Find and compare the cheapest broadband deals from UK providers.
In a world where everyone is trying to sell expensive hyperfast broadband that delivers insane, although perhaps excessive, speeds, it can be hard to find cheap broadband deals for those that don’t require this type of technology.
Most providers will give you the option to select their cheapest broadband package, although many purposely leave them as barebone services with little perks to deter you from it and convince you to get something more costly,
With that said, you can still get great packages with cheap broadband deals; you just need to know where to look. Browse broadband deals on Switch My Broadband to help you find great deals in 2023, or use this guide to learn more about the more bargain broadband options.
For most providers, when you get the cheapest broadband deal they offer, you’re not likely to get much.
The cheapest deals you can get are likely to be broadband only, meaning there are no extra perks included like digital TV access or landlines.
Instead, you’re just going to get a steady broadband connection, which for many is all they want and don’t want to confuse their package with additional bells and whistles.
In terms of download speeds, the quality of the broadband that you’ll get at the cheapest price point will alter between providers. With that said, the average download speed you’re going to be able to get is around 10Mbps.
Cheap broadband deals are often supplied through standard broadband, also known as ADSL connections. These use the copper wires from phone lines, the slowest methods of transferring internet data.
Even if providers wanted to offer you faster speeds on their cheapest broadband package, they’d most likely be unable to, as ADSL cannot reach speeds faster than 12Mbps even in the best circumstances. If you want a faster speed, you’ll have to consider fibre broadband deals instead, which we’ve compared on Switch My Broadband.
The best way to find cheap broadband deals is to compare the prices within the market. There are many places online where you can do this, including Switch My Broadband, and all you need to do is to enter your postcode to search for what’s available to you.
Somewhat unfairly, prices for cheap broadband are not consistent across the entire country. Depending on where you live, the same package with the same provider may cost more in one location than it does in another.
So, to find the cheapest package available to you, make sure to input your details to help you make a more informed decision about which broadband packages work best for you.
Due to the terrain or how rural your location is, there are also some cheap packages you can’t get, too. For example, if your property has previously had a fibre optic cable installed that runs directly to the house, you may not be able to get standard, cheap broadband because you no longer have a phone line.
Getting cheaper broadband can be an excellent choice for you, providing that you’re in the right circumstances. Although cheap broadband can be a great way to get affordable internet access, getting a package that’s too cheap for you can cause issues.
Depending on how you use the internet, you will have specific demands. Streaming multiple videos in high-definition will require larger download speeds than opening and sending emails.
If you are a heavy or even average internet user, the cheapest broadband options available by most providers will not be able to meet your demands. A household with a couple of average internet users will likely need around 30MBps download speeds. Most cheaper broadband deals give you up to 12Mbps. This means that getting the cheapest broadband possible in this situation may not be a good idea, as you’ll likely experience issues.
Cheap broadband is best suited for those that live alone and do not demand a lot from their internet. If you’re getting internet for a family, then you won’t be able to get the cheapest option.
You can still get cheap broadband in these situations; you’ll just have to find the cheapest package that offers the right speeds that are relative to you. To find the cheapest broadband that suits your requirements, use Switch My Broadband to compare different packages.
All of the major providers will have a cheap broadband option for you to consider. However, the nature of each one and the specifics that you get with each provider will be a little different.
It’s hard to definitively say who has the best cheap broadband deals as many different factors are involved. Plus, what makes a good deal for you will be different for another individual.
Here’s a look at the cheapest broadband deal each major provider offers so that you see roughly which one falls into your budget and what you get with that provider.
The following prices are for a home based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. This has been chosen to represent what you can get and at what prices if you live in a large town in a rural area.
When looking for the cheapest broadband package available for the Cheltenham address, only fibre broadband was available with BT Broadband. This may be because these households do not have a phone line which is required to deliver ADSL.
If your house can get it, BT’s cheapest deal is their Standard broadband package. With this, you’ll get up to 10Mbps of data, which is great for single-person households who don’t use the internet for intensive purposes.
If you’re not being offered Standard Broadband from BT, then the cheapest you can get is Fibre Essential.
This package gives you around 35Mbps of download speed and a guaranteed minimum speed of 32Mbps. This cheap broadband deal is great for browsing social media and streaming on either one or two devices.
This option is broadband only, meaning that it does not come with a phone line. This package costs around £28.99 a month if no promotions are running, and you may also have to pay £9.99 for the postage of your router.
With their cheapest option not being available to those without a phone line, and their second best choice being over £25, this is still a pretty expensive choice, and there are many more affordable options.
With that said, BT is reliable and one of the most trusted brands in the telecoms industry.
Much like the issue with BT, when looking for the cheapest broadband available from Sky Broadband, it wasn’t possible to get their Sky Essential broadband option at the address used to get these prices.
If you can get it, Sky Broadband Essential is a decent option, as it gives you an average of 11Mbps in download speeds, which is a tiny bit faster than most. What’s good with this option is that there are no download limits, meaning you can use your broadband as much as you want.
The next cheapest option is their Sky Broadband Superfast 35. This package costs around £30.50 a month and gives you an average speed of 36Mbps. This makes it great for streaming and playing online games with a few people.
If you’re given the option to get either Sky Broadband Essential or Superfast 35, it may be the more sensible decision to choose the faster package. This is because Superfast 35 only costs 50p extra and more than doubles your speed. This makes it a very worthwhile cheap broadband option.
TalkTalk Broadband is one of the more budget broadband providers when looking to get decent fibre broadband speeds, and it’s unique in nature where its cheapest deal isn’t actually its slowest.
When getting their Fast Broadband package, which gives you an average speed of 11Mbps, it’ll cost you around £24.95 a month for an 18-month contract, and there’s also a £9.95 upfront cost to activate your phoneline to supply this broadband.
For £24 a month, you’re able to get Fibre 35 broadband. Despite being nearly £12 a year cheaper, you can get speeds of up to 38Mbps on average, which is great for couples and households with multiple streamers.
Because you’re able to get good quality fibre broadband for cheaper than standard ADSL, this is easily one of the best cheap broadband deals.
EE broadband provides the fastest and most expansive mobile network in the UK, making them a good option if you want to bundle mobile data to your broadband.
However, they may not be the best option if you’re interested in getting a cheap broadband deal.
This is because their standard broadband deal, which can give you speeds of around 16Mbps, can cost as much as £27 a month.
This makes it pretty expensive for this kind of speed, especially as you can get faster downloads for cheaper with other providers.
Despite this, EE can become worth it if you’re already a mobile customer with them, as you’ll be able to get a discount and extra mobile data, making it an interesting choice if you are looking to bundle services together.
Now gives you access to a cheap broadband deal called Brilliant Broadband. It gives you access to a speed of 11Mbps, which is perfect for a lighter internet user.
What’s great about Now Broadband is that their contracts are a bit shorter than other providers, averaging 12 months. This means that you don’t have to commit to Now Broadband for too long, making it a good option if you’re renting a location for a temporary period.
Now is pretty cheap and works out as one of the most affordable providers in the country, charging £18 a month for this Brilliant Broadband package. There is a £5 up-front fee that can make things a bit more expensive, but it’s still a great option if all you need is standard broadband.
Do be aware that you can get a package that offers 63Mbps for just £22 with Now, meaning that if you need fibre broadband, they can be a cheap option for that type of connection as well.
Plusnet Broadband has the reputation behind it as being a cheap and straightforward broadband provider. With Plusnet, you can only get broadband-only packages, meaning that you won’t be paying for any additional features.
Plusnet’s cheapest broadband costs you just under £24 a month, which means that it isn’t actually the cheapest option on the market. Their packages are unlimited, meaning you can download as much as you like, but it may be worth looking past its cheap reputation to help you find something that’s a bit cheaper.
Plusnet is also notoriety slow, as they can’t offer speeds beyond 64Mbps on any package. You can get some faster broadband speeds for cheaper elsewhere, meaning that Plusnet may not be the best option for you, regardless of if you’re looking for standard or fibre speeds.
They do have one of the most well-renowned customer service teams in the industry, however, so they may be able to offer a good service, although it’s a bit more expensive than other options.
Virgin Broadband is one of the leading providers if you’re looking for faster broadband, as they don’t offer speeds below 54Mbps. This speed is perfect for an entire family of average internet users and is why Virgin is the top choice regarding fibre broadband.
With their M50 Fibre Broadband being their minimum speed, it means that there are not cheap options when going with Virgin Broadband. Currently, this package costs around £38 a month and also includes a £35 upfront cost, meaning that Virgin can’t really be classified as a cheap broadband provider.
Vodafone Broadband is a fibre-only provider, much like how Virgin is, and because of that, you may think that it’s not a good option for cheap broadband deals. However, despite only having packages that start at 38Mbps, which is excellent for a household with a couple of people in it, the starting price for it is only £22 a month.
This is an excellent price point and means that you can obtain a pretty fast speed for a low price. In fact, this costs less than slower packages offered by other providers.
Vodafone’s cheapest package is called Superfast 1 and comes with unlimited downloads, making it a sensible option if you’re looking for affordable broadband.
When choosing to get cheaper broadband, there are going to be many positives and negatives that you’re going to have to weigh up.
Of course, the most significant benefit of getting cheap broadband packages is that it gives you access to the internet at an affordable monthly price. With most providers’ cheaper packages costing between £18-£22, you can get an essential service for a relatively low price.
It’s also possible to make even bigger savings by bundling your broadband with other services, such as a landline. Creating a bundled package can have you spending less on multiple items, which is a key benefit of cheap broadband deals.
Because the majority of cheap broadband deals are provided through an ADSL connection that uses copper wires to transmit data, the majority of people in the UK are able to access affordable broadband. Most providers use Openreach to connect your houses with cheap broadband, which is a network that connects 99% of UK households. This means that unlike other, more expensive types of broadband, you’re able to get the lowest prices.
Cheap broadband is great for those who live alone or are light internet users, as the average speeds you get should be able to handle tasks like checking emails, browsing the web, and maybe even streaming content.
However, the biggest issue with cheaper broadband deals is that they may not provide you with fast enough speeds if you’re an average or higher user. This means that if you get cheap broadband with an average speed of 10Mbps, you’ll experience slowdowns, weak connections, and potentially a service that doesn’t work.
That’s why when you consider getting cheaper broadband deals, you need to be confident that the speeds you get are enough to handle your specific usage.
The maximum speeds you can get with cheap broadband will depend on the provider you're using, although the average is around 12Mbps.
This speed is suitable for a single user who may browse socials, shop online, and maybe stream videos on a single device. It should also be able to handle two users, although you may start to see some buffering and slowdowns when trying to stream simultaneously on multiple devices.
This means that a cheap broadband deal's suitability to your needs is relative. If you're a light internet user, then it should be plenty fast enough, although if you require more speeds and have more intensive internet demands, then it may struggle, and you may not get good internet service.
Some providers have cheap broadband deals that give you around 35Mbps. This should be fine to handle a small household of average users who want to stream and download videos and games without many issues.
Most of the time, broadband providers aren't going to check your credit score before you sign up for broadband, meaning that no matter what state your credit history is in, you should be able to obtain broadband of any quality.
With that said, because broadband is considered a utility that's loaned to you before you pay it back with every monthly payment, if you don't have enough money in your account when the provider tries to take a direct debit, it could harm your credit score.
That's why getting cheaper broadband could be a good option as it makes it more affordable, thus making you less likely to miss a payment.
With most providers, cheap standard broadband is provided via an ADSL connection. This is where phone lines are used to transport your broadband.
These wires are made out of copper and are used to connect your home with Openreach on-street cabinets to give you your internet.
The reason why most cheap broadband isn't that fast is that copper isn't a great material to send information through. The longer the copper wire is, the more it will slow down your speeds.
That's why homes that are nearer to their on-street connection boxes are able to get faster internet than houses that are further away.
When your current broadband contract ends, you'll be free to look for another broadband package from any provider without paying an exit fee. This is great, as it means you can compare all the different providers to ensure you'll find the cheapest deal.
However, if you're looking for the cheapest broadband deals, it may actually be a good idea to continue with your current provider after you've served your contract.
This is because when your contract is over, you're not going to have your broadband disconnected. Instead, what a lot of providers do is reduce the cost of your broadband while giving you the same package.
So, if you're looking for the cheapest broadband deals possible, it may be a good idea to let your contract expire so that you fall into an even more affordable monthly rate for the same service.
Once your contract has expired, you may also be sent good value promotions and deals by your current provider so that you take out a new contract with them. This can include things like money off bundled packages or deals that include vouchers and promotional items, which can help you find a cheap deal for good quality service and speeds.