It’s easy to stay with the same broadband provider for years and years, but with popular providers such as Virgin and Talk Talk recently announcing an increase in rates, it’s worth checking if you’re getting the best deal for your money.
A little bit of research with the aid of a broadband comparison website can go a long way and ultimately save you money when the bill comes through the letter box (well, email nowadays!).
Check your bills
The first step is to establish how much you’re paying at the moment. Look up old bills and establish both the monthly average and what you’re paying annually. This way you know your goal: find a better deal that is lower than this amount!
Check your speeds
Most broadband packages have a bandwidth allowance which shows your maximum possible speed. Establish this for your current account, but also visit a speed check website to ensure that your actual internet speed is close to that. This will be helpful for comparisons while you’re shopping around.
Check your local area
Visit providers’ websites and enter your postcode to ensure they provide internet in your area.
Work out your usage
If there are only one or two people using the internet in your house, you’ll be fine with a 10-20GB monthly allowance, but be careful not to go over this. A limited deal will be cheaper, but you have to stick to the limit. If there’s a danger of going over, or if you download films or watch TV online, consider an unlimited package to avoid fines.
Establish a budget
How much do you want to spend? Many broadband deals require you to pay for line rental (around £14) in addition to the monthly fee for the broadband itself. Packages can be a good deal if you look around: some providers offer internet, TV and phone all-in-one, and for a discounted rate too. Often this is cheaper than buying these things separately.
Use a comparison site
There are many sites online which you can search to see the range of offers available with different companies, all lined up and compared against each other. Once you know how much you’re looking to spend and what type of package is right for you, this is the ideal way to familiarise yourself with what’s available.
Don’t be afraid to haggle
If you’re happy with the deal you’ve got, don’t be afraid to talk to someone on the phone and find out if you can achieve a discount by mentioning that you’re considering switching providers.
There are many excellent broadband deals, and the market is very competitive. With the right research and a little shopping around you’ll find be surfing the net with a big smile on your face.