Competition among broadband providers is fierce with companies constantly adjusting their pricing structure in order to attract new customers with attractive deals.
Ultimately, choosing a broadband package comes down to your own specific requirements. The cheapest broadband deals generally provide much lower average download speeds. This may be fine if you're simply browsing the web and sending the odd email but will be way too slow if you're thinking of using multiple devices at the same time, playing online games or streaming movies.
Cheapest broadband deals
With this is mind, we need to split the cheapest broadband deals into four main categories:
- Light use: up to 30Mb average speed
- Medium use: up to 60Mb average speed
- Heavy use: 60Mb+ average speed
- Ultrafast broadband: 300Mb+ average speed
Broadband providers are now strictly regulated in terms of advertising the speed of broadband packages. They have to state the 'average speed' which Ofcom, the government regulator for communications, defines as the speed available to 50% of customers during peak hours (8pm - 10pm).
The actual speed you will get ultimately depends on a number of factors such as where you live, the type of cabling used, the distance you are from your local telephone exchange and the distance your home is from the physical exchange box in your specific street. Most broadband providers enable you to enter your home address to view a more accurate speed before signing up to their service.
Cheapest broadband deals for light use
Light use is defined as browsing the internet, online banking and basic email usage. This is perfect for people who just use the internet occasionally for basic tasks. It is not recommended for simultaneous multiple device use, streaming movies or online gaming.
Cheapest broadband deals for medium use
Medium use is defined as accessing the internet on a couple of devices at the same time, streaming music, downloading the odd movie and some less intensive online gaming.
Although this connection is sufficient for many people, it is not recommended for significant use by larger groups of people at the same time or online gaming that requires higher speeds to function properly.
Cheapest broadband deals for heavy use
Heavy internet use is defined as using multiple devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones, by large families, all at the same time.
These packages provide the highest speeds which are perfect for streaming movies and TV programmes, playing intensive online gaming and listening to music from different sources from around your home.
Cheapest ultrafast broadband deals
Whilst the above packages will be more than adequate for the vast majority of people, there is another level of broadband speed that is defined as ultrafast broadband, sometimes called full fibre broadband. These packages may only be available in certain areas.
Ultrafast is generally defined as speeds of 300Mbit/s or higher although some companies may label packages as 'Ultrafast' even though they run at around 100Mb. Either way, these speeds are a huge increase over so called superfast broadband packages.
Comparing cheap broadband packages
At PocketRate you can compare all the leading broadband providers in one place. You can sort and filter your requirements by speed, price and package type to find your perfect broadband deal.