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Want a better broadband deal?

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If you’re coming to the end of your broadband contract, you might be able to move to a faster connection and still save money. Here are the latest broadband deals courtesy of Uswitch. Plus tips to speed up your internet connection for free.

Nick Baker, a broadband expert at Uswitch.com, suggests you visit a price comparison site to look at the different deals available as well as some limited-time special offers that might not be available directly from the provider.

In the meantime, here are some of the latest deals.

Best ‘overall’ broadband offers

ProviderPackageAverage SpeedAdded benefits?Contract LengthSet up cost?Cost per month
BTFibre 267Mbps£100 virtual reward card24 monthsN/A£31.99
TalkTalkUnlimited Fibre 65 and Phone Line67Mbps£60 gift card18 monthsN/A£23.50
PlusnetUnlimited Fibre Extra and Phone Line66Mbps£75 reward card18 monthsN/A£24.99
SkySuperfast Broadband59MbpsN/A18 monthsN/A£26

Source: Uswitch.com. Prices correct as of 9th May 2022. Subject to change and postcode availability.

‘Cheapest’ broadband deals

ProviderPackageAverage SpeedAdded benefits?Contract LengthSet up cost?Cost per month
Three5G Hub100MbpsN/A24 monthsN/A£10 for 6 months, £20 thereafter
Plusnet Unlimited Broadband and Phone Line10Mbps£70 reward card12 monthsN/A£18.99
NOW Super Fibre & Anytime Calls63MbpsN/A12 months£5£21
VodafoneSuperfast 267MbpsN/A24 monthsN/A£22

Source: Uswitch.com. Prices correct as of 9th May 2022. Subject to change and postcode availability.

Best offers for broadband

ProviderPackageAverage SpeedAdded benefits?Contract LengthSet up cost?Cost per month
Virgin MediaGig1 Fibre Broadband1.13GbpsN/A18 months£35£28 for 6 months, £62 thereafter
VodafonePro Gigafast 900 with Alexa built-in910MbpsN/A24 monthsN/A£53
Virgin MediaM500 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband516MbpsN/A18 monthsN/A£36
TalkTalk Unlimited Future Fibre 150147Mbps£75 gift card18 monthsN/A£32

Source: Uswitch.com. Prices correct as of 9th May 2022. Subject to change and postcode availability.

How can I speed up my internet connection?

”With the huge growth in video calls over the last two years, many people will have experienced the annoyance of a slow internet connection or a freeze that captures an embarrassing expression on a work call,” says Baker.

“If you’re ever working remotely, it is worth investing the time to make sure you optimise your home broadband set-up and have a connection that can cope with the demands of video calls, which can use a lot more bandwidth than general browsing.

“Perform a speed test to see if you’re getting what you pay for and also consider if the speed of your package matches your current needs,” he says.

Here are some tips from Uswitch that could help keep your service up to speed:

  1. Cut out the background noise: If your broadband is being used for multiple tasks while you’re on a video call, it can strain the bandwidth and contribute to lag. This is more likely to be the case for online activities that require a lot of data, like downloading files. Before you start a video call, limit the amount of background processes your computer is running and close down any unnecessary tabs in your browser.
     
  2. Respect the router: Where your broadband router is placed in the home has an impact on your connection speed, with the floor, furniture, walls and physical objects able to get in the way of your Wi-Fi signals. Make sure you place your router in the middle of your home, as free from obstructions as possible and plug it into a main socket rather than an extension. It should be upright and face towards you, and when it comes to making your call, the closer you are to your router the better. 
     
  3. Testing times: If you find your computer regularly slowing down it’s worth performing a broadband speed test. First, stop any downloads or apps running on your computer and then turn off other devices and nearby electrical products like microwaves or voice assistants that could sap the strength of your signal. Keep close to your router and ensure there are no large objects that could block the signal to your device.
     
  4. Something in the Ether: If you share a Wi-Fi connection with your family or housemates, it might be difficult to keep them off the internet when you’re on a video call. Try connecting your device to the router via an Ethernet cable and you will have a faster and more stable connection and be less likely to suffer the dreaded lag.
     
  5. Up(load) the ante: When you conduct a speed test it will show your download speed (the rate at which information travels from your internet to computer) in Mbps, as well as your upload speed (the rate you can send information from your device to an internet server). While download speeds are important for things like checking emails, loading web pages or streaming music, interactive applications like Zoom or Teams also require reliable upload speeds as they use this bandwidth during a video call. For regular home-based work meetings look for an upload speed of 18-20Mbps. Look out for providers offering symmetrical speeds, where the upload and download speeds are exactly the same, like Vodafone’s Gigabit packages. 

Sometimes there can be a cold spot in a house, as one FI reader recently learned. That’s why it is worth shutting off a repeater or WiFi disc (if you have multiple) to see if it might be slowing things down if devices are all competing. Also try moving the position of, for example, a BT disc around a room, then testing its connectivity to see if there is an improvement to the internet speed. This is especially useful in rooms used for gaming and online streaming.

Here’s a list of sites that can test your internet speed. Just make sure you are happy with their data privacy rules before using any of them.

  • Speedtest.net.
  • Speedof.me
  • TestMy.net
  • Xfinity Speed Test
  • Internet Health Test
  • Speedsmart
  • Fast.com
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