There's nothing that will make seeing internet payments on your bank statements any less annoying. Paying for home broadband is a necessary evil of the 21st century, with an ever increasing reliance on the internet in the home. Watching TV, banking, staying in touch with loved ones and shopping for your next beautiful fixture or fitting for your kitchen or bathroom are all more dependent on the web than ever before.
But Realhomes.com will at least help you numb the pain a little by directing you to the best home broadband deals available in your area right now. Use our comparison chart above to see the cheapest internet prices around - whether you're after super-fast fibre optic broadband, an all-singing, all-dancing broadband and TV package or just want to pay as little as possible for your connection. Do you want to play it safe with BT broadband, or go for a less familiar brand? Use the interactive filters to pinpoint your ideal internet plan.
And if you need a bit of a helping hand to know exactly what broadband plan would be best for your home, we've answered some essential internet buying questions below.
Check out more expert advice from Realhomes.com:
Order your home broadband deal over the phone
If you're still a bit unsure which broadband to go for or would simply prefer to complete your order over the phone, then you can do so on packages from selected providers. If the internet deal you want is from Sky, Virgin or TalkTalk then give one of the numbers below a call:
- Sky broadband: 08000-142-334
- Virgin broadband: 08000-492-102
- TalkTalk broadband: 08000-492-103
Fibre broadband or standard ADSL internet
If you're not yet acquainted, you've probably at least heard of fibre broadband. You get connected via fibre optic cable instead of the standard copper telephone lines used by an ADSL connection. That means faster, more reliable internet speeds.
But of course fibre broadband also comes at a greater cost, and it's only really worth paying the additional money if you really need it. Below is more infomartion about which to choose, but first a quick word about the Mb abbreviation. It stands for megabits, as internet speed is generally measured and marketed in Mb.
ADSL (17Mb): The speed of standard ADSL is set at up to 17Mb, which means a maximum download speed of around 2.1MB per second. If there's just a couple of you in the household and your internet activity is confined to a bit of web surfing and streaming HD video then you can probably get away with cutting costs and going for standard broadband. Prepare for frustrating lag if a lot of people try to use the limited bandwidth at once though.
Fibre (38Mb): At more than double the Mb of ADSL, you can already get the idea why fibre optic is worth getting if you want to ramp up your home internet speed. Now available to more than 90% of UK homes, it's essential you go for fibre if you want fast downloads, 4K streaming and/or if there are several faces in your house all wanting to use the internet at once without interruption. Use the postcode checker in our comparison chart above to see if fibre's available where you live.
Faster fibre (50Mb+): You'll pay a premium for the fastest broadband speeds out there, but it's worth the spend if rapid, lag-free internet is a must in your home. You're looking at downloads in excess of 6MB per second, and that equates to seamless 4K video streaming, multiple heavy broadband users all filling their boots at once, and films and albums downloaded in no time. Virgin Media broadband starts at 50Mb, but still has a reach to about 60% of UK homes - use the postcode checker at the top of the page to see if you can get it.
Home broadband contract length
For the most part, you don't get much of a choice as to what contract length you'll be signing up for. If you've got your deal and internet provider decided, then you're stuck with whatever length the company chooses.
That will usually be 12 or 18 months. One year used to be the standard, but an increasing number of ISPs are now tying customers into 18 month broadband deals. You can use the filter in our comparison chart if you're dead set on a shorter term. When your contract comes to an end however, be prepared for your monthly tariff to be hiked skywards as most of the prices you'll see are reduced introductory offers. On that basis, 18 month offers can sometimes be advantageous.
For complete commitment-phobes, a few providers offer rolling 30 day internet plans. Handy if you're renting or know that you'll be moving house within the year. But you will usually be penalised with higher upfront activation costs.
Broadband and TV deals
In a bid to get as much business from you as possible, most major internet providers now offer broadband and TV packages - a one stop entertainment shop. They range from basic TV packages offering a scant selection that you'd normally expect from Freeview (although there may be a set top box allowing you to record and rewind thrown in, too), to comprehensive 300+ channel plans that include BT Sport, Sky Cinema and pretty much every other premium station you can think of.
If you want to sort out your TV at the same time as your home broadband, then tick that box in our comparison chart filters. Then all you have to do is narrow down your ideal TV.
Home telephone and call plans
Still using a landline? Well the good news is that line rental is included in the price of your internet (some Virgin Media broadband only plans being the exception). That means you'll automatically be able to make and receive calls from your tethered home phone.
But those outgoing calls can cost a pretty penny, especially at peak times. Pick out a broadband and phone deal instead and you can pay a little bit extra a month to add unlimited weekend, evening or anytime calls. Most providers also do an international call plan if you have loved ones overseas.
Now you're in the know, head back to the top of this page to compare broadband deals and select your perfect home internet plan.