Thankfully, that's all in the past and broadband has been steadily making progress since its launch more than a decade ago. In recent years technology has raced ahead and it's now possible to enjoy super-fast speeds at a fraction of the cost.
But whilst email and instant messaging are great, sometimes there's just no substitute for speaking on the phone. And even with improved signals, mobile phones just aren't as reliable as their landline counterparts.
If you still harbour a fondness for the telephone, and prefer to talk rather than text, you could find that getting an anytime calls and broadband bundle saves you a substantial wedge of cash.
Can you save money by picking a broadband anytime calls package?
Whilst you can certainly pick up a great deal on both broadband and anytime calls separately, by bundling them together in a package, you can reduce the costs even further.
However, before you just plump for the cheapest anytime calls and broadband bundle you can find, it's important that you still check to make sure the individual features suit you.
For example, the best broadband anytime calls package should have sufficient bandwidth to provide a speedy connection. For some people just 10Mb will be enough whilst heavier users will need 30Mb or even 50Mb in order to avoid lags and delays.
If speed really is of the essence you might want to opt for a fibre optic broadband and anytime calls deal instead. Fibre optic cables don't lose the signal through copper wires and are renowned for being far more effective in delivering the advertised speed more of the time.
If you are a heavy user you will also need to consider any download limits which might apply. Although you can just pay for any excess you use if you exceed your allowance, the rates for the surplus can be steep. You might find that upgrading to one of the unlimited broadband and anytime phone deals works out as a cheaper option instead.
But even an unlimited anytime broadband and phone package has some limitations. Most providers have a Fair Use policy so if you think you are going to be a particularly heavy user it might be worth checking this out before you sign up. An unlimited broadband free calls package might make it sound like you have carte blanche but your service provider could slow down your connection if they think you are using too much.
Getting the best broadband and anytime phone deals
You need to think about whether you really need to go for anytime calls. If you're only home in the evening then an evening & weekend calls package may be more suitable. The same applies to the download limit you need - if you're not a heavy internet user then it's likely you'll pay too much by opting for an unlimited deal.
Once you know the type of package that will best suit your needs, it's essential to compare broadband and anytime calls bundles to see where you can shave off some of those extra pounds on the best bundle deals.
A large number of providers offer introductory rates which can last for as long as a year. These discounts can be substantial, in some cases as much as 50%, so it's well worth carrying out an anytime phone and internet comparison to see where you could save money.
Remember to double check what the rates will revert to once the introductory period has finished and how long you are tied into the contract for. A hefty discount is only worth signing up for if the longer term costs are reasonable too.
Also be wary of signing up to the cheapest anytime calls and broadband provider without checking it out properly. You might be getting a great deal but on the other hand there could be hidden costs. Installation costs and charging for equipment are two things which can bump the price up; many companies offer these for free in the best deal broadband and call packages but make sure this is the case before signing on the dotted line.