The Government is gently easing lockdown and people are starting to enjoy a little bit more freedom. Soaking up the sun together outdoors, enjoying small meetups and, generally, just catching up. Even so, they’re still looking for the best broadband deal because summer will fly by and they’ll be back indoors, wrapping up warm and watching Netflix before they know it. To get the best deal with the right provider, it helps to know about broadband, so here are a few things to know when searching for that deal.

Types of broadband

There isn’t just one type of broadband. You can get ADSL, which requires a home telephone line; fibre-optic, which sends the broadband down tiny, fibre-glass cables and is extremely fast; and mobile broadband, which allows you to use the internet while you’re on the move. Since fibre-optic broadband is still something of a work in progress, it costs more but is worth the expense if you use the internet a lot. 

Providers

Choosing a broadband provider often comes down to the offer and whether or not it gives you what you need. The five most popular providers are:

  • Virgin Media. If you want incredibly fast broadband, Virgin Media offers speeds of up to 516Mbps. Unlike most other providers who operate on the Openreach network, which uses old copper phone lines to deliver the internet into your home, Virgin has built its own platform, which is much, much faster. Unfortunately, it’s not available everywhere so you’ll need to check availability for your area
  • Sky. This company provides superb TV and broadband packages. If entertainment matters to you more than broadband speed, you might prefer Sky instead of Virgin Media.
  • BT Internet. BT aren’t cheap, but they’re competitive when it comes to sales or cashback. You can also get price discounts and M&S and Amazon vouchers.
  • TalkTalk. If you’re on a budget, this is the provider to consider. You can also get gift cards for Amazon, Tesco or Argos.
  • plusnet. plusnet are a fairly new kid on the broadband block and have won awards for their customer service.

Deal types

You can get broadband only deals, but these are limited. ‘Bundles’ are much more common. These deals combine broadband with other services, such as TV or phone calls, or both, and are often cheaper than paying for them as stand-alone services. 

If you want something shorter term than a broadband and phone deal or a TV bundle, you can opt for a rolling monthly broadband agreement. You’re likely to have to pay more upfront costs for the privilege, however.

Note that most deals offer unlimited broadband automatically, which is more convenient than a limited broadband deal. The latter would only provide a fixed amount of broadband coverage per month.

Speeds

The faster your internet speed, the better, especially if you have more than one person in your home who will be using the internet, too. Ideally, you should allocate 10 Mbps per person when considering your deal. If the users in your home are heavy users, double this allocation. Mbps stands for ‘Megabits per second’ and refers to the speed at which information from the internet can move down to your devices. 

Finding a good deal is question of understanding a little bit about broadband to make the right choices. By the time the cold weather returns, you’ll have already signed up for the right deal and can make the most of the internet if the nation has to go into further lockdown.