Broadband deals? Here's where to find them
Our informative guide will empower you to uncover the best broadband deals around.
Finding the best broadband deals can be a bumpy road with confusing lingo and a postcode lottery to navigate. It’s a crowded market where one wrong turn can cost you over the odds and leave you sitting in the slow lane on the information superhighway (remember when it was called that?). It doesn’t have to be this way.
Simply by knowing what to look for when shopping for broadband deals you can improve your chances of getting the greatest bang for your broadband buck and come away with a knockout contract that’s the envy of your neighbours. This guide is going to help you do that by showing you what to look for.
What’s the deal with broadband in the UK?
The broadband landscape in the UK has undergone significant changes in recent years, with faster speeds and greater coverage. In general, we have a fairly high penetration of broadband compared to other countries, with over 95 per cent of households having access to some form of broadband service.
With a dramatic increase in working from home requiring a more consistent spread of broadband across the country, along with the ever more diverse ways we’re using the internet, the industry has had to move swiftly since Covid-19 to meet our changing needs.
That’s not always the case in the countryside, of course, where broadband deals can be harder to find – this is where Voneus comes in. We’re one of the largest rural broadband providers in the UK, bringing full fibre and wireless connectivity to parts of England and Wales that other providers simply can’t reach.
What’s the best broadband for me?
The main types of broadband deals available in the UK are for ADSL, cable, full fibre, and wireless. The most common, ADSL, uses traditional copper telephone lines. Cable broadband runs along coaxial cables similar to those in the back of a Virgin Media or Sky TV box and is generally a tad bit faster.
Full fibre is faster still thanks to a network of glass or plastic fibre-optic cables, whereas wireless doesn’t use cables at all, which can be a lifesaver in rural areas when no other options are available – these are two services Voneus offers.
Your first port of call when finding broadband deals is to identify providers available in your area. While price comparison sites can help with this they tend to have commercial arrangements with companies that might not benefit you in the long run. Instead, we recommend researching multiple sources before checking the provider’s own website to see what is on offer.
The next stage involves finding a broadband deal with the best balance between speed and price to suit your lifestyle. Let’s call this ‘The Goldilocks Zone’ because when you find it, it’ll feel just right.
Average ADSL download speeds hover around 10-11 megabits per second (Mbps). Enough for most people to get their work done, stream and use social media, but the second you start feeling ambitious about 4K content or high-frame-rate games things will quickly unravel – more so with multiple family users or in a shared household.
Voneus wireless broadband sits at around 30-50 Mbps, but graduate to the promised land of our full fibre service and you could land yourself a deal with lightning-quick ultrafast speeds of 250-900Mbps. Speed definitions tend to vary from provider to provider, so as a rough guide here’s a quick recap:
Standard broadband = ADSL tech with speeds of 10-11 Mbps
Wireless broadband = No cables and speeds of 30-50 Mbps
Superfast broadband = Full fibre speeds of 30-100Mbps
Ultrafast broadband = Full fibre speeds of 100 Mbps & above
Now, if you’re sitting there rubbing your hands with glee at the prospect of the fastest fibre broadband in the west, a word of warning: big broadband penetration doesn’t equal big broadband speeds and the UK has some of the slowest in the developed world, coming 35th last year.
Providers will also often mention the “average speed” for each broadband deal but they only need to service 50 per cent of customers at peak times to stay on the right side of Ofcom. Other factors can affect this speed too, like the number of users in your area and how far you are from the exchange. When it comes to rural broadband, even the setup of your home can affect this.
Some providers, like Voneus, advertise average ‘symmetrical’ speeds – what you can typically expect for downloads and uploads. This is unequivocally a good thing, especially in the age of cloud computing where many of us consistently upload files to the likes of Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive. Uploads are also an important factor for making stable video calls.
While the need for speed can sometimes be a tad overhyped, who doesn’t want an ultrafast connection if it’s available? That’s why we offer rapid full fibre packages with minimum speeds of 250, 500 & 900Mbps.
Focusing on the speeds stated above, think sensibly about your usage case by asking a few simple questions:
How many people are in my household?
Do I stream a lot of 4K content?
Am I a big gamer?
Do I work from home and is that work internet intensive?
What broadband deals should I look for?
Regardless of whether money is tight right now, you should always be looking to land the best broadband deal possible and it pays to look out for things like a ‘no price rise guarantee’. More on that crucial point in a moment.
Broadband deals usually come in 12-, 18- or 24-month packages, so think seriously about how much you can afford per month before taking the plunge. A bargain on the surface might bury you in a long-term agreement when it’s more advantageous to switch to another provider sooner – like when renewing your car insurance.
It’s not the only ‘catch’ to be aware of. Look out for sneaky set-up costs, delivery of a new router, or penalties for going over a monthly download limit. Providers like Voneus clearly state free installation, a free router, and no activation fee.
Voneus also offers a no price rise guarantee, stating it will never increase prices mid-contract for its customers. This is vitally important when looking for the best broadband deals because most providers tend to raise prices annually to adjust for inflation.
It’s a hot topic in 2023 too with millions of broadband users in a price hike trap and broadband bills expected to soar. To make sure you’re not at risk, check the terms of your broadband contract regularly and make a note of when it expires. This will make it much easier to buy yourself time by giving 30 days' notice of your intention to switch providers. Of course, if you’re looking to join Voneus you’ll always be covered.
The best broadband deals can vary depending on where you live in the UK so enter your postcode into the Voneus website or if we’re not quite in your area yet enter your details anyway so you’ll be the first to know when we are.
If you can’t wait, spin the wheel fortune and see what providers operate in your area, just be aware of sponsored results on price comparison sites. Providers pay for the privilege of bumping select broadband deals to the top of the pile, but they’re not always the best offers out there. In fact, they don’t always list every option available either, so check the provider’s own website too.
How do I negotiate the best broadband deal?
We know this can be a lot to take in, so we’ve included a 10–point broadband deals checklist below.
If you’re not happy with your current broadband deal or service, be aware of early exit fees. Instead, your first move should be to raise a complaint because often the threat of losing your business can be enough of a nudge to offer you better terms on speed or price.
Whether you’re negotiating for a new broadband deal or trying to improve your existing package, to steal a line from The Godfather ‘go to the mattresses’ and fight for the best offer. It’s easy to bury your head in the sand and stick with your broadband status quo, but that’s exactly what most providers want you to do. Good luck.
The Voneus Broadband Deals Checklist
What are the terms of my current broadband deal?
What type of broadband is available in my area?
What is my internet usage like?
What speeds would I like?
How much can I realistically afford per month?
How committed do I want to be contract-wise?
Is the deal in ‘The Goldilocks Zone’?
Are there any ‘hidden’ extra costs?
Is there a no price rise guarantee?
Is it a sponsored deal?