Choosing the right internet provider for you does not always mean choosing the one offering the cheapest price or the big name providers like BT, Sky or Talk Talk.
It is about choosing one that offers a great service at a reasonable price that gives you what you need.
Find a suitable provider and package
When someone comes to me for advice on getting a better internet/ broadband deal I start by gathering their details and requirements including their budget to ensure I find them the best deal with a provider that will offer a good service and deliver on what they promise.
This will include typically:
To check what services are available in some cases your home telephone number is requred.
As a starting point to see what they offer and how they compare with other providers.
Find out what your currently paying per month for Broadband service and factor in any bundle savings with other services such as TV and mobile.
Confirm your current broadband package type and speeds.
Find out when your contract is up on your broadband service with your current provider as in most cases you will face paying an early termination charge if you switch providers mid contract.
Do a speed test ideally from a hard wired device plugged directly into your router while no ne else is using the internet.
We recommend Fast.com
click on the show more once the download speed test is complete and note down all the figures.
Make a note of the max number of people you typically have in your household and how many internet connected devices you have.
The more people and devices the higher your broadband speed will need to be.
Base this on the info gathered already.
As a rule of thumb 4K stream requires around 25Mbps.
HD streams require around 8Mbps each.
read our Upload speed blog to learn more about internet speeds.
Many broadband services no longer require a traditional landline telephone service.
Think about if you really need one or can you get by using a mobile phone instead.
Ditching a landline phone can save an average of £10 per month form your bill.
This can come in handy to factor in any potential savings by bundling packages together.
Many providers offer discounts if you take 2 or more services with them.
Its useful to know any special requirements such as the need to have a Static IP address or the option to use your own router.
Not all broadband providers cater for such requirements.
With this information I would then start by using a range of websites to check what services are available to the address (see our handy Get FTTP page for how to find out what services you can get!). Of course, I start by checking if FTTP is available as this offers the best most reliable connection then work down from there.
I would then check all the individual Internet Providers offering suitable services. You can of course use comparison sites to get a good idea of what is available at your address and potentially which one is offering the lowest price but bear in mind these comparison sites do not list all providers and the deals may not be the best as they will choose to promote certain providers over others.
When checking out deals on a providers website don’t just look at the headline deals read the small print carefully, check to see what’s actually included.
A lot of the times and something I find rather irritating is you have to go through most of the ordering process in some cases to the checkout screen to actually get the true cost of the package.
Depending on the requirements there will be hidden charges on extras like landline add ons and static IP address options and there may be upfront costs to factor in. P.S be sure to check the upload speed read our previous blog for more on why that is important to factor in.
Watch out for that Small Print and price increases!
here are many providers out there that will raise the price of your internet package every year which may be in the middle of your contract, and they add clauses in which mean you can not cancel your contract because of this without paying hefty Early Termination fees!
The price rise amount could be random, but most cases are linked to the CPI which this year (2022) is 5.4% and some providers like BT and PlusNet add a sneaky extra 3.9% on top meaning those customers will face a 9.3% increase on their bills this March.
Another big factor to consider is contract length these range from no contract rolling monthly which are usually the most expensive up to 36 months in some cases (3 Years!) longer contracts usually offer the cheapest price as for the provider they have a pretty much guaranteed income for 1-3 years.
Check the small print carefully though as stated above many providers will increase the price during the contract and charge hefty early termination charges to get out of the contract which means that headline deal price may not be that much of a deal after all.
You get what you pay for
One of the key elements in choosing the right internet provider is how good is their service and support.
When doing your research do not just look at reviews on the providers website look at independent review sites such as Trust Pilot, Feefo and Which!
Be wary of fake reviews and check multiple review sites and broadband forums for a balanced view. You can also checkout wider scale and official customer satisfaction surveys/indexes such as the biannual Customer Satisfaction Index by the Institute of Customer Service and Which regularly conduct surveys bear in mind these generally do not include smaller more local providers.
The website ISPreview is also a great resource in locating a good deal and worth keeping an eye on their news feed for the latest info.
The old saying goes ‘you get what you pay for’ and this can be true and untrue when selecting your internet provider.
There is no point getting a cheap deal if the provider has rubbish customer support and the internet, they provide is not reliable especially when we rely on our internet more and more now.
On the flip side going with the most expensive provider does not always guarantee the best service and its not always best to choose a well-known big provider like BT just because their ‘BT’ a smaller provider can offer a more personalized service and treat you better think a local shop vs a retail giant and you may be surprised to find the price is cheaper than a big-name provider.
Making the right choice for you
Armed with the information you can make an informed decision on selecting a provider that works best for you one that offers a great service and support you can rely on at a reasonable price for a package that suits your needs.
If you would like help and or advice on getting a better broadband deal, get in touch with us.