Are you getting the best broadband service possible?
Finding the best broadband service to suit your needs can be a daunting prospect. There are literally hundreds of broadband providers competing with one another; each offering various broadband deals and options, and each making claims about offering the best speed, price and customer service.
One of the first things you should do to check if you are receiving the best broadband service possible is to conduct an online broadband speed test. This will allow you to check how fast your connection is compared to other connections in your local area, and make a decision based on this speed.
If you decide you are unhappy with your service, then consider using an independent broadband comparison tool to narrow down the choices to the best providers for your based on price, speed, contract length and even customer satisfaction.
If you are unsure as to what you need from a broadband service, then you first need to work out how you plan to use your service and what your broadband priorities are.
What is the fastest broadband that you need?
Make sure you consider what the fastest broadband you need is; you will probably find a home broadband speed of 1 or 2 Mbps is fast enough if you simply want to browse the internet, send emails and download the odd music track.
However, if you want to take advantage of more data-intensive tasks which the internet has to offer such as downloading films, watching online TV such as BBC iPlayer or online gaming, you are more likely to see the benefits of a faster broadband speed.
Many broadband providers will put a cap on the amount of internet data you can download and upload. A capped home broadband service may cost less in basic line rent, however if you want to watch TV online, use YouTube, download large files and send large emails, an unlimited broadband deal is a far better option.
For instance, 1GB a month will allow you to surf the internet for two hours a day, send and receive 100 emails a week and download roughly 30 music tracks a week. However this does not include online TV or video which can increase your broadband usage massively, for instance a film download is typically between 1.5 and 2GB.
Many broadband providers will charge for exceeding your monthly cap, which can add up if your usage limit is too low for your actual broadband use. Typically costs for exceeding limits range from around £1-2 for each extra GB. So it is very important to consider usage amount before choosing a broadband deal.
Finally, many broadband providers will insist that you sign up for a year or even 18 months. Therefore you may be tempted by a one-month contract offer, but be aware that you will usually have to pay for broadband equipment and connection upfront in these instances.
Most importantly remember to do as much research as possible into the best broadband deals, as mentioned previously many providers will sign you up for at least one year, therefore if you choose the wrong deal for you, it may cost you a large sum of money. Instead, take your time and take advantage of all the advice available online to assist you in your decision.