How to Get the Most from Your Broadband Deals
According to the UK government, broadband is no longer a luxury – it’s essential.
Just like gas, electricity, and water, we now rely on broadband to manage our day-to-day lives. Without an internet connection, many people wouldn’t be able to pay their bills (through online banking), connect with their loved ones, or stay connected to the news.
In recent years, the pandemic transformed broadband into a lifeline, capable of bringing family members together in a crisis, and ensuring professionals could continue their work from home. Going forward, demand for strong internet connections will only increase – particularly as hybrid and remote working grows more common.
The question is, how do you make sure you’re getting the right value from your broadband deal?
Am I Overpaying? Finding the Right Price for Broadband
Knowing how much you should be paying for your broadband connection can be difficult.
As internet has become more of an essential service, countless vendors have begun offering more affordable packages. While there are very cheap options out there, the cheapest deal won’t always be right for you. Some deals require you to compromise on essential things like speed.
At the same time, just because the cheapest product doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean you should be spending a fortune. If you feel like you’re spending more than you should be on broadband, it could be the right time to start comparing your options. Ofcom estimates around 20 million customers are currently “out of contract” with their broadband provider.
When you’re out of contract, it means you’re paying the standard rate for broadband, without any deals or discounts. It also means you should be able to switch providers without penalties.
If your prices seem high, ask yourself: “When’s the last time I switched or renewed my broadband contract?” Most contracts are 12, 18, or 24 months, and switching regularly is the best way to keep costs down, because it allows you to constantly take advantage of the offers broadband providers are using to attract new customers.
Crucially, loyal customers are rarely the ones rewarded in today’s broadband world. Switching to a new provider could be the key to cutting your costs.
What Speed Do I Need? What Should You Be Paying For?
Before you can start searching for the best possible deal on broadband, you’re going to need to know what kind of speeds you need. If you’re running a house full of people connected to the internet at the same time, all streaming videos, and getting involved with conferences, you’re going to need a higher speed to avoid any lag issues.
To determine what kind of speed you need, ask yourself who’s going to be using your broadband, how often, and how. If there’s only one person using your Broadband for basic internet browsing and sending emails, you can maybe get by with just 20Mbps or less.
For 2-3 people, 30-60Mpbs is more likely to be a better option.
Don’t just choose the cheapest deal possible. Find the speed you need, then look for the best value deal that offers the performance you want.
How to Find the Best Deal
Once you’ve figured out what you need from your broadband solution, the next step is searching for the best deal. The good news is it’s much easier to track down alternative broadband providers these days – all you need is an internet connection.
The easiest way to compare providers based on availability, price, and speed, is to use independent comparison websites. Start with a postcode search to see what kind of broadband is available in your area, then see what kind of vendors you can consider.
It’s also worth checking out the individual websites of the broadband companies you’re interested in, to see if there are any available deals on offer. Some broadband providers offer special deals like freebies and discounts on bundled packages depending on what you need.
Here are some quick tips to help you find the right deal:
Only compare like-for-like: Look at the prices for the speed you need and nothing less.
Consider the full value of rewards: Ask yourself if a reward or free gift would make a more expensive package worthwhile, by calculating the value of the gift.
Look for guarantees: Some providers have fixed-price guarantees, which can give you the peace of mind of knowing your price won’t suddenly rise mid-contract.
Remember, once you’ve found the right deal, make a commitment to consistently check whether you’re still getting the best value for your broadband. You should be checking what’s available every time your contract is about to come to an end, rather than just automatically renewing.
Consider setting an alarm on your schedule to remind you that you need to check your options before your contract rolls over.