Comparing mobile broadband in Exeter
There are two different types of mobile broadband technology in the UK: 3G and 4G.
Our 3G mobile networks have been around for over a decade now and cover more than 90% of the population. 3G has recently been joined by 4G, a new standard that offers faster mobile data speeds. 4G is now offered by all the network operators - Vodafone, O2, EE and Three - with varying levels of coverage across the country.
Generally, 3G is cheaper but not as quick while 4G may be more expensive yet offer much better speeds. However, as 4G becomes more common this is slowly changing. 4G prices are falling and some providers are offering it for no extra charge.
Be aware, however, that if you use a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) they may not offer 4G access even if their network provider has it.
Exeter residents have the option of both 3G and 4G mobile broadband. 3G is a good affordable choice for most users as it now offers good performance at a low cost. Typically a 3G connection will achieve around 5-10Mb, but you can easily get over 10Mb if using something like Three Advanced 3G, which uses the DC-HSDPA standard supported by many smartphones, tablets and dongles.
4G can go much faster, comfortably hitting 20Mb or more. This is the one to go for if you need the best speeds on the move or you want an alternative to a fixed line for home broadband. However, 4G coverage is more limited. It may not be available from all networks in your area, and as you travel around the UK you’ll find it will regularly drop back to 3G.
The first step to finding a great mobile broadband package is checking your coverage. The networks all offer tools to view coverage by place name or postcode, allowing you to see which types of mobile broadband are available and the potential strength of the signal.
Use the logos below to visit each network’s coverage check tool. And for further information on this topic read our guide to mobile broadband coverage.
Comparing home broadband in Exeter
There are currently three main types of fixed line home broadband services available throughout Exeter.
The cheapest and easiest option, ADSL uses the copper telephone lines to provide speeds up to 17Mb. This is a good budget choice for an average user, but busier households or those with more demanding requirements may find its speed too limited. The actual performance of ADSL can vary depending on line quality and your distance from the exchange, so when signing up to a provider make sure they give you an accurate speed estimate.
BT fibre optic
Fibre broadband using the BT Openreach network offers several speed tiers: up to 38Mb, up to 52Mb or up to 76Mb, with upload speeds of up to 20Mb depending on the package. BT fibre is a significant improvement over ADSL, and while this isn’t available to quite as many homes the coverage is now fairly extensive. Prices are a little higher, but it remains affordable with many deals available for under £20. Fibre is offered by numerous providers, including BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Sky and EE.
Virgin Media fibre broadband
Virgin Media is the sole provider on its own fibre network (previously known as cable broadband), and they have what is presently the fastest mass market broadband with speeds up to 200Mb. This makes it a top choice if you want or need the best broadband, but be prepared to pay a little bit more for the privilege. Coverage is more limited than either ADSL or BT fibre, though it’s often found pre-installed in new build blocks of flats.
To quickly find out which services are on offer at your home use the postcode field in our comparison tables to filter providers by availability. Once you’ve narrowed that down use the filter options to sort by key criteria such as speed and data limits. Our home broadband comparisons include broadband only deals, broadband and phone and broadband with TV.