There are a range of factors to consider when comparing broadband deals – and it doesn’t just come down to the price.
Availability in your area: It’s important to check which broadband providers offer good connection speeds in your area. Broadband speed will decrease the further it needs to travel, so anyone living in a rural area may find their speeds are lower than quoted. Those living in urban areas, on the other hand, are likely to experience faster speeds. Using a broadband speed checker website is a reliable way to find out how fast your broadband speeds are at your current location.
Cost per month: Once you know a provider operates in your area, you can take a look at how much the broadband costs per month. This will usually be informed by the speed of your internet, what else is packaged into the deal, and how long you take out the contract for. The cheapest isn’t always best – you should take everything into consideration, not just price, before making a decision.
Set-up costs: Alongside monthly costs, you should check to make sure if there are any other additional set-up costs to be aware of.
Contact length: In tandem with cost is contract length. You may be able to get a cheaper deal if you opt for a longer contract. Standard contract lengths tend to be 12, 18 or 24 months long.
Internet speed: The faster your internet speed, the better your loading times, and the more easily you will be able to browse the web. Faster fibre broadband is increasingly becoming available up and down the country, so it is worth checking if it is available in your area.
Download limits: You won’t automatically be able to browse the internet for an unlimited amount of time. Your broadband deal will have a data allowance that will essentially determine how much browsing you can do per month, before you start to incur extra costs. The higher the data allowance, the more browsing you can do. Unlimited data packages are common, but will be more expensive than those with a limit. So, if you are regularly streaming films and albums online, or want to download big games, you’ll need to get a broadband deal with a pretty high data allowance.
Customer service: Hopefully you won’t ever have an issue with your internet connection. But if you do, you will want the customer service on the other end to be good – which isn’t always a given with broadband companies. Using independent review sites like Ofgem can help you gauge real-life customer experience of a broadband provider’s customer service and what they think about the assistance they received.
Telephone and TV packages: While you can buy broadband as a standalone product, it can often come packaged with landline telephone and TV services. Obviously, this can make the overall cost of the deal much more expensive, so consider whether you need everything combined, or if you are just after broadband.
Added perks and benefits: Often you can get a voucher or cashback when taking out a new broadband deal, whether that’s through a price comparison website or via the provider directly. Although you shouldn’t necessarily decide on a broadband provider solely because of the voucher you’ll receive at the start of the contract, it can be a tiebreaker between two similarly priced and speedy deals.