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Buying advice on cheap broadband deals

Cheap broadband packages are now available from lots of different providers, but is the cheapest available broadband service necessarily the right one for your home? Our handy guide will help you compare deals, or you can call for free advice on 0800 542 4704.

By on July 03, 2014 at 17:00 PM
Buying advice on cheap broadband deals

To compare cheap broadband deals:

  • Call our free switching service on 0800 542 4704
  • Use the quick and easy Ofcom-approved Price Comparison Calculator on our broadband page to compare deals in your area.

Cheap broadband providers at Simplifydigital

 Direct Save TelecomPlusnet-logoTalktalk-logoFuel-logo

  • You can get Plusnet broadband & home phone from just £2.50/month for 12 months, plus line rental.
  • Fuel unlimited broadband and home phone packages are available free for 12 months plus line rental. The price rises to £4/month plus line rental after 12 months.
  • TalkTalk SimplyBroadband is available free for 12 months, plus line rental. The price rises to £3.50/month plus line rental after 12 months.
  • DirectSave telecom offers cheap broadband from £11.95/month plus line rental on a 28 day rolling contract.

Advice on comparing the cheapest broadband deals in your area

It's great to save money on broadband, and there are some really affordable packages out there. When comparing deals, you just need to be a bit careful to ensure you're considering your needs and likely usage, as well as the price tag. If you opt for a very cheap deal that isn't fast enough, or means you run out of data half way through the month, then that great saving isn't actually great value for money.

Think about what it is that you really need from your internet service provider. Is it an unlimited data allowance? Maybe you're always streaming movies or downloading big files, and you need better speeds than the UK national average of 16Mbps. Don't worry if you're not sure what you need from your broadband service, that's why our Switching Support experts are available 7 days a week to help find the right deal for you.

Cheap broadband checklist:

  • The right price: The cheapest available broadband package with the right level of service
  • The right speeds: Broadband that's fast enough to keep up with you (light broadband users - up to 16Mbps, medium - up to 30Mbps, heavy use - 76MbpsMbps)
  • A large enough allowance: Broadband with enough data to satisfy your needs all month long (20GB is a small download allowance, 40GB is generous, unlimited is best for heavy broadband users)
  • Factor in any extra costs: Check for additional line rental, installation or equipment fees before signing up
  • Consider bundling: Find out if you could save even more by bundling cheap broadband with digital and TV services from the same provider

If a deal says that it includes free or half price broadband for a limited period, be a little wary. Sometimes the half price or free offer expires half way through your contract, and your costs escalate because you're paying the full amount for the remainder of your contract.

Instead of quickly grabbing the cheapest deal you find, have a look around and compare all of the deals in your price range. Sign up for one which ticks all the boxes and is in your budget - this way you will escape all the nasty penalties and won't spend hours closely observing the video buffering sign.

What are the main additional costs to look out for with cheap broadband?

The truth is you will very rarely get away with paying just the advertised price. There are quite a few potential additions to your broadband bill.

Monthly line rental on top of the basic broadband price

Yes, cheap broadband can cost under a fiver a month, or even less than that if you decide to bundle your services. But what the advertisers don't always mention in their headlines is the home phone line rental cost. If you are getting your broadband from a fixed-line provider, you will always need to pay a monthly line rental charge of up to £15 through the duration of your contract.

Money-saving tip
Pay upfront: Some broadband providers such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Plusnet have introduced a line rental upfront payment option which can significantly slash the monthly charge - it might be worth checking with your provider.

If you don't need a home phone service, why not ditch your landline all together? Virgin Media cable broadband does not require a home phone line to work, and delivers faster speeds than standard ADSL broadband. Equally you can sign up for a mobile internet dongle, or get satellite broadband. There is no line rental with these, but there could be other fees or higher rates.

Penalties for ignoring monthly data caps

If you are on a cheap broadband deal, it is likely that your services will have a monthly usage cap, these vary from 2GB a month to a much higher allowance. Make sure you are aware of any data caps with your chosen deal and your provider's fair usage policy. If you go over your allowance you may receive a penalty. Some providers might slow down your speeds, others disconnect you or add a charge on top of your bill.

Money-saving tip
Think before buying: Analyse your browsing habits prior to signing up to a service, you might find that your requirements can only be met by taking out a higher-end package.

 Need advice? Call Simplifydigital's free switching support service on 0800 542 4704.

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