Internet & Broadband

How to choose the right broadband package for you, and save money!

Whether you are new to broadband, or are looking to save money by changing your current broadband package, it is important to know what questions to ask yourself in order to get the best deal for you.

There are so many broadband options available it really helps to have an understanding of how broadband works to get the most out of your deal. Broadband jargon can be confusing at the best of times, so here is a quick guide to what the common terms mean:

  • Mb - this stands for Megabyte, which is a unit used to measure space (or when expressed as Mb/s refers to broadband speed). The average song or large picture file takes up around 4Mb of space.
  • Gb - this stands for Gigabyte, which is also a unit used to measure space and is equivalent to 1000Mb (it is often used in relation to speeds and data allowance).
  • Download allowance - this is the amount of data you are allowed to download or upload. The term 'data' covers everything from emails, images, videos and songs through to web pages.
  • Unlimited downloads - this means you can download as much data per month as you like (within reason), meaning that you can avoid paying excess charges.
  • Broadband bundle - this means you pay a certain amount each month at a (usually) discounted rate for broadband, landline phone, and sometimes even digital TV. If you are looking to have all three of these services, you can save money by bundling them together with the same provider.

When choosing a broadband package, it is useful to find out what speed is available in your area (they vary depending on how far away your house is form the nearest exchange). The best way to do this is to use a postcode checker - you type in your postcode and it calculates the average broadband speed available in your area. Now you can start to compare deals on other factors such as monthly cost, contract length and download limits.

If you are new to broadband and don't think you will use the internet excessively, you will be better off investing in a beginner's package or light user package - these offer lower download limits (5Gb) and speed (upto 8Mb), for a cheaper price.

If you are likely to be a heavy user, i.e. want to be downloading lots of large files such as movies, images and songs, then you'd be better opting for a package with faster speed (upto 50Mb) and unlimited downloads (so you don't get lumbered with an excess charge).

For those of you switching broadband, the best advice is to analyse your use of your current broadband package. Many people find they are paying for bandwidth that is simply not available in their area - for example, Mrs Jones is paying for 10Mb but where she lives she is only ever going to be able to receive 2Mb at the very most.

Looking at broadband bundles is another money saving option, particularly if you are already using all three services and get them through different providers. Paying for broadband, TV and phone line with the same provider could potentially save you hundreds of pounds over the year.

For more information on broadband comparison, visit Top 10 Broadband.