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19th of July 2018

Internet



The best broadband deals in July 2018

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Let's face it...shopping for broadband deals is a pain in the proverbial. With internet providers like BT broadband, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk all trying to get your business and all claiming to have the best rates, it can be bewildering to say the least.

And then there's all the different broadband plans you can choose from. Do you need superfast fibre broadband? Should you go for a cheap broadband only deal for less than £20 per month, or add TV and phone plans to your internet package? There are dozens upon dozens of combinations to pick from.

TechRadar's custom-built broadband choosing tool is here to help you decide. Simply pop in your postcode above and we'll give you a list of the cheapest home broadband deals available in your area. From there, you can play with the filters until you've narrowed down the deal for you - it literally takes less than a minute! It's difficult to look past Vodafone and its astonishingly priced £21 per month fibre deal at the moment, but dig deeper and you can get BT broadband and a £100 pre-paid Mastercard at a reasonable rate, too.

And below that, we have some handpicked handpicked favourite deals for fibre (if you can get it), broadband and TV packages and broadband only plans that are really impressing us this month. Keep scrolling down and you'll find our advice on what else you should consider when buying broadband - from the speed you'll need, to whether getting fibre broadband is a must for your household.

best broadband deals

Best fibre broadband deals (subject to availability at your postcode)

BT Superfast Fibre Unlimited | 18 months | 50Mb avg speed | Weekend calls | £9.99 router delivery | £31.99pmBT remains the most popular broadband provider around, and not only because of its familiar brand. Its best value fibre broadband plan combines incredible 50Mb average speeds, free connection and a £90 pre-paid Mastercard. Standard broadband costs £7 less a month. Total cost of 18 months £585.81

Buy this broadband deal from BT

Vodafone Superfast 1 | 18 months | 35Mb avg speed | Line rental inc. | FREE upfront | £22 per monthMore famous for its Vodafone mobile deals, the company has some great prices on broadband, too. In fact, it's the cheapest fibre optic internet provider by some distance with faintly ridiculous £22 per month prices (or £20 if you have your mobile contract with Vodafone). Ok, so it's recently gone up by a pound per month, but we think it's well worth it because Vodafone now guarantees a minimum speed of 25Mb, or money off your next monthly bill. We like...A LOT. Total cost over 18 months £396

Get this super cheap Vodafone fibre broadband deal

Virgin Media VIVID 50 and Player TV bundle | 12 months | 108Mb avg speed | Weekend calls | £20 upfront | £29pmThis new double speed promotional price from Virgin is just splendid. First there's the insane average 108Mb internet speed - that's around 13.5MB per second in terms of downloads. Plus you get weekend calls, a free TV V6 box and 60+ TV channels. Only around 60% of the UK can get Virgin broadband though, so use our postcode checker above to see if you qualify. Total cost of 12 months £368

View this broadband deal from Virgin Media - or call 08000-492-102 to order by phone

The best broadband and TV deals in the UK this month

Virgin Media Full House Bundle | 12 months | 108Mb 213Mb avg speed | Weekend calls | 230+ channels incl. BT Sport | £20 activation fee | £55pmIncluded in the Full House bundle's 200-odd channels are the likes of MTV, the Disney Channel and the full suite of BT Sport stations. While on the internet side, you now get the benefit of pulverising 213Mb average speeds - that should mean seamless 4K streaming and downloads at over 25MB per second, but only for a limited time Total cost for 12 months £680

View this broadband and TV deal from Virgin - or call 08000-492-102 to order.

NOW Brilliant Broadband + Entertainment Pass | 12 months | 11Mb avg speed | 100+ channels | Anytime calls | £9.99 delivery | £22.99pmNOW Broadband offers some of the cheapest internet rates on the market, and the same applies if you want the provider to cater for both broadband and TV. All you have to pay upfront is a tenner for delivery and the monthly payments are fantastic considering you get access to 300+ box sets and premium channels like Sky Atlantic and Fox. Total cost of 12 months £285.87

View this broadband and TV deal from NOW Broadband

Virgin Media Full House Bundle | 12 months | 108Mb 213Mb avg speed | Weekend calls | 230+ channels incl. BT Sport | £20 activation fee | £55pmIncluded in the Full House bundle's 200-odd channels are the likes of MTV, the Disney Channel and the full suite of BT Sport stations. While on the internet side, you now get the benefit of pulverising 213Mb average speeds - that should mean seamless 4K streaming and downloads at over 25MB per second, but only for a limited time.

View this broadband and TV deal from Virgin - or call 08000-492-102 to order.

Best broadband only deals in the UK this month

Sky Broadband Unlimited | 18 months | 11Mb avg. speed | £9.95 upfront | £20pm + return flight to EuropeAs far as free gifts go, this perk from Sky may just be head and shoulders above the rest. Take any broadband only deal from Sky (including Sky Fibre broadband) and it will send you a voucher to claim a free return flight to Europe with lastminute.com! Total cost of 12 months £369.95

Check out this fantastic Sky broadband deal - or call 08000-142-334 to order

Can I order these broadband deals over the phone?

We understand that buying broadband is a big purchase that you're going to be committed to for at least a year. If you feel more comfortable ordering over the phone, we can offer a call centre service - but only for a selected few providers:

Sky broadband: 08000-142-334Virgin broadband: 08000-492-102TalkTalk broadband: 08000-492-103

best broadband deals

What broadband speed do I need?

Superfast fibre broadband may sound appetising, but it may not be necessary for your home - especially if you want to cut costs. It could be worth considering slower, cheaper ADSL instead.

Broadband speeds are represented in megabits per second, or Mb. Crudely speaking, the more Mbs, the faster the broadband speed. But remember that the advertised speed is the 'average' (more on which below) and doesn't necessarily represent the actual speed you'll end up getting. That varies depending where you live.

0-12Mb This entry-level broadband speed is transmitted via an ADSL connection to your nearest BT exchange. The equivalent to just over 1MB per second, It should be fast enough for small households where only one or two people are using the internet at once. Be aware that if you stream TV, you may experience the odd interruption.

25-50Mb Where Virgin led the way, the rest followed. Now every big provider offers rapid fibre broadband. This is the sweet spot between fast speeds and good value and just the ticket for a family household where four or five members are all streaming, downloading and surfing at once.

50+Mb If you stream 4K TV or have loads of people trying to use your broadband connection at once, then it may be worth shelling out for the extra speed. It may cost you more, but you're pretty much guaranteed lag-free use - plus, the providers often sweeten the deal with added extras and rewards.

best broadband deals

What is 'average' speed for broadband?

Since May 2018, the Advertising Standards Authority changed the requirements for how internet providers promote the speed of their service. Instead of 'up to' speeds, they must now give an 'average'.

For these purposes, average means the speed in Mb received by over 50% of their users between the peak usage hours of 8pm and 10pm in the UK. You're not guaranteed that speed though, so double check with the provider exactly what their minimum speed provisions are.

best broadband deals

Is fibre broadband available in my area?

There's one very easy way to find out...scroll to the top of this page and input your postcode. We'll tell you straight away whether you can get fast fibre broadband.

Roughly speaking, 90% of UK homes now have the option of connecting to fibre broadband. But if you have your heart on Virgin Media fibre plans, it's more like around 60%.

best broadband deals

What contract length should I go for?

Most broadband providers lock you in for at least 12 months, with one year plans being by far the most common.  That said, perhaps taking their cue from mobile phone contracts, we are now seeing some providers experimenting with longer plans, with 18 month contracts rearing their heads.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some providers now offer short term rolling contracts. Virgin Media, for example, have 30 day plans for commitment-phobes. The downside is you'll be expected to play a larger setup fee.

When your contract comes to an end, be prepared for your monthly tariff to be hiked - especially if you were lucky enough to get a great introductory offer at the outset.

best broadband deals

Will I have to pay anything upfront for broadband?

Possibly. Sometimes known as 'setup', 'upfront' or 'activation' fees, most of the major broadband providers ask for at least some payment when you kick off your contract, even if it's just to cover the cost of delivering your new router. The amount usually depends on what level of package you go for, but it will likely be somewhere between £10 and £60.

But plenty of providers now bucks the old trend and have scrapped their activation fee completely (TalkTalk for example), while others run frequent promotions where they temporarily scrap their upfront cost.

There may be other added extras, too, however. If you take a broadband and TV package, you might be charged for the TV set-top box - that could be totally worth it if you don't already have a device to pause and record live TV.

best broadband deals

Do I have to pay more to have a phone line?

If you still use a home landline to make and receive calls, you're in luck - many broadband plans don't  just feature a landline, but they actually include it in your monthly price.

You will have to start paying more though when you have a personalised call plan. You'll see your standard monthly bill begin to escalate when you start adding unlimited evening, daytime or international calls to the mix.

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