If you are currently reading this, you must have some sort of Internet connection. Getting the high quality connection for a decent price is not that simple since you have so many options and all providers claim to be the best. There is one thing to note: DO NOT trust advertising and never EVER rely on the broadband comparison websites. I can assure you, you will not be offered the best option and “top deals” are almost always guaranteed to have hidden terms, limitations and fees which are not payable until the introductory offer is over.
How to choose your broadband/phone line package
When choosing your broadband package, think about how much you are planning on using your internet connection. Is it just for e-mail and surfing the BBC news website? In that case data allowance is not that important to you. However, if you download music/movies, use Facebook for a couple of hours a day and watch youtube, even 40GB will not be enough. I recommend to choose a plan with Unlimited usage, just be on the safe side.
There is no broadband for £5 a month. Always take into account the telephone line rental which you will have to pay, or if you go for a faster optical cable broadband option prices will always be considerably higher.
Read terms and conditions! If the advertised price sounds too good to be true there are some additional terms. For example, just recently BT (British Telecom) have advertised their Springwatch deal and if you were in UK, you could see numerous adverts on TV. They claim you can get broadband for just £13 a month! That sounds just awesome, but here are the things they are not telling.
- First of all, it is £13 a month + line rental. In other words + £13.90 a month.
- You might need engineer for £130 to install a new line. You will have to pay this, if you do not have a BT line in your house or it has been physically disconnected.
- And what about data? Oh, you get a tiny, worthless 10GB allowance! Well, that is enough if you are 80 years old grandpa and all you know is how to check BBC, but for the rest of us this is way too low. For every single 1GB you go over your 10GB allowance you will pay extra £1 a month!
- I would pay around £90 extra a month if I would to take a BT Springwatch deal. There are two of us sharing and we use around 100Gb a month! (yes we download a lot) My bill therefore would be over £115 – way more than £13 advertised!
- There is an Unlimited BT option for £28 a month + line rental and the cheapest possible monthly rental then would be £38 a month if I paid £120 for my line rental for 12 months upfront (line rental saver option).
My recommended options
I did a lot of research on broadband providers and this is the list of packages you can really rely on, no hidden fees, good speed, unlimited usage:
O2 Home Broadband (The All Rounder Package).
I have been using this provider for 4 years now and had absolutely no problems at all. The UK based customer services and 3 months free when you sign up for 12 months contract. After 12 months you can call them again and get another 3 months free and that do this since they value you as a customer! Broadband costs £12.50 a month if you’re on O2 (have pay as you go or contract sim) or £17.50 a month if you’re not. Find a friend who has o2 sim and just register your account on your friends number.
You can get a phone line with O2 as well. I do not use my landline at all. It is wholly for my broadband connection, therefore, I have pay-as-you-use line rental plan which is just £7.50 a month (it would be +£2.5 for free evening and weekend calls or + £6 for free anytime calls). My total bill is currently £20.
Tesco Broadband with inclusive evening & weekend calls — £19.75 per month for unlimited up to 20mb speed including your broadband bill and line rental with free evening and weekend calls! If you need free anytime calls you can get it for £23.75 a month. In addition, if you have Tesco Clubcard, you get 1 point for every £1 spent as well. You would have to sign up to 18 months to get this deal and you must have and existing BT line. Tesco is a well know, trusted and fast expanding brand.
If you need a TV package as well, SKY package is currently the cheapest and probably the option you can go with. You can get your unlimited broadband, phone line and HD box with a variety pack for £48.50 a month. If you do not need HD, it is £10.25 cheaper.
You could go with Virgin media all-in-one package as well, however, my previous neighbour had Virgin broadband and he gets only half the speed I do with O2 home phone/broadband package and his connection constantly crashes while I do not experience any issues at all.
Things to note
- Your Broadband speed depends on a variety of factors such as the number of people connected to the phone exchange, distance from the exchange, line quality and YOUR PROVIDER!
- Unlimited usage always has fair usage policy, meaning you still have a virtual limit. Different companies deal with fair usage policy differently. For example, O2 All rounder package has a fair usage of 120GB (Really enough for the majority of people), however, if you go over, they will ask you to upgrade the package or reduce the usage instead of charging you extra. Safe is with Tesco’s 100GB fair usage. Sky claims to offer truly unlimited broadband, therefore, it should not matter how much data you use up. My colleague had “Unlimited” Orange broadband package and he was playing the online games with his Xbox. He has used up 180GB of data that month and he was charged £80 extra on his bill! Nobody ever warned him that could happen! He switched to O2 after his contract finished and he never had any problems from that day on.