For most of us, broadband is a necessity but finding the right deal can sometimes be tricky. To help you work out what you need, we take a look at what your options are and how to pick the best package for your home.
Broadband isn’t all the same and there are actually several different types, including:
The ADSL stands for asymmetric digital subscriber line, and it uses your property’s copper telephone wires to bring broadband into your home. ADSL is known as standard broadband and delivers speeds of around 10Mbps (megabits per second).
Most homes in the UK have access to ADSL broadband but because the system is old, it’s prone to problems and can also be temperamental in bad weather. Not only that, the further away you are from the telephone exchange, the slower the speed.
Fibre tends to be the broadband of choice for most homes as it’s more stable than ADSL and capable of much faster speeds. But just to make it a little less straightforward, there are actually two types of fibre broadband:
Cable broadband uses something called a coaxial cable to deliver broadband into your home instead of fibre or copper wires. Virgin Media is the largest provider of cable broadband, offering speeds much faster than fibre but the downside is that it’s only available to around half the country.
Installing cable broadband also takes slightly more effort than FTTC broadband. This is mainly because an engineer will need to feed the cables into your home.
Mobile broadband uses the 3G, 4G or 5G phone network to bring broadband into your home. This usually works with a portable router and a SIM card which links up with the mobile signal to your home and then distributes this to your devices. As it relies on the mobile network, you’ll need a fairly decent and consistent signal which might not always be available if demand is high.
Most homes in the UK have access to broadband. In fact, industry regulator Ofcom estimates that just 0.3% of households can’t get even the most basic ADSL broadband.
That said, not all broadband deals are available in all areas of the UK. For instance, FTTP or cable broadband might not be available in some rural areas. The good news is that you can check what you can get at Ofcom’s broadband checker tool.
Superfast broadband is anything from 30Mbps up to around 300Mbps. Ultrafast broadband is anything higher than 300Mbps but less than 1000Mbps or 1Gbps (gigabit per second).
Ofcom suggests that a decent broadband connection should provide you with at least 10Mbps. However, as a general rule, larger households will need faster speeds.
To give you an idea of what you might need, a household of four should think about getting broadband speeds of between 30Mbps and 60Mbps. If you’re house sharing or your family spends a lot of time online, it’s a good idea to go faster and look at deals offering at least 60Mbps. This would let you all do different things online at the same time without the frustration of buffering.
If you’ve got dedicated gamers in your family, then you should consider even higher speeds. This will reduce latency (the time it takes for signals to go back and forth) which ultimately leads to faster response times and a better gaming experience.
Most fibre packages will need you to have a phone line (remember, fibre broadband typically uses the copper cables into your home). Because of this, you’ll need to pay a line rental charge but this cost is often part and parcel of your broadband package.
The only way to avoid needing a phone line is to choose cable broadband, FTTP or mobile broadband.
You can buy broadband on its own or bundled together with other services, so it all depends on what you want:
More often than not, bundled packages work out slightly cheaper compared to buying services separately, it’s also a lot more convenient as you only have one provider.
When it comes to getting good value for money, it’s worth thinking about what you actually need, which can help you avoid paying over the odds. Here’s what to consider:
When you’re ready to compare deals, head on over to Utility Warehouse to see what’s available where you live.
|Cost to troubleshoot and diagnose an electrical fault||£95|
|Cost to install a smoke alarm||£76|
|Cost to upgrade to smart lighting||£49|
|Cost to fit a satellite dish||£80|
|Cost to rewire a single room or circuit||£1000|
|Cost to rewire a house or flat||£6250|
|Cost to replace a consumer unit||£400|
|Cost to install outside security lights||£123|
|Cheap payment solutions||£1.50|
|Cost to do a PAT test||£60|
|Cost to replace electric oven||£154|
|Cost to install an outside power socket||£95|
|Cost to install outside garden lighting||£135|
|Cost to install a storage heater||£201|
|Cheap mobile phones||£20.00 per month|
|Cost to install LED lights||£115|
|Cost of public liability insurance for electricians||£5.00 per month|
|Cost to install solar panels||£7500|
|Cost to installing an electric shower||£450|
|Cost to install a TV aerial||£223|
|Cost to fit a smart doorbell||£61|
|Cost to install downlights in a room||£440|
|Cost to install CCTV cameras||£740|
|Cost to install a bathroom extractor fan||£220|
|Cost to install or fix a light switches||£50|
|Cost to repair or install an electric hob (or an induction hob)||£85|
|Cost to install or fix a light fitting fixture||£90|
|Cost to fit an new plug socket||£180|
|Cheap electricity||£90.00 per month|
|Cost to install an electric vehicle charger||£400|
|Cost to lay electric underfloor heating||£300|
|Cost to install an electric radiator||£204|
|Cost to install an electric combi boiler||£1200|
|Cost of an EICR test||£150|
|Cost to earth bond a gas meter||£470|
|Cost to install of a cooker hood||£260|
|Cost to fit a carbon monoxide detector||£74|
|Cost to install a burglar alarm||£150|
|Cheap broadband||£20.00 per month|
|Repair of a cooker hood||£150|