This post was written for Lived With Love by Anthony Hill, a writer at broadbandchoices.co.uk, where you can compare mobile phones, TV packages and the cheapest broadband deals.
If you’ve been with the same provider for a couple of years, you might be paying more than you need to for broadband. Here are 10 tips to help you find a better deal and save money on your broadband and home phone package.
1. Compare prices
Enter your postcode into a comparison website to see the cheapest broadband deals in your area compared in a clear, impartial way. Use one accredited by Ofcom, the UK communications watchdog, to be sure the information shown is accurate and up to date.
2. Switch to a cheaper provider
Once you’ve done your homework and seen what’s actually on offer in your area, the next step is to pick a broadband provider that’s going to help you save money. However, it might not pay to go for the cheapest package - consider value for money, not just the price.
The four biggest providers in the UK - BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk - all offer TV as well as broadband, and it almost always works out cheaper to get both from one provider instead of getting them separately.
4. Don’t pay for extras you don’t need
Extras like Sky Movies can dramatically increase your monthly bill, but if your broadband’s fast enough, you might find it’s cheaper to stream films on NOW TV or Netflix instead. And there’s no point in paying for anytime calls if you rarely use your landline to call anyone.
5. Find an unlimited package
If there’s more than one or two people in your household using the internet, and you regularly stream stuff on BBC iPlayer, download music from iTunes or make video calls, unlimited usage is the way to go - you could end up having to pay for extra usage otherwise.
6. Check the cost of line rental
The phone line required to get internet can often cost as much - if not more - than the actual broadband package. So before signing up, check the price of line rental.
7. Save money by paying upfront
With BT and TalkTalk you can save £20-£30 over the course of your contract by paying 12 months’ line rental upfront. Not everyone can afford to fork out £120-plus in one go, but if you can your broadband will work out cheaper than it does if you pay line rental monthly.
8. Get broadband without a phone line
If you mainly make calls from your mobile, your broadband may work out cheaper if you ditch your home phone line. You can do this by switching to Virgin Media, the only provider in the UK that offers widely-available broadband that doesn’t require a landline.
9. Look for special offers and rewards
Many providers offer incentives to switch. By using a comparison site to find the cheapest broadband you can see what you can get - like free shopping vouchers or special discounts - and you might find exclusive offers which aren’t even available from the providers themselves.
10. Switch again
Broadband deals change all the time, so make a note of when your contract’s going to expire and have a look around as soon as you’re free to switch again. It doesn’t usually pay to stay loyal, because providers generally save their very best deals for attracting new customers.