Tips for Cutting the Costs of Broadband Internet
For many people today, the internet is an absolute necessity rather than a luxury. For most, broadband has replaced dial-up access as the fast speed and broad coverage has made dial-up internet essentially obsolete. If your broadband is costing you too much or not working as fast as you would like it to, or if you are looking for a new package, be well prepared so that you can choose wisely between the wide range of deals on offer.
To know what you are after and how much per month you will be paying, you first need to know just how much data you'll need. There is no point paying a fortune for a huge data package if you only need to check some emails and scroll through your facebook newsfeed for 20 minutes. However, if you're a person who spends hours watching your favourite TV shows online, downloading films and music or playing elaborate fantasy role play games, you may need to invest a little more in your broadband. You will also want to look at the speed of your current connection to see if you are paying for a poor service; speed can vary greatly based on your location and the time of day. Run regular speed tests online to see how your current provider is measuring up, and if it is far slower than the speed you were promised in your package then definitely consider a switch. You'll also need to decide whether you want a stand-alone broadband deal or a package that combines it with your home phone line. Generally the best deals are bundles of the two, so you will also need to assess what you are looking for from the home phone line if you're a frequent landline user.
If you prefer to use your laptop on the go and want to avoid having a line installed and being fixed to home broadband, you can pay for mobile broadband via 3G networks although this is often more expensive and slower. Another important distinction to make is between standard broadband and new ‘superfast’ broadband. Superfast is run through fibre optic cable rather than the usual copper line, and tends to be about four times as fast. It is, unsurprisingly, far pricier than the usual broadband packages so you'll pay for the higher speed, but it may be worth considering if you're a heavy internet user or highly impatient.
To increase online security, you might also want o use VPN services. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. With a VPN, you can encrypt your traffic to increase your online security or to enjoy online privacy. There're different VPN services for different purposes. For example, some VPN companies are good for China VPN, while others are better for bypass geo-blockings or streaming. You can consult online VPN reviews to find a good VPN service for you.
The best broadband deals are most easily assessed through prices, but don't forget to check the coverage in your particular area before committing to a company. Some networks may offer a deal that suits you, but it might not be available in your area so be aware before you sign! Going purely on prices, however, Plusnet currently comes out top for a broadband and home phone bundle at £13.15 per month altogether. This will only be the best deal for you if you use less than 10Gb of data per month though, as that’s where it’s capped. If you're online more often though and would prefer an unlimited connection, TalkTalk come out only marginally pricier than Plusnet at £13.25 per month. The cheapest superfast fibre optic package by a fairly decent margin comes from Virgin Media, who are offering unlimited data for £25.41 per month. If you need speeds that are quicker than Virgin's 30Mb maximum download speed, consider Plusnet who can go up to 76Mb for the slightly pricier £30.82 per month on a longer 18-month contract.
If these deals appeal to you, and you are currently with a different provider where you are paying more for a slower service, you can still look into making a switch. Some people end up taking out payday loans because they have spent too much on essentials such as broadband - don't be one of them, switch and save. Firstly, check that you're not locked in with your current network. If you are, you may have to pay a penalty or pay for the equipment given to you to use the service; check that this won't end up costing you more overall than you'll save by switching. If you don't actually want to leave your provider and are generally happy with their service but feel that you're being ripped off when looking at what is on offer from other networks, try calling up and haggling. You may find that they will cut the cost of your package substantially in order to keep you as a customer.