Having a good internet connection is more important than ever. Whether you use it for gaming, streaming, or smart home services, we’ll help find the best and cheapest deal for you.
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*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.
Compare the best broadband providers in the UK
At MoneySuperMarket, we let you compare deals from the most popular broadband providers in the UK, including:
- Virgin Media
- NOW Broadband
- Shell Energy
- Cuckoo Broadband
- Vodafone Broadband
- Three mobile broadband
- Fibrus Broadband
- Box Broadband
- Community Fibre
Who provides the best broadband?
To see customer satisfaction levels for all the major broadband providers, check out Ofcom's service ratings.
What is broadband?
Broadband is a type of internet connection that links your devices to the internet so you can do things such as streaming, online shopping or browsing social media.
In the past, the only way to access the internet was through a dial-up connection. But these days, broadband is much, much faster.
What types of broadband are available?
Broadband comes in a variety of forms, and availability depends on where you live.
The most common types of broadband are:
The most basic type of broadband, ADSL broadband – also called standard broadband – uses the same copper wires as your landline phone to deliver an internet connection.
It’s usually the cheapest broadband option, but it’s also the slowest, with speeds around 10-11Mbps.
Instead of the older copper wires used in ADSL, fibre optic broadband uses newer fibre optic cables to deliver your home internet connection. It’s much faster and more reliable than ADSL, and the most basic fibre optic package can sometimes be cheaper than ADSL.
Nowadays, fibre optic broadband is widely available, particularly if you’re looking at speeds around 36-68Mbps. However, ultrafast speeds of 100Mbps and above are not available everywhere – you’ll need to use our postcode checker to see what you can get in your area.
There are two types of fibre optic connection:
- Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) – FTTC uses fibre optic cables to connect your provider to a telephone cabinet in your area, and then copper telephone wires from the cabinet to your home. It’s the most widely available type of fibre optic broadband, with over 90% of UK homes able to get speeds between 36-68Mbps
- Fibre to the premises (FTTP) – Also known as full fibre broadband, FTTP uses fibre optic cables from your provider straight to your home. As a result, it’s much faster than FTTC, with speeds ranging between 100Mbps to over 1Gbps. However, full fibre isn’t that widely available just yet, and it’s more expensive. However, you can use our FTTP deals checker to find out if you have any providers in your area
Read our guide on the difference between FTTC and FTTP broadband.
Mobile broadband is wireless access to the internet over a mobile phone network via 3G, 4G, and 5G. You can wirelessly connect your mobile, tablet or computer using a dongle, USB modem or MiFi that acts as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. As long as you are in an area with coverage, mobile broadband gives you online access on the go.
Satellite broadband uses satellites to connect users to the internet, instead of the usual cables laid under streets. That means it can reach locations that aren’t well served by phone lines and traditional cabling. It’s more expensive than normal broadband, and usually comes with data limits.
Cable broadband is a fibre broadband connection – but instead of using BT’s copper wiring to connect your home to the local cabinet, it uses Virgin Media’s coaxial cables. It’s not as commonly available as ADSL broadband, which uses the copper wiring infrastructure, but it’s generally faster.
Where you live plays a big part in how reliable your broadband connection will be. ADSL broadband and FTTC broadband are available to most of the UK, while FTTP broadband is currently mostly limited to large towns and cities.
What broadband packages are available to you really depends on where you live. To find out what’s available and start comparing the best deals, enter your postcode below.
What other services can you get with broadband?
Many providers also offer other services alongside broadband, including home phone and/or television packages.
What’s more, providers often offer discounts or incentives when you bundle multiple services together. So, if you’re thinking of getting a phone or TV plan, it can be well worth getting it with your broadband.
It’s always worth comparing your choices – here are some common bundles you can get:
Keep in mind that many broadband tariffs come with a landline and ‘pay as you go’ calls already included, as ADSL and cable broadband connections are delivered through telephone lines.
Is it cheaper to bundle my services?
You’ll find managing your bills a lot more convenient, too – you’ll only have one easy-to-manage bill to deal with, and one point of contact if you need help.
How do I choose which broadband deal is best for me?
Whether you’re looking for a broadband deal for the first time, or you’re thinking about switching suppliers, there are various factors to think about when comparing providers and deals. Read our guide to discover everything you need to know about broadband and how to find the best broadband deal for you.
The main things to consider when comparing providers and deals are:
- Speed – Your connection speed is one of the most important factors, especially if you like online gaming or streaming a lot of content.
- Contract length – Broadband contracts usually last for 12 months, 18 months or 24 months, and even one-month rolling deals. Think about what’s best for your situation – if you’re tied to a longer-term deal, it’ll make switching more difficult. On the other hand, if you’re planning to live in your current place for a while, a long-term contract will work out cheaper
- Cost – A tariff may offer everything you’re looking for, but does it come at the right monthly price and offer good value for money? Shop around to find the right tariff at the best possible price
- Availability – Some connection types aren’t available in every location across the UK. Check your address – either with our postcode checker or on the provider’s website – to see what broadband deals are available to you
- Usage – Most providers offer truly unlimited downloads for home broadband, but not all. If you’re a heavy user, be sure to check for any download limits
- Equipment – When you find a new provider, or if your current provider is offering an upgrade to your services, you might receive new equipment. This could be partly or completely subsidised by your provider, but this isn’t always the case – you may have to pay extra for the new kit
- Freebies – Many providers offer tempting incentives, such as cashback or gift cards, to new customers. These may bring help bring down the cost of an expensive broadband deal, although you should also consider whether these gifts are as important as factors such as speed and cost
- Good customer service – Reading customer reviews can give you an idea of a provider’s customer service record. If you were to experience any service outages or lower-than-expected speeds, you’ll want your provider to have helpful customer service
What broadband speed do I need?
The broadband speed that best suits you depends on your usage, as well as the number of people you live with:
- Around 10Mbps – suitable for light users. This is ideal if you live on your own or with just one other person, and you use the internet for basic use like browsing, social media and emails. Opt for a standard ADSL deal and save money by going for the cheapest option – or for a few pounds more, you can get an entry-level fibre plan
- 30-60Mbps – suitable for families. A household of four or more users will need a faster connection, especially if they’re all using multiple devices. A fibre optic connection with speeds over 34Mbps should be robust enough to handle multiple users
- 60Mbps-1Gbps – suitable for power users. If you stream a lot of videos (you’re addicted to Netflix, for example), play games online and/or work from home, a faster connection may be best. That’s especially true if you have multiple devices connected and you stream videos in higher quality 4K
Think fibre optic broadband is your best option? Click the button below to find out more and compare deals:
Will I get the advertised speeds?
As a rule of thumb, the advertised speeds must be available to at least 50% of the provider’s customers between the peak hours of 8pm to 10pm.
However, even though a broadband package may be advertised as a certain speed, it’s common that it won’t always reach that. Many factors can affect your broadband speed, such as your location and the amount of network traffic in your area.
Many providers have minimum speed guarantees. If your speeds are still below the guaranteed minimum after 30 days and your provider hasn’t been able to improve that, you have the right to leave your contract without paying early exit fees.
What’s my current internet speed?
Worried you’re not getting the correct speed or want to see if you can get faster? Try the MoneySuperMarket broadband speed test below. It’s free and easy to use, and you’ll get a result in seconds.
Can I get fibre broadband?
If you’re looking at fibre optic broadband with speeds of between 36-67Mbps, then it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to get fibre broadband at your address.
However, fibre optic with speeds above 100Mbps isn’t available to every household in the UK just yet.
If you live in a large city or town, you’ll more likely to be able to get an ultrafast fibre optic deal. However, if you live in a rural area, your choices may be more limited.
To find out whether fibre broadband is available in your area, use our quick and easy postcode checker:
Free gifts, vouchers, reward cards and cashback
Many providers offer free gifts alongside their broadband tariffs, such as cashback, gift cards, vouchers or rewards cards.
While these can be useful extras, they don’t have any bearing on the quality of service you’ll get.
Weigh up whether these gifts are worth it – you may find that it helps to bring down the cost of a more expensive broadband package.
For more information, read our page on claiming free vouchers.
No upfront cost/setup cost
It can be tempting to pick a deal on the basis of having nothing to pay upfront. But this isn’t always the best option.
In some cases, a deal with slightly higher upfront costs might also come with a lower monthly charge, so you’ll actually pay less overall. It’s important to weigh up any upfront costs with the monthly cost.
To see what the lowest-cost deals really are, sort your results by ‘total first year cost’. Or take a look at the cheapest broadband deals you can get right now.
If there are many people at home streaming music, watching TV and films via Netflix or Amazon or playing games online, an unlimited broadband deal ensures you’ll never go over your data cap.
Thankfully, most broadband connections nowadays come with unlimited data as standard – so you won’t have to worry about exceeding any data allowance.
Who is the cheapest broadband provider?
To find the cheapest broadband providers in your area, enter your postcode in our ‘Compare cheap broadband deals’ tool below.
Compare cheap broadband
If you’re on a budget, there are still plenty of affordable broadband options.
Can I switch broadband mid-contract?
If you’re out of your contract’s minimum term, you’ll be able to switch without having to pay early termination fees.
However, if you’re still within the minimum term, you will have to pay early exit fees if you want to switch. Typically, this will mean paying for the number of months you have left on your contract, which can be pricey.
Nevertheless, there are some instances where you may be entitled to switch early without paying extra – for example, if your provider has hiked the price of your contract in the last 30 days, or you’re not receiving the minimum guaranteed speeds.
Got a specific question, or simply want to learn how to get the most out of your home broadband? We have many helpful guides, including:
- How to get a phone line installed
- What to do with broadband when you’re moving home
- How to leave your broadband contract early
For more information on broadband, take a look at Ofcom, the UK's telecoms regulator.
Ofcom runs a voluntary accreditation scheme for digital comparison tools (DCTs) for telephone, broadband, and pay-TV, and has confirmed that this DCT meets the criteria for accreditation. For further details about the scheme, including the criteria that DCTs must meet, visit the price comparison page on the Ofcom website.
Compare broadband tariffs with MoneySuperMarket
If you’re looking to switch broadband providers, comparing tariffs on MoneySuperMarket is the best way to find a cheaper deal. We’re a broadband comparison site where you can search for broadband, TV, landline, and mobile services from leading and up-and-coming providers – so you'll be sure to find something suited to you.
Just enter your postcode and we’ll put together a list of broadband deals available in your area.
You can compare them by broadband speeds, download limits, and overall cost, as well as anything else you can get with the deal, whether it’s a TV or landline package, a mobile SIM, or a time-limited discount or freebie.
Once you’ve found the deal you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.
Can't find what you're looking for?
Use our sitemap to help find the page you're looking for.
How much should I pay for broadband?
It really depends on what kind of broadband you want (ADSL, fibre optic, full fibre) and what speeds you need, as well as any extras you want (such as landline and/or TV).
According to cost-of-living site Numbeo, the average cost of a fibre broadband package with speeds of over 60Mbps in the UK is around £30 a month.
How do I know if I’m out of contract?
You should be notified when your contract comes to an end, but you don’t have to wait until then. You can check when your contract expires – or if it already has done – by logging into your online account or calling up to check.
Prices can shoot up once the contract expires, so you should switch to a new deal as soon as possible.
What happens when my broadband contract ends?
At the end of your contract, you can either choose to remain with your current provider, or switch to a better deal without having to pay any early exit fees.
Ask yourself if you’ve been happy with the speeds, customer service and overall experience. If the answer is no, it’s well worth shopping around for a better deal.
Even if you’re generally happy with your current provider, it might still be worth switching once your contract finishes. This is because prices often increase once the minimum term is up, and you can get the best discounts and extra rewards if you’re a new customer with another provider.
If you don’t want to switch just yet, you can also call your current provider to haggle for a better deal.
How do I switch broadband providers?
First, check what’s available in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode into our postcode checker at the top of this page.
Your new provider should contact your current provider and arrange the switch for you. And you’ll receive letters and emails updating you on the switch.
Should I choose a broadband package based on price?
Although price is important when choosing a broadband package, it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor.
Speed is also very important. If a fibre optic broadband deal is only a couple of pounds more expensive than an ADSL deal, it’s more worthwhile plumping for the fibre optic option.
You should also look at contract lengths and think about what best suits your situation. For example, the monthly cost of a 24-month contract will be lower than that of a 12-month one. But if you end up leaving your contract early, you’ll likely incur an exit fee that costs more than going for the shorter-term option.
Finally, while the monthly cost of a broadband, TV and/or landline bundle seems more expensive on paper, it’s usually cheaper than taking these services separately. So, if you are planning to get those extra services anyway, you can save money by getting them along with your broadband.
With all that in mind, you should consider speeds, contract length and if you want any extra services – as well as cost.
Can I get broadband?
Yes, of course. However, the broadband speeds you can get depend on where you live.
Use our postcode checker to see what broadband deals are available at your address. You can also browse broadband deals by location:
Can my broadband cost go up mid-contract?
Unfortunately, yes. It depends which provider you’re with, but lots have annual price rises written into their terms and conditions. That means you can’t cancel your contract mid-term without incurring a financial penalty.
But if yours doesn’t have it written into the T&Cs, you might be able to cancel for free if you’re hit with a price rise mid-contract. Our page Can I leave my broadband contract early? goes into more detail.