Cheap Broadband Guide

Cheap broadband provider guide

So you've decided to jump on the broadband bandwagon. You won't regret it. With much higher download speeds than traditional dial-up Internet you'll find that you can enjoy high-quality video, music downloads and an all-round more enjoyable browsing experience. But what are the pitfalls you should watch out for? How should you go about finding a cheap broadband ISP (Internet service provider)? Basically, how should you make sure you get the best deal with no nasty surprises? Well, we'll cover all those questions here.

The first thing you need to consider when choosing a cheap broadband ISP is this: How much do you actually use the Internet? It's an important question to consider, as you may end up paying for speed you simply don't need. Let's take a brief look at your options:

256Kbps broadband connection

Ideal for those who want the benefits of broadband but don't require superfast download speeds. Choose this option if you use the Internet for regular browsing, checking your e-mails and downloading the occasional MP3. 256Kbps broadband connections are the cheapest packages available.

1-2Mbps broadband connection

Ideal for those who expect a little more from the Internet. Choose this option if you regularly download music and video files.

4+Mbps broadband connection

Ideal for demanding users. Choose this option if you often download large music and video files, and would like to stream music and video directly to your PC. Be aware that these connections can be expensive.

Once you have identified your speed requirements you can go about finding a cheap broadband ISP who can offer you a great deal. But wait! It isn't quite that simple. While all ISPs will offer you a monthly price for each package in big, bold lettering on their websites, you should consider the possibility that there are sneaky extra costs hidden in the fine print. This is what you should watch out for:

Connection fees

Many broadband ISPs charge a one-time fee for connection, covering the cost of the broadband modem and a labour charge for the installation. While there is nothing wrong with this, you should be able to find an ISP who doesn't charge a connection fee.

Phone Line Rental

You should factor in the cost of the line rental for your telephone into your monthly costs. Many ISPs charge a single fee for your broadband and line rental (often including free off-peak or anytime phone calls in the package), so you may want to consider changing your phone provider to get the best all-round deal.

Usage limit

Many broadband packages come with a fixed monthly download limit. If you go above this limit you'll be charged a fee. It's usually only a few pounds per extra Gigabyte, but you may want to find an ISP that offers limitless access (AOL, for instance).

Contract length

Just as with mobile and landline contracts, you may be required to sign up for a minimum term with your broadband ISP. If you are unhappy with the service you receive, you may find yourself having to pay a hefty fee to get out of the contract.

Once you are aware of the hidden broadband costs and have decided what speed you need, the rest should be simple. There are dozens of cheap broadband ISPs offering services in the UK, and all of them have websites to introduce you to their service. You can either consult a broadband advice website, ask your friends who they use or simply type 'cheap broadband ISPs' or 'UK broadband' into a search engine. From there you should be able to make the best choice to suit your requirements, and before you know it you'll be browsing and downloading at lightning speed. Good luck!

Cheap Broadband - What are the latest offers?

You can look at the cheapest broadband offers of this month at a glance on our Cheap Broadband Table in our home page.

For a more detailed comparison and offer details, you may find our Compare broadband table.