What is broadband?

Broadband is an internet connection that provides high-speeds.

Broadband replaced narrowband also-known-as dial-up internet. A typical broadband package will also come with a WiFi router, allowing users to connect wirelessly.

Which broadband deal should I choose?

The best broadband deal for you depends on where you live and what’s available in your area.

You’ll also need to think about how you use the internet and what broadband speed you’ll need. Use our broadband speed test tool to check your current speed.

Bear in mind that it’s usually the fastest connections that are the most expensive.

Types of broadband

There are a few different options when it comes to broadband, and where you live can narrow down your options.


It’s a common choice of broadband which uses your existing telephone connection.

You only need a home phone line to get ADSL broadband and it’s widely available across the UK.

Rural homes may find it harder to come by.

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Fibre optic

Provides you with a superfast connection which could offer more stability during peak usage times.

May be the right choice if you have lots of people streaming videos or gaming in your home.

Fibre optic is available throughout the UK but some rural areas may struggle to get access.

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Unlimited broadband has no cap on the amount of data you can use.

Providers may use traffic management to prioritise usage, whereas truly unlimited broadband frees you from any traffic prioritisation.

Expect to pay more for a truly unlimited package.

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Mainly used in rural areas where no ADSL or cable is available.

You’ll need a satellite dish installed at your home.

Satellite broadband can get pretty expensive.

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Should I get a broadband, phone and TV package?

It’s possible to bundle your broadband, landline and TV package together which could work out cheaper than buying them separately.

It could also make it more convenient to pay your bills rather than dealing with different providers, however it’s only useful if the package has everything you need.

What's the best broadband provider?

The best broadband provider for you will be the one that can give you what you need at a great price.

If you use the internet a lot, an unlimited broadband deal with a high speed might be the right choice, but it will cost more than a slower package.

Can I get broadband without a landline?

Most providers will require you to have a landline to connect to the internet. However, some will offer broadband-only deals.

Virgin Media are the most widely available broadband-only provider in the UK. Mobile broadband can be an option, but you’ll need to make sure it has the right speed and price for you.

Other popular providers such as Sky, BT and TalkTalk require you to have a landline with your broadband package as this is how they deliver broadband to your home.

What Broadband speed do I need?

The speed you require will very much depend on your circumstances. If you stream content or play games online, you may want a faster connection than perhaps someone who uses the internet to shop online or use social media. The number of people in your household should also be a consideration. Superfast broadband with speeds of 900mb is now available.

You can use our broadband speed test tool to find out what your speed is now. If your current connection is too slow, make sure you get a faster speed next time you switch broadband.

According to Ofcom, average speeds increased substantially in 2018, and the average download speed reached over 50 Mbit/s for the first time.

How to get cheaper broadband

We know a few ways to lower those bills:


Contact your provider

Ask them whether they can give you a better deal


Haggle your heart out

Negotiating a better price never hurt anyone


Don't overpay for data

If you’re not using your full allowance, change your plan


Bundle it up

Pay for your TV, phone and internet in one package


Choose the cheapest way to pay

Direct debit or a one-off payment could reduce your bills


Shop around

Always compare broadband prices to get a fab deal

What are the costs of broadband?

First year cost

How much it’ll cost before any introductory deals run out

Line rental

If your broadband is connected to your home phone, you’ll need to pay this

Upgrade costs

Is it cheaper to upgrade instead of getting a new deal?

Installation fees

How much you’ll pay for engineers to come out and install your broadband

Monthly bills

How much you’ll pay on an ongoing basis

Frequently asked questions

The usage limit is the cap that your provider puts on the amount of data you can receive - if you exceed this amount before the month is out, you could be charged or your internet may be cut off until the next month begins.

So, before you choose a package, make sure that it's going to fit in with your needs. For instance, if you're really into gaming, there's no point in getting a package with a lower usage limit.

Traffic management is the system that your broadband provider uses to prioritise internet traffic.

For instance, if you're downloading a large file this may run slowly so that services like online streaming can run at the speed they need to, without the dreaded buffering.

Yes, you can – find out how with our handy guide.