Broadband can be delivered to a home in a variety of different forms, from ADSL to Cable to Fibre Optic, there are plenty of choices available to you. But deciding which way is best for you can be trickier than it may seems, particularly now as the major providers are falling over themselves trying to offer you the cheapest packages. In this guide we talk you through the options for home broadband and offer advice on how to choose the package that is right for you.
Before shopping around for the latest offers take a few moments to work out exactly what you’re looking for. By assessing roughly how long you spend online and more importantly what you do when you surf the web you can work out what type of user you are and better understand what amount of data you’ll be needing from a broadband package. If you are always online and always and spend your time downloading music or streaming the latest film and TV shows you’re a heavy user and will need a large amount of data, in fact you might even want to consider packages with unlimited data allowance so you’ll never have to worry about charges for breaching the allowance limit. If on the other hand you’re an occasional user and only go online every now and again then obviously you’ll need much less of an allowance limit so check packages that offers a reasonable amount of data at a good price.
Students and families with children obviously will need more data and fast speed broadband. But it is not of such a necessity of seniors or those living alone. That's why it is important to determine what are your needs so you will not find yourself paying for something you do not use and need.
Again working out roughly what kind of connection speed you’ll be needing will help you be able to find the package you want and avoid paying out for things you simply don’t need. Depending on what type of broadband you choose will depend on what type of speed you’ll get. For example, fibre optic broadband offers the fastest speeds – at least 250mbps while standard ADSL broadband offers average speeds of 16Mbps. So by assessing how often you use the internet and what you use it for will help you work out what speed you need.
Home broadband contracts vary greatly. They can start from as little as 1 month and go up to as much as 24 months. The length of contract you need/want will depend on how much you want to pay and how much flexibility you want, but regardless of which length of contract you choose always read the small print and check for hidden charges.
Once you’ve narrowed down what type of user you are, what speed you’ll need and the length of contract you’ll begin to see a rough price range for deals that match your needs. You can either simply pick the cheapest one or choose the one that most closely matches what you’re looking for. Again be sure to look out for any hidden charges and factor in all costs such as line rental and installation fees (if applicable).
There are numerous different companies offering broadband packages so the best way to separate all their deals and see which one is right for you is to use a comparison website. They let you search through what’s available based on what you need and should help you come to a decision about which provider to go with. A good tip with comparison sites is to check more than one as they sometimes don’t always have all the offers currently available so you could be missing out.
All the major providers are in constant competition with each other to offer you the best deal, and to do this many of them throw in free extras to try and sweeten a deal. The typical things you can pick up free with most packages include free tablets, router and gift vouchers. However, do exercise some caution if you see a deal that comes with a freebie as generally the cost of the free item will have been factored in and added to your overall contract cost. So you may be better off buying the item that comes free and signing up to a cheaper deal.