Full Fibre 500
Finding the right broadband provider can be a daunting prospect. With so many deals to choose from, many of which tie you to a provider for 18 months or longer, you’ll need to make sure you choose one which is reliable and best serves your needs.
If you're coming to the end of your broadband deal or are currently out of contract, it's definitely worth having a look around to see what's on offer. We've pulled out what we believe to be the best-value broadband deals, including standard (also known as ADSL), superfast and ultrafast (also known as fibre), to help you weigh up your options.
Standard broadband deals typically have an average speed of 10-11Mbps (megabits per second). They are often seen as the best option for people who do not have many internet-enabled devices and/or who do not use the internet frequently. These speeds should be fine for browsing or light video streaming but are becoming less popular since the rise of fibre.
The appeal of fibre broadband goes beyond faster speeds: it's also more reliable, and in some cases, may work out cheaper than standard connections. We've also included a range of fibre broadband deals in this guide – both super and ultrafast fibre.
Total cost over contract: £227.88
Effective cost per month: £13.57
Plusnet is known for regularly offering attractive deals, and this is no exception.
It's currently offering standard broadband (average speed 10Mbps) for £18.99 a month with a 12-month contract. If you sign up using Which? Switch Broadband, you'll also receive a £65 reward card, which pushes the effective price down to just £13.57 per month.
Plusnet customers also get access to UK customer service seven days a week and parental internet controls for free.
These deals typically have average speeds ranging from 35 to 67Mbps and are suited for people who share their connection with others and/or frequently use the internet, whether browsing or streaming a lot of on-demand content.
Total cost over contract: £257 (including upfront cost)
Now offers a wide range of broadband packages, all of which include a landline phone service with free anytime calls to the UK.
Currently you can get this and its 63Mbps service for £21.42 a month with £5 setup fees. Plus as a 12 month contract, there's flexibility to shop around again once a year is up.
These deals are for heavy internet users and/or very large families who need lots of bandwidth to satisfy everyone. If you have kids who love gaming or you're set on watching Netflix or BBC iPlayer in 4K, ultrafast is for you.
Total cost over contract: £431.76
This is an attractive deal for those who can access Hyperoptic's full-fibre network: average speeds of 150Mbps, with a £0.00 setup fee.
It's broadband-only, meaning there's no landline service included, but this can be added on for an additional £2 each month.
Hyperoptic promises not to raise the price of its deals while customers are within their minimum contract period. New Hyperoptic customers also benefit from its 30-day cooling-off period: if you switch and find the service isn't for you, you can leave within 30 days penalty-free.
Thinking of switching providers? It doesn’t need to be difficult. We asked almost 1,000 switchers how they found it, and 77% agree the process was easy. Read our guide on for essential help and advice.
Many broadband-only deals still require you to also have line rental with the provider or from elsewhere. Often, it is cheaper to buy both from the same place rather than sourcing line rental with another provider.
However, other plans (such as Vodafone’s Superfast plans) also come with no cost for line rental and a landline, using a pay-as-you-go model for calls by charging a price per minute. As long as you don't plan to use your home phone much, these plans may appeal to you as a way to save money by not paying for a landline you don't use.
The question of whether to get a limited or unlimited package is far less important than it used to be.
Limited broadband packages would set a fair-usage policy or ‘cap’, which if exceeded may have resulted in additional charges, a slowed-down internet connection or no connection at all. The benefit of these limited deals is that they would usually be cheaper.
Most modern packages are unlimited, which means you don’t have to worry how much data you use. If you do encounter a limited data deal, think carefully about whether this will be enough to get you through the month, and check to see what happens if you exceed it.
Fair-usage caps (a set amount of monthly data that if exceeded may result in you being charged) used to be fairly common, essentially turning ‘unlimited’ plans into limited plans with a high data cap.
Today, most providers offer a truly unlimited service, but some smaller providers do still have traffic management policies in place. These slow down certain kinds of internet activities that require a lot of bandwidth once you hit a preset limit.
For example, some providers slow down the speed of certain internet activities (such as peer-to-peer downloads) in order for other activities which are time-sensitive (such as online gaming and video calls) to not be interrupted.
It’s always worth checking whether any speed-limiting or traffic management takes place if you’re considering switching providers.
Broadband plans often come with upfront costs, which can take various forms. Common examples include paying for a router to be delivered, set-up fees, connection charges and new line fees. You might also be expected to pay an upfront fee for a PVR (set-top box) if a TV package is included, which may or may not be optional. It is important to factor in these costs when deciding what broadband deal is right for you. Our reviews include an ‘effective cost’ for this reason.
You might also want to consider the telephone package. If you’re used to free evening and weekend or free anytime calls and want to keep these benefits, chances are you’ll be paying extra on top of the advertised fee on a new broadband package.
Contract lengths are also an important consideration. Some deals might seem cheaper on the surface, offering lower monthly prices. But long contract terms mean that you may end up paying more than you wanted to over that period of time. Conversely, some providers have price guarantees, and a longer contract can offer reassurance that this won’t go up until it expires.
Our deals include the total cost over contract and the effective cost per month.
If you’re still in a contract with your provider, you may have to pay off the remainder of your contract if you leave.
However, Ofcom rules state that if you experience price increases mid-contract, you have 30 days from when you are officially notified of the increase when you can switch without paying a penalty. Read more about .
In some circumstances, such as when you’re coming to the end of a contract and see a particularly good limited-time offer elsewhere, it might be worth paying off the contract. You might also consider this if the service you’re getting is poor, and you feel you might get a better service with a different provider.
But generally it’s a good idea to wait until your contract expires before you consider moving. It’s important to know exactly when this will be, since in many cases your monthly cost will rise when your contract expires, so you may be paying more than you need to.
In these situations you could switch, or haggle. In the latter case, information such as the deals we’ve listed above can be very useful, since rival prices are great ammunition to try and get a discount. Read our guide on .