Getting online in your new home

A good broadband connection is almost as important as a working electricity supply these days, so getting online in your new place can be quite a priority.

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Here’s how to do it…

Choosing the best deal

Like other utility suppliers, most broadband providers are happy for you to move your service to your new home, and many will have postcode checkers for you to roughly see what's available in your new area to look out for any connection hot or cold spots.

Armed with this information, you can then find out what to do about your current contract and shop around for the best deal, if needs be.

When will I get connected?

Transferring your broadband usually takes between one and three weeks to complete if you are sticking with the same provider.

Alternatively, setting up with a new Internet Service Provider (ISP) can take up to 10 weeks, depending on the time of year you’re moving.

September is a particularly busy time, with new university students taking up engineers’ time, so make sure you plan ahead and set everything in motion to avoid being without a connection for the first few weeks in your new home.

Gauging your need for speed

Before going all out with your broadband connection, take a quick look at your internet usage as a household. Just because super-fast speeds are available, it doesn't mean you need them, nor should you necessarily pay for them if you use the internet infrequently.

If you only use broadband to browse the internet, send emails and make the occasional Skype call then an average package giving up to 16 Megabits per second (Mbps) should be adequate for your needs.

If you stream on a medium to regular basis then you should consider a package that offers 15Mbps to 38Mbps on average.

Households with multiple users (such as shared renters etc) or those who frequently download songs, movies and the like will find real benefit in fibre optic broadband services with speeds of 50Mbps and higher.

Conduct a speed test from the house

In order to test the actual speed rather than the potential speed at your new home, you will need to get on-side with the current owner/tenant – ask for their Wi-Fi password or ask if they are willing to conduct the test for you.

A speed test (try ours, here) works by performing several checks on your connection to give you an accurate assessment of your current broadband speed. For a well-rounded view of your speed, carry out a test at different times of the day.

What to do if you’re not happy

If you aren’t happy with the speeds you’re getting, or if you find out that you’re getting much slower speeds than expected from your internet connection, you have a few options.

Contact your current Internet Service Provider to see if they can offer help and a solution to sort out your issues with the connection.

Some Internet Service Providers advertise speeds “up to” the mark you are supposed to receive, giving you little room to claim this is misleading information. However, if they think they might lose your custom, it might make it easier for you to negotiate with them on price.

If you don’t get anywhere with your current Internet Service Provider, shop around for one that can offer you the tariff and package you need. But remember that broadband providers will offer better deals in return for longer contracts, so make sure you are happy to be tied down to your provider for that amount of time before you sign up.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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