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Thinking of changing your broadband provider? Make sure you read this first

Posted on by in Technology

Nowadays, it is no longer enough to know that you want a new broadband deal. There are an almost limitless number of options and packages out there. For example, do you require stand alone broadband or a broadband package? What speed to do you require? How much data will you need? It can be a veritable minefield. That’s why this handy guide has been created, to negotiate through the options and help determine what option will be best for you.

To help work out the best deal for you, it is worth asking yourself the following questions:

What speed will I need?

The speed of service required (varying from basic to super-fast) will depend on what you want to use your computer or device for. If you are a sole user who will only occasionally checks emails or watches the odd music video, then a basic speed should suffice. However, if you live in a large family home with teenagers who are constantly streaming music, gaming and downloading videos then you are more likely to require a super fast connection. Often, the super fast connection will be the fibre-optic broadband products.

How much data allowance will I need?

Again, this will very much depend on what you will use the broadband for. For occasional or low usage users then a data allowance of around 2GB should suffice. However, those that will fall into the frequent or heavy users group will need to consider one of the larger packages or even unlimited data, usually advised for 400GB use and above a month. Frequent or heavy users are those that will be online regularly throughout the day, e.g. a business, or those that will be using their device to download videos, upload pictures to social media sites, play games or watch TV. It is worth noting that some providers offering unlimited data have a ‘fair usage clause so do trawl through the small print to see if this applies.

How long do I want the contract to be for?

As with most household products, it is worth researching at the time of renewal to ensure you are getting the current best deal. Therefore, it is often wiser to stick with the shorter 12 month contracts. Though some providers do offer a ‘price freeze’ for 18 months, so this is worth looking out for. There are 9 month packages available specifically for students (as they will not be in their student accommodation during the Summer) so this may be worth exploring.

Just broadband? Or should I get a bundle?

Broadband providers will now often offer a package deal as opposed to just purchasing broadband alone. For example, TalkTalk provides a free SIM with 500MB data and an internet security package with every purchase as well the option to create a bundle to include digital and on demand TV channels, If you already have a digital TV package it is wise to go for the bundle option with broadband as it is rarely, if ever, cheaper to have 2 separate packages.

Is there anything else to consider?

Where you live may be a big factor in which broadband provider you choose. Unfortunately, if you live in a particularly rural area then your choice of providers and packages are going to be more limited. Speeds in rural areas are often slower too as the fibre broadband infrastructure is not there, meaning that customers are getting their broadband delivered via old copper telephone wires.

Living in a rural location may be beautiful but can cause major broadband drawbacks

Living in a rural location may be beautiful but can cause major broadband drawbacks

Whether you use your computer for business or pleasure, though especially if you use it for business, broadband providers should offer a security package and this is becoming more and more prudent as digital crime becomes more sophisticated.

In essence, whilst the options may be a little overwhelming at first, once you know what you will use your broadband for and how often you will be using it, the options become more condensed and should be easier to navigate. Once you have answered the above questions, log on to a broadband comparison website such as BroadbandChoices and search around for the best deal out there for you.