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Cheap Broadband Deals

B'band & line rent £210 over 12 months, get £55 back

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Martin and Consumer Team | Edited by Steve N

Updated Weekly

Wifi router

Too many stick with their broadband provider through thick and thin, overpaying by £100s a year. If that's you, it's likely you can do the double whammy of boosting your package while massively slicing your bills.

Check your broadband and line rental cost now – people on standard deals typically pay BT £468/yr, TalkTalk £275/yr, Sky £329/yr and Virgin £480/yr. The deals below can bring it down to £210 over 12 months plus you can claim £55 cashback.

To benchmark, those on standard pricing typically pay BT £39/mth and Virgin £40/mth.

What is broadband?

These days broadband is the standard way of connecting to the internet. Originally people used to dial up over their phone connection. Broadband uses a broader range of frequencies and allows more information to be carried than old dial-up connections.

There are two main types of broadband:

  • Home broadband: This is hard-wired into your house. It's either carried through your phone line (known as ADSL) or by cable. This is what this guide focuses on.
  • Mobile broadband: This isn't generally as fast or reliable, but as it's via the mobile networks, it's far more flexible. If you're looking for that, see our Mobile Broadband guide, which includes how to find free hotspots.

With home broadband, it's important to understand that while the information is carried via your phone line, you can still use the phone while you're online – and the broadband connection is always on. Read more on how home broadband works.

Switching broadband can save £100s

Many people have a broadband provider they're comfortable with and stick with it for ease. But this becomes a licence for providers to print money, as older packages are more expensive and tend to allow lower downloads at slower speeds.

Assuming you already have home broadband (if not, read on to choose), it's crucial to work out what you're paying and the service you're getting. However...

Never just look at the broadband cost. Always look at the upfront costs too. They can be high, so cheap broadband could be offset by these charges.

Here are some typical costs the big networks are charging for long-standing deals. By contrast, using the best deals in this guide, you can often get broadband and home phone for around £17 a month.

Typical standard broadband and line rental costs
Provider Standard monthly broadband cost Standard monthly line rental cost Cost per year for both
BT £38.99 Included £468
Sky £27.40 Included £329
TalkTalk £22.95 Included £275 (18 month contract)
Virgin (fibre) £40 Included £480

Switching broadband used to be a little tricky, but new rules introduced by Ofcom in June 2015 have simplified the process for many. See the Ofcom implementing easier telecoms switching MSE news story for more details – we explain how it works in the questions below.

Quick questions

Can I ever leave my contract early without penalty?

How long does it take to switch provider?

What do I actually need to do to switch?

What if I have problems setting up my new broadband?

How do I find out what customer service is like?

What if the broadband isn't in my area?

Six things you need to know to slash broadband costs

If you only read six things about broadband before you switch, read these.

  • Faster advertised speed doesn't mean faster broadband

    Internet speed dial

    Remember advertised speeds are just that – "advertised". A provider only needs a paltry 10% of customers to get a certain speed before it can list it.

    While providers may tell you their service is "up to" 17Mb, many won't get near that speed. The actual speed you get depends on a number of factors:

    • How close your home is to the phone exchange.
    • The condition of the lines and wiring.
    • The number of people using the same broadband service in your area (the contention ratio).
    • Providers slowing speeds during busy hours or if you're a really heavy downloader (traffic shaping).
    • The number of people/devices trying to get online in your house.
    • What you're currently doing and programs running in the background, such as your browser streaming a movie clip.

    Many things help to boost your speed for free without switching. Try using a shorter cable from socket to router, cheap household signal boosters and plugging in instead of using Wi-Fi for big downloads. There's a full checklist of tips and tricks in Broadband Speed Boosting.

  • Check your broadband speed – you have rights, if it's slow

    Our 60-second guide on Broadband Speeds goes through the four steps to find out if your broadband's speed is fully up to scratch, and what you can do if it's not. Briefly...

    1. The 'Actual Speed Test'. Take a free speed test online to find what speed you're actually getting – Broadbandchoice's Speed Tester* and Ookla's Speedtest.net are good options. Try at different times of the day to get a range.
    2. The 'Line Speed Test'. The regulator Ofcom has a Telecoms Coverage Checker, which shows the maximum speeds capable down the line (not necessarily in your home) at any given postcode.
    3. The 'Covet Thy Neighbour's Broadband Test'. uSwitch's StreetStats* will show the actual speeds those in the area are getting in their home, broken down by provider.
    4. The 'Minimum Guaranteed Speed Test'. Most providers have joined a code of practice committing to providing a tailored speed estimate before sign-up. If you're getting "significantly below" this, you may be able to exit your contract penalty-free.

    You should always call up and try to resolve things with your provider directly. If this doesn't work, go through its official complaints procedure – the free complaints handling tool Resolver can help you with your complaint.

  • Aim for unlimited data or it'll cost you

    Our data use has rocketed. Catch-up TV and movie streaming hoover it up, and since some packages have download limits, this can be costly. If you just use the net for light browsing, emails and the odd YouTube video, you'll probably be fine with a limited 10GB package.

    Yet web watchers, beware. Watching an episode of Game of Thrones in HD's roughly 1GB, equivalent to looking at thousands of web pages. If you've got a 10GB limit, it isn't long before it's all used up and you're paying extra charges. With BT you pay £1.50/GB when you go over the limit.

    So check your bill now for penalty charges. If your download limit isn't enough, switch to the super-cheap versions below. These days the vast majority of the cheapest deals are unlimited anyway.

    To track how much data you're downloading, get a free bandwidth monitor – try Rokario, Netmeter and TbbMeter.

  • Do you need fibre-optic?

    Fibre optic cable

    Superfast broadband allows much faster speed with greater consistency. While phone line speeds rarely match the 'up to' figures firms boast of, fibre gets closer.

    More of us are using more data online and because of this we need more speed. For simple web browsing and email, common 16Mb connections will do the job. But if you use it for lots of movie downloads, streaming videos, online gaming, or if everyone at home wants to connect at once, you will need superfast.

    Fibre broadband is still being rolled out across the UK. As a general rule, most big cities and towns have access to superfast broadband from a few different providers. Other areas (especially rural districts) may not have access to fibre broadband at all.

    To see if you can get superfast, see superfast best buys below. Alternatively, enter your postcode on Broadbandchoices* and click the fibre broadband tab (if there's no tab, it means you can't get it).

  • Should you get a broadband and line rental bundle?

    Many cheap broadband deals require you to take costly line rental. In the past providers only advertised the sexy broadband price in the headline but from 31 October 2016 the ASA ruled that greater prominence for full monthly costs would be necessary or providers would be in breach of advertising rules. The deal to pick depends on which category you fall into:

    • Only got landline for broadband? Unless you've got Virgin cable, you need a landline for broadband at home. Our poll of 25,000+ people showed 73% of under-65s don't have a landline or rarely use it.

      Millions feel forced to keep it just for broadband. If so, cut the cost and just go for a cheap bundle. Alternatively, you don't need line rental for Virgin superfast – see Cheapest broadband without a landline below.

    • Still use your landline to make calls? If this is you, you'll need to factor in call costs when choosing line rental.

      But you can make massive savings on call costs to landlines, mobiles and overseas without changing phone line by using specialist access numbers. See Cheap Home Phones for a full how-to and best buys.

  • Check if you're under contract and haggle your bill down or your speed or package up

    If you signed up to broadband in the last 18 months, or longer in rare cases, first check if you're still in your contract period. If so, double-check that leaving doesn't breach your contract before switching. Exit penalties may kibosh savings. If you're planning to move home soon, check if your new contract's portable, or consider a no-contract deal.

    Before you ditch your current provider, remember broadband's a mature market and companies are frantic to keep hold of customers, so...

    Just call up, threaten to leave and your existing company will often offer kick-butt discounts.

    Say you want to move to a new provider and it'll automatically lead to a 'why are you leaving?' chat. It should put you through to what we call 'disconnections' but they call 'customer retentions' – these operators have serious discount-giving power.

    If you're still in contract and it isn't worth leaving, check what speed you're actually getting and compare it to the advertised speed you're paying for. See our Boost Broadband Speed two minute check. If you're getting less than advertised ring your provider and ask for a better package, such as fibre, a discount or another concession.

  • We polled 4,000 MoneySavers to see where hagglers had most success. Companies where hagglers revealed over 76% success rates included TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin. See full results.

    For more tips and the top companies to haggle with, see Haggle With Call Centres.

Best buy broadband deals

Below are our top picks. These are mainly price-focused, and these deals are only for those that live in the providers' network areas (typically about 90% of the population). If your local BT exchange hasn't been opened up to rival firms ("unbundled"), you'll pay more.

Best buys Unlimited broadband & line rental

Broadband usually requires a landline, and rather than getting your broadband and line rental from different companies, at the moment it's possible to get them as a 'bundle' for £210 over 12 months plus you can claim £55 cashback. All of the cheapest deals listed below also offer unlimited broadband, so you don't have to worry about going over your download limit.

It's also worth checking cashback sites as sometimes you can get more cashback on top of the below offers. Check deals are the same and be aware that if the site doesn't track properly you may miss out on the cashback.

Plusnet

B'band and line rent £210 over 12mths, get £55 back*

Paid monthly it's £20/mth

  • Available to: 90% of UK
  • Speed: Up to 17Mb
  • Download limit: Unlimited
  • Traffic shaping? Yes
  • Contract length: 12 months
  • Deal requires line rental? Yes
  • Inclusive calls? No
  • New line installation: £49.99

Until Tue 31 Jan, new Plusnet customers, or those who've not been with it in the last month, can get a 12-mth contract with BT-owned Plusnet*, which includes line rental and unlimited downloads with up-to-17Mb speed broadband.

It was a strong performer in our latest customer service poll – 55% rated it 'great', only 15% 'poor'. The deal's available to 90% of the UK based on postcode (you're told when applying). Here's how it works...

  1. Choose to pay line rent upfront if you can afford to. It's cheapest if you pay the £185.88 year's line rent upfront (equiv £15.49/mth). You choose which option in the phone section of the online application. Unlimited broadband's then £2.01/mth over the 12-month contract or £9.51/mth if you don't live in a 'low cost area'. If you stay after the contract broadband and line rent will cost £27.98/mth or £35.48/mth depending on where you live.
  2. Choose to pay broadband and line rent monthly, £20/mth for the 12-month contract. £27.98/mth after. Those not living in 'low-cost areas' will pay £27.50/mth for 12months then £35.48/mth after, so diarise to switch at this point.
  3. £55 cashback - but you must claim it. Ensure you use the link above and you'll be sent an email within 10 days of account activation that includes instructions on how to claim, which you MUST do within two months of activation. The cheque will be sent within 30 days.
  4. Pay by direct debit. Or there's a £1.50-per-payment extra charge.

If you pay a year's line rent upfront and include the broadband cost over the 12-month contract it's £210 (equiv £17.50/mth). Pay line rent monthly and it's £20 a month, so £240 for the 12 months.

Factor in the £55 cashback and it's £155 over the year if line rent's paid upfront, equiv £12.92/mth. Paid monthly and it's £185 for one year, equiv £15.42/mth.

- What about calls? No calls are included – calls to other UK phones are mostly a bit more than BT. See Plusnet charges.

- No line/switching from cable (or in a few cases, Sky customers)? Installation's £49.99. You'll know before committing.

- Need a router? An optional 'free' one is available, though Plusnet charges £6.99 p&p. It's worth checking whether your router is compatible and whether you need to unblock it first. Read Plusnet's FAQ on this.

Full Plusnet call charges, tips & customer service ratings

ee

B'band & line rent £324 over 18 mths, get £75 vch*

Paid monthly it's £19.50/mth, £7 upfront

  • Available to: 99% of UK
  • Speed: Up to 17Mb
  • Download limit: Unlimited
  • Traffic shaping? Yes, at peak times
  • Contract length: 18 months
  • Deal requires line rental? Yes
  • Inclusive calls? Weekend
  • New line installation: £60

Until Mon 23 Jan, new customers to EE broadband* (ie, those who don't currently have it installed) can get the firm's unlimited broadband on an 18-month contract. Follow the link, scroll down the page and it's the £19.50/mth, 18-month option.

  1. Sign up to EE broadband via this specific MoneySuperMarket link*.
  2. Choose to pay line rent upfront if you can afford to. It's cheapest to pay £299 for the 18 months upfront (you must opt for this at sign-up), equivalent to £16.61/mth. Unlimited broadband then costs £1/mth for the entire 18-month contract, £317 in total. Note that the price will rise to £28.50/mth after 18 months, so diarise to check then if you can get cheaper elsewhere.
  3. Paid monthly unlimited broadband and line rent's £19.50/mth. So £351 for the 18 months; it's £28.50/mth after.
  4. £7 to pay upfront. This covers delivery of the 'free' compulsory router.
  5. £75 Amazon voucher BUT you have to claim. You'll be sent an email within 90 days of your service going live with instructions on how to claim. You've then got 90 days to claim after which it may take up to another 90 days to arrive.

Excluding call costs, as they depend on you as an individual, and the £60 new line installation fee for those on cable or who need a new line:

The cost of the broadband, router delivery and line rental paid upfront is £324 over 18 months, equivalent to £18/mth. If you'd spend £75 at Amazon anyway, factor it in and it's £249 over 18 months, equiv £13.83/mth.

If you pay for broadband and line rental monthly and add in the router delivery cost it's £358 for the 18 months, equivalent to £19.89/mth. If you factor in the £75 Amazon voucher it's £283 over 18 months, equiv £15.72/mth

What about calls? Weekend calls to landlines are included but if your call exceeds 60 mins you'll be charged, so hang up after an hour and ring back. Call charges are slightly more than with BT (see below). Also, if you're on an EE mobile pay monthly contract, enter your phone number at sign-up and 5GB/mth of data will be added to your mobile allowance.

Need a new line? If you don't have a line (or for those with a cable one or, in a few cases, Sky customers), it's £30 – you'll be told before you commit.

Still in contract? Get up to £50 credit to cover switching costs. If you're in contract elsewhere and have to pay to switch, EE gives up to £50 credit to cover costs (excl call charges). You have to pay your old provider upfront, then claim through EE within 90 days of your new broadband going live. You'll need to upload your last bill from your old provider to the EE site – it'll credit your account once it's verified your request.

Full EE tips, call charges & customer service ratings

Origin

Broadband & line rent £172 for 1yr*

or £17.99/mth paid monthly, nothing upfront

  • Available to: 90% of UK
  • Speed: Up to 17Mb
  • Download limit: Unlimited
  • Traffic shaping? No
  • Contract length: 12 months
  • Deal requires line rental? Yes
  • Inclusive calls? No
  • New line installation: £48

We've not had a great deal of feedback for smaller provider, Origin Broadband* but what we've had has generally been positive. New and existing customers (out of contract) can get its unlimited up-to-17Mb broadband and line rent discounted on a 12-month contract. The deal's available to 90% of the country; you're told if you get it when applying. Here's what you can get:

  1. Choose to pay upfront if you can afford to. Use this link to pay £172.49 for the year upfront* for line rent and broadband, equivalent to £14.37/mth. If you can't afford to pay upfront use this link to pay £17.99/mth for line rent and broadband*. Note that the price will rise to £27.98/mth after 12 months, so diarise to check then if you can get cheaper elsewhere.
  2. Free router. You can opt to be sent one free of charge.

- What about calls? Call costs to landlines are a bit more than BT's, a little less to mobiles (11.5p/min to landlines and 13p/min to mobiles, 17p connection fee).

- Need a new line? If you don't have a line, or you're switching from cable, you'll need to pay for a new line. (see below).

- Direct debit is the best way to pay. You'll have to pay £4.50 extra per payment if not.

Full Origin tips, call charges & customer service ratings

Best buys Fibre-optic broadband

Superfast or fibre-optic broadband offers a much faster speed with greater consistency, though it's far pricier than normal broadband. If you're a heavy user – if you love to stream movies and music, or regularly download things – it can be a better option. It can also be a good idea if there are several people in the household likely to be online at the same time.

However, if you only use the web to browse and check emails or social media, or stream and download less frequently, you might be better off boosting your existing broadband speed instead. Our Broadband Speed Test guide shows you how.

Plusnet

Fibre and line rent £384 over 18 months*

Paid monthly it's £23/mth, optional £6.99 router

  • Available to: 83% of UK
  • Speed: Up to 38Mb
  • Download limit: Unlimited
  • Traffic shaping? Yes
  • Contract length: 18 months
  • Deal requires line rental? Yes
  • Inclusive calls? No
  • New line installation: £49.99

Until Tue 24 Jan, BT-owned Plusnet* is offering this 18-month fibre deal for newbies. It includes line rent and unlimited downloads with fibre broadband boasting up-to-38Mb speeds.

The company was a strong performer in our latest customer service poll – 55% rated it 'great', only 15% 'poor'. This deal's available to 83% of the UK based on postcode (you're told when applying), though you can't get it if you're already a Plusnet customer (or left in the last month). Here's how it works...

  1. Choose to pay line rental upfront if you can afford to. It's cheapest if you pay the £185.88 year's line rent upfront, and then pay £17.99/mth for the remaining six months (which is the price if you don't pay upfront). You choose which option in the phone section of the online application.
  2. Unlimited fibre broadband's then £5.01/mth for most. It's £12.51/mth if you don't live in a low-cost area, you'll be told when applying (often rural areas). After 18 months fibre broadband and line rent will cost £32.98/mth or £40.48/mth depending on where you live.

If you opt to pay a year's line rent upfront and qualify for cheaper broadband it's £384 over the 18-month contract (equiv £21.33/mth). Pay line rental monthly and it's £414 for the 18 months (£23/mth).

- What about calls? No calls are included – calls to UK phones are mostly a bit more than BT (see Plusnet charges).
- No line/switching from cable (or in a few cases, Sky cust)? Installation's £49.99. You'll know before committing.
- Need a router? There's an optional 'free' one available, though Plusnet charges £6.99 p&p. It's worth checking whether your router is compatible and whether you need to unblock it first. Read Plusnet's FAQ on this.

Full Plusnet call charges, tips & customer service ratings

BT

Fibre broadband & line rent £397 for a year, get £100 card*

£29.99/mth paid monthly, £59.99 upfront

  • Available to: 83% of UK
  • Speed: Up to 52Mb
  • Download limit: Unlimited
  • Traffic shaping? No
  • Contract length: 12 months
  • Deal requires line rental? Yes
  • Inclusive calls? Weekend
  • New line installation: Free

Until Tue 24 Jan, BT broadband newbies can get a one-year contract for line rent & up-to-52Mb speed unlimited broadband (up to 3x faster than standard) using this BT link*. It's the second offer down and it's available to 83% of the UK – you're told when applying. Here's how it works:

  1. Choose to pay £205.08 line rent upfront for a year during the application. If you can afford to (equiv £17.09/mth), or it's the standard £18.99/mth.
  2. Unlimited broadband's discounted to £11/mth for 12 months. After it's £26/mth.
  3. You pay £59.99 set-up. Includes activation and p&p for the 'free' router.
  4. You can claim a £100 prepaid Mastercard AFTER installation. Annoyingly, BT won't remind you, so diarise to use this Mastercard claim form (you can spend the card anywhere that accepts Mastercard). You've got three months to claim, and it can take up to 30 days to arrive.

The total you'll pay over the year by paying line rental upfront is £397.07 before calls. But claim and use the Mastercard and it's £297.07 or £24.76/mth.

If you choose to pay line rental monthly then it's £419.87 for the year or £319.87 if you factor in the £100 Mastercard. Equivalent to £26.67/mth.

- What about calls? Weekend calls to UK landlines are included. See other BT costs.

- Could BT hike prices? Sadly, telecoms firms often do, but you'd be able to leave your contract within 30 days of notification if so. If you pay line rental upfront you'd at least be shielded from any line hikes in that year.

- Can I get more cashback elsewhere? Regular cashback site users may see bigger cashback, but often on more expensive deals. Cashback can also change daily, so check.

- Anything else? You get 100GB of free online storage and you can opt in to free BT Sport for three months (after which it's from £5/mth – cancel if you don't want it).

Full BT call charges, tips & customer service ratings

ee

Fibre & line rent £486 over 18 mths, get £75 vch*

Paid monthly it's £28.50/mth, £7 upfront

  • Available to: 90% of UK
  • Speed: Up to 38Mb
  • Download limit: Unlimited
  • Traffic shaping? Yes, at peak times
  • Contract length: 18 months
  • Deal requires line rental? Yes
  • Inclusive calls? Weekend
  • New line installation: £60

Until Mon 23 Jan, new customers to EE broadband* (ie, those who don't currently have it installed) can get the firm's unlimited up-to 38Mb fibre broadband on an 18-month contract. Follow the link, scroll down the page and it's the £28.50/mth fibre broadband option.

  1. Sign up to EE broadband via this specific MoneySuperMarket link*.
  2. Choose to pay line rent upfront if you can afford to. It's cheapest to pay £299 for the 18 months upfront (you must opt for this at sign-up), equivalent to £16.61/mth. Unlimited broadband then costs £10/mth for the entire 18-month contract, £479 in total. Note that the price will rise to £34/mth after 18 months, so diarise to check then if you can get cheaper elsewhere.
  3. Paid monthly unlimited broadband and line rent's £28.50/mth. So £513 for the 18 months; it's £34/mth after.
  4. £7 to pay upfront. This covers activation and delivery of the 'free' compulsory router.
  5. £75 Amazon voucher BUT you have to claim. You'll be sent an email within 90 days of your service going live with instructions on how to claim. You've then got 90 days to claim after which it may take up to another 90 days to arrive.

Excluding call costs, as they depend on you as an individual, and the £30 new line installation fee for those on cable or who need a new line:

The cost of the broadband, router delivery and line rental paid upfront is £486 over 18 months, equivalent to £27/mth. If you'd spend £75 at Amazon anyway, factor it in and it's £411 over 18 months, equiv £22.83/mth

If you pay for broadband and line rental monthly and add in the router delivery cost it's £520 for the 18 months, equivalent to £28.89/mth. Factor in the voucher and it's £445 over 18 months, equiv £24.72.

What about calls? Weekend calls to landlines are included but if your call exceeds 60 mins you'll be charged, so hang up after an hour and ring back. Call charges are slightly more than with BT (see below). Also, if you're on an EE mobile pay monthly contract, enter your phone number at sign-up and 5GB/mth of data will be added to your mobile allowance.

Need a new line? If you don't have a line (or for those with a cable one or, in a few cases, Sky customers), it's £30 – you'll be told before you commit.

Still in contract? Get up to £50 credit to cover switching costs. If you're in contract elsewhere and have to pay to switch, EE gives up to £50 credit to cover costs (excl call charges). You have to pay your old provider upfront, then claim through EE within 90 days of your new broadband going live. You'll need to upload your last bill from your old provider to the EE site – it'll credit your account once it's verified your request.

Full EE tips, call charges & customer service ratings

Virgin

Fibre and line rent £283 over 12 months*

If line rent paid upfront. Pay monthly, it's £315

  • Available to: 50% of UK
  • Speed: Up to 50Mb
  • Download limit: Unlimited
  • Traffic shaping? Yes, at peak times on uploads only
  • Contract length: 12 months
  • Deal requires line rental? Yes
  • Inclusive calls? Weekend
  • New line installation: Free

New Virgin Media customers (those who've not been with it for at least 12mths) can sign up to a 12-month contract via uSwitch* and get the following on its unlimited up-to-50Mb fibre package:

  1. Sign up now. Go via uSwitch*.
  2. Choose to pay line rent upfront if you can afford to. It's £196 upfront for a year (equivalent to £16.22/mth). To pay upfront, sign up, then call 0800 064 3840 once your installation date's confirmed and request the 'Line Rental Saver' option. Unlimited broadband is then £6/mth over the 12-month contract, £268 in total. If you stay after the contract ends the broadband and line rent jumps to £40/mth.
  3. Paid monthly unlimited broadband and line rent's £25/mth for 12 months. It's then £40/mth after,
  4. Compulsory £14.99 activation fee. This is unavoidable and will be applied to your first bill.

If you pay line rental upfront, factoring in the activation fee, total broadband line rental cost over 12 months, it's £282.99 all-in, equivalent to £23.58/mth. If you pay line rental monthly it's £314.99 all-in, or £26.25/mth.

- What about calls? Weekend calls (up to 60 mins per call) to landlines, Virgin Mobile numbers, and all calls to 0870 numbers are included. For other costs, see full call charges below.

- Need a router? It's free and there's no delivery costs to pay.

- Need a new line? If you only have a standard BT line and haven't currently got a Virgin line you'll need a new one installed – it's free with this deal.

Full Virgin tips, call charges and customer service ratings

Best buys Top deals if you want BT

Let's be straight – BT isn't the cheapest provider around. But as many of you tell us you'd like to stick with the big boy, here's the best deals we've found. Remember BT broadband customers also get BT Sport at a discount which is a bonus for footie fans.

BT

Broadband & line rent £287 for 1yr, get £50 Mastercard*

£24.99/mth paid monthly, £9.99 upfront

  • Available to: 99% of UK
  • Speed: Up to 17Mb
  • Download limit: Unlimited
  • Traffic shaping? No
  • Contract length: 12 months
  • Deal requires line rental? Yes
  • Inclusive calls? Weekend
  • New line installation: £30

Until Tue 24 Jan, BT broadband newbies (anyone who doesn't have it now) can get a discounted 1yr contract for line rent & up-to-17Mb speed unlimited broadband via this link*. It's the fifth offer on the page.

Here's how you get it:

  1. Choose to pay line rent upfront if you can afford to. It's cheapest if you pay the £205.08 year's line rent upfront (equiv £17.09/mth), you choose which option during the application. Unlimited broadband is then £6/mth over the 12-month contract, £277.08 in total. If you stay after the contract ends the broadband and line rent jumps to £38.99/mth.
  2. Paid monthly unlimited broadband and line rent's £24.99 for 12 months. £38.99/mth after.
  3. You pay £9.99 upfront. This covers the 'free' BT Hub router delivery. You also get 100GB of free online storage.
  4. To get the £50 Mastercard you need to claim AFTER installation. BT won't remind you so diarise to use this prepaid Mastercard claim form. It can take up to 30 days to arrive from claiming.
  5. Make a diary note with a copy of this link – BT WON'T remind you. See full details of how to claim.

If you opt to pay for line rental upfront and include the cost of broadband and the router delivery (before calls) it's £287.07 over 12 months, equivalent to £23.92/mth. Factor in the Mastercard and it's £237.07, equivalent to £19.76/mth.

If you choose to pay monthly it's £309.87 for the year, equivalent to £25.82/mth. Factor in the Mastercard and it's £259.87, equivalent to £21.66/mth.

- What about calls? Weekend calls to UK landlines are included. If you want extra calls, add-ons start from £3.50/month. Full info on call charges below.

- No line/switching from cable? Installation's £30.

- Want BT Sport? If you opt in watching online and on the app is free for 3mths, it's then from £5/mth. It's free if you choose to get BT TV too.

Full BT tips, call charges and customer service ratings


Best buys Broadband-only deals

It's outrageous that people who just want broadband almost always need to pay for a phone line too. There are some options, as we explain below, but they're often more expensive than the cheapest line rental and broadband deals (see above).

The alternative options include:

  • The cheapest no-phone-line broadband deal we could find is with Relish.net*. It costs from £20/mth but it's only for those in central London – it uses its own 4G wireless network. As it's a relatively new company, it's difficult to assess its reliability though.

  • If you go for mobile broadband you won't need line rental but it isn't as reliable as home broadband. For more info and the best deals around, see our Mobile broadband guide.

  • Satellite broadband is suitable for people who live in rural areas where traditional fixed lines are unavailable. It uses a satellite dish to provide an internet connection to your router. However, you can only get speeds of up to 20Mb and it's very expensive.

Here's the only traditional, truly standalone broadband deal – taking a phone line is almost always cheaper but this one's actually a good deal.

Virgin Media

Fibre broadband-only £279 for 1yr*

£22/mth, £14.99 upfront, no line rent needed

  • Available to: 50%+ of UK
  • Speed: Up to 50Mb
  • Download limit: Unlimited
  • Traffic shaping? Yes at peak times
  • Contract length: 12 months
  • Deal requires line rental? No
  • Inclusive calls? No
  • New line installation: Free

Use this Virgin fibre link* and anyone who doesn't have Virgin Media now can get this up-to-50Mb speed (about 3x standard) unlimited broadband deal on a 1yr contract. 50%+ of the UK can get it - you're told if you can before applying. Here's what you pay

  1. Unlimited fibre broadband £22/mth for 12-month contract. It'll then rises to £32.25/mth after the 12 months.
  2. You pay £14.99 installation. There's no charge for the router or delivery.

- Need a router? It's free and there are no delivery costs to pay.

Over the 12-month contract the total is £278.99, excluding calls. Monthly it works out to be £23.25/mth if you factor in the activation fee.

Full Virgin info and customer service ratings

Best buys Short-term contract broadband

If you're planning to move home soon, living in student accommodation or you want the freedom to leave with a short, no-penalty notice period, the deal below allows you to sign up on a monthly rolling contract, which although more expensive, can be cheaper than paying penalty charges to get out of a standard 12- or 18-month contract.

However, if you are planning to move, first check if your new contract's 'portable', meaning you can take it with you. Some providers will let you do this, but it's on a case-by-case basis.

DirectSave

Rolling 28-day contract, equiv £31.73/mth for first 12 mths*

Cancel with 28 days' notice, £33.90 upfront

  • Available to: 89% of UK
  • Speed: Up to 17Mb
  • Download limit: 20GB
  • Traffic shaping? No
  • Contract length: 28 days
  • Deal requires line rental? Yes
  • Inclusive calls? No
  • New line installation: £29.95

Newbies who take Direct Save Telecom's* line rental can get unlimited broadband on a 28-day rolling contract (its standard contract length is 24 months) for £11.95/mth.

However, if you need a new line, eg, if switching from cable or if you don't have a working line, it's £118 on top.

Not heard of Direct Save Telecom before? Read on for more.

  1. Sign up directly. Go via Direct Save Telecom*
  2. Broadband and line rent's £28.90/mth. Direct Save Telecom could increase prices at any time, but as you're not tied into a long contract, you're free to leave by giving 28 days' notice. There's a 20GB/mth download limit. Unlinited broadband will set you back £33.90/mth.
  3. You need its router. It's 'free' but you'll need to pay £8.95 p&p and £24.95 for activation.

The total 20GB broadband, router p&p and activation cost for the first year is £380.70, equivalent to £31.73/mth.

Full Direct Save Telecom info and call charges

Cashback sites may pay you for signing up

As an extra boon, members of specialist cashback websites can be paid when they sign up to some financial products. Do check that it's exactly the same deal though, as terms can be different. And remember the cashback is never 100% guaranteed until it's in your account. 

Full help to take advantage of this and pros & cons in our Top Cashback Sites guide.

Problems with getting an MSE Blagged deal?

If you signed up to an MSE Blagged deal – a best-in-market offer we've negotiated exclusively – which involves you being sent a voucher, we'll always do our best to ensure you get the voucher.

But as we warn above, there can occasionally be problems with the deal tracking. In particular, if you were running ad-blocking software or cookie blockers when you signed up for the deal, or exited your browser while in the process of signing up, this can stop it tracking correctly.

Key tips

  • Many vouchers are supposed to arrive within three months of installation (see each deal for specific details). If it hasn't been that long yet, please be patient.

  • If you're waiting for an email voucher, please do check your spam folder regularly in case it's been diverted there.

Below we've listed the main past blagged deals, including the MSE Broadband Switch Event Sky deal, so you can check what you're due.

Warning: This is an archive so these deals may no longer be available.

BT: Broadband and line rent deals

EE: Broadband and line rent deals

Plusnet: Broadband and line rent deals

TalkTalk: Broadband and line rent deals

Sky: Broadband and line rent deals

How to complain about your broadband provider

The broadband industry doesn't have the best customer service reputation and while a provider may be good for some, it can be hell for others. Common problems include installation dates not being met, limited service or slow speeds, incorrect billing and more. It's always worth trying to call your provider first, but if not then…

Free tool if you're having a problem

This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. It's totally free, and offered by a firm called Resolver which we like so much we work with it to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, Resolver can escalate it to the free Ombudsman Services (or CISAS if you're complaining about Virgin Media).

Important: if your issue is about a voucher or incentive that was part of an MSE Blagged deal, then instead just let us know by emailing voucherhelp@moneysavingexpert.com as that's usually quicker.

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