Sticking to a household budget means not only making sure you don’t overspend but also that you receive the best value for your money. This includes any provider services that you sign up for, including broadband service.
As with any other type of service, the packages, options and prices available will vary between providers. To make sure you receive the best deal on broadband that will also meet the needs of your family, read these helpful tips:
1. Compare What Different Broadband Providers Have to Offer
There are a wide variety of broadband providers on the market today. Rather than just picking one blindly, it can pay off if you take the time to compare them. But it might not take as long as you think.
Instead of having to visit each individual broadband provider’s website to get the information you need, you can take advantage of a website that has reviews for the best broadband providers, plus links to current deals for any providers you are interested in — all in one place.
2. Read Online Reviews
The same website that lists broadband providers and current deals can also link you to comprehensive reviews of each service, including details about broadband, speed, customer service and routers and installation.
At the end of each review, you’ll also find a final verdict that sums up what’s being offered. Taking the time to read these reviews can help you better understand what each broadband provider offers and the pros and cons of each.
3. Ask Your Neighbors Which Provider They Use
Word-of-mouth recommendations can be valuable. After you’ve compared broadband provider deals and reviews, ask your neighbors which provider they use. This a way for you to get firsthand details about how well the provider’s service works and what kind of customer service you can expect. You can even ask your neighbor if he or she would recommend the service.
4. Pick a Provider That Offers You the Best Plan for Your Money
After comparing deals, options and customer service quality, you’ll likely have a much better understanding of what each broadband provider can offer you. Now it’s time to think about the things that are really important to you.
The key is to get the plan that is the closest match to the services you’re looking for without paying for something you don’t need. For example, if you are only interested in broadband service — and not packages that contain TV or phone service — then consider plans that are broadband-only.
5. Pay Attention to Contract Length
Broadband providers offer different contract lengths — often 12 or 18 months. Under certain circumstances, you might even be able to secure a much shorter contract, but the convenience could come at a considerably higher price. A year-and-a-half can be quite a long time to be locked into a contract if you’re not quite sure if you will like the service.
If you’re concerned about broadband speed, however, new Ofcom rules say that participating broadband providers must give consumers the minimum guaranteed speed before they sign a contract. If broadband speeds drop below promised levels, you can cancel your contract without penalty.
6. Pay Attention to Promotional Pricing vs. Standard Pricing
Although certain promotional pricing offers might be attractive, make sure you understand how long the promo pricing will last and what the price will reset to once the offer expires.
For example, if the promotional pricing lasts throughout your contract, or at least the majority of it, then it’s worth it. But if lower pricing expires within the first few months and resets to standard pricing, be sure you can’t get a better deal with another provider before signing up.
7. Consider Fibre Broadband
Decide if you could benefit from fibre broadband. It’s at least three times faster than ADSL broadband, and the price difference between the two is often minimal. But do you really need it? Consider the following:
- Do you mostly surf the web, visit social media, share photos, or pay bills? If these are your most common activities, an ADSL connection will likely suffice.
- Do different people in your household use their own devices to do things such as download games and stream movies in HD — sometimes at the same time? Or do you own five or more devices that are regularly connected to the internet? If so, then you most likely could benefit from a fibre broadband connection — especially if you work from home and depend on being able to connect.
8. Ask About Routers
The router you receive as part of your service depends on the broadband provider. Although fibre broadband providers often supply routers that can handle heavier usage, that’s not always the case. If the broadband provider’s supplied router can’t support heavier usage, you might end up having to upgrade to a different router — which could mean extra cost.