When it comes to finding the best broadband, everyone has different motivators, but it’s fair to say that a fantastic price can sway just about anyone. Make sure that cheap internet deal you’ve uncovered isn’t cutting corners with our handy advice.
This table has been sorted to display the fastest average* speed deals first.
|Product name||Contract length||Download limit||Download speed*||Monthly cost|
|TalkTalk Unlimited Fibre 65 and Phone Line||18 months||Unlimited||67Mb||£25 /month|
|Vodafone Superfast 2||24 months||Unlimited||63Mb||£22 /month|
|TalkTalk Unlimited Fibre 35 and Phone Line||18 months||Unlimited||38Mb||£22 /month|
|Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Broadband & Phone Line||18 months||Unlimited||36Mb||£22.99 /month|
|EE Unlimited Superfast Fibre||18 months||Unlimited||36Mb||£23 /month|
|SSE Unlimited Fibre and Line Rental Only||18 months||Unlimited||35Mb||£23 /month|
|Vodafone Superfast 1||24 months||Unlimited||35Mb||£22 /month|
|Origin Fibre Broadband||18 months||Unlimited||18Mb||£20.99 /month|
|TalkTalk Unlimited Fast Broadband and Phone Line||18 months||Unlimited||11Mb||£24.95 /month|
|Plusnet Unlimited Broadband & Phone Line||18 months||Unlimited||10Mb||£18.50 /month|
This table has been limited to display a maximum of 10 deals, sorted by the highest download speed first.
*The average download speed displayed in Mb is the speed available to 50% of customers with this product during peak time (between 8pm and 10pm). The actual speed you will get depends on a variety of factors such as your cabling, your area, how far you are from the telephone exchange as well as time of day. The majority of providers will tell you the speed you will likely receive when you begin your online sign up — this may differ from the average speed displayed on our table.
The deals available at your postcode are subject to local availability. The provider will confirm availability for your line.
Money services are provided at no cost to you, but we may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to.
There is no set price for domestic broadband contracts. Instead, internet service providers (ISPs) calculate different costs depending on each customer and their circumstances. Costs also vary according to the type of broadband you opt for, the fastest connection your property can support and any additional services you require or request. However, as with many things in life, bigger budgets tend to result in better performance.
Paying £15-20 a month will usually cover the cost of a standard ADSL broadband connection across a phone line, with no added extras. Standard broadband is nowhere near as fast as fibre broadband, so don’t approach these deals expecting comparable speeds.
Standard broadband is still the most widely available type of broadband, as it uses phone lines which are available in almost any home. It remains a reliable option for small households and casual internet users, and it’s among the cheapest broadband in the UK. Even gamers could find ADSL meets their needs, providing they aren’t sharing a connection with several other people simultaneously.
Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) broadband is becoming more affordable as it’s rolled out across the UK. For anywhere between £30 and £50 per month, you can get high-performing broadband deals that will ensure even large households can stay connected and enjoy reliable performance.
A willingness to pay more than £50 a month opens up a market of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband. This is also known as full fibre, since it uses fibre optic cables from the provider’s exchange directly into your home. FTTC connections still use older copper phone lines for the final stage of data’s journey into your home. The FTTP network offers unparalleled performance, though availability is presently limited to largely urban areas.
However tempting it may seem on paper, a household would need fairly substantial bandwidth requirements to make paying these fees the best value option. An ADSL connection will be fine for a two-person household happy to stream in standard definition or HD rather than 4K. Similarly, FTTC connections will serve a family of four without needing to consider the upper price levels that come with full fibre.
The easiest way to find cheap Wi-Fi is to compare deals on our online broadband price comparison tool. This lists the best ISPs in the UK, with options to search for ADSL, mobile broadband and, where possible, full fibre connections. Always search by postcode, which considers what sort of internet options are available at a specific location using the available connectivity. Also bear in mind that broadband provider advertising tends to favour more optimistic figures, so look at real-world performance in your desired or required postcode.
If value for money is a pressing concern, don’t rule out combined deals for TV, broadband and phone services. These all-in-one packages are endlessly customisable, from fibre optic to standard broadband, from a few extra TV channels to an endless variety, and from free evening and weekend phone calls to unlimited anytime coverage including many international numbers.
If rapid broadband is required to support HD or 4K TV streaming, it makes sense to save on both by signing up to a bundle. These give you the convenience of having all your services from one place, simplifying billing and paperwork. When purchased together, they can deliver an impressive discount compared to buying each separately, especially with an introductory deal.
Even so, it might be worth looking into the standalone price of broadband, TV and phone calls. There’s little benefit in paying for something you never use.
As explained above, finding cheap broadband in the UK depends on a range of factors including your location and what sort of broadband you want. Below, we consider how the major providers compare:
As a former monopoly holder, BT is the UK’s longest-serving ISP. Opting for the availability and reliability that comes with such a household name is understandable. BT is also developing a full fibre network, competing with Virgin Media in terms of ultrafast broadband provision.
Plusnet’s focus on no-nonsense customer service underpins its reputation as a friendly ISP. It’s also a self-styled champion of great-value internet services. Despite lacking some of the upgrades and bundles offered by other ISPs, it’s a strong option for cheap broadband with strong customer support.
The UK’s leading satellite TV brand (and increasingly a producer of high-quality television shows) also offers some cheap broadband deals. Sky promotes a variety of quad-play bundles which combine satellite TV, landline, broadband and mobile SIM deals. Because Sky produces a number of channels other providers have to offer as extras, it could represent better value for people with high demands for content.
TalkTalk is named after the phone packages it offers, but other services include TV and broadband. TalkTalk is regarded as a good-value ISP, with fixed priced deals and bundles that might be compellingly cheap.
Virgin Media is one of the more expensive ISPs, justified in part by its proprietary network of full fibre cabling, which is the fastest in the UK. Broadband and TV services are supplied down this cable network, which is available in less than half of the UK at the time of writing (October 2020).
If your only real concern is getting a cheap deal and a reliable connection, narrow your search to standard broadband. Exclude offers with extra services, such as the cheapest broadband and phone deals on the market. You’ll also have to accept that ADSL speeds won’t match fibre optic.
If you want to make sure your cheap broadband deal doesn’t suddenly increase, opt for a fixed price plan. Also ensure other fees like router delivery or installation are also covered. If you’re forced to enter into a call package, this should also be a fixed price contract. If it’s not, remove it from your contract as soon as possible to ensure it doesn’t keep increasing in price.
Some ISPs will offer cashback to entice you into signing up for cheap broadband in the UK. While the offer of free cash and gifts is a simple marketing technique, it may be worth it. This is particularly true if you’re trying to cancel a broadband contract early, and need to cover the exit fees.
The broadband market is regulated by Ofcom, and every ISP apart from Virgin Media relies on the same Openreach lines. The basic infrastructure will be the same for any service, and so will maximum achievable line speeds. Differences may become apparent in terms of customer service and hidden pricing, so be sure to research your new supplier thoroughly. Virgin’s hardware is incompatible with other ISPs, and it’s unique in that its broadband routers have to be used. You can’t buy your own to replace the supplied router, as you can with other ISPs.
This is a difficult question to answer universally. Because so many factors affect broadband pricing, the adage ‘you get what you pay for’ isn’t always applicable. Broadband pricing will vary according to your own situation, so weigh up the pros and cons.
Do you want the best speeds you can possibly obtain? If so, paying a little more may be worth it.
Do you want TV, calls and broadband in a bundled package with a single monthly bill? If so, slightly discounted prices from one provider might bring the cheapest broadband and phone deals within your budget.
While doing away with line rental sounds like it should work out cheaper, this isn’t necessarily the case in reality. ISPs like EE and Sky are rolling out broadband-exclusive deals using new technology called SOGEA. BT Wholesale has estimated SOGEA costs will be 30 per cent lower to ISPs, but even the cheapest broadband only deals are unlikely to yield savings for consumers. The infrastructure is the same, the setup is the same, and the absence of phone calls doesn’t really justify significant savings from the perspective of ISPs.
If you fall into a certain demographic, you can enjoy savings offered by certain UK suppliers to people in particular circumstances:
Students will be able to access cheap internet deals and shorter contract lengths, which reflect the three-term tenancy of most student residences. The cheapest broadband only student deals won’t include added extras like TV, though lower broadband costs could free up cash for additional services.
BT is the only ISP offering a package specifically directed at pensioners, called BT Basic. Prices are discounted, but connectivity isn’t really suitable for media streaming. While not specifically aimed at pensioners, the Post Office offers greater flexibility in terms of paying for broadband. This may be ideal for pensioners who can’t (or don’t want to) set up direct debits.
While these options are worth considering, there are also low-cost and universally available broadband deals from several ISPs that represent great value, even for those living on a pension. Some ISPs will also support people with chequered credit histories by offering broadband without credit checks.
Mobile broadband deals can be more affordable if you want the cheapest broadband deals combined with flexibility. They’re equally good if you don’t want to be locked in for more than a month at a time, or simply don’t need unlimited broadband. However, if you want the peace of mind of constant connectivity, you may find it more worthwhile staying with wired cheap home broadband. Provided you’re on an unlimited deal, which most contracts are, you’re unlikely to rack up extra bills.