Switching your broadband could save you hundreds of pounds a year. Learn how to best switch and compare the many different providers.
Switch My Broadband is dedicated to helping you save money. We offer a comparison and switching service that can aid you in your search for a cheaper broadband deal.
We compare various UK-based broadband providers, giving you access to the most important information so that you can make an informed decision regarding your broadband. With our innovative tool, you can compare various packages, helping you evaluate the best choices for you.
To switch to a better deal in a matter of minutes, here’s what you need to do to use our tool:
Many people can be discouraged from switching their broadband provider because they think that it’s a complicated and time-consuming process.
If you do things properly, this isn’t the case at all, and depending on the circumstances, you can complete the administration aspect of the switching process in under 20 minutes. Once that is done, your internet can be provided by a new company within weeks.
To help you switch your broadband in 2024 the right way, make sure to follow these steps:
Unless you’re on a flexible agreement, you’re unable to leave your provider whenever you want. When you get broadband, you’ll likely be tied into a fixed-term contract, meaning that you cannot leave until you finish the period specified on your contract.
In the past, these contracts were, on average, 12 months long, but now many providers have increased their average contract length to 24 months. This was done to stop people from switching providers more often so that each company could guarantee an income for longer.
These contract lengths mean that it’s very important that you check how long into your contract you are and if you’re able to switch. You’ll usually receive some form of correspondence, be it a letter or an email, to let you know that your contract is up and that you’ve served your minimum term.
When trying to switch after your contract, you’ll be able to do so freely and without any costs, making it much easier and less of a hassle.
It is still possible to switch while under contract, although you will be hit with expensive early cancellation fees. The costs of these fees will alter depending on the provider, but you’ll likely have to pay for the remainder of the contract all at once when leaving early.
If you can switch without paying a fee, or if you’re set on leaving and are happy to pay a cancellation fee, the next thing you’ll have to do is choose your new provider.
You shouldn’t rush in when choosing your new broadband deal and should take your time using our broadband comparison tool to find the most suitable deal. Never just go with the fastest package on average in the UK, as this may be too expensive for your needs, and there’s a chance that you might not even be able to get that speed depending on where you live.
You must consider various different factors when selecting your broadband. Things like the speed you need, the package you want, the number of users you have, the price, and your location all play a part in dictating which broadband deal is best.
To get a better idea of which provider is right for you, you can look at various online reviews in addition to using our tool. This allows you to see what people have been saying about the brands and shows an overall star rating for you to determine the quality that you’re likely to get.
Do not that all broadband providers rank fairly low in comparison to other businesses. This is likely because broadband is an essential utility, so if things go even slightly wrong, users will be more inclined to leave a bad review. That’s why for comparison’s sake, you should only compare broadband provider review scores with other broadband providers.
To help you get a better idea of what’s available, here’s a look at the Trustpilot scores of the top six broadband providers.
Once you’ve made your choice of a new provider and have the package you want in mind, you need to contact them to start the switch. You can usually do this by phone, although it’s possible to get all set up on the web.
If you’re switching between providers who both use the Openreach telecoms network, then your new provider will be able to fully manage the transfer and help you get switched seamlessly without any input from you.
Once your switch has been confirmed, you’ll likely get contacted by both your old and new provider, detailing when your old service ends and your new service starts.
If one of the providers that you’re switching between isn’t using Openreach to provide their broadband, such as Virgin, then you’ll need to contact your current provider to stop the service. This is known as a ‘cease and re-provide’.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be given a cancellation date. When you have that, you’ll be able to contact your new provider and organise your new service to commence on or after that date.
Do note that when switching between providers who don’t use Openreach, there may be a period where you do not have broadband service. However, this shouldn’t last too long.
Switching your broadband is a great idea because it can help you save money on your broadband. The prices that providers offer change regularly, meaning that your current contract could be more expensive than the same package offered by a different provider.
There’s also more scope to save as providers may offer deals for new costumes, adding extra value and making things even cheaper. There’s no point in being loyal to one broadband provider, and it’s instead better to regularly check out the market to see if savings can be made elsewhere.
Switching can also be good if you want a better quality product. Many broadband users are currently frustrated with their service, citing issues such as buffering and periodic slowdowns, while many other users’ services simply cut out and don’t work.
Switching can be a great way to move from a poor-quality provider to a better one that can give you a better experience.
Plus, because contracts are usually so long, once you’ve served your minimum term and are in a position to switch, you’ll likely find that the technology surrounding broadband has improved. This means that you can get a much faster speed than what you were previously getting for a similar or even cheaper price.
Switching can help ensure that you always have cutting-edge broadband technology so that you’re never settling for less.
When comparing broadband for yourself, you need to be aware of a few things to help you make the best choice for your needs. Consider the following things to ensure that you get the best deal and that you’re comparing effectively:
The speed of your package will dictate how quickly things load when using the internet. If you’re using your broadband to stream films or play games online, you’ll want a faster broadband speed than if you’re simply browsing shopping websites and sending occasional emails.
The amount of data you will use will also impact which package is best. Some providers will cap the amount of data that you can use. If you go over this, you have to pay additional fees when paying your monthly bill.
Consider your usage and if you’ll benefit from having a plan that has an unlimited data allowance, which will enable you to stream as many movies and games as you’d like.
You need to know how much you can afford and what price points for each speed are good value for you. You don’t want to overspend on a service you don’t need or a service that puts you into financial difficulty.
You should be aware of additional fees such as upfront costs for installations for a new router. These costs can make your overall package much more expensive.
When selecting a broadband package, be aware of the contract length and consider if it suits you. If you’re looking to switch again quickly to always ensure that you have lower prices, then you may benefit from a 12-month contract.
However, if you’re happy with the service long-term, and don’t think you’re going to be moving anytime soon, then a longer contract can save you a little bit of money and be a good option.
Some providers can offer additional gifts and rewards when you switch to them, which can sweeten the deal and make them a more valuable package. You shouldn’t base your decision solely on the perks, but if you’re comparing two similar broadband packages, there’s no harm in choosing the one with the better gifts and bonuses.
Most of the UK has access to great quality broadband; however, not every provider covers every area. This means that it’s important to know which providers operate in your local area so that you can choose the best deal for you without wasting time on providers who can’t provide for you.
When you compare broadband, you must be aware of the different packages that you can get.
Packages work in tiers and start with a basic broadband-only package and can increase to a package that includes digital TV and both mobile and landline phone services. These packages are also known as bundles and should be something you can consider when switching broadband.
Having multiple products included in one contract can make it a lot easier to manage and pay for, as you only have one bill, and it could be cheaper getting them all together than if you were going to get these packages separately.
Do consider if you need these additional services when getting packages, as you could end up paying for something that you’re not using, resulting in you wasting money. The different packages you can get include:
The best broadband speed is relative to your needs. This is because you don’t want to pay for a package that’s too expensive that you don’t fully use. With that said, some providers can provide full fibre speeds of around 600Mbps.
If you’re a light user of the internet, where you just check emails and browse news sites, then you’ll only need around 10MBps t be comfortable.
If you’re a single user streaming video or using the internet more robustly, then you’ll likely want a minimum of 30Mbps.
For families with multiple users that are likely to be using the internet simultaneously, you’ll want speeds of around 60Mbps to ensure that there is no buffering or slowdowns.
If you’re an avid internet user, streaming or gaming in 4K, or need the internet to run a business, then a speed of 100Mbps or more will likely suit your needs.
If your speed is fast enough to handle your requirements, then it should be consistent throughout the day. However, a few things can affect it and cause it to slow down.
If you’re using a device far from your router, your signal will be weaker, resulting in slower speeds. That’s why it’s a good idea to place your router in areas where you’re going to be using the internet the most often, such as the living room or in your home office.
Things like walls and furniture can block your Wi-Fi, causing speeds to drop. The speed of your broadband can also be affected if your broadband is obstructed. To stop this, it’s best to place your router in an open area and to not confine it in a cupboard or other form of furniture.
You can switch your broadband whenever you want, although there are times when it’s more sensible than others.
If you’ve served the length of your current contract, then you’re able to find a new broadband provider without any restrictions. However, if you’re still in your minimum term, then you won’t be able to switch your provider without paying an early exit fee.
An early exit fee can be very expensive, and many providers will expect you to pay for the rest of the contract at once before you’re able to leave.
The only time that you’re able to leave your current contract early without paying is if you can prove that you’re not being supplied with the service that you’re paying for.
For example, if you’re constantly getting drop-outs in service, or if your speed is a lot slower than it should be, then you can leave without paying. Many providers will insist that an engineer comes out to check things, so leaving could take a while, but if these issues are proven to be true, then you should be able to leave.
For most providers, your broadband won’t instantly stop when your contract ends. Instead, you’ll roll onto a pay-as-you-go contract, and the prices will likely be lower while you still get the same package that you’ve had previously.
Your provider will likely contact you via email or letter to inform you that your contract is up. Here, it is common for providers to offer new contracts and bundles so that you’re persuaded to stay with them.
Although, now that your contract is over, you’re free to switch providers and choose a new broadband package without having to pay any leaving costs.
Because your provider will be desperate to keep you as a customer, the longer you’re in this pay-as-you-go end of contract agreement, the more likely you’ll be offered deals and rewards for staying to make sure that you don’t leave.
Switching broadband can take up to two weeks from when you begin the process to when you have your new provider, router, and connection set up. However, dispute this timescale, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be without broadband the entire time.
How long a switch takes depends on the provider you’re leaving from and the provider you’re switching to. If they’re both on the Openreach telecom network, then the switch can be pretty swift. If not, then it may take a bit longer as you’ll have to disconnect from your current broadband before switching to the new one.
The timeframe can also be impacted if you’re getting new equipment installed. If an engineer is upgrading your connection, then you’ll have to schedule a call-out, which could prolong the process.
With that all said, organising a switch shouldn’t take too long and can be completed in just two phone calls. You’ll need to call your new provider to inform them of the plan you want and when you want to switch, and you may also have to call your current provider to cancel your connection if they’re not on the Openreach network.
Both these calls shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes, meaning that you can have your switch organised and confirmed within a day.
Once your new connection is in place, you should also allow a few days for the broadband speeds to settle. Sometimes in the first few days, the speeds can be a little bit up and down as a new connection is established. This should go back to normal after a few days.