What's the best broadband in my area?
We know broadband availability can be one of the most frustrating aspects of getting online. Maybe you’ve moved to a new place but found your options are limited. Or you’ve stumbled on a great new broadband offer, only to learn it’s not available in your home.
Broadband Genie is here to make sure you find the very best broadband deals available in your area.
Read on below to find out more, or start comparing offers in your location by entering your address into our deals checker:
Broadband Genie deals checker
But that’s far from consistent across the country. Many towns and cities have multiple providers using different technologies, with variety in speeds and pricing. While other areas still have a very limited selection for a few different reasons. And then there are some lucky people who can get incredible gigabit fibre optic broadband.
With so many options available, from the very fastest broadband to basic ADSL, you have to do your research before signing up to a provider. This is the best way to ensure you get the best broadband deal on the right service. It's especially important when moving to a new area - there’s no guarantee that you can receive the same speeds or even continue to use the same supplier!
Why should I use Broadband Genie's Broadband Checker?
We’ve partnered with local broadband experts Think Broadband, who provide some of the most accurate and up-to-date broadband availability data in the UK, right down to your address.
And once you've used the checker, you'll find some of the very best value broadband deals available on the market – including the many exclusive special offers we work to get you every single week!
What's the cheapest broadband in your area?
The easiest way to compare the cheapest Wi-Fi deals in your area is to use our deals checker and then look at the results by price.
Broadband deals are available from under £20 per month, but you need to make sure that it’s suitable for you in every way. Is the connection fast enough? Does it have a data usage cap? Are you missing out on extra features that might be useful? For example, we suggest almost everyone consider signing up to a fibre deal with an average download speed of at least 35Mb.
Visit our cheap broadband page to compare offers and learn how to get the best deal.
What's the fastest broadband in your area?
Our broadband checker will show the fastest deals in your location.
Superfast broadband is now widely available, with around 98% of UK premises having access to at least 24Mb broadband.
Full fibre speeds are now available to 59% of the country, with Virgin Media's availability also more than 50%. All this means the very fastest speeds are also increasingly likely to be available in your area.
But what exactly is fast broadband, and is it something you need? Read our guide to the UK’s fastest broadband for more information.
You might assume that broadband speeds will be the same everywhere, but you’ll find that it really does depend on your location.
Why does availability differ depending on location?
Broadband coverage tends to be best in urban areas. Networks prioritise areas where there are more people, as installing broadband infrastructure is expensive. So it doesn’t always make sense for them to install new lines or upgrade a connection if it’s only going to serve a few homes.
The BT Openreach network (that powers most major non-Virgin providers) has the widest coverage, reaching nearly all homes, but there are still a few areas where broadband is either very slow or just not available.
The second largest network, Virgin Media, covers around half of premises, but it tends to be concentrated in larger towns and cities.
CityFibre supplies full fibre broadband in areas not served by the Openreach network.
Finally, we're seeing an increasing number of altnets (altnernative networks) popping up. These are smaller, highly-localised full fibre providers, including the likes of:
They can be a great option, with high speeds at really affordable prices.
What is Openreach?
Openreach is the company that maintains the former British Telecom Network used for the majority of broadband and phone services. If a repair or installation is required, it’s Openreach who will send an engineer, not your provider.
More than 650 service providers using the Openreach network. That’s the majority of the UK’s broadband providers. This includes Sky, TalkTalk and BT. The exception to this is Virgin Media - it uses its own, separate cable network.
The UK has a Universal Service Obligation, which means that anyone living in the UK has the right to request a minimum 10Mb broadband connection.
Even then, there are a few places where fixed line access just isn’t an option. There’s a cost threshold for installation, and those in remote locations may have to pay extra or look for alternatives such as wireless broadband or satellite broadband.
For some of you, this isn’t great news, but you will still be able to get broadband in some way or another. In fact, some of the speeds available in rural locations may actually pleasantly surprise you.
Why does broadband speed change in different areas?
As well as the availability, there can also be a difference in speed between areas.
The ADSL and Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) technology used for many broadband services has a maximum range. The further you are from the exchange, the slower the speed. So if you’re at the very end of the line, you’ll find that your internet is slower than those closer to the box.
This is less of an issue in towns and cities, where we may never be far from an exchange. But it could be a problem if you’re in the countryside.
Speed can also be affected by the number of users sharing the network in a given area. This is especially apparent during peak hours when lots of people are online at the same time. If you find your internet is often slower at certain times of day, that’s why.
Which providers have the fastest broadband?
Cheap and available almost everywhere, this is frequently referred to as standard broadband. But it isn’t very fast and there isn’t a big variation in speeds for ADSL deals. All ADSL broadband providers advertise average speeds of 10Mb or 11Mb.
Openreach Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC)
In most areas, FTTC is the fastest fibre optic broadband available using a standard BT telephone line. It’s available from many providers, though the speeds vary to a small degree. The fastest speeds are from BT, which advertises an average 74Mb on the top packages.
Virgin Media fibre
Virgin Media fibre broadband offers average speeds of up to 1.1Gb, using its own network. With Virgin mostly running off its own cables, it can easily reach faster speeds than most other broadband providers. It’s certainly the most easily available of the faster providers.
Fibre to the Premises
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) or full fibre broadband is capable of delivering speeds of 1Gb or more. However, not all homes can get this just yet. If full fibre is available in your area, we’ll show these deals when you use our broadband checker.
Mobile broadband can offer some of the fastest deals where 5G is an option. Fortunately, it’s becoming available in more and more locations. If wired broadband won’t work for you, then this could be a great option. Just check whether you’ll be on 4G or 5G first, and we recommend that you look for an unlimited deal.
In fact, no matter what type of broadband you’re after, you should be checking to see what speeds are available in your area.
How can I check broadband speed in my area?
There are two main ways to check the broadband speed in your area. The first is to focus on the speeds you’re currently getting, and the other will tell you what’s available from other providers.
If you’re curious about what speeds you’re currently getting, you can run a speed test. This tests both your download and upload speeds.
If you want to see what speeds other providers are offering, then we share all that on our deals pages and comparison tables. Each entry will tell you what the average speed offered on that deal is. You’ll only see the advertised download speed, but that’s the figure most people will focus on. Upload speeds only make a difference if you upload files regularly or are streaming on services like Twitch or YouTube.
We recommend fibre broadband to everyone because it’s great value and provides enough speed for most households. A fibre deal with average speeds of around 35Mb is a good starting point, but you might need more if you have a busy home with lots of people.
FAQs about our broadband checker and broadband in your area
How do I use the broadband checker?
To use our broadband deals checker, enter your address into the box at the top of this page. The very best internet package offers in your area will then be shown in the table.
If there aren’t any deals available, we’ll then show you our default pick of the very best deals. While most probably won't be an option, providers can have even more accurate availability data than we do. So if you do like the look of one of these deals, click on the green button and double-check the availability with the provider.
Can I get fibre Wi-Fi at my property?
There can be very rare occasions that, while there may be fibre optic cables in your area, there may be no room in the cabinet for an additional connection. This means you wouldn’t be able to get fibre. Or at least not through an Openreach provider such as BT, TalkTalk, Sky, or Plusnet.
Unfortunately, at this stage, the best way of finding this out is by checking with the providers themselves. If this were to be the case, you might have other options, such as Virgin or FTTP providers that use their own network.
Why can’t I get the fastest broadband in my area?
The highest speeds tend to come through fibre connections. If you can’t get fibre, then, unfortunately, you won’t get the fastest broadband. Always use an address checker to check what the available speeds should be.
How can I get faster broadband?
If you’re struggling with speeds, we’ve got you covered.
Often, the easiest way to get faster broadband is to either switch providers or upgrade with your current provider. If you’re struggling with ADSL broadband, then we’d recommend you try a fibre deal. If you have standard fibre, why not see if you can get full fibre (FTTP)? There’s also Virgin Media, which can provide very fast broadband, and TV too. Whatever you choose, we’re here to get you a great deal, so enter your postcode now and discover what you could get.
If you’re not looking to switch or upgrade, but instead are having problems with your current broadband service, you might first want to try some of our broadband troubleshooting tips.
For those of you who have decent speeds in parts of your house but need faster broadband in other rooms, you can use Wi-Fi boosters to extend the signal. Some providers even include Wi-Fi boosters or mesh Wi-Fi nodes with their deals, or can supply them for a small additional fee.
Can I get Virgin Media in my area?
We've got a checker for that too! Visit our Virgin Media postcode checker to see if Virgin deals are available in your area.
More information about broadband in your area
Want more information about broadband in your town or city? We have dedicated pages to locations all around the UK that go into more detail about home and mobile broadband coverage.
When you’re looking for broadband, we recommend you start with an address check. Our deals checker will show exactly what’s available to you.
If you’re in a city, you should have plenty of options available. You're more likely to have access to FTTP broadband, for example, or perhaps you could even get wireless 5G broadband. Rural broadband can sometimes (but not always) be more limited, so check out our guide to rural internet for more help if you’re struggling to get broadband in the countryside.
Broadband availability is improving across the UK all the time. With an increasing array of options (with services such as more reliable mobile home broadband, for example), there’s definitely hope for all.