Guide to finding the best broadband deal

If you think your broadband is too slow, or you’re paying too much, here are some tips which might help.

connection with dynamic  fibre optic light trail

Broadband in many of our homes has really been put to the test in recent months, but if you’re not happy with the service you’re getting, it could be time to vote with your feet.

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Coronavirus restrictions have meant that lots of us have been more reliant on our home broadband than ever before, especially those who work from home or who are home-schooling children, or both.

If you think your broadband is too slow, or you’re paying too much, here are some tips which might help.

Check your speed

If your internet service is slower than you’d like, take an online speed test so that you can be certain you’re getting the connection you’ve paid for. These are easy to find online, including those at Checker.ofcom.org.uk, Broadbandspeedchecker, and Broadbandtest.which.co.uk.

If you’re not getting the speed that was advertised when you bought your deal, get in touch with your provider and they might be able to advise on ways to speed up your service. If they can’t, then they should allow you to move to a lower-speed package that will cost less.

If you need a faster connection, do a comparison of the deals are available at your home. If several of you use the internet regularly, you should load for a download speed of at least 30Mb per second. The very fastest services are fibre broadband, where data is transmitted via fibre optic cables, but this is not yet available in all areas.

Think about data

You’ll also need to think about how much data you need if you’re considering moving to a different broadband deal.   If you regularly download big files or stream films, a deal which offers unlimited data is likely to be a good option. If you only tend to use broadband for a bit of online shopping or to send or receive emails, you might decide to go for a cheaper deal with monthly data allowance. This will be expressed in Megabytes (Mbs) or Gigabytes (Gb).  Don’t underestimate the amount of data you’re likely to need. For example, according to Broadbandchoices.co.uk, streaming an hour of high definition video would us up 2GBb of data.

If your broadband goes down

There are few things more frustrating if your broadband goes down, but you might be able to use your phone to reconnect.  Ernest Doku, tech expert at comparison site Uswitch.com said: “The lockdown period has put increased pressure on providers to ensure customers stay connected and it is important these vital services are not down for long.  “If your broadband is down, and you have the additional data on your mobile contract, you may be able to tether to your phone and use it as a hub to connect to the internet. Just remember that using your mobile phone data in this way will eat up your allowance far quicker than if you only used it for your smartphone.”

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