13 October 2016
Student broadband explained
From studying to socialising to streaming, students need high performing and a budget friendly broadband service to ensure they get the most out of their college experience.
Most colleges and lecturers in Ireland rely heavily on the internet to send out important emails, make announcements for classes, upload notes and presentations, and issue online assessments. Study aid websites are also essential to pass that all-important class or test.
With many students leaving home to go to college, it’s also important to have an affordable way to stay in contact with friends and family at home.
On this page, you will find all the information you need to compare the best student broadband deals and find the right provider and service for you.
What factors should I consider when choosing broadband as a student?
Price: This is probably the main factor for cash strapped college-goers . Visit our cheap broadband page for a range of options.
Speed: After price, speed is probably the biggest factor in determining a broadband package. Most providers will advertise “up to” speeds. These speeds are not always guaranteed. If you want the highest possible available speed, fibre-optic broadband may be the best option for you.
Bandwidth: Many third level students will be sharing broadband in a house so it’s really important your package can handle multiple users browsing and streaming at the one time.
Download limits: What will you be using your student broadband for? Downloading lots of large files or just browsing the internet and checking your student email? It’s important you know what type of user you are and how much data you need before signing up for student broadband. Read this guide on broadband data limits to learn more.
Contract length: Most broadband contracts are for 12 months minimum. This may present a problem for third level students as the academic year is less than 12 months. Depending on the package you select, it can sometimes be cheaper to get a 12 month contract and then cancel it when the academic year is over. You may have to pay a cancellation charge but it can be cheaper than paying the remaining three months. You can also opt to move the broadband to another house for the remaining contract length.
If you are not sure where you will be or what you will be doing in a few months, then maybe no contract broadband is for you.
Bundles: To get the best value, it may be worthwhile considering bundling your broadband with TV and/or a home phone. Check out these broadband bundles for more information.
Location: If you are going to college but living at home in a rural location and commuting, or even partaking in an online course, then the last thing you want is an unreliable connection at home when you are trying to study. Review our rural broadband compare page for more information.
Extra money saving tips
- Remember you can divide the cost of the student broadband package with your housemates.
- Unlimited download allowance.
- Compare deals across the market to make sure you are getting the best price.
- As the academic year is nine months and contracts are generally 12 months, make sure you are aware of the cancellation costs before signing any contract.