Student Broadband

Compare the best student broadband packages and get a plan to suit you for the college term. Unlimited broadband is great for shared student accommodation. Short-term contracts will mean no nasty exit fees. Sign up now.

Virgin MediaFreedom 250Mb & TV Bundle
Speed (average)*
1 month
30-day rolling contractcontrol your subscription
* The "Speed (average)" displayed represents the speed available to at least 50% of customers. The "Speed (up to)" displayed represents the speed available to at least 80% of customers. The "Speed (absolute)" displayed represents speed available to customers for the advertised plan. Where a provider has not given an "up to, average speed or absolute" speed, the maximum possible speed for the advertised plan is displayed. Broadband product availability is subject to location.

What types of broadband are available to students?

Nowadays it would be hard to imagine going through college without access to fast, reliable broadband - whether it’s for help with assignments or catching up on all-important Netflix binges in your spare time.

Students have largely the same broadband options as everyone else, as outlined below, but there are some additional options - such as broadband with short-term contracts - which might be good for people on short-term leases.

ADSL/ADSL2 broadband

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) broadband uses an existing home phone line to provide an internet connection of up to 24Mbps.

As this technology uses the phone line in your home, you’ll need a home phone line installed in order to avail of it. It’s also important to note that your distance from the nearest telephone exchange and the quality of your phone connection could impact your speed.

Providers of ADSL broadband include Digiweb, eir, Pure Telecom, Sky, and Vodafone, and introductory prices start at €25 per month. This type of broadband is generally good for those in rural areas as anyone with a phone line can avail of it.

Cable broadband

Cable broadband is another name for fibre broadband - with cable broadband, broadband is delivered to your home using fibre-optic cables. The fastest type of fibre connection is Fibre-to-the-Home, but Part Fibre (Fibre-to-the-Cabinet) is more common but can still offer decent connection speeds.

At present, cable broadband is available from many providers, such as eir, Digiweb, Magnet, Sky, Virgin Media, and Vodafone. The likes of SIRO, eir, enet and Virgin Media are continually working to roll out across Ireland, which means it’s getting easier and cheaper than ever to access high-speed internet.

However, in certain rural areas throughout the country, some fibre broadband packages still may not be available. If the broadband you want is not currently available in your area, consider the other types of broadband that are available - for example satellite broadband or ADSL - and see if one of these might work for you.

Fibre/Part Fibre broadband

Fibre broadband is the quickest type of broadband connection, but it can also be more expensive than the likes of ADSL broadband.

Fibre broadband, which is sometimes called Fibre-to-the-home or Fibre-to-the-premises, is delivered to your home using fibre-optic cables and offers the fastest connection speeds of up to 1,000Mbps.

Part Fibre, which is sometimes called Fibre-to-the-Cabinet, delivers fibre to your nearest cabinet and then usually uses copper cables to bring the connection to your home. The actual speed you’ll get from Part Fibre depends on your provider and your distance from the cabinet. Part Fibre is from the likes of eir, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone.

Fibre and Part Fibre suits consumers who require fast speeds, but want to get broadband without having a phone line installed.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband means mobile internet access which is provided to customers through a mobile phone signal.

As the technology used to provide mobile broadband is the same as the one that lets you use your mobile phone, many mobile network carriers offer mobile broadband via mobile dongles and 4G SIMs. Dongles can enable mobile broadband access on laptops and PCs, while 4G SIM cards can be used to gain access to the internet on a tablet.

Mobile broadband can be useful for people who need access to the internet on the move, however bear in mind that if your mobile phone signal is bad where you live, you’ll likely get poor mobile broadband signal, too.

You’ll also need to keep an eye on data allowances if you opt for a mobile broadband plan, as these can be quite low, and the charges for going above the limit tend to be steep.

Satellite broadband

Satellite broadband is set up in a household through the installation of a satellite dish, and provides speeds of up to 50Mbps.

Although it is slower than other types of broadband, satellite broadband is that it can provide an internet connection to any home - this can be particularly important in rural areas, where laying cables is not possible. Unlike other broadband, satellite packages will have a cap on downloads - at the moment, these range from 10-100GB per month.

Wireless broadband

Wireless broadband is a term that’s widely used - some people use it to refer to broadband that you can connect to via WiFi (so multiple devices can be connected at any one time), while others use it as another way to describe mobile broadband.

When we’re talking about broadband that you can connect to via WiFi, this works by using a wireless router, which converts an incoming signal and transmits it throughout your home. This signal is then picked up by any wireless-enabled devices within the transmission area, enabling them to connect to the wireless broadband.

The vast majority of broadband providers these days will provide a router to allow you to connect many devices to your home broadband via WiFi.

How do I compare Student Broadband deals? What do I need to look out for?

When you’re comparing student broadband deals, there are lots of things to consider, such as:

  • Price: This is probably the main factor for most broadband customers - not least cash-strapped students. Take a look at our cheap broadband page for a range of options.
  • Broadband speed: This will need to be decent if you’re hoping to carry out lots of online research for your course, or you’re someone who likes to stream a lot of content. If you want the highest possible available speed, the best option will be fibre-optic broadband, but you’ll need to check out what broadband is available where you live to see what your options are.
  • Contract length: Many broadband contracts are for 12-18 months, which might not work for you if you’re in rented accommodation or on a short-term lease - remember, if you cancel your contract before the end of the minimum term, it’s likely you’ll have to pay an early exit fee. However, there are some options with 30 day contracts which could work well if you’re not sure where you’ll be in a few months.
  • Download limits: If you plan to download lots of large files, or you live in a household where lots of you stream content, you might want to opt for [unlimited broadband[ to avoid any charges for going over data limits.
  • Flexibility: You’ll need to think about whether you want to have access to broadband while you’re on the move, or you’re happy to just have it home. If you do need to use the internet on the move, mobile broadband could work for you.

How do I choose a Student Broadband Package?

If you’re living in shared accommodation, you may decide that you and your housemates would like to get TV and/or phone along with your broadband. If so, you’ll usually save by opting to bundle the services together and getting them from the same provider.

If you’re not sure whether you need TV along with your broadband, you could opt to go for a streaming subscription for the likes of Netflix or NOW TV, along with a broadband-only plan - this is a really popular option and could save you in the long-run.

How to switch broadband providers

Switching your broadband is quick and easy and could save you a bundle. Here’s a look at the best offers in Ireland and everything you need to know about switching to a better broadband deal.

Broadband speeds in Ireland

A fast, reliable broadband connection is vital for a quality, hassle-free broadband service. Here’s all of the information you need on broadband speeds in Ireland.

Broadband connection types

The broadband connection types available where you live will affect the speeds you can get. Find out about what’s available in your area and what it means for your online experience.

5G broadband in Ireland

The rollout of 5G broadband could bring about lightning-fast speeds and rock-solid connections for homes and businesses across Ireland. Here’s all you need to know about 5G broadband, who offers it and when it will be available near you.

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