What types of broadband is available for students?

Of course there are no specific student broadband packages, but there are packages which might be more appealing to students given their features. This might be cheap monthly fees, short or rolling contracts, or free hardware.

You can choose between standard ADSL broadband, mobile broadband or even super-fast fibre optic broadband if you can get it. There are also options to bundle in digital TV and phone packages with your broadband, which can actually work out cheaper than broadband alone in some instances.

Whichever you're interested in, you need to think about how you will be using it, whether you will be sharing it and how much you can afford to pay for it.

How to choose a student broadband package

Most rented student accommodation comes with contracts of a year or even less as many students tend to go home during the summer months. For this reason, it may be worth avoiding broadband contracts longer than 12 months.

Shorter broadband contracts sometimes come with higher monthly fees and connection charges, but the convenience of a one month rolling contract might outweigh the extra cost because it can be ideal for students.

There are longer contracts which might entice you in with free laptops or tablets, but if you actually work out the cost of the contract over the entire term, you'll probably find you more than pay for the freebies. That said, if you need a new computer for university and cost isn't too much of an issue, you might prefer the convenience of getting your broadband and computer in one package.

As well as contract terms, you'll need to think about speed and download limits. If you're sharing a connection with other house or flatmates, you're probably going to get through a lot of data, especially if you're streaming video, downloading music or video and using VoIP services like Skype to speak to your family.

The more users there are using one connection, the slower each user's connection will be, so it's probably worth opting for something a little higher to offset this. Similarly, you don't want to get hit by download limits, so it may be worth looking at broadband tariffs with unlimited data allowances.

Be aware that some unlimited download tariffs come with fair usage policies attached, whereas others are truly unlimited.

If you're after a really fast connection and your university accommodation is in a cabled area, you may be able to get speeds of up to 100Mb with a fibre optic connection. Your actual speed will depend on your location though, and fibre optic connections are the most expensive of the lot.

You should also check each tariff's payment method. In most instances it will be via Direct Debit, but there are other payment methods which can carry additional charges. If you're sharing a web connection and paying via Direct Debit, you'll have to agree on whose account payment will be taken and how that person will be reimbursed.

Compare student broadband with MoneySuperMarket

When it comes to internet for students, there are a lot of options and a lot of things to think about – so it's worth talking to your flat or housemates to agree on what you need. If you're getting broadband on your own, think about what you can realistically afford.

Our broadband comparison service covers ADSL, fibre optic and mobile broadband, allowing you to compare tariffs by price, contract term, provider, speed and download limit with just a few clicks.

For more information, read our complete a student broadband guide.

Student Broadband

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How to understand your usage

Your broadband usage, measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB), can be a puzzling subject to fully understand. It's not easy to be truly accurate with how much broadband you're consuming on a monthly basis.

That's why we've cut through the technical jargon by creating three different types of broadband user. Simply match your activities to one of the user types below:

Light users A single user, or perhaps there's two of you, who like to browse the internet, send emails and maybe download a few songs during the evenings and at weekends.
Look for

Packages with 2GB of use or more

Medium users Perhaps you're a small family, or a couple who like to watch iPlayer or catch-up TV a few times a week, on top of the usual website browsing, email sending and occasional Skype calls.
Look for

Packages with 20GB or more

Heavy users You're either a large family or shared household. You like to stream TV or Netflix, perhaps play some online video games and generally enjoy living in a connected world.
Look for

Packages with unlimited usage

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How to understand the different broadband speeds

There are three different types of broadband speeds that are available to you when you take out a new deal. These are ADSL, fibre and superfast fibre.

ADSL

ADSL is broadband that's delivered into your house via a telephone line and used by the majority of households in Britain.

These deals offer speeds of up to 16 megabits per second (Mb). ADSL broadband is generally fast enough for you to stream television without too much buffering or pausing and certainly fast enough for day-to-day internet browsing and emailing.

Fibre

Using fibre optic cables to transfer data, you can achieve speeds of up to 38Mb with a fibre broadband connection.

You will happily watch live TV and play online video games with a fibre broadband connection offering minimal delays or lags.

Superfast fibre

Superfast refers to fibre optic broadband connections with speeds over 38Mb.

You may opt for a superfast fibre broadband connection if you require large downloads delivered to you quickly, or were a regular player of online video games that needed a faster than average connection in order to play seamlessly.

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Compare
Provider
Offer
Package
Speed
Usage
Monthly
 
EE Unlimited Fibre 38mbps and weekend calls Up to 38 Mb per second Unlimited £8 Per month + £11 line rental Go to site
Click to call
Offer: Only available to EE, Orange or T-Mobile customers. 6m half price, then £16 a month. 7 days left.

Package costs

Monthly £16.00
Setup £31.00
Offer  Only available to EE, Orange or T-Mobile customers. 6m half price, then £16 a month.
1st year cost £175.00
Monthly line rental £11.00
1st year inc. line rental £307.00
Contract length 18 months
Line rental requires payment of 12 months upfront by a single debit card payment, otherwise charged at £15.40 per month.
 
EE Unlimited Fibre 76mbps and weekend calls Up to 76 Mb per second Unlimited £13 Per month + £11 line rental Go to site
Click to call
Offer: Only available to EE, Orange or T-Mobile customers. 6m half price, then £26 a month. 7 days left.

Package costs

Monthly £26.00
Setup £31.00
Offer  Only available to EE, Orange or T-Mobile customers. 6m half price, then £26 a month.
1st year cost £265.00
Monthly line rental £11.00
1st year inc. line rental £397.00
Contract length 18 months
Line rental requires payment of 12 months upfront by a single debit card payment, otherwise charged at £15.40 per month.
 
Plusnet Unlimited Fibre with Line Rental Saver Up to 76 Mb per second Unlimited £19.99 Per month + £10.99 line rental Go to site
Click to call
Online exclusive: Pay for 12 months line rental in advance for £131.88.

Package costs

Monthly £19.99
Setup £5.99
Offer  Pay for 12 months line rental in advance for £131.88.
1st year cost £245.87
Monthly line rental £10.99
1st year inc. line rental £377.75
Contract length 18 months
Line rental requires payment of 12 months upfront by a single debit card payment, otherwise charged at £14.50 per month.
 
Plusnet Unlimited Fibre with Phone Up to 76 Mb per second Unlimited £19.99 Per month + £14.50 line rental Go to site
Click to call
 

Package costs

Monthly £19.99
Setup £5.99
1st year cost £245.87
Monthly line rental £14.50
1st year inc. line rental £419.87
Contract length 18 months
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