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How to get cheap broadband

Do you need fibre? How to switch & much more

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Martin and Consumer Team | Edited by Steve N

Updated Weekly

Wifi router

Way too many people stick blindly with their broadband and landline provider – and therefore overpay vastly. People on non-promo deals typically pay anything from £350/year to £600+/year for the big boys such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin, so the deals below can save you big money.

To benchmark, those on standard out-of-contract pricing typically pay BT £45/mth and Virgin £40/mth.

    Seven broadband need to knows

    These are the golden rules to give you chapter and verse, but if you just want a quick comparison, try our Broadband Unbundled tool.

  • What are the different broadband types?

  • Not all deals are available nationwide... but our comparison tool finds the best deals in YOUR area

  • How long does it take to switch broadband? Or to get it for the first time?

  • Will I get the advertised speed?

  • Can I get broadband without a phone line?

  • Aim for unlimited data or it'll cost you

  • Don't want to switch? Broadband and phone firms are among the easiest to haggle with

Best buys: Cheapest standard speed broadband & line rental

We've got all the best deals below, but to find out which are available in your area try Broadband Unbundled, our new broadband, phone line and TV comparison tool.

Plusnet

Broadband and line rental equiv £10.24/mth*

Pay £198 over 12mth contract & get £75 back

Until Thu 27 Sep we've blagged this 12-month contract with BT-owned Plusnet*, which includes line rental and broadband with average speeds of 10Mb. Anyone who isn't a current Plusnet broadband customer can get it. It's always a consistently strong performer in our customer service poll and came out top of the big providers for the sixth year running in August, with 58% rating it 'great' and only 16% 'poor'.

The deal's available to 99% of the UK based on postcode – you're told when applying if you can't get it (or use our new Broadband Unbundled tool, which only shows deals available in your postcode), 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. If you can afford to, choose to pay line rental for 1yr upfront. You pay £197.88 for the year (you must opt for this at sign-up), it's then £18.99/mth, the same as if you were to pay monthly. Either way, no calls are included – see Plusnet charges.
  2. Broadband's 'free' for 12mths. After the contract, it rises to £10.99/mth. If you don't live in a low-cost area, you'll pay more, but this won't apply to most.
  3. You're automatically sent a £75 cashback cheque. Once your broadband and home phone is activated you'll receive a cheque within 30 days. The cheque will be made out to the account holder and delivered to the account address.

- Cost analysis: If you pay a year's line rental upfront and factor in the cashback cheque over the 12mth contract it's £122.88 before calls or new line costs, equivalent to £10.24/mth. If you pay line rental monthly, it's equiv £12.74/mth.

Anything else?

- Could Plusnet hike prices? Sadly, telecoms firms often do, but you should be able to leave penalty-free if it happens while you're in contract.

- Need a new line? If you don't have a line (eg, you've cable only), it's £49.99 – you'll be told before you commit.

- Don't live in a low-cost area? You'll be told if you live in a low-cost area while applying; rural areas are sometimes more expensive. If you don't, broadband's £7.50/mth during the contract on top of line rental. Broadband and phone will rise to £37.48/mth after the contract ends.

Read more about Plusnet.

Full Plusnet call charges, tips & customer service ratings

Sky

Broadband and line rent equiv £15/mth*

Pay £370 over 18mth contract, claim a £100 M&S vch

Until Fri 28 Sep, Sky newbies can apply via this Sky link* for this deal – it's a 18mth contract for unlimited broadband and line rental, with average speeds of 11Mb.

It's available to 90% of the UK. It depends on your postcode – you're told when applying (or use our new tool Broadband Unbundled, which only shows deals available in your postcode), though you can't get it if you've had Sky b'band, line or TV in the last 12mths.

  1. Unlimited broadband and line rent's £20/mth for 18 months. It'll rise to £30/mth if you stay. No calls included – see Sky call costs (a touch more than BT).
  2. £9.95 set-up. There's also a £5 card verification fee, refunded on your first bill.
  3. Get a £100 M&S voucher. Enter your email address after the link and you'll receive it within 90 days of your order. You should then follow any redemption instructions to ensure it's activated.

- Cost analysis: You'll pay £369.95 for the 18mth contract before calls or new line costs, equiv to £20.56/mth. But if you'd have spent £100 in M&S anyway, it's £269.95, equivalent to £15/mth.

Anything else?

- Could Sky hike prices? Sadly, telecoms firms often do, but you may be able to leave penalty-free if it raised phone prices.

- Need a new line? If you don't have a line (or for those with a cable one and in a few other cases), it's £20 – you'll be told before you commit.

Read more about Sky.

Full Sky tips, call charges & customer service ratings

Best buys: Cheapest fast fibre broadband & line rental

We've got all the best deals below, but to find out which are available in your area try Broadband Unbundled, our new broadband, phone line and TV comparison tool.

Though remember, as we've said earlier, think carefully if you really need fibre as if you simply use the internet for basic browsing and emails, standard speed may be fine.

Sky

Broadband and line rent equiv £20/mth*

Pay £460 over 18mth contract, get a £100 M&S vch

Until Fri 28 Sep, Sky newbies can apply via this Sky link* for this deal – it's a 18mth contract for unlimited fibre broadband and line rental, with average speeds of 36Mb.

It's available to 83% of the UK. It depends on your postcode – you're told when applying (or use our new tool Broadband Unbundled, which only shows deals available in your postcode), though you can't get it if you've had Sky b'band, line or TV in the last 12mths.

  1. Unlimited fibre broadband and line rent's £25/mth for 18 months. It'll rise to £38.99/mth if you stay. No calls included – see Sky call costs (a touch more than BT).
  2. £9.95 set-up. There's also a £5 card verification fee, refunded on your first bill.
  3. Get a £100 M&S voucher. Enter your email address after the link and you'll receive it within 90 days of your order. You should then follow any redemption instructions to ensure it's activated.

- Cost analysis: You'll pay £459.95 for the 18mth contract before calls or new line costs, equiv to £25.56/mth. But if you'd have spent £100 in M&S anyway, it's £359.95, equivalent to £20/mth.

Anything else?

- Could Sky hike prices? Sadly, telecoms firms often do, but you may be able to leave penalty-free if it raised phone prices.

- Need a new line? If you don't have a line (or for those with a cable one or, in a few other cases), it's £20 – you'll be told before you commit.

Read more about Sky.

Full Sky tips, call charges & customer service ratings

Best buys: Cheapest superfast fibre broadband & line rental

If you're happy to pay more, you can fibre with max speeds of 100Mb and above. Let's make no bones about it, this is the luxury end of the market, and isn't MoneySaving, but if you've a large family with many devices, or you're into streaming 4K content, or you're just impatient, this could be for you.

We've got our top deal below, but to find out if it's available in your area, or other options, try Broadband Unbundled, our new broadband, phone line and TV comparison tool.

Vodafone logo

Fibre and line rent £25/mth*

Pay £450 over 18mth contract

New customers can get an 18-month contract with Vodafone Broadband*, which includes line rental and unlimited downloads with average speeds of 63Mb. If you're an existing Vodafone mobile customer you can sign up to the same deal for £24/mth.

Vodafone also guarantees that the speed to your router won't drop below 55Mb. You can check it by downloading the Vodafone Broadband app and running a speed test. If it's lower than 55Mb then you can apply for an instant 15% discount which will be applied to your next monthly bill, and will remain until your min speed is above that 55Mb. Note: The guarantee covers the speed to your router, not to your devices.

The deal's available to 94% of the UK based on postcode – you're told when applying if you can't get it (or use our new tool Broadband Unbundled which only shows deals available in your postcode).

  1. Broadband and line is £25/mth. After the 18 month contract, this will increase to £28/mth. No calls are included, see Vodafone call charges.
  2. Nothing to pay upfront. Usually £9.99, there's no cost with this deal for activation and router delivery.

- Cost analysis: It's £25/mth for broadband and line rental before any call or new line costs, so you pay £450 over the 18-month contract.

Anything else?

- Need a new line? If you don't have a line (eg, you've cable only), installation's £60. You'll know before committing.

- Is the price fixed during the contract? Technically no, but if it does raise prices, you should be able to ditch your contract penalty-free.

Cashback site users may see bigger cashback elsewhere, but sometimes on different deals.

Full Vodafone call charges, tips & customer service ratings

Sky

Broadband and line rent equiv £25/mth*

Pay £550 over 12mth contract, get a £100 M&S vch

Until Fri 28 Sep, Sky newbies can apply via this Sky link* for this deal – it's an 18mth contract for unlimited fibre broadband and line rental, with average speeds of 63Mb.

It's available to 90% of the UK. It depends on your postcode – you're told when applying (or use our new tool Broadband Unbundled, which only shows deals available in your postcode), though you can't get it if you've had Sky b'band, line or TV in the last 12mths.

  1. Unlimited fibre broadband and line rent's £30/mth for 18 months. It'll rise to £43.99/mth if you stay. No calls included – see Sky call costs (a touch more than BT).
  2. £9.95 set-up. There's also a £5 card verification fee, refunded on your first bill.
  3. Get a £100 M&S voucher. Enter your email address after the link and you'll receive it within 90 days of your order. You should then follow any redemption instructions to ensure it's activated.

- Cost analysis: You'll pay £549.95 for the 18mth contract before calls or new line costs, equiv to £30.56/mth. But if you'd have spent £100 in M&S anyway, it's £449.95, equivalent to £25/mth.

Anything else?

- Could Sky hike prices? Sadly, telecoms firms often do, but you may be able to leave penalty-free if it raised phone prices.

- Need a new line? If you don't have a line (or for those with a cable one and in a few other cases), it's £20 – you'll be told before you commit.

Read more about Sky.

Full Sky tips, call charges & customer service ratings

Are you desperate to get or stay with BT?

BT often isn't the cheapest provider but we know a lot of you like the security of being with a big name, so if that's you, check the deals above in case BT appears or use the filters in our Broadband Unbundled tool to find the best BT package for you.

If you're already a customer, it's worth using the tips above to benchmark the best deal and then try to haggle to knock down your price. BT is one of the easiest firms to haggle with. In our most recent haggling poll, 78% of its customers who tried to haggle had some success. For top tips on how to do it, see our Haggle With Service Providers guide.

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 deals 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.

Sky

B'band & line rent from £21/mth on a 1mth rolling contract*

Pay £21-£30/mth & £30 upfront (free for SSE energy custs)

New and existing customers can get any of SSE's unlimited broadband packages* on a one-month rolling contract. You have the choice of average 11Mb speed standard broadband, average 35Mb speed or an average of 63Mb speed fibre broadband.

Standard speed is available to 90% and fibre options are available to 83% of the UK based on postcode – you're told when applying whether you can get the deal (or use our new tool Broadband Unbundled which only shows deals available in your postcode).

  1. Unlimited average 11Mb speed broadband and line rent's £21/mth. It'll then rise to £30/mth after 12 months unless you're an SSE energy customer whose broadband prices are frozen for 3 years. No calls are included, see SSE call charges.
    • - Average 35Mb fibre broadband costs £24/mth (£33/mth after 12mths for non-SSE custs).
    • - Average 63Mb fibre broadband costs £30/mth (£39/mth after 12mths for non-SSE custs).
  2. £30 set-up costs. This covers activation and router delivery. There's no charge if you're an existing SSE energy customer.

- Cost Analysis: It's £21/mth for standard speed broadband and line rental before any call costs, so including upfront costs you pay £282 for the first year, equivalent to £23.50/mth.

Anything else?

- Need a new line? If you're switching from a provider not on BT Openreach, or if you need a new line entirely, it's £60 .

Full SSE call charges, tips & customer service ratings

DirectSave

Rolling 28-day contract, equiv £32.03/mth for first 12 mths*

Cancel with 28 days' notice, £24.95 upfront

Newbies to Direct Save Telecom's* can get its unlimited average 11Mb speed broadband and line rental on a 28-day rolling contract (its standard contract length is 24 months) for an equiv £32.03/mth. It's available to 90% of the UK. It depends on your postcode – you're told when applying

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 £29.95/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. No calls are included – see DirectSave call costs.
  3. You need its router. It's 'free' but you'll need to pay £24.95 for activation.

- Cost analysis: The total for unlimited broadband, line rent, router p&p and activation cost for the first year is £384.35, equivalent to £32.03/mth.

Anything else?

- Need a new line? If you don't have a line (eg, you've cable only), it's £29.95 – you'll be told before you commit.

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 and 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, 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 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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