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Find cheap broadband deals in the UK in 2024

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

In the quest for cheap broadband, you can save by carefully considering the essentials for your ideal package. Many providers offer bundles for broadband with TV channels to reduce overall costs, and it can be worth exploring whether you could cut costs by not having a landline. 

Assessing the internet speeds that match your household’s usage can reveal further savings – for many, opting for a lower-speed package fulfils their requirements while keeping costs low. 

By comparing broadband deals, you can save money and still get the broadband service you need. Our experts have analysed numerous broadband providers, looking at their packages, speeds and services to save time and money when deciding which broadband package is right for you.

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’s included in a cheap broadband offer?

The most affordable broadband deals often come without the extras of more premium packages that inflate the cost. These budget-conscious options typically exclude additional services, such as TV channel bundles and inclusive home or mobile phone tariffs. 

However, this no-frills approach doesn’t mean a compromise on quality. Many inexpensive broadband plans now include fibre broadband options, which are not only faster but also more reliable than traditional Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) connections. With the evolution of technology, fibre broadband has become increasingly common and cost-effective. It often negates the need for a traditional landline, potentially eliminating the expense of unnecessary line rental for many modern households that rely on mobile phones for voice communication, rather than a landline. 

Cheap broadband packages generally include: 

  • Broadband connectivity: The core of any cheap internet deal is access to the internet. This could be a standard ADSL connection, which uses telephone lines, or a basic fibre connection. 
  • Fibre options: Many budget deals now include full fibre broadband, which is faster and more reliable than traditional ADSL as it connects directly to the exchange. Partial-fibre broadband uses older copper cables to connect you home to your street cabinet, then fibre cables from that to the exchange. Full fibre means the entire connection uses the faster cables, a system that becoming more commonplace and affordable, depending on its availability in your area
  • Limited extras: To keep costs down, these deals may exclude premium services, such as TV subscriptions, premium channel packs, or landline call packages. However, some providers offer other incentives, including gift cards or cash back options
  • Lower speeds: Economical packages often offer lower speeds, which can still usually adequately serve your needs. However, you may require faster connections if you frequently download large files, stream ultra HD 4K content, or are a serious gamer. Speeds are measured in megabits per second (Mbps) and many providers use Ofcom’s Stay Fast Guarantee to provide a minimum speed for their packages
  • Limited data allowances: Some cheap plans have a cap on the amount of data you can use each month, although unlimited data deals are increasingly common and can still be affordable
  • Shorter contracts: Sometimes, to save costs, providers offer shorter contract terms, although this might come with a higher setup fee
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How to compare cheap broadband deals

Affordable broadband offers aren’t solely defined by the lowest monthly price tag. They may consolidate several services into a cost-effective monthly package or offer high-value gift vouchers, providing a greater overall value.

When comparing cheap wifi deals, it’s crucial to determine your specific needs to avoid paying for unnecessary extras. Here are some key considerations to help you find the right package and save money:

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Consider what extras the provider offers

When comparing broadband offers, consider the full spectrum of benefits offered. Providers frequently sweeten the deal with added incentives such as cash back, gift cards, or credits that reduce the overall cost. 

For example, if you are offered a year’s contract for £30 a month, plus a £60 gift card, your monthly cost will be reduced by £5, amounting to a substantial reduction over the year.

Deals marked as ‘exclusive’ are typically the most competitive package offer. While it may not be cheap, while the promotion lasts, you’re unlikely to find a better deal.

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Compare bundles

Consider consolidating your TV and home or mobile phone subscriptions under one provider. Opting for a bundled package could prove more cost-effective than the cumulative total of individual services.

While these bundles may not be as cheap as the most basic broadband-only plans, they could offer an affordable solution without sacrificing the services you rely on. So, it’s worth exploring options with providers that can cater to all your telecommunications needs.

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Choose the right speed

While the most economical broadband packages typically offer lower speeds, it’s essential to prioritise finding a service that meets your household’s internet demands. If you have multiple users simultaneously working, streaming and gaming, fast speeds become crucial to avoid lag and interruption.

Securing a connection that can comfortably handle your collective usage is more critical than opting for the cheapest option. The incremental cost of a higher-speed deal is often marginal when weighed against the value of uninterrupted service and the avoidance of daily frustrations.

To ensure you select a package that meets your speed requirements without overextending your budget, it’s advisable to explore a comprehensive range of broadband packages and deals.

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Check the contract

When comparing broadband, pay attention to the duration of the contract – they typically last for 12 months, 18 months, or 24 months. Short-term agreements can offer greater flexibility, particularly appealing if you’re planning a house move or living in a rented property.

Equally important is to investigate the provider’s price adjustments. Some impose substantial rate increases mid-contract, while others may hike prices considerably once the introductory period lapses. Knowing your contract’s end date enables you to switch providers or renegotiate your plan and avoid any steep rate rises. 

However, should you terminate your broadband service before the agreed minimum period ends, be prepared to incur a cancellation charge. The specifics of this fee vary by provider, but, typically, you’ll have to settle the balance for the remaining contract duration and potentially pay for any supplied hardware, such as a router.

Pros and cons of cheap home broadband offers

Cheap broadband can be attractive for various reasons, but it’s essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision.

Pros

Affordable internet access Broadband bundles save money and make service management easier Good speeds for most internet users

Cons

Not suited for heavy internet users

Which providers offer the cheapest broadband-only packages?

Our experts have compared broadband-only packages and found these are currently the cheapest deals.

Broadband provider Broadband deal Minimum download speed* Contract length Price per month
Plusnet Fibre 11.9Mbps 24 months £25.99
Virgin Media M125 Fibre Broadband 66Mbps 18 months £26.50 (£49 post-contract)
Talk Talk Fibre 35 22.4Mbps 18 months £27
BT Broadband 1Mbps (based on Stay Fast Guarantee) 24 months £29.99 (£2 set-up fee)

*Minimum speeds may vary depending on postcode. 

Prices correct as of 9/11/2023

Which providers offer the cheapest broadband and home phone deals?

These are currently the cheapest broadband and home phone deals, according to our research.

Broadband provider Broadband deal Minimum download speed* Contract length Price per month (including line rental)
Plusnet Unlimited Broadband 10Mbps (average) 24 months £25.99
BT Fibre Essential 25Mbps (based on Stay Fast Guarantee) 24 months £32.99 (£11.99 setup costs)
Sky Superfast 80 50Mbps (based on minimum speed guarantee) 18 months From £31.75 (£5 setup costs)
Shell Energy Fast Broadband 11Mbps (average) 12 months From £38.27

*Minimum speeds may vary depending on postcode. 

Prices correct as of 9/11/2023

Which providers offer the cheapest broadband and TV deals?

Our researchers found that these are the best broadband and TV deals currently.

Broadband provider Broadband deal Minimum download speed* Contract length Price per month
Now Broadband Brilliant Broadband 2.8Mbps 12 months From £26.99 (£10 delivery fee)
Virgin Media Big Bundle 132Mbps 18 months £31.99
Vodafone Fibre 1 18.2Mbps 24 months £35.50
EE Fibre 36 Essentials 32Mbps 24 months From £36.99
BT Full Fibre 100 100Mbps (based on Stay Fast Guarantee) 24 months £49.99

*Minimum speeds may vary depending on postcode. 

Prices correct as of 9/11/2023

Are there any extra fees to pay with cheap broadband?

Opting for a cheap broadband package can undoubtedly be budget friendly, however, it’s important to be aware of any extra costs that might not be immediately obvious when you sign up. These fees can sneak up, altering what initially seemed like a great deal.

  • Setup costs: Some providers charge an initial setup or installation fee to get your service up and running. While most cheap broadband deals waive these fees as part of a promotional offer, it’s worth checking the fine print or any special offers that might include a waived setup charge
  • Cancellation fees: If you’re locked into a contract with your current provider and decide to switch before your term ends, you’ll likely face cancellation fees. These can sometimes be substantial, as they’re designed to recoup the cost of the discounted service you received
  • Price increases: Most broadband providers adjust their package prices annually, often in April, to keep up with inflation. These increases are typically stipulated in your contract but can be a surprise if you’re not expecting them. Some providers, however, may offer a price lock guarantee for a set period, which can be a relief from the annual hike
  • Equipment fees: There could be charges for the broadband equipment, such as your router or modem, especially if you opt out early and don’t return the equipment in good condition
  • Out-of-bundle charges: If your package includes a data cap or limited call time, exceeding these limits can incur additional charges

Are there any cheap broadband deals for low-income homes?

For households on a low income, accessing affordable broadband is particularly important. Recognising this need, some internet service providers offer a social tariff. 

Social tariffs are specially discounted broadband plans available to customers on certain government benefits, such as Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Universal Credit, among others. 

Social tariffs aim to ensure that everyone has access to the internet, which is increasingly considered a necessity for everyday tasks such as job hunting, managing finances, accessing government services, and children’s education. However, according to Citizens Advice, in the last year, one million people cancelled their broadband services due to cost of living increases, with many unaware that these discounts exist. Ofcom claims that more than four million eligible are missing out on average annual savings of £144.  

While the cost of a social tariff can vary between providers, they are significantly cheaper than standard broadband offers, have no early exit penalties, and are not subject to any mid-contract price increases. 

Although free broadband is unavailable, TalkTalk recently joined with Jobcentre Plus to provide free broadband for six months to eligible customers, and providers including BT, Sky, Virgin Media, and Vodafone offer heavily discounted services.  

Eligibility criteria for these tariffs can vary, so it’s essential to check with individual broadband providers to understand if you qualify and what documentation you need to provide. The application process is usually straightforward, intending to make it as accessible as possible for those who need it.

Conclusion

For most internet users, signing up for cheap broadband allows access to everything they need to accomplish online at an affordable price. Many providers offer bundled deals, meaning you can have your TV and landline – if required, under one subscription, and if you receive qualifying benefits, you could pay even less monthly. 

Understanding your broadband requirements and comparing internet deals allows you to choose the right package for your budget.

Frequently asked questions about cheap broadband

While cheaper broadband options might raise concerns about reliability, the reality is that many budget-friendly broadband providers maintain good, consistent service levels. Advances in technology and regulatory oversight have paved the way for providers to offer reliable connectivity without a hefty price tag.

The cheapest type of broadband is typically ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). This technology utilises the existing telephone line infrastructure and is generally more affordable because it’s based on older, more widespread technology. 

ADSL’s lower price point reflects its slower internet speeds compared to its more contemporary counterparts, like fibre broadband. It’s a viable option for users with basic internet needs, such as browsing and emailing, who do not require high-speed connections for activities like streaming high-definition videos or online gaming. As market dynamics shift and technology advances, the cost spectrum can change, but currently, ADSL is the budget-friendly choice.

Contrary to what you would expect, the cheapest deals are usually found on broadband and landline packages since these types of broadband require copper phone lines to connect to the network. However, if your home has access to fibre broadband, you can find cheaper broadband-only deals.

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.