A guide to choosing broadband

When it comes to choosing the right broadband package, there are many things to consider. Chief among them are cost, speed, and length of contract. With so many packages to pick from, it’s important that you know exactly what kind of broadband package is right to meet your needs.

What type of package is right for me?

  • Broadband for the beginner: If you’re relatively inexperienced when it comes to using the internet or even using computers in general you may only need a basic package. Look for a package that’s inexpensive, comes from a provider with dedicated customer service, and, above all else, is easy to set up.
  • Broadband for the heavy-user: If you’re the type of person who downloads a lot of films, television programmes, or music, or spends a lot of their time playing online games, then packages with high (or non-existent) usage limits are the best for you.
  • Mobile broadband: If you surf the web mostly from your laptop or other portable devices, then a mobile broadband package – which allows internet access both on the move and at home – could be the perfect option.

Usually enabled using a device known as a ‘dongle’, which is essentially a modem in the form of a small USB stick, mobile broadband allows the internet to be picked up wirelessly, in areas where a mobile phone signal is present.

Additionally, a MiFi device may also be a suitable option. MiFi is a recent type of broadband technology, which allows numerous computers to access the same wireless internet connection at the same time.

Broadband for the family: Nowadays, most homes have multiple devices that need an internet connection, such as TVs, gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and of course laptops and computers. For this reason, a family often needs a package similar to a single heavy-user: unlimited download capacity, along with high speeds.

What you need to consider

What types of broadband connection are available in your area? In sparsely populated areas, options may be more limited when compared with the options available in densely populated towns and cities. It is important to research which options are available. Most densely populated areas will be able to obtain the majority of the broadband packages shown on the Switcher.ie.

How important is speed?

It may seem like speed is the most important thing when it comes to a broadband package, but this isn’t necessarily true. Of course, speed is important, but nowadays most broadband is fast enough to meet the needs of the average user. A connection of 2 MB, for example, is enough to carry out most online operations, from streaming videos on YouTube to sharing images with friends.

If you use the internet for more speed-dependant activities, like online gaming, or if you’re the type of person who always has downloads running, then you should consider choosing a broadband package with higher connection speeds.

Packages ranging in speeds from 8Mb up to 24Mbps are widely available in Ireland. For super-fast broadband speeds you should consider fibre-optic broadband is available with to to 1000Mb

The fastest broadband services are those fibre optic broadband products, such as eir which is capable of producing speeds up to 1000Mb.

What do I need to get broadband?

Many ISPs offer free wireless routers and other various extras with their packages.

Do I need free phone calls with my broadband package?

Bundling your telephone and broadband packages can save you money and time - take a look at our broadband and home phone packages.

Do I need digital TV with my broadband?

Some people aren’t that fussed about digital TV, but others love the sheer range of viewing choice it gives them. If you’re in the latter group, you can compare broadband and digital TV deals on our dedicated page: broadband and digital TV package.

Compare all the best broadband packages with Switcher.ie.