How to get broadband with no upfront costs
When you’re trying to save money on a broadband deal, one way to cut costs is to choose broadband with no upfront fee. Although the monthly payment is the biggest expense and the figure you’ll want to focus on, getting free setup definitely helps too.
You’ll find that there is plenty of choice when it comes to finding broadband deals with free installation. In the table above are all the deals currently available on Broadband Genie without upfront payment. Use the filters to narrow down the options, and sort the table to prioritise the features which matter most to you. And don’t forget to enter a postcode to show deals available in your area.
Why do some of the deals have setup fees?
You may see that some of the offers listed above do still have a setup fee. This is because broadband deals with no setup fee are not always available so we also list packages with upfront charges of no more than £10.
But deals change all the time so if you don’t see what you’re after right now, check back later for the latest packages to discover what’s available.
Which broadband providers offer deals with no setup fees?
Simply check with following broadband providers, who often offer broadband with free setup:
- EE Broadband. Some EE packages do not have a setup cost. There is a £50 charge if you need a new phone line.
- John Lewis. There is no charge for setup or Wi-Fi router postage with any John Lewis broadband deal. But if a new line is required you will have to pay £49.99.
- Plusnet. You won’t pay setup fees with Plusnet broadband unless you require a new phone line, in which case there’s a £50 charge.
- Post Office. All Post Office packages have free setup. New phone lines cost £60.
- SSE. SSE has no upfront charges on its broadband packages.
- TalkTalk. You won’t find setup fees on most TalkTalk deals, though TalkTalk broadband and TV bundles do include a charge for the TV box.
- Vodafone. You won’t pay for setup with Vodafone fibre broadband unless a phone line is needed - then there is a £60 charge for line installation.
Some other providers have setup fees normally but may offer free installation as part of a special offer.
- BT. BT does cut its setup fees from time to time, though more often you’ll find BT offering free gifts like shopping vouchers and reward cards.
- Sky. Sky might provide free setup for a short period, but it’s also often available with other more valuable free gifts.
- Virgin Media. Virgin Media only offers free setup on rare occasions. It does have higher setup fees than many so this can be a nice bonus, but you might be waiting a while for this deal to show up.
Can I get a broadband and TV deal with no installation fee?
Broadband and TV packages are more likely to have setup fees than other deals because the providers will often charge either a shipping fee or small upfront price for the TV box. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get them.
Some options for broadband and TV with free setup include:
- EE. Some EE broadband packages include an Apple TV box without an upfront cost. However, while the Apple TV is a great streaming device, it doesn’t provide access to Freeview broadcasts.
- NOW Broadband. NOW offers a different kind of TV package. You sign up for a NOW TV pass that provides access to Sky channels, and can then access shows via a web browser, mobile device, smart TV or a dedicated NOW TV streaming device. There is a cost if you pick up a NOW streaming device or NOW pass by itself, but you can also get a NOW Broadband deal with a pass included.
- TalkTalk TV. Some TalkTalk TV and broadband bundles do not have a setup fee. But these tend to only be deals with a basic TalkTalk TV box. This will provide access to the same channels and extra services but will lack the recording feature of more advanced TalkTalk TV boxes (for which you will usually have to pay an upfront charge).
What kind of broadband setup costs could I have to pay?
There are several different fees which may be payable when you sign up for a broadband package. To help you compare deals, Broadband Genie usually bundles them all into one, but if you break it down upfront fees can include the following:
Setup and installation
Some providers use these terms to mean the same thing, others may have slightly different definitions.
Installation: This usually refers to engineer works such as installing a phone line and configuring broadband Wi-Fi routers.
Setup: Covers the administrative expense of signing up a new customer, including the activation of a broadband service, which may not require an engineer to attend the property.
Read the small print carefully so you know what you’re paying - or not paying - for, and check it includes everything needed.
Phone line installation
There is often no cost for phone lines because many homes already have an active phone line, and it’s simply a case of switching to a new provider.
But if you do not already have an active phone line you will usually have to pay an additional fee to have this fitted (or re-enabled, if it was previously deactivated). The cost for this varies widely depending on the provider, from as little as £20 to more than £100. It’s important to note that this charge will often apply even if the broadband package is advertised with free setup.
Some providers charge a small fee for delivering the Wi-Fi router (usually in the region of £5-£10).
TV box delivery
Like the router, there may also be a fee for delivery of a TV box. This might also be a small charge to go toward the cost of the box.
What happened to free broadband deals?
In the past, you may have seen offers such as ‘free broadband for the first six months’. But the catch with these types of deals was that you still had to pay for phone line rental, and this could be several times the price of the broadband.
Providers are no longer permitted to split the cost of phone and broadband, which has put an end to these sorts of special offers.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t still get a very similar deal. Although they may no longer be advertised as free there are still plenty of broadband deals where the cost is discounted for anything from a few months to the entire length of the contract. When taking line rental into account they work out to be very similar to the old free broadband deals. These may not be “free” but they are effectively the same thing as the old offers, and can still save a substantial amount over the regular price. You can find out more about this in our guide to free broadband.
Frequently Asked Questions about broadband with free setup
Will I get a router with free installation broadband deals?
Almost all broadband deals come with a free Wi-Fi router, and that includes deals with free setup. If there is a cost for the router we will include it in the setup costs column on our comparison table, and mention it in the offer details.
How do I get cheap broadband?
Begin by entering your postcode into our comparison table to see what’s available in your area. You can then sort the results by monthly price to quickly see the cheapest prices. But also pay attention to special offers with free rewards, because these can add a lot of value and make the effective monthly price (the overall cost of the package over the length of the contract including the free gift) cheaper than other deals.
For more help see our guide to cheap broadband.
Can I get broadband with free installation if I have bad credit?
Getting broadband when you have bad credit can be tricky because some providers may not accept you. However, you can get broadband without a credit check from Direct Save Telecom, NOW Broadband, and Plusnet, all of which also offer free setup deals.
Read our guide to broadband without a credit check for further help.
How long does broadband installation take?
Broadband installation typically takes around 14 days from the time you sign up for the service. It can be longer if the provider or engineers are very busy, or if there is an unexpected issue which requires more work.
Can you get fibre broadband with no upfront fees?
Yes! Most of the providers we mentioned above offer fibre optic broadband without setup fees.
Will I have to pay installation fees if I don't have a phone line?
If you do not have a phone line and the service requires a line to operate, there will almost always be an additional fee for phone line installation regardless of whether the provider offers free setup. There are sometimes special offers which waive this cost, but they are rare.
If you want broadband without a phone line, then Virgin Media can provide this service. But as we mentioned above Virgin does usually charge a setup fee.