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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.

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