What is unlimited broadband?
Unlimited broadband refers to plans that don’t have a data limit, meaning users aren’t restricted in terms of downloads, streaming etc.
Who is unlimited broadband good for?
If you’re not sure about whether or not to go for unlimited broadband, read on. This type of broadband could be useful if:
- You live in a large household with lots of devices connected to the internet at one time.
- You - or people that you live with - love playing online games, as unlimited broadband will ensure lag won’t ruin your online gaming experience.
- You - or someone in your household - download lots of music, TV shows or movies.
- You stream lots of content, via services like Spotify, Netflix, NOW TV or Amazon Prime.
What providers offer unlimited broadband?
Many providers now offer unlimited broadband - there are unlimited deals available from:
What does ‘truly unlimited’ broadband mean?
Unfortunately not all unlimited broadband plans are actually unlimited - many providers will put in place certain limits to ensure their network is not overloaded. ‘Truly unlimited’ means that there are no restrictions on usage.
Restrictions with unlimited broadband deals - what is fair usage policy & traffic management?
In terms of restrictions, many providers will put in place a fair usage policy, which is basically a monthly cap on data usage. Usually when you go above this limit, you’ll be charged for your usage, so it’s worth checking this with your provider.
Some providers also operate what’s known as ‘traffic management’. This basically means they limit subscribers’ maximum download and upload speeds during peak hours to make sure everyone connected to the exchange has an equal share of bandwidth.
Will I get faster broadband with an unlimited plan?
The vast majority of unlimited broadband plans are available with speeds of up to 100Mbps, while Virgin Media offers speeds of up to 360Mbps, and there are even some unlimited plans on the market with speeds of up to 1,000Mbps. The actual speeds you’ll be able to get will depend on where you live and the type of broadband connection you have.
What is a download limit?
Plans that are not unlimited - for example mobile broadband and satellite broadband - normally have download limits for users. This limit is the maximum amount of data you are permitted to download - including pictures, movies and music - throughout your billing cycle, which is usually one month.
How do I compare unlimited broadband deals?
When you’re comparing unlimited broadband deals, make sure you think about:
- Price. This will probably be the most important factor when it comes to choosing a broadband package.
- Broadband speed. The speed you need will depend on what you’ll be using the broadband for.
- Contract length and discount period. It’s important to be sure of contract length before signing up so you know how long you’ll be tied into your plan. In terms of discounts, sometimes they last for the whole contract length, and other times they’re for a shorter period, so make sure you take note of this, too.
- Installation fees. Some providers offer free installation, while with others there’ll be an upfront charge.
Can I bundle unlimited broadband?
If you want to go for a deal that includes phone and/or TV with your broadband, you will be able to do this with some packages - this will largely depend on the provider you opt for.
- You could go for a triple-play package, which comes with broadband, phone and TV all in one. The cheapest broadband, TV and phone package on the market at the moment is the eir Vision TV Essential & Broadband + eir Sport plan from eir.
- If you just want TV and broadband, there are 4 main providers in the Irish market - eir, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone. The eir Vision TV Essential & Broadband + eir Sport plan from eir is the cheapest package on the market at the moment.
- Meanwhile, if you just don’t want TV, but would like to bundle broadband and phone, Sky offers the cheapest plan.