panel

If your stays are short, or you do not want to pay installation fees each time, then consider a mobile broadband deal instead. But you may have to adjust how you use the internet because most deals have a data cap (although there are now some which have unlimited data). It may not be as fast as you used to, either.

And if you need a router that provides both wired and wireless connectivity you will probably have to purchase your own hardware, because most mobile broadband deals will only include a fairly basic Wi-Fi hotspot dongle. 

It’s also crucial to confirm signal strength in the area before buying. Ideally, you will have at least 4G, though a good 3G connection can be acceptable if you do not need fast speeds.

Frequent use

For properties that are frequently occupied a cheap home broadband deal on a contract of at least 12 months will provide the best value for money.

You can get very fast speeds (depending on availability in the area — use our broadband checker to see what's on offer) at a low cost, often with free setup and free gifts

However, depending on how frequently the property is used, it is worth comparing the cost of long and short term deals over a year to see whether it is cheaper to pay for the broadband even when it’s not used versus the cost of a no-contract deal which you cancel at the end of each stay.

If it’s rented out when you’re not staying there you could account for the broadband in the rental fees; deals are available for well under £1 per day so this is a minor expense.

Dynamic deal panel

What’s the best broadband for an Airbnb or holiday let?

The considerations for broadband in a holiday let or Airbnb property are much the same as choosing broadband for a second home.

If your property is let all year round then you should sign up for a long-term contract and take advantage of the lower running costs and up-front fees.

If it’s only hosting visitors at certain times of the year, you may prefer to opt for no-contract or short-term broadband which is cancelled when it's not required.

Unlimited mobile broadband could also be an option if you can’t or don’t want to get fixed-line broadband, but avoid packages with data limits or your guests could rack up enormous bills.

But don’t just go for the cheapest offer available, you should also consider the maximum number of guests who are likely to be staying at any time and select a suitable speed. ADSL broadband with an average speed of 10Mb is okay for a couple of people, but more than that and it could be painfully slow and lead to complaints. Fibre optic broadband isn’t much more expensive and provides significantly quicker speeds. 

Dynamic deal panel

Securing Wi-Fi routers for Airbnb and holiday lets 

As well as choosing the right deal, you will also need to think about Wi-Fi router security. For the safety of you and your guests, it’s important to make sure the broadband is protected against the possibility of strangers interfering with the router.

Hide the router
Guests should not have physical access to the router. Prevent any risk of damage or mischief by locking it away (although do make sure it can still be switched off at the socket in case it needs to be reset).

Set up guest Wi-Fi
Use the guest Wi-Fi feature supported by many routers to create a separate internet connection just for visitors. With guest Wi-Fi, they can get online but will not have access to the rest of your network. It is particularly important to use this feature if you're letting out a room in your home and sharing your own broadband with visitors.

Change the admin password
The router’s control panel is protected by a password. However, the default password can be the same for every router from that brand. Change this to a unique password to prevent unauthorised access to crucial settings.

Regularly check the router settings
Get into the habit of checking the router’s configuration on a regular basis so you know if anything has changed. If it helps, you could take screenshots when it’s initially set up so you can refer to them later.

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