Guide to broadband
With the Internet almost becoming commonplace in every home and a whole host of companies looking to be the one to provide your home connection, the world of home broadband can appear overwhelming. At MoneySupermarket we can provide all the information you need to make sure you get the right deal for you at the best price possible. So with that in mind we have created this guide to help you understand all the aspects of home broadband to enable you to choose the right service for you.
What is broadband?
Broadband is a highspeed connection to the Internet that delivers a faster and easier connection than traditional dialup. Dialup utilises the telephone line and a modem to connect to the Internet and with only very low speeds achievable through this method, broadband came into the forum to offer a highspeed Internet option. The most common connection method used is ADSL which is an upgraded telephone line that is "always on" so there is no need to dial a connection and phone calls can be made whilst the Internet is being used. Broadband can be delivered via a home telephone line, satellite, cable or even a mobile phone. With the ever increasing demand for faster broadband Fibre Optic packages are also becoming available, utilising the latest cable technology Fibre Optic Broadband can deliver speeds up to six times faster than ADSL lines.
With more and more competition within the marketplace providers are offering bundled services such as broadband, TV, Landline and even mobile phone packages at lower prices than buying the products separately to deliver better value for money. Our Broadband Comparison tool will show you all the packages on offer in your area so you can see the best value deals available to you.
What type of usage category you fall into, low, medium or high usage, depends on several factors. Once you have considered these factors finding the right broadband deal for you is a simple process.
Low Internet user:
If you use the Internet infrequently to visit websites, check your email or use Internet banking, then you fit into this category.
A low usage cap will be sufficient as you are unlikely to reach these limits and download speeds will be of low importance as you will not be using the Internet to download music or video files. The very cheapest broadband deals will be a suitable match to your needs, offering great value for money.
Medium Internet user:
If you use the Internet daily for browsing websites, checking email, visiting Social Network sites and occasionally download music or video clips, then you fit into this category.
A moderate download limit should be considered and most broadband providers offer a package tailored to the medium Internet user. If you reach your monthly limit most broadband providers will continue to provide access to the Internet with a small additional charge for each GB of additional usage. Download speeds will be relevant to you but the highest speeds provided will not be needed.
High Internet user:
If you use the Internet extensively each day, browsing for more than a couple of hours, and download or stream music and video on a regular basis, then you fit into this category.
An ideal package for you would include either an unlimited download limit or a usage cap tailored for a heavy user. The Internet speed will be of great importance to you, particularly if you want to use the Internet whilst files are downloading or wish to stream video for a 'live viewing' experience. Considering a broadband package that includes phone, TV or both will provide you with excellent value for money.Click here to find the best broadband deal for you.
With so many broadband packages available and a wide range of providers to choose from it's important to find the right package for you. Here is a simple breakdown of what is available for you:
Bundled package or broadband only?
Many providers offer extra services in addition to delivering your Internet connection. However if you are happy with your current phone or TV package or simply want to look at an Internet option only there are plenty of "broadband only" offers available with great value line rentals and fast download speeds. When looking at "broadband only" options it's important to look at all costs including set-up or connection fees.
A "bundled" package delivers home broadband as well as other services such as TV, landline or mobile internet all within one product. The main advantages of a bundled package include better value for money and easy bill payment with multiple services delivered by one provider.
The provision of home broadband and landline services as a package is becoming almost standard and providers continue to add value with free calls and discounted line rentals in a bid to compete for your business.
More and more broadband providers are now offering more than just broadband and landline services with TV packages and even mobile broadband available to add even more value to your home broadband service.
We have searched the UK's top providers to show you the best value deals available for whichever type of package you choose.
With many broadband providers offering more than just an Internet connection there is a huge range of "bundled" packages available to choose from. TV, landline and mobile services can all now be added to your internet package offering a simple one bill system and by combining packages there are savings to be made compared to buying these services individually.
Virgin Media has been offering multiple service packages for some time now and with BT, Sky and many more entering into this sector prices have been driven down to offer you even better value for money. Virgin became the first provider to offer broadband, television, landline and mobile phone service combined into one package.
So can you really save money with bundled packages?
With so many providers trying to get your business providing value for money is one of the key factors to look at when choosing a new broadband package. Price, customer service and connection speed should all be considered and if you do not need all the services provided within the bundle then an alternative offer may be more suitable. A major advantage of these 'bundled" offers is the convenience of paying one bill for various services rather than having several bills to pay each month.
Our Broadband Comparison tool will show you all the offers available in your area including individual or packaged deals so you can choose the right option for you.
When thinking about moving to a new provider there are a number of factors to be considered so we have created this guide to help you when looking to make the move.
The pros and cons of moving to a new deal
Moving to a new deal can seem daunting and with your existing provider not wanting to lose your custom and your new supplier looking to move your service over as quickly as possible. Your current provider may offer you a better deal to stay with them however if you are unhappy with the service or you can save more money by switching then you should continue with the switchover.
Whichever way you choose to go the best thing to do is consider all options and ensure you have all the information to be able to choose the right deal for you. Our broadband comparison tool will show you all the deals available in your area and with the option to sort by monthly cost, download speeds and download limits it's easy to get all the facts and find the best option for you.
Price to pay
There are a number of costs to consider when making the move to another provider or choosing a new package such as installation and equipment costs. If there is no phone line into your home there will be costs for installing one and the modem or router may be chargeable when signing up with a new provider.
Many providers offer free installation and equipment usually with a minimum contract period so you will need to be willing to stay with the provider for a set length of time and leaving within the minimum term can result in termination fees. Short-term contracts can be a great choice if you do not want to commit to 12 months or more but there may be a charge for leaving the provider within the first 12 months of service. A number of providers offer free calls or discounted landline call charges but they may not provide the landline so the phone line rental would still be payable to your existing provider.
Many broadband packages have an internet usage allowance included and exceeding this limit can result in additional charges on your monthly bill and packages with "unlimited" internet usage may have fair usage policies applied to them so it is always worth looking at all the information before making your decision.