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Broadband and sim deals 2024

Looking for cheap broadband? Compare prices from top providers and get a great deal

Joint broadband and sim deals are the smart way to get mobile and home internet in a single package, ensuring you get the best deal possible. Many internet providers sell both broadband and sim deals, meaning you can simplify your bill, pay for both plans together and enjoy a host of additional perks – whether that’s discounts on both plans, internet speed boosts or free antivirus software thrown. 

So, if you’re after the best broadband deal and fancy getting a sim card at the same time, this guide has everything you need to make the right purchase.

Plusnet – Full Fibre 145
Monthly Cost
£27.99
Average speed
145 Mb
Contract term
24 months

Monthly prices are subject to increase each year on 31 March by Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%.

Our top recommended broadband providers
Plusnet
Fast speeds & reliable customer service
Virgin Media
Ultrafast speeds at affordable prices
Vodafone
Perks for existing mobile customers
BT Broadband
The UK’s largest broadband provider

What are broadband and sim deals?

Home broadband is delivered via an internet router in your home, usually connected to a fibre broadband network, though you can also use satellite broadband or mobile broadband if that’s the best option for your location. Through the router, you can connect various devices, such as a laptop, TV, gaming console or other smart home device – usually through wifi but sometimes through a wired ethernet connection instead.

A sim card, on the other hand, sits in your smartphone or other sim-enabled device and allows your device to connect to an over-the-air data network using wireless technologies such as 4G or 5G. That’s how you’re able to browse websites, stream videos or receive and answer emails on the go – everything that needs internet data rather than the cellular network that enables you to make regular texts and calls with your phone. Some phones can even contain two separate sim cards for when you need both a personal and work number in the same phone.

Generally, you need separate plans for your broadband and sim, as they service different devices in different ways. But most broadband providers also offer some kind of mobile plan and vice versa. 

For example, Virgin Media O2 combines the Virgin Media fibre optic network (for broadband) and the O2 phone network (for mobile). Plusnet, EE, Vodafone, Three and Sky also have a hand in both technologies, so it can be simpler to go with the same provider for all your internet needs: one bill, one service and only one customer hotline. 

Some broadband and sim deals will also include extra incentives to try to win you over – whether it’s a speed boost, an increased data allowance, expanded roaming capabilities or discounts across your sim and broadband plans.

What are the advantages of broadband and sim deals?

While many internet providers offer broadband and sim deals, they don’t always have an incentive for customers opting for both. Here’s an overview of the providers that make it worthwhile:

Provider Perks Downsides Best for
Virgin Media O2 Double mobile data Free upgrade to next broadband speed plan (up to 1Gbps) Wifi guarantee and free signal boosters Roaming in 75 countries No monthly discount Heavy internet users, home workers and travellers
Vodafone Discount on mobile and broadband plans McAfee antivirus protection (1 year) Discounts on partnered brands No speed boosts or roaming benefits Users on a budget
EE Broadband/EE Mobile £20 discount on new sim and airtime plans No speed boosts or roaming benefits Heavy mobile data users
BT Broadband/EE Mobile* Double mobile data allowance 30% off airtime on EE handsets 30% off sim only plans New EE customers only New EE customers or those looking to switch
*EE is now owned by BT, allowing for joint incentives

Helpful tips for comparing the best sim and broadband deals

So, how are you meant to choose between these deals? It’s clear that some providers are keen to throw in goodies to sweeten the deal, while others offer discounts so you pay less for basic services. You should figure out a rough budget for a joint sim–broadband purchase and determine your priority: faster speeds, additional rewards or just less cash going out each month. Be sure to look at your existing internet speed and monthly cost so you have a basis for comparison when looking at new sim and broadband deals.

But before you commit to a provider, check if it sufficiently services your address. Broadband coverage varies hugely across the country, and only some providers can offer the kind of internet provision you need at the location you need it. 

Check out our guide to the best broadband in your area: select “Compare Deals” to input your postcode and see what’s available where you are. You can also use a broadband speed test tool to assess your internet’s current level of performance – the last thing you want is an internet plan that’s slower than what you already had.

Which providers offer the best sim and broadband deals?

Not all broadband providers offer incentives for joint sim and broadband customers, but a few make brand loyalty worth your while.

You’ll get the most tangible benefits with Virgin Media O2 – the result of a 2021 merger between Virgin and the O2 telecoms company. Customers who sign up to Virgin Media broadband and an O2 sim qualify for “Volt” benefits that turbocharge internet speeds and data allowance. 

Virgin Media already boasts some of the fastest broadband services in the UK thanks to its extensive fibre optic network. With Volt, your Virgin broadband speed is automatically upgraded to the next-highest tier, so if you pay for M125 (average of 132Mbps), you’ll instead experience the speeds of the M250 (264Mbps) tier. Volt customers are also signed up for WiFi Max, which guarantees 30Mbps broadband speed in each room and provides three free wifi signal extenders to help if some rooms aren’t quite getting sufficient coverage.

In addition, any O2 customers in your home qualify for double the amount of mobile data per month, and regular travellers benefit from free roaming across 75 countries around the world, up from the 49 European countries that O2 customers get by default.

Elsewhere, Vodafone’s incentives are more to do with discounts than additional perks. Customers who sign up to both sim and broadband plans can get up to £3 off their monthly broadband cost and 30 per cent off their monthly mobile cost. EE also offers a £20 monthly discount on new sim and airtime plans if you sign up for EE Broadband.

Things get a little hazier when it comes to BT, which now owns both EE and Plusnet, two other internet service providers. If you sign up for BT Broadband and EE Mobile, you qualify for several perks, including double your monthly data allowance and 30 per cent off EE airtime and sim only plans. However, it only applies to new EE customers. At the time of writing, there aren’t any benefits to purchasing both BT broadband and a Plusnet mobile plan.

Can I find other internet packages like broadband and sim offers?

Of course, sim and broadband deals aren’t the only offers to consider when you’re shopping around for internet providers. There’s also a huge number of internet packages that include different combinations of TV channels.

  • Broadband and TV deals: An internet package that includes both home broadband and access to television, whether satellite TV, cable TV, streaming services such as Netflix, specific TV channels or otherwise
  • Broadband and phone deals: While broadband providers will connect you to a landline number, not everyone needs it, and landline usage is generally in decline. That said, anyone planning on using a wired telephone connection can still benefit from a joint package that includes minutes spent on the phone, whether you opt for a pay-as-you-go plan, a set number of free minutes during evenings and weekends, unlimited calls at any time of day or a number of minutes you can use for international calls
  • Broadband, TV and phone deals: Why settle for anything less than the whole package? Large providers such as Virgin Media and BT have bundles that include home internet, home entertainment services and mobile data plans. Sky has a partnership with Netflix that’s worth considering, too
  • Mobile broadband deals: If you don’t have access to fast broadband speeds through fibre networks, then mobile broadband may be just what you need. It uses a sim card to connect to 4G or 5G data, just like a smartphone does – you can even use the same sim for both devices if they connect to the same network. A wired connection is more reliable, though
  • Broadband-only deals: Sometimes, simple is best. There are plenty of good broadband deals that won’t require you to change your mobile phone contract in the process
  • Satellite broadband deals: Satellite broadband sidesteps the need for traditional cabling with orbiting satellites that relay signals between you and the internet provider. It can even be used with a portable satellite dish, such as the one recommended by satellite constellation Starlink, meeting your home internet and mobile internet needs with a single service

Broadband and sim deals FAQs

Most people in the UK use both home broadband and a sim-powered smartphone – so it’s well worth considering a joint package that includes both services on a single bill. It’s far easier to liaise with one provider, and some of them throw in incentives for keeping all your internet needs under one umbrella.

That said, you may be able to get separate sim and broadband plans that work better for your needs and the internet coverage in your area. And for some providers, such as Sky, there aren’t any incentives beyond simplicity.

Not quite! Mobile broadband is something else altogether – it refers to an internet router that’s powered by a sim card, much like an internet-connected smartphone. The router then taps into 4G or 5G data networks to deliver internet to your home. It can be a smart workaround if your home isn’t connected to fibre optic broadband, though it requires sufficient mobile data coverage in your area.

It’s possible to buy a data-only sim card, which connects your mobile phone to the internet but lacks functionality for regular text messages and calls. There’s not much incentive to do this for a smartphone, as it reduces your functionality, though a data-only sim may be useful inside a tablet or internet router.

Broadband providers will throw in a landline number at no extra cost, but you won’t need to activate the number or connect a telephone to access the internet.

henry st leger

Henry St Leger

Consumer Tech and Software

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former news and features Editor at TechRadar, where he specialised in consumer technology, software, and home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, soundbars, and smart speakers.

He has been writing about technology and related topics for over six years. His work for the Independent Advisor focuses on cyber security and internet-connected software including VPNs.

Henry has written for a wide number of prominent websites including NBC News, Healthline, The Times, Edge, T3, iMore, and GamesRadar.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.