We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.


When you click on a retailer link on our site, we may earn affiliate commission to help fund our not-for-profit mission.Find out more.

10 Nov 2021

How switching broadband provider can secure your smart home and save you money

If you're stuck with an outdated router and your provider won't help, find out how switching could benefit you in more ways than one

We've long lauded the benefits of switching providers when it comes to your broadband, TV and broadband or mobile service.

Savings are a key benefit - especially if you've been with the same provider for years. But the equipment you're using to connect to the internet is also a consideration. Older kit may not only affect broadband performance in the home, it could leave you open to hackers.

To find out if your router is potentially at risk, read our guide to router security, and use our free tool to check your router today.

The risks of using an insecure router

If you've been with the same provider for many years, you could be using old equipment that's no longer supported with important updates, which help to guard against emerging cyberthreats.

A Which? Investigation discovered that in fact millions in the UK could be at risk of using routers with security flaws.

Issues included weak default passwords that could allow a hacker to access the router from anywhere, a lack of updates to protect against new and emerging threats, and vulnerabilities that could allow a hacker access to your home network.

Popular devices where we found issues included the Sky SR102, Virgin Super Hub 2, and TalkTalk HG635.

While you might think that your broadband provider will send you a new router once a model is superseded, this isn't usually the case. There's often an up front cost involved, a requirement to recontract, or both.

Switching provider could benefit you in more ways than one - you should be sent the latest equipment by your new provider, see improved performance and faster speeds, and you could even end up saving money each month.

Tech tips you can trust - get our free Tech newsletter for advice, news, deals and stuff the manuals don't tell you

What are the other benefits of upgrading my router?

Getting a new router isn't just about securing your smart home - other benefits on offer from using more advanced technologies and features could simply improve your broadband in the home.

Better routers will work well when multiple devices are connected and are clever when it comes to sending bandwidth to devices that need it most. Some even have apps that let you set a preference for certain devices which your router will prioritise, such as TVs where you do your 4K streaming or a laptop where you want the fastest download speeds.

Range is one of the biggest bugbears and a newer, high-scoring router will have a better chance of sending wi-fi to the far reaches of your home. Newer routers have a 2.4GHz signal, which has better range, and 5GHz, which has better speeds. Routers can switch you between the two dynamically so you get good speeds when you're close to your router, but you don't lose connection entirely when you move further away.

Read our router reviews to see how the latest ISP and third-party routers fared in our tests.

What are the other benefits of switching broadband provider?

As well as getting new, secure equipment for your home broadband, switching affords other benefits.

Better service

Time and again we've found that smaller providers do better than the traditional 'big four' in our surveys, based on factors such as customer service and technical support. While you might be comforted by the idea of a big brand providing you with such a vital modern service, shopping around could actually result in a more rewarding experience.

Read more reasons why you might want to consider switching from a big four broadband provider.

Better speeds

If you're one of the 24% of people in the UK who are still using standard broadband, switching to fibre can offer you a boost in more ways than one. With over 96% of the UK now able to access superfast fibre broadband, there's far more opportunity to upgrade than there used to be, and prices have dropped dramatically. In fact, you might even find you save money, and get a faster and more reliable connection.

Read our guide to the benefits of fibre broadband.

Save money

If that wasn't enough, our analysis has shown that switching broadband provider could save you as much as £143 per year. In fact, Virgin Media, BT and Sky customers all stand to make annual savings of over £100 per year by switching - which could be particularly appealing if you're also being sent the latest router.

Fortunately, switching broadband providers is straightforward. Read our guide on how to switch broadband for more.

Check the best broadband deals where you live to see how much you could save, or read our guide to the best and worst broadband providers.