Hunting down the cheapest broadband offers in the UK
We find and compare the lowest price internet deals in the UK so you don’t have to.
With our cheap broadband deals you’ll get a free wireless router, which beams WiFi throughout your home. That means everyone can get online on smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers or other internet-connected devices.
Cheap broadband deals often include some kind of antivirus software for your home PC, laptop or Mac, for example Sky Broadband Shield, or Post Office Safeguard.
Finding your perfect deal is as simple as popping your postcode in the search box.
Just because you’re paying less than £20 a month for broadband doesn’t mean you should be stuck with installation delays, missed appointments or overseas call centres who can’t help you with any broadband problems.
Choosing an affordable broadband supplier doesn’t mean you should accept a lower quality of service. Even the cheapest internet can be better for your wallet and better for your state of mind.
If you need to save money fast, switching to a cheaper broadband deal is a great place to start.
What kinds of broadband are most affordable?
While you won’t see this on your bill, the cheapest broadband in the UK is normally delivered using the oldest kind of technology available, called ADSL.
ADSL broadband is the oldest kind of technology still on sale on the UK market.
These cheap and cheerful broadband lines can reach a maximum download speed of 17Mbps.
If all you do online is read your emails and browse Facebook or other social media, then this cheapest type of broadband will probably be fine.
Often users won’t be able to get 17Mbps because of a host of reasons. The biggest factor is the distance from the nearest telephone exchange – closer usually means you’ll get faster broadband.
The number of people trying to get online nearby, and the time of day, will also have an impact. Usually broadband is slower during peak times -before 10.30am and after 5pm.
Once you start watching Youtube or BBC iPlayer online, or streaming TV on Netflix, then the ADSL broadband might be less suitable and could struggle to keep up.
Still, low cost broadband doesn’t have to be low quality or low performance. You can get cheap broadband deals for under £20 a month, especially if you don’t need calls or TV bundled in.
Who is the cheapest broadband provider?
These companies usually offer internet access in the cheaper range of prices. We know them as budget broadband providers.
There are fewer bells and whistles but they do offer reasonable value for money. These are nationwide operations, with decent quality customer service as rated by Ofcom, the telecoms regulator. Trustpilot, the crowdsourced reviews website also provide reliable customer ratings.
These usually include:
- DirectSave Telecom, who regularly drop prices under £20 a month for broadband only deals
- Plusnet, who offer reasonably-priced standard speed and fibre broadband and are well-rated for customer service
- TalkTalk, who focus on budget deals but don’t have the same reputation for customer service
- Onestream, an independent telecoms company that offers some of the cheapest broadband packages on the market
- Sky Broadband, while they focus on premium services and pay TV, affordable Sky broadband deals are more common than you might think
Will budget broadband be fast enough?
It depends on what you use the internet for. If you’re just browsing websites, checking email or social media without uploading pictures or videos, standard ADSL broadband at up to 17Mbps is likely to be plenty for what you need.
Cheap broadband comes in many forms. Sometimes even Fibre-to-the-Cabinet broadband – one step up from standard speed – can come in at less than £25 a month.
This type of Fibre broadband is sold as ‘up to 38Mbps’ and ‘up to 76Mbps’. Sometimes even the cheapest full-fibre broadband can be suitable for you too, though this is less widely available.
Will cheap broadband work for me?
It depends on how many people in your household use the internet at one time, and what you use the internet for.
No-frills ADSL broadband usually works best for people who:
- Have two or fewer people using the internet or using WiFi at once
- Don’t go online every day
- Only use the internet to read news websites, check emails and check their social media accounts
Cheap ADSL broadband is usually not suitable for people who:
- Have more than two people trying to get online or use WiFi at the same time
- Want to use their broadband to stream TV, BBC iPlayer or Netflix, or want to stream Spotify or other music platforms
- Often use the internet for online games, or to make video calls using Skype or Facetime.
- Need to download music, films, TV or games quickly
Can you get free gifts with a cheap broadband package?
Sure! Even the cheapest broadband suppliers want new customers and need your business, and they’re willing to offer you sweeteners to sign up with them rather than with their rivals.
The most common kind of offer with cheap broadband deals are Reward Cards.
These are prepaid Mastercards loaded with a certain amount of cash, ranging from £50 to £175, that you can spend online or in high street stores.
Usually broadband providers run these Reward Cards through separate companies. You sign up to a new cheap broadband deal, then once your service is switched on, and up and running, you apply to get the Reward Card.
You’ll see these results listed in our comparison tables and they’ll show up as a green, red or black pointer
New tech, tablets and more
Occasionally ISPs will try to grease the wheels with a fancy new piece of tech to entice you into signing up for a cheap broadband deal. These can range from tablets, speakers and headphones to wireless cameras, apps or even the new breed of digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, or Google Home.
How could switching to a cheaper broadband deal help?
The biggest barrier to making the switch to cheaper broadband is usually a fear of being offline for extended periods, or not knowing enough about the ISP they’re switching to.
Most people stay with their broadband provider far beyond the initial 12 or 18 months. Prices often go up after this time.
People don’t like switching broadband and see it as a major hassle – like switching energy providers.
But there’s no loyalty bonus available for most of us. In fact, the longer you stay with one broadband provider, the more likely your monthly bills are to go up, rather than down.
If you’ve stuck with your broadband provider for more than 12 months, you’re likely to be missing out on the cheapest broadband deals available.
If you’re prepared to shop around, compare prices and providers and really think hard about what you need and what you want, there’s no reason why you can’t find cheap broadband near you.
It’s easier than you think to make savings without sacrificing on quality. There are better deals out there if you are willing to look, as you can see from our broadband price comparison tables.