Do you get confused with terms such as usage limits, connections speeds, download times, ultra fast broadband and do not know the difference between a 10Mb or a 20Mb speed? You are not alone. But with money in scarce supply these days, many people are wanting to find the best broadband deal they can get their hands on and will need to know what these terms mean and what it is that they require. The three main contenders – Sky, BT Infinity and Virgin Media have some great promotions on at present so this is a particularly good time to considering switching. Here’s what the top three providers are offering:
Sky have a Winter Broadband Sale on now which is offering new and existing customers half price broadband for 12 months. The good thing is that you do not have to sign up to one of their TV packages to be able to take up this offer. Sky have a download speed of up to 20 Mb and there is no limit on how much you use, so browse and download to your heart’s content with no extra charge. This package comes with inclusive free evening and weekend calls to UK landlines. This deal is called Sky Broadband Unlimited with calls and Sky wireless ‘N’ router and it costs £5 per month for the first 12 months, rising to £10 per month after this introductory period. You can add a TV package to this which would be then called Sky Broadband Unlimited with Sky TV and calls and that would cost you £23.75 per month for the first 12 months after which time it will rise to £27.50 per month. This deal includes Sky’s Entertainment package which features 70 Freeview channels and an extra 44 entertainment channels including Sky 1 and Sky Atlantic. If you are a new customer to Sky you will also bag a Marks & Spencer voucher worth £50.
If you are an existing Sky customer, you can also add the Broadband Unlimited with calls bundle to their existing package for just £3.75 per month for the 12 months and then £7.50 per month thereafter. You have to get your telephone line through Sky however, but it is cheaper than going through BT as it costs a monthly line rental fee of £12.25. Sky does not offer a superfast broadband, but it is planning on launching Sky Broadband Unlimited Fibre this April which will provide up to 40 Mb broadband speeds. If you want this service it will cost you an additional £20 per month plus a one-off set-up fee of £50 for new customers. They are also launching a new service, powered by The Cloud, which will give Sky Broadband Unlimited customers free access to more than 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. Moreover, Sky is launching a new internet TV service that will increase the ways in which anything that Sky offer can be accessed.
You’ve probably seen the latest Bt Infinity ad campaign in that, the two university mates turn up at a prospective flat share and are able to both live there due to the main occupant having installed BT Homehub, who’s high-speed broadband is up to four times faster than the UK average. This means that it lends itself to ‘effective multi-platform usage’ and you can connect games consoles, tablets (for instance iPads) and laptops, browse online and download simultaneously using the one wireless router without any lapse in performance. BT Infinity is a superfast broadband that provides download speeds of up to 100 Mb and upload speeds of up to 15 Mb which makes all activity this possible. They are offering this superfast broadband on an 18-month contract with unlimited usage, a free BT Home Hub, as well as evening and weekend calls for £35 per month. If you want to upgrade to unlimited anytime calls you can do for an extra £4.90 per month. Be wary though as this offer is not available all over the country yet so check to see if you can get it in your area.
If you do not need a superfast connection, then the Broadband and Anytime Calls package could be a better option for you. This online exclusive deal offers up to 20 Mb download speed, but there is a monthly usage limit of 10 GB, you get free anytime calls and a free BT Home Hub with free connection for £16 per month. BT is also offering four months free on its 18-month contract. If you want to add their TV package then you can get a 12-month contract for the TV Essential package, which comes with a free Vision+ digital box and 70 Freeview channels, for an extra £4 per month. However, you would have to pay at least £10 extra for the telephone line rental for all Broadband and Anytime calls packages and the TV Essential deal has a £40 activation fee.
Hasn’t Richard done well! Is there anything he doesn’t have his sticky little fingers into these days? He is not happy with BT however as he is directly competing with them by offering ultra fast broadband with download speeds of up to 100 Mb plus unlimited downloads. The Virgin deal includes ultra fast broadband with a free Virgin Media Super Hub wireless ‘N’ modem router and unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles on an 18-month contract for £35 per month, that’s if you have a Virgin phone line. If you don’t then it’s £40 per month for the first three months and £45 per month after that. Their online exclusive is free installation worth £49.95 when you take 100 Mb broadband with a Virgin phone line and this is with free Spotify Premium for six months. If you don’t need such a fast broadband speed then try out the Virgin Basic package of 10 Mb broadband and phone bundle that provides broadband with a download speed of up to 10 Mb and no usage limit, unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles and free installation for £4 per month for three months and £13.50 per month after that. Or how about a medium-sized package like 30 Mb broadband and six months’ free Spotify Premium subscription for £5 per month for the first three months and then £18.50 per month after that.
If you want the TV service you can subscribe to the TiVo 1TB £20 a month bundle, which offers broadband with download speeds of up to 10 Mb, unlimited monthly usage and a TiVo set-top box with 75 digital TV channels with the capacity to pause, rewind and record live TV. Plus, you get free weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles, free installation and three months free for £20 per month. The installation is free but you will have to pay a one-off TiVo 1TB activation fee of £49.95 and all deals are subject to Virgin phone line rental of £13.90 per month.
So Who IS Best?
Remember there are other broadband providers out there such as the Yorkshire service of Plusnet which is offering very cheap deals at the moment but check out their TV and telephone packages as well. They might not be able to provide all the services you require. From the three we have featured, at first glance Sky comes out on top but look at the telephone costs. If you use your telephone frequently and in the week, you may find that BT could be more suitable as it offers free calls to landlines and 0845 and 0870 numbers at any time of day. If you love music then the Virgin deal could be beneficial to you. It all depends on your own circumstances.