Friday, 12 September 2014

How to get the cheapest broadband available in your area

This post was written for The Life and Times of the Working Mum by Helen Thomas, a writer at, where you can compare mobile phones, TV packages and the cheapest broadband deals.

You probably know that by comparing deals it’s possible to save money on your broadband, but are you put off by the hassle factor?

After all, are other providers really that different to your current one? And is it possible to find the cheapest broadband deal without spending hours you don’t have searching for it?
In short, yes.

These days, by going online you can see which providers’ offers packages where you live, and switch easily, within minutes, without so much as a sniff of buffering as you catch up on the last episode of The Great British Bake Off on BBC iPlayer at the same time. Phew.
So, what are you waiting for? Follow these top tips to get the cheapest broadband possible…

1.    Compare

Why spend hours trawling the web looking for cheap broadband when a comparison website can do all the hard work for you? Just enter your details into the postcode checker and find out what’s on offer where you live, from the cheapest broadband deal to all-singing, all-dancing fibre and TV packages - in seconds. And by using a site accredited by Ofcom, the UK communications watchdog, you can be certain the results you get are impartial and accurate.

2.    Find the best value package

Once you know what’s available you can pick the cheapest deal, but remember the cheapest package may not offer the best value if you can’t do what you want to do with it…

3.    Know what you want... 

It can be easy to get caught up in finding the cheapest broadband, but be careful you don’t end up with a package you aren’t happy with just because it cost the least. Be clear on what you aren’t willing to compromise on, like the minimum download speed you need or what channels you want if you’re getting TV too, before you pick a package. The best comparison sites will let you adjust your results according to your criteria so you won’t waste time looking at deals that aren’t what you want.

4.    …and what you don’t

Don’t pay for services or extras that you don’t want or won’t use. If your landline use is strictly limited to avoiding calls from people offering CPP compensation, paying for inclusive anytime calls will be a waste of your hard-earned cash.

5.    Look for special offers

By using a comparison site you can see at a glance all of the special offers currently available, some of which may be exclusives - so you could get a cheaper price on a particular package than you could anywhere else.

6.    Bundle up

If you want broadband, home phone and TV, it’s almost certainly going to be cheaper to get all three from one provider than separately. The UK’s big four providers - BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media - all offer broadband, home phone and TV bundles, and with Virgin Media you can now add a mobile phone plan too.

7.    Check the line rental

When it comes to broadband, with the exception of Virgin Media and a few smaller providers whose packages aren’t widely available, paying for line rental is unavoidable. In fact, if often costs as much, if not more, than the broadband itself. So, check how much it costs before you sign up, and look out for providers that offer a discount if you pay for 12 months upfront.

8.    Sit back and relax…for a while

Once you’ve found the cheapest broadband package that works for you and signed up to it, in most cases your new provider will take care of everything else. Job done. However, like all good things, a great broadband deal will come to an end. So, keep tabs on when your contract’s up, and check your options again when it’s close to expiring to make sure you’re still getting a bargain. If you’re not, switch - providers almost always save their best deals for new customers.

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