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How do I choose a broadband deal?

By Jon Barrow

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How do I choose a broadband deal?

ADSL or superfast? Capped or unlimited? We help you cut through the sales jargon so you can find the right broadband deal for you.

To get the best broadband package, you need to think about what's important to you.

Do you want the cheapest possible package or are superfast speeds crucial? Are you looking for a basic broadband-only deal or are you happy to take out a package that also bundles in your phone and TV services?

In this guide, we'll lay out everything you need to consider before you signing up to a new deal.

Best broadband providers – discover which broadband companies impressed in our latest satisfaction survey and which are best avoided.

Bundled deal or standalone broadband package?

The first decision to make when choosing a new broadband deal is whether you want a standalone service or would prefer a combined package.

Standalone services - in which you pay the provider to just supply a broadband service and pay a different one for your phone line - are rare (it's even rarer to find a true standalone service which doesn't require a phone line). Combined packages, which usually incorporate home phone and broadband services, but can also include TV and mobile options, are usually better value and can also make life easier as they mean that you only have to deal with one provider.

Discover other ways to save money by reading our guide to how to get a cheap broadband deal.

Superfast or standard speeds?

Most broadband providers now offer two options: superfast fibre-optic broadband or a standard ADSL line. The lure of superfast connectivity is strong, with the likes of Virgin Media offering speed of up to 200Mbps – that's around 12 times faster than standard broadband (up to around 16Mbps).

Faster speeds allow for quicker downloads and make it easier for multiple users to share the same connection without slowing it down to unusable levels. But faster packages come with higher price tags and often tie you in to 18-month contracts. So, before signing up for a superfast package, ask yourself what broadband speed do I need?

Unlimited or capped data?

A third factor to consider when choosing a broadband package is how much data you'll need. While most packages now include an unlimited data allowance, you can sometimes still save money by choosing a capped deal.

This type of deal won't suit everyone, but the 12GB you get with BT's capped deals will be plenty if you just do a bit of web browsing now and then, and send a few emails.

Get ready to switch broadband provider

Once you've picked the type of deal you want and chosen a suitable provider, you're ready to switch. Many people are put off at this stage, worried that the process will be complicated and time consuming.

But the good news is that it's not hard to do – when we asked almost 5,000 switchers, 81% said it was an easy process.

To ensure that your move goes smoothly simply follow the steps in our handy guide, how to switch broadband provider.

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