Broadband has without a doubt become a must-have for most households in Ireland. If you haven’t compared broadband deals in a while, it’s very likely that doing so now, and switching to a different provider, will save you a packet.
There are broadband packages out there to suit all types of users - whether you want access to broadband on the move, you live in a busy household where everyone needs access to the internet, you’re from a rural area with no access to fibre, or you can’t live without your home phone and TV package.
Understanding the types of broadband
Before you choose a broadband package, it’s important to understand the various types of broadband that are available.
- ADSL broadband. Probably the most common type of broadband in Ireland, ADSL broadband is uses an existing home phone line to provide an internet connection of up to 24Mb. As this technology uses the phone line in your home, you’ll need a home phone line installed in order to avail of it.
- Satellite broadband. If you live in a rural area, or you can’t get access to ADSL broadband, satellite broadband could be an option for you. This is set up in a household through the installation of a satellite dish, and provides speeds of up to 30Mb.
- Fibre or cable broadband. Fibre (or cable) broadband is the fastest type of broadband connection - it is delivered to the home using fibre-optic cables. The fastest type of fibre connection is Fibre-to-the-Home, which brings the fibre cables directly into your home - this can currently deliver speeds of up to 1,000Mbps.
- Mobile broadband. Mobile broadband is provided to customers through a mobile phone signal. This can be really useful, especially for people who need access to the internet on the move.
It’s likely that not all types will be available where you live, but you can check what deals are available in your area easily using our comparison tool.
How do I compare broadband packages?
When you’re on the hunt for a new service there are a number of things you should look for and certain questions you should think about, for example:
- What is the minimum contract period?
- What broadband speed do you need?
- What is the total monthly cost?
- What download limit would suit you depending on your internet usage?
- Are there any hidden charges or extra fees for exceeding your download limit?
How do I choose the best broadband package?
When you’re comparing broadband deals and packages, make sure you think about what you really need before signing up. And remember, if you require more than one service, it will usually work out cheaper to get them all in one package from the same provider.
- For broadband-only, the cheapest plan available at the moment is the Vodafone Simply Broadband plan from Vodafone, which comes in at €40 for the first 6 months, and €45 thereafter.
- If you want to get a TV and broadband package, there are 4 main providers in the Irish market. The Mix 240 plan from Virgin Media is the cheapest package on the market at the moment.
- Meanwhile, if you just want to bundle broadband and phone, Pure Telecom offers the cheapest plan.
- You can also bundle all three in a broadband, TV and phone package. The cheapest triple-play bundle on the market is the Mix 240 plan from Virgin Media, which costs €49 for the first 12 months, and €89 thereafter.
Make sure you check the cost after any discount period is over, so you can budget accordingly, and if you’re opting for a bundle, ensure you’re getting the phone and TV package you want as part of the deal before signing up.
Can I switch broadband packages?
Yes, switching broadband is quick and easy - and if you haven’t switched in a while you’ll save a packet by doing so.
However, remember that all broadband providers charge an early termination fee if you cancel your broadband or phone during your contract’s minimum term. The exception to this would be if you have a contract-free broadband product.
If your minimum term is up, you will be able to switch without penalty. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that some providers require you to give them 30 days’ notice in order to cancel, so you will need to do this in order to ensure you’re not billed for the product after you’ve switched.