Having a fast, reliable internet connection is essential for most homes, but don’t pay over the odds. Rather than sticking with the same provider, it’s well worth shopping around and switching if necessary to get a better deal. And that’s why you’re here of course.
If you’re wondering why we’ve included mobile operators such as Vodafone and EE, it’s because they offer home broadband as well as mobile data. They’re completely separate things: you don’t need to have an EE or Vodafone SIM in your phone to get home broadband from either of them, but there are often perks or extra discounts available if you’re on a pay monthly contract with the same provider. Generally, pay-as-you-go customers don’t get better deals.
Below, you’ll find a list of the best deals available this month. Our pick, though, is Virgin Media’s M100 plan. This offers average download speeds of 108Mbps and this deal – an 18-month contract – is £20 per month cheaper than the usual price of £51 per month.
The only extra to pay is a setup fee of £35.
For only £6 more per month, you instead could opt for the M200 package. As you might guess, that has average download speeds of 200Mbps (213 to be exact) and twice the upload speeds – 20Mbps versus 10Mbps.
Best broadband deals for September 2022
Here are all the best deals available this month. Bear in mind that you can’t simply pick the one you like most. First, you need to check if the service is available at your address. Coverage can vary in the same town or city. In fact, the speeds and providers available will depend upon the exact street you live on.
That’s why you’ll need to enter your postcode and click ‘Check availability’ to see which which offers apply to you.
Some of the fastest broadband plans require a fibre-optic connection to your property. Providers call this ‘full fibre’, as opposed to ‘fibre’ which runs only as far as the cabinet in your area.
Full fibre is being rolled out to millions of homes right now, but plenty of areas still aren’t connected. Virgin, though, has an extensive cable network which now offers gigabit speeds, so that’s a good option for those who live on streets served by Virgin.
If you can’t get full fibre or Virgin, the lesser fibre broadband may well be available and offers a maximum of around 70-80Mbps, but could be as low as 30Mbps. Most broadband providers offer two packages: one with download speeds around 35Mbps, and the other with 70-80Mbps. Often, there’s not much difference in price, so it’s usually better value to opt for the faster package.
If you can’t get fibre at all (or don’t want to pay the extra for it) then you’re looking at ADSL. This will have download speeds of around 20Mbps or slower – in some rural areas it could be as slow as 5Mbps.
The good news is that old line rental charge has been bundled into the monthly broadband price. That means the price you see is the price you pay: no cheeky super-cheap deals with a surprise extra charge of £20-odd per month on your bill. However, don’t assume all broadband plans include a landline: some do not.
If you’re on a low income and need really cheap broadband, you can take advantage of a couple of different plans depending upon where you live. First is BT Home Essentials which costs £15 per month. If you’re in London, take a look at Community Fibre’s Essential broadband. This costs only £12.50 per month, but limits speed to only 10Mbps, whereas BT’s package offers average speeds of 67Mbps and is of course much more widely available. To get, though, you’ll need to prove you’re eligible. But there’s no need for any such checks with Community Fibre.
Where to get broadband deals?
If you want to hunt around yourself for a deal, here are all the major broadband providers in the UK.
It can be difficult to know where to start when comparing deals. Here are a few questions to ask when looking at any deal:
What are the setup / activation fees? Can I get the same speed and monthly cost with cheaper (or free) activation elsewhere? Are the rates for broadband alone, or do they also bundle phone calls and / or TV? Can I save money by bundling other services?Can I get a better deal from my existing provider? It can be worth phoning to see if they will match or beat a deal you’ve seen online.Will faster broadband be a benefit? You’ll need good home Wi-Fi to deliver that fast broadband to all corners of your home. We’ve a full guide on how to make your home network faster
Broadband speed claims guidance
In May 2018, the ASA issued new broadband speed claims guidance that gives a more accurate representation of the speed you can expect from the broadband package you choose.
The change followed research into consumers’ understanding of broadband speed claims, which found that consumers are being misled by advertising from internet service providers (ISPs).
Now, ISPs need to advertise the median download speed measured at peak-time or over 24 hours, or a range of download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users measured at peak time or over 24 hours.
See Ofcom’s broadband speed checking tool to find out your broadband speed.
What’s the best broadband?
uSwitch announced its broadband award winners for 2021, as outlined below:
Broadband Provider of the Year: Plusnet (2020 winner: Now Broadband)Best Triple Play Provider: BT (2020 winner: Sky Broadband)Fastest Broadband: Virgin Media (also won in 2020)TV Provider of the Year: BT (2020 winner: Now Broadband)Best Value Broadband Provider: Plusnet (2020 winner: Now Broadband)Best Provider Customer Service: Plusnet (also won in 2020)Most Popular Broadband Provider: Plusnet (2020 winner: TalkTalk)
Keep in mind this excludes smaller operators like Community Fibre and Hyperoptic which offer even faster speeds (up to 3Gbps). It also excludes rural broadband providers such as Gigaclear.
Business, Internet, Networking