The Genie guide to broadband only packages
If you’re looking for a broadband only deal, there are several options you may be thinking of in terms of packages. In the following guide we’ll look at the various tariffs and how to compare them to find the best broadband only deals, then we’ll look at the pros and cons before exploring some of the alternatives you might want to consider.
What is a broadband only deal?
A few years back, a broadband only deal did what it said on the tin: a standalone deal with no phone package, just broadband. For example, you may keep your telephone line with someone such as BT, but have your broadband supplied by Plusnet. However these deals are rarer now and while you’ll find some here, the term has come to cover a broader spectrum of broadband tariffs that are commonly recognised as internet only packages even though they also include phone services.
As TV deals have become increasingly popular, many of our visitors who search for broadband only are actually looking for broadband and landline deals but without a television package.
For this reason you’ll see that many of the broadband deals listed only include a phone service and not other extras, but are not available without the addition of a phone line.
What are your options for broadband only deals?
There are three different types of broadband only deals you’ll find listed on Broadband Genie.
These are internet only options where you pay the supplier for just broadband but an active phone line is still required. This gives you the freedom to choose a different phone company. These are not so common now but still offered by some ISPs, though they can be well hidden if you visit the provider pages directly as they’d really prefer you got a phone line at the same.
Broadband and phone deals
The most common type of home broadband package is broadband with a phone line, where you pay a single provider for both broadband service and phone line rental. This may not be what some of you are after when searching for broadband only, but as we explained above it is the right choice if you’re looking at just broadband deals without extras such as TV.
Broadband without a phone line
These are broadband only services which do not require a phone line. Since most broadband technology needs a phone line they are not common, with Virgin Media the only nationwide provider at this time. Other providers such as Relish and Hyperoptic which offer broadband without a phone are available only in limited locations.
If you compare the overall cost of a typical broadband service with line rental to one of these packages you may find them to be among the cheapest broadband only deals since the line rental often constitutes a fair chunk of the cost.
How to find the best broadband only deals
Broadband comparison is important part of any search for a new internet deal. There are a lot of broadband suppliers vying for your business and it’s a competitive market, so it really pays to do your homework.
When comparing broadband only deals at Broadband Genie we aim to make it easy by presenting all the important stuff clearly so you can filter and sort the many offers and know exactly what you’re signing up for. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing an ISP and it’s not as simple as just opting for the first cheap broadband only deals you see. Here’s what you should look for when shopping for internet only deals.
Monthly price: The monthly cost of the package. If the deal includes a phone line the line rental is included with the broadband in the monthly price.
Contract: The length of your deal. You’ll tend to find the longer deals get you the cheapest prices, but be sure to consider your circumstances before you go for a bargain buy: can you be sure you’ll still want this deal in two years’ time?
Speed: This is the theoretical ‘maximum speed’ of your connection. It’s a good time to point out you should use the ‘postcode’ check box before you compare deals, as not all telephone exchanges are created equal and some deals may not be available in your area.
Data limit: This is the limit on how much data you can download each month before incurring some kind of penalty (normally additional charges for extra data). Many deals now claim to be unlimited, but be sure to read the small print (and traffic shaping guidelines) as some are more ‘unlimited’ than others!
Effective cost: We work out what you’ll actually be paying per month for your broadband throughout the length of your initial deal, taking all the extras and offers into consideration.
Extras: Click offer details to view all the extra information we think you’ll need to know before looking further into a deal. It can be special offer information, such as free months or shopping vouchers, as well as info on call packages, hardware and other goodies. Most broadband packages at least include a free Wi-Fi router.
The positives and negatives of a broadband only deal
Having different providers for your landline and broadband services can give you the best of both worlds in terms of deals, as you can search out exactly what you want from each. However these tariffs are becoming thin on the ground and the positives of going with one provider are tempting.
If you get your broadband and phone from one supplier, you’ll tend to find you get a slightly cheaper overall price for both. Better still, everything is on one monthly bill – while that’s only one customer service and tech support number to remember and contact too.
One thing to remember is that we have two separate networks in the UK: BT Openreach’s original and Virgin Media’s fibre network. If you go with Virgin (and many do, as it has the fastest broadband speeds), you’ll get all your services from them. All the other providers, from Sky and TalkTalk to BT themselves, use the Openreach network.
Again, be sure to use our postcode checker before you start comparing as Virgin and BT have different levels of coverage.
Alternatives to broadband only packages: the temptation of television
Talking of Virgin, your main alternative is to opt for a broadband package that includes a television deal too.
While many of us are happy with Freeview, sports and movie fans will find a lot to like in pay TV – while services such as television on the go (via mobile), pausing real time television and on demand content are all tempting. TV deals normally see an overall reduction in your broadband bill too, so are worth considering.