Looking for a new broadband plan? Here's what to think about...

There is a lot to consider, so we've put together some of the key things to watch out for.

Maeve McLaughlin
by Maeve McLaughlin on 15th August, 2016

The broadband market is really competitive right now, with new deals cropping up all the time.

While the range of plans available is brilliant, it can be a bit daunting if you’re trying to pick which one is right for you.

So what should you be looking out for when you’re shopping around?

Broadband costs

The first thing to consider is how much you’re willing to pay per month. Lots of companies offer discounts to customers for the first few months of their contract. While these discounts can be really lucrative, you’ll also need to consider the monthly cost after the discount ends.

A good way of doing this is to look at the year 1 cost, as this will show you the full cost of the broadband for the first year of your contract. Our broadband deal checker displays this information clearly, so you can easily compare it across all suppliers.

Broadband speed

Recent research by Switcher showed that broadband speed comes second only to price in terms of importance when people are choosing their broadband plan. And with good reason.

More and more of us are streaming and downloading content frequently, and we all know how frustrating it is if your stream keeps buffering, or downloading takes much longer than it should because your broadband is sluggish.

Broadband providers are now offering speeds up to 1Gbps in some areas of the country - this is commonly known as ‘lightning speed’. But the reality is that superfast broadband does come at a price - and most standard users will find that good 100Mb broadband will be more than adequate for their needs.

The broadband speed you can get in your home will be affected by the type of connection you have (for example fibre, ADSL, or wireless) and where you live - as not all providers serve every area of the country.

Make sure to check which providers operate in your area, and what ‘up to’ speeds they advertise, so you can be sure you’re choosing the best provider to suit your needs. You can also carry out a speed test to check what speed your broadband is currently operating at.

Unlimited broadband plans

Another thing to consider is whether or not you want an unlimited broadband plan. Basically this means you don’t have any limits on your internet usage - which is increasingly important considering the amount of people using services like Netflix to stream TV.

It also means that your bill is the same each month, which can be a good way to budget. Generally these plans work well for larger households, like families and groups of students living together, as people don’t need to worry about their usage impacting on the overall bill.

Broadband bundles

Consider whether you want to bundle your broadband with your TV or home phone. Doing so could save you money, as bundles generally work out cheaper than getting the services from different suppliers.

You could choose to bundle broadband with either your phone or your TV, or you could bundle all three together, depending on the providers operating in your area.

Ready to compare broadband plans? Try our broadband deal checker