Broadband is one of the essential services alongside water and electricity these days. And the good news is that, unlike water, you can hunt around for a better deal. You don’t need to do the hunting though: we’ve done the hard work already and below you’ll find the best offers and discounts available this month from the top providers.
If you’re wondering why we’ve included mobile operators such as Vodafone and EE, it’s because they offer home broadband as well as mobile data. They’re completely separate things: you don’t need to have an EE or Vodafone SIM in your phone to get home broadband from either of them, but there are often perks or extra discounts available if you’re on a pay monthly contract with the same provider. Generally, pay-as-you-go customers don’t get better deals.
Bear in mind that you can’t simply pick a broadband deal from the list below and sign up. Some providers offer their service only in certain areas, and even within the same town or city, the services available will depend upon the street you live on.
That’s why you’ll be asked to enter your address after clicking any of the deal links below. Then you’ll see which packages you can sign up for.
Some of the fastest broadband plans require a fibre-optic connection to your property. Providers call this ‘full fibre’, as opposed to ‘fibre’ which runs only as far as the cabinet in your area.
Full fibre is being rolled out to millions of homes right now, but plenty of areas still aren’t connected. Virgin, though, has an extensive cable network which now offers gigabit speeds, so that’s a good option for those who live on streets served by Virgin.
If you can’t get full fibre or Virgin, the lesser fibre broadband may well be available and offers a maximum of around 70-80Mbps, but could be as low as 30Mbps. Most broadband providers offer two packages: one with download speeds around 35Mbps, and the other with 70-80Mbps. Often, there’s not much difference in price, so it’s usually better value to opt for the faster package.
If you can’t get fibre at all (or don’t want to pay the extra for it) then you’re looking at ADSL. This will have download speeds of around 20Mbps or slower – in some rural areas it could be as slow as 5Mbps.
The good news is that old line rental charge has been bundled into the monthly broadband price. That means the price you see is the price you pay: no cheeky super-cheap deals with a surprise extra charge of £20-odd per month on your bill. However, don’t assume all broadband plans include a landline: some do not.
If you’re on a low income and need really cheap broadband, you can take advantage of a couple of different plans depending upon where you live. First is BT Home Essentials which costs £15 per month. If you’re in London, take a look at Community Fibre’s Essential broadband. This costs only £12.50 per month, but limits speed to only 10Mbps, whereas BT’s package offers average speeds of 67Mbps and is of course much more widely available. To get, though, you’ll need to prove you’re eligible. But there’s no need for any such checks with Community Fibre.
Best broadband deals
Sky Superfast Broadband – 3 months free
£30.50 per month
(3 months free)
From now until 1 September 2022, new customers who sign up for Sky’s Superfast broadband can get three months for free. After that, it costs £30.50 on an 18-month contract – you must be in an area where Sky fibre broadband is available.
This package will get you download speeds of up to 59 Mb/s. Sky also offers a Speed Guarantee and a new Wall to Wall Wi-Fi Guarantee – meaning that if you’re not getting the speeds promised or Wi-Fi in all rooms in your house, Sky will refund you a month’s worth of payment.
Virgin M100 Broadband – 100Mbps
From: Virgin Media
Was: £51 per month
£25 per month
(£25 off per month for first 18 months)
Virgin’s M100 offers average download speeds of 108Mbps and this deal – an 18-month contract – is £20 per month cheaper than the usual price of £51 per month.There’s a setup fee of £35. For only £6 more per month, you could opt for the M200 package that delivers average download speeds of 213Mbps and twice the upload speeds – 20Mbps versus 10Mbps.
Vodafone Superfast 1
Vodafone’s Superfast 1 broadband offers different download speeds depending upon your address, but it’s roughly 35-40Mbps, with up to 10Mbps upload speeds.
You’ll save £3 per month if you’re a Vodafone pay monthly customer, and you can upgrade to Superfast 2 for an additional £3 per month (giving speeds of up to 80Mbps down and 18Mbps up).
Both are for a 24-month contract. There are no setup fees, but you will need to check if it’s available at your address on Vodafone’s website.
If you’re lucky enough to have full fibre, look at the Superfast 100 plan which isn’t much more expensive and offers download speeds of 100Mbps.
Plusnet Unlimited Fibre
Was: £23.99 per month
£22.99 per month
£1 per month plus £75 reward card + free activation
Until 4 August, you can get Plusnet’s Unlimited Fibre plan for £22.99 per month for 18 months.
The £1 per month discount may not sound much, but you also get a £75 reward card: essentially a pre-paid MasterCard you can spend in most shops and online stores.
You’ll also save on the normal £10 activation fee, which is free as part of this deal.
The plan offers average download speeds of 36Mbps and upload speeds of 9Mbps. If you want more than that, Unlimited Fibre Extra is only £2 more per month and is roughly twice as fast.
Community Fibre 500Mbps Fibre Broadband
From: Community Fibre
Was: £37.50 per month
£27 per month
(£10.50 off per month)
Only available in London, Community Fibre offers a variety of full fibre plans from 75Mbps up to a giddy 3Gbps.
This 500Mb plan is great value (for those lucky enough to be able to get it) because not only do you get 500Mbs download speeds: it’s the same for upload speeds! (The supplied router can’t deliver more than 450Mbps over Wi-Fi, though.)
This is a 24-month contract.
Now TV 11Mbps – Cheapest broadband
From: Now Broadband
£18 per month
Now’s broadband price is one of the cheapest around – though it does have a slow download speed of 11Mbps. You can opt for 36Mbps instead for only £2 extra per month, so it’s well worth going for that if you can afford to. Then again, if you can stretch another couple of pounds per month, you can get double even that speed from Vodafone.
This is only a 12-month contract, though, which may be attractive if you don’t want to be tied in. There are no download limits and you can add a Now Entertainment membership for £5.99 per month.
TalkTalk Fibre 65 with Netflix
£31.95 per month
TalkTalk’s Fibre 65 broadband package includes unlimited usage and download speeds of up to 67Mbps. As the name tells you, it also comes with a Netflix Standard subscription, all for £31.95 a month, for 24 months.
The Netflix Standard plan allows you to watch on two screens at the same time in HD quality. If you want more screens and 4K, you can pay £4 per month to upgrade to Netflix Premium.
The deal is available even if you’re an existing Netflix customer: you can simply link your account to your TalkTalk package. There is no set-up fee and the only other thing to pay is a one-off charge of £9.95 for delivery of the TalkTalk router. Note that the package doesn’t include any hardware to watch Netflix on: you’ll have to supply that yourself.
Was: £35 per month
£20 per month
Hyperoptic is one of the fastest internet providers in the country. Its 150Mbps plan costs £20 per month until 19 July, though you can also get a 1Gbps for £35 per month (average speed of 900Mbps), reduced from £60 per month.
Keep in mind these are 24-month contracts and that Hyperoptic isn’t available everywhere. Check if your postcode is covered.
Sky Ultrafast broadband
£32 per month
Sky’s Ultrafast broadband package includes download speeds of up to 145Mbps for £32 per month for 18 months.
There’s a setup fee of £19.95.
This is a broadband-only package, but if you want to add TV with it then you’ll have to pay £50 per month for that. Overall, this is a relatively good deal considering the download speeds that you get.
EE Fibre Max 900
£46 per month
EE’s new Fibre Max 900 package offers download speeds of – you guessed it – 900Mbps. The deal includes 12 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for EE pay monthly mobile customers, who also get Apple TV 4K and a mobile boost, but it’s £3 more expensive than the price for those without an EE pay monthly SIM.Full Fibre Max 900 usually costs £55 per month.
You can find out if this deal is available in your area using the link above. Fibre Max doesn’t use EE’s 5G network: it’s full fibre, which means it’s available only to those who have FTTP (Fibre to the premises). And because EE is owned by BT, that means it’s essentially the same service as BT’s Full Fibre 900 package.
Where to get broadband deals?
Below we’ve listed the major broadband providers and sellers in the UK.
It can be difficult to know where to start when comparing deals. Here are a few questions to ask when looking at any deal:
- What are the activation fees? Can I get the same speed and monthly cost with cheaper (or free) activation elsewhere?
- Are the rates for broadband alone, or do they also bundle phone calls and / or TV? Can I save money by bundling other services?
- Can I get a better deal from my existing provider? It can be worth phoning to see if they will match or beat a deal you’ve seen online.
- Will faster broadband be a benefit? You’ll need good home Wi-Fi to deliver that fast broadband to all corners of your home. We’ve a
full guide on how to make your home network faster
Check broadband coverage in your area
It’s important to check what’s available at your address. You might be surprised to find that your friend’s superfast broadband – only a few streets away – isn’t available to you. Conversely, you might find you can get much faster speeds – it’s all down to your specific location.
Remember, too, that the advertised speed might be higher than the speed you’ll get. This is for the same reason: fibre and ADSL speeds drop off the further you live from the local exchange. However, in most cases, each broadband provider’s website will give you a pretty accurate estimate and may even offer minimum speed guarantees.
If you don’t fancy checking each provider individually, you can just use
Ofcom’s Broadband Coverage checker. While the tool won’t directly show you which providers operate in your area, it does show you the fastest speeds available at your postcode.
Broadband Genie is another service that lets you see which packages are available at your postcode.
Broadband speed claims guidance
In May 2018, the
ASA issued new broadband speed claims guidance that gives a more accurate representation of the speed you can expect from the broadband package you choose.
The change followed research into consumers’ understanding of broadband speed claims, which found that consumers are being misled by advertising from internet service providers (ISPs).
Now, ISPs need to advertise the median download speed measured at peak-time or over 24 hours, or a range of download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users measured at peak time or over 24 hours.
See Ofcom’s broadband speed checking tool to find out your broadband speed.
What’s the best broadband?
uSwitch announced its
broadband award winners for 2021, as outlined below:
Keep in mind this excludes smaller operators like Community Fibre and
Hyperoptic which offer even faster speeds (up to 3Gbps). It also excludes rural broadband providers such as