How to save money on your broadband contract 2018

Zeek's guide to getting the best broadband deals in 2018, courtesy of Broadband Genie

Getting a good deal on your broadband service is an easy way to save money on the household bills. Switching is easier than it’s ever been, and it’s a competitive market so there are always loads of offers to choose from.

Here we’ll show you some of the best offers available right now, and give you some general tips to help you compare broadband packages and get the best deal.

The best fibre broadband deals you can get right now

Virgin Media fibre with free wine or bill credit

  • From £45 for 12 months
  • £20 setup
  • 213Mb or 362Mb average speed
  • 12-month contract
  • Ends 25th July

Virgin Media Broadband

Virgin Media is offering a choice of free gifts when you sign up for selected fibre optic broadband and TV bundles: either a 16-bottle Virgin Wines collection worth £210, or a £100 bill credit.

Prices start at £45 for 12 months for the Virgin Media Mix TV bundle, which includes a 213Mb fibre service and free weekend calls, and over 150 TV channels. At the top end you can opt for the £79 per month VIP TV Bundle which provides a speedy 362Mb connection and over 245 channels.

All these deals include a Virgin TV V6 box with recording, live pause and integrated streaming and catch-up services, and the TV bundle provides thousands of hours of on-demand content.

Sky Broadband with £150 rewards

  • From £20 per month for 12 months
  • Setup from £9.95
  • 11Mb, 36Mb or 63Mb average speed
  • 12-month contract
  • Ends 26th July

This is an exclusive offer only from Broadband Genie: sign up for participating Sky deals by 26th July and you can claim rewards worth a massive £150. This deal gives you a £100 M&S gift card, plus an extra £50 prepaid Mastercard.

All the packages are also discounted for the first 12 months. On the entry level Sky Broadband Unlimited this an effective monthly price of just £20.83 per month including setup, plus you get that extra £150 reward to spend on whatever you fancy.

Vodafone Unlimited Fibre with free setup

  • From £22 for 18 months
  • £0 setup
  • 35Mb or 63Mb average speed
  • 18-month contract

Vodafone monthly costs stay low even after the introductory offer has finished.

While the free setup offer doesn’t save you big bucks, Vodafone fibre optic broadband offers low prices as standard so you’re not going to be hit with a massive bill down the line.

The 35Mb package is reduced to £22 for the first 18 months (a modest saving of £54) but after that discount ends it only increases to £25 per month, which is still among the cheaper fibre optic packages on the market at present.

SSE Broadband fixed for 3 years

  • From £24 for 12 months (or 3 years for energy customers)
  • £30 setup
  • 35Mb or 63Mb average speed
  • 12-month contract

SSE offers broadband packages.

The standard offer price of £24 (35Mb fibre) or £30 (63Mb fibre) for 12 months is reasonable value, though not the cheapest on the market.

The best thing about this deal is that if you’re an SSE energy customer you get it locked down for three years, far exceeding the fixed price terms of any other provider. That’s a total saving of £324 for energy customers that retain the service for three years, plus peace of mind from knowing you’re not going to find the bill increasing halfway through a contract.

For more information and to compare fibre broadband packages, use Broadband Genie’s guide to fibre broadband.

Five ways to save money on broadband

1. Choose the right service

Don’t get a super-fast fibre service if you’re not going to need the extra speed. Fibre is best for homes with multiple users (families, shared houses) and for those who want to make use of the speed to download or upload lots of files or stream high def video. Conversely, if you focus on price at the expense of everything else you could end up with a service that doesn’t suit your requirements.

2. Switch providers

The best deals are often reserved for new customers, so switching whenever a contract ends will let you take advantage of the best prices. Even if you don’t want to switch it’s worth telling the provider you’re thinking about it and see what they offer to tempt you to stay.

3. Get a fixed price guarantee

Some providers offer a fixed price guarantee which means you won’t be subject to mid-contract price rises, handy if you’re operating on a tight budget.

4. Look out for free stuff

There are always broadband deals offering freebies such as shopping vouchers, pre-paid credit cards and electronics. Knock the value of these off the total cost of the contract and it can add up to a very nice saving.

5. Bundle up

Getting broadband and phone from the same provider is usually the cheapest option (and is often mandatory). If you also want a TV package then a broadband, TV and phone bundle probably offers the best value. Some providers also offer discounts on mobile phone services if you have broadband.

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How do you switch broadband?

Switching broadband is now quite easy. In the past you may have asked the current provider for a Migration Authorisation Code (MAC) which was given to the new provider, but this is no longer necessary. ISPs now operate on a Gaining Provider Led (GPL) process, which means that the new provider does all the work. So you choose a new provider, sign up and they will notify the old ISP and handle the transfer.

Switching usually takes around 14 days, and on the day of the transfer you should only experience a brief period of downtime while the new ISP takes over.

However this only applies when switching between providers using the Openreach (BT) telephone network. If you’re moving to or from the Virgin Media network it is down to you to handle the cancellation of the old service. If you wish it can be done with some overlap, to avoid any downtime and as a backup in case of any problems with the activation of the new broadband package.

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