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Cheap Broadband Deals

B'band & line rent £186 over 12 months, get £50 cashback

Martin and Consumer Team | Edited by Steve N

Updated Weekly

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 £302/yr, Sky £329/yr and Virgin £444/yr. The deals below can bring it down to £186 over a year plus you get £50 cashback.

To benchmark, those on standard deals typically pay BT £39/mth and Virgin £37/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 your broadband cost. Always look at your phone line rental too. Often, the services are interlinked, so cheap broadband can mean a costly phone service.

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 £20 £18.99 £468
Sky £10 £17.40 £329
TalkTalk £7.50 £17.70 £302
Virgin (fibre) £19 £17.99 £444

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

    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?

    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?

    Never just look at your broadband cost in isolation. Always factor in your phone line rental as well – even if you get them separately. Many cheap broadband deals require you to take costly line rental, but only advertise the sexy broadband price in the headline. 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 65's 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 £186 for a year plus you get £50 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

Broadband and line rent £186 over 12mths, get £50 back*

If line rent paid upfront. Paid monthly it's £323

  • Available to: 90% of the 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 16 Aug, new Plusnet customers, or those who've not been with it in the last month can get an 12-mth contract with BT-owned Plusnet* which includes line rental, unlimited downloads with up-to-17Mb speed broadband.

It's a strong performer in our customer service poll - 62% rate it 'great', only 15% 'poor'. The deal's available to 90% of the UK based on postcode (you're told when applying), but you can't get it if you're already a Plusnet customer (or left in the last month). Here's how it works...

  1. Sign up. Use this specific link*.
  2. 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, If not it's 16.99/mth until 1 September, £17.99/mth after. You choose which option during the application.
  3. Broadband's 'free' for the 12-month contract. If you stay after the contract it's £9.99 or £17.49/mth depending where you live so diarise to switch at this point.
  4. £50 cashback but you must claim it. Ensure you use the link above and you'll receive an email within ten days of your 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. Read more on how to ENSURE you get the cashback.

If you pay the line rent upfront, it's £185.88 (equiv £15.49/mth). Pay line rent monthly and it's £16.99/mth (£17.99 from September 1). If you factor in one month at £16.99 and the remaining 11 months at £17.99 it's £214.88 for the 12 months (equiv £17.91/mth). Plus you can claim £50 cashback.

Factor in the cashback and it's £135.88 for the year or equiv £11.32/mth. It's £164.88 over 12 months or equiv £13.74/mth if you choose to pay line rent monthly.

- What about calls? No calls are included – calls to other UK phones are mostly slightly cheaper than BT (a bit more than BT from 1 Sept, 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? An optional 'free' one is available, though it charges £6.99 for package & posting. 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

B'band & line rent £285 for 1yr, get £125 back*

If line rent paid upfront. Paid monthly it's £308 for a yr

  • 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 Mon 1 Aug, BT newbies (those who don't currently have broadband with it) can get its Unlimited Broadband + Weekend Calls* package on a 12-month contract. It's the second offer down.

Here's how you get it:

  1. Sign up now. You must use this specific link via the Cable.co.uk* comparison site.
  2. 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), if not it's £18.99 monthly, you choose which option during the application.
  3. Unlimited broadband's £5.99 for 12 months. You get a 'free' BT Hub router, though you pay £7.95 p&p. If you stay after the contract ends the broadband jumps to £20/mth.
  4. £75 Mastercard BUT you must claim it. Frustratingly you need to register for the Mastercard via this online form once the broadband's activated, it's then posted within 45 days.
  5. £50 cashback BUT you must claim it. You'll need to register via this online form for the cashback once the broadband's activated. The cheque is then posted within 45 days. Make a diary note with a copy of these links – BT WON'T remind you. See full details of how to claim.

The total cost including broadband, line rental upfront and router (before calls) is £284.91 for the year, equivalent to £23.74/mth or £307.71 if you pay line rent monthly – equivalent to £25.64/mth.

If you factor in the £75 Mastercard and £50 cashback, the total cost (before calls) is £159.91 for the year, equivalent to £13.33/mth or £182.71 if you pay line rent monthly – equiv £15.23/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? It's £5/mth or free if you choose to get BT TV too.

Full BT tips, call charges and customer service ratings


http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/redir/55110d74

Broadband & line rent £198 for 1yr*

If line rent paid upfront. Paid monthly, it's £219

  • Available to: 97% 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: £25
Since it was hit by a high-profile hack in October, TalkTalk's been doing its best to gain new customers with some attractive deals, though whether people will trust it after the brand damage is yet to be seen. In our last customer service poll 47% scored it 'poor' - it's worth thinking about before you make your choice.

Newbies to TalkTalk's Simply Broadband* can get unlimited 'free' up-to-17Mb broadband when they take TalkTalk's line rental on a 12-month contract. This is how it works:

  1. Sign up now. Go via this specific link*.

  2. Choose to pay for line rent upfront. If you can afford to it's cheapest to pay £191.16 for a year upfront (equiv £15.93/mth), otherwise it's £17.70/mth. Once you have a login to your online account you can select Value Line Rental to pay upfront.

  3. Unlimited broadband's 'free' for the entire 12mth contract. After this it'll rise to £7.50/mth – so diarise to switch at this time. You get a 'free' compulsory router, though you must pay £6.75 for p&p.

Add up one year's upfront line rent and router p&p and it's £197.91 for 12 months, equivalent to £16.49/mth. If you're paying line rental monthly it's £219.15 for the year or £18.26/mth.

- What about calls? No calls are included but you can get anytime calls to UK landlines and mobiles for £5/mth for 12 months. You'll be charged £7.50 per month unless you cancel before the end of your contract. Calls over 60 mins are charged so hang up and call back. See call costs for full info.

- Need a new line? If you don't have a line or only have a cable one (or in a few cases other lines), installation is £25.

Full TalkTalk tips, call charges & customer service

Sky

Broadband & line rent £276 for 1yr, get £75 card*

£22.98/mth equiv for Sky newbies only

  • 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? Anytime
  • New line installation: £20

Newbies to Sky* (or those who left 12+ months ago) who take its £17.40/mth line rental can get its broadband for £5/mth on a 12-month contract.

Plus you get a £75 M&S voucher. Anyone who already has Sky TV or takes it at the same time can get this deal but won't be eligible for the voucher.

  1. Sign up to Sky Broadband*.
  2. Pay line rental monthly. It's £17.40/mth, so £208.80 for the year.
  3. Unlimited broadband £5/mth for 12 months. After the 12-month contract ends, it then rises to £10/mth, so diarise to switch at this time. You also get a 'free' compulsory router, though you pay £6.95 p&p.
  4. £75 Mastercard – but you'll have to claim it. Once your broadband is activated. Go to the Sky website and log in using your account details (you'll get these when you sign up). Make sure you claim it within 90 days – you should receive it within 28 days. See how to claim your reward.

If you take the standard broadband, the line rental, and the router p&p, the total over the 12-month contract is £275.75, equiv to £22.98/mth. Plus, you can claim a £75 Mastercard.

If you factor the Mastercard in it's £200.75 over a year, equivalent to £16.73/mth.

- What about calls? Anytime calls to UK landlines and mobiles are included for 12 months (incl 0870 and 0845). This usually costs £8/mth and you'll be automatically charged once the 12-month contract has ended. Sky also has an unbilled calls credit limit – see below for info.

- 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. However, if you have a BT line but pay another provider to use it, or you pay BT for your phone line, you may still have to pay the fee (see below).

- Direct debit is the only way to pay. You won't be able to get this deal otherwise.

Full Sky 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.

BT

Fibre & line rent £394 for 1yr, get £175 back*

If line rent paid upfront. Paid monthly it's £417 for a yr

  • 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 Mon 1 Aug, those who don't currently have broadband with BT can get its Unlimited BT Infinity 1 + Weekend Calls* package with unlimited superfast downloads up to 52Mb, line rental on a 12-month contract and inclusive weekend calls.

The deal's available to 83% of the UK (you're told when applying whether you can get it). Here's how it works...

  1. Sign up now. You must use this specific link via the Cable.co.uk* comparison site.
  2. Pay line rent upfront. If you can afford to it's cheapest to pay the £205.08 year's line rent upfront (equiv £17.09/mth), if not it's £18.99 monthly, you choose which option during the application.
  3. The broadband's discounted to £10.99/mth (+ one-off £49). It's usually £26/mth but it's discounted for the year to £10.99, plus there's a £49 activation fee. You also get 100GB of free online storage.
  4. You get a 'free' BT Infinity Hub router, but must pay £7.95 p&p. This isn't optional.
  5. To get £175 back you need to CLAIM. BT doesn't make this easy. It won't remind you, so ensure you diarise AFTER installation to use this £125 prepaid Mastercard claim form, you can then spend the cash on it. And you can use this £50 cheque claim form too. Do turn off ad- or cookie-blocking software or the deal mightn't track. The cheque and the Mastercard are then posted within 45 days. See full details of how to claim.

The total cost including fibre broadband, line rental upfront, activation fee and router (before calls) is £393.91 for the year, equivalent to £32.83/mth or £416.71 if you pay line rent monthly – equivalent to £34.73/mth.

If you factor in the £125 Mastercard and £50 cashback, the total cost (before calls) is £218.91 for the year, equivalent to £18.24/mth or £241.71 if you pay line rent monthly – equiv £20.14/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 free.

- Want BT Sport? It's £5/mth or free if you choose to get BT TV.

Full BT call charges, tips & customer service ratings

Fibre & line rent £468 over 18mths*

If line rent paid upfront. Paid monthly it's £515

  • Available to: 80% of UK
  • Speed: Up to 38Mb
  • Download limit: Unlimited
  • Traffic shaping? No
  • Contract length: 18 months
  • Deal requires line rental? Yes
  • Inclusive calls? No
  • New line installation: £25

Much like its standard broadband deal above, TalkTalk's pulling out all the stops to bring in new customers following the cyber-attack it suffered in October, though whether people will trust the company after the brand damage is yet to be seen. In our last customer service poll 47% scored it 'poor'.

This TalkTalk Fibre Broadband* deal is open to newbies signing up to an 18-month contract. Here's how to get it:

  1. Sign up now. Go via this specific link* .

  2. Choose to pay for line rent upfront. If you can afford to, it's cheapest to pay £270.81 for 18mths upfront (equiv £15.05/mth), otherwise it's a straight £17.70/mth if you pay monthly. Once you have a login to your online account you can select Value Line Rental to pay upfront.

  3. Unlimited fibre broadband's £5/mth for 12 months. It'll then rise to £17.50/mth for the remaining six months. There's the option of its SuperSafe internet protection 'free' for 18 months too but it'll charge you £2/mth after if you don't cancel. You get a 'free' compulsory router, though you must pay £6.75 p&p. There's also an unavoidable £25 activation charge.

Add up line rent including 18months upfront, the broadband cost, router p&p and activation fee it's £467.56 for 18mths, equivalent to £25.98/mth. If you're paying line rent monthly it's £515.35 for the 18mths or £28.63/mth.

- What about calls? No calls are included but you can get anytime calls to UK landlines and mobiles for £5/mth for 12 months. You'll be charged £7.50 per month unless you cancel before the end of your contract. Calls over 60 mins are charged so hang up and call back. See call costs for full info.

- Need a new line? If you don't have a line or only have a cable one (or in a few cases other lines), installation is £25. However you won't be eligible for the Love2Shop voucher.

Full TalkTalk tips & call charges

Plusnet

Fibre and line rent £474 over 18mths*

If line rent paid upfront. Paid monthly it's £502 for a yr

  • Available to: 83% of the 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 16 Aug, BT-owned Plusnet* is offering a decent 18-month 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 customer service poll – 62% rated it 'great', only 15% 'poor'. This deal's available to 90% 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. Sign up now. Go via this Plusnet link*.
  2. 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, it's then £17.99/mth for the remaining six months (equiv £16.32/mth). If not it's £16.99/mth until 1 September, £17.99/mth after. You choose which option during the application.
  3. Fibre broadband's 'free' for six months contract. It's then £14.99/mth for the remaining 12 months, a total of £179.88. If you stay after the contract it'll continue to be £14.99 (if you don't live in a low cost area its £7.50/mth for six months then £22.49/mth after) on top of the line rent.
  4. Pay by direct debit. Or there's a £1.50-per-payment extra charge.

If you pay a year's line rent upfront, add on six months line rent at £17.99/mth and 18 months broadband it's £473.70 over 18 months (equiv £26.32/mth). Pay line rent monthly and it's £16.99/mth (£17.99 from September 1). If you factor in one month at £16.99 and the remaining 11 months at £17.99 it's £501.70 for the 18 months (equiv £27.87/mth).

- What about calls? No calls are included – calls to UK phones are mostly slightly cheaper than BT (see Plusnet charges).
- No line/switching from cable (or in a few cases, Sky custs)? 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.

Full Plusnet call charges, tips & 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 Lite, which is a bonus for footie fans, although the pricing and what you get on each of the channels changed on 1 August – see BT Sport changes for full info.

BT

B'band & line rent £285 for 1yr, get £125 back*

If line rent paid upfront. Paid monthly it's £308 for a yr

  • 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 Mon 1 Aug, BT newbies (those who don't currently have broadband with it) can get its Unlimited Broadband + Weekend Calls* package on a 12-month contract. It's the second offer down.

Here's how you get it:

  1. Sign up now. You must use this specific link via the Cable.co.uk* comparison site.
  2. 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), if not it's £18.99 monthly, you choose which option during the application.
  3. Unlimited broadband's £5.99 for 12 months. You get a 'free' BT Hub router, though you pay £7.95 p&p. If you stay after the contract ends the broadband jumps to £20/mth.
  4. £75 Mastercard BUT you must claim it. Frustratingly you need to register for the Mastercard via this online form once the broadband's activated, it's then posted within 45 days.
  5. £50 cashback BUT you must claim it. You'll need to register via this online form for the cashback once the broadband's activated. The cheque is then posted within 45 days. Make a diary note with a copy of these links – BT WON'T remind you. See full details of how to claim.

The total cost including broadband, line rental upfront and router (before calls) is £284.91 for the year, equivalent to £23.74/mth or £307.71 if you pay line rent monthly – equivalent to £25.64/mth.

If you factor in the £75 Mastercard and £50 cashback, the total cost (before calls) is £159.91 for the year, equivalent to £13.33/mth or £182.71 if you pay line rent monthly – equiv £15.23/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? It's £5/mth or free with BT TV.

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 generally 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, but be warned – taking a phone line is almost always cheaper.

Virgin Media

Fibre b'band £397 for 1yr*

No line rental needed, though it's cheaper with it

  • 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

The only no-line-rental option is Virgin Media*, costing equiv £33.08/mth on an 12-month contract (click the link, and then click on the broadband only tab to see the deal).

Although you don't need a landline to get this, it works out cheaper to get Virgin broadband AND line rental*.

  1. Sign up directly. Go via Virgin Media*.
  2. Unlimited fibre broadband £32.25/mth for the entire 12-month contract. Speeds of up to 50Mb (depending on your postcode).
  3. Installation's free. With this deal there's no charge for installation but there's an unavoidable £9.99 activation fee which is applied to your first bill.

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

Over the 12-month contract it's £396.99, excluding calls. Monthly it works out to be £33.08/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 £28.65/mth for first 12 mths*

Cancel with 28 days' notice

  • 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: £118

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. Line rental from £13.50/mth. There are three line rental payment options. If you want to stick with no-contract line rental too, it's £15.95/mth. Cheaper options include signing up to an 18-month contract, paying £14.95/mth, or paying £162 upfront for a year (equivalent to £13.50/mth). Taking either of these will tie you into a contract though.
  3. Broadband's £11.95/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.
  4. You need its router. It's 'free' but you'll need to pay £8.95 p&p.

The total broadband, no-contract line rental and router p&p cost for the first year is £343.75, equivalent to £28.65/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.