The Best Student Internet Packages

Access to the internet is something that students need for studying and for entertainment.  However, the long-term contracts that most broadband providers have do not suit most students who will not be in the same place for 12 months.  If you are looking for student broadband you should consider the options available to you.  There are certain providers that offer student deals or short contract terms that suit the needs of a student.

Broadband Needs for Students

There are certain needs that students have when it comes to broadband.  The broadband that works in a family home generally does not work for a student or a group of students.  When looking at student broadband you have to consider a few things:

  • The number of people connecting to the broadband should be considered. 
  • What each person needs the internet for.  Some students only use the internet for studying, but other students spend all of their time online.
  • How long you will be in one location.  The rental period of your student accommodation should be considered as this impact the contract lengths you can look at.

If you are going to have a number of people using the broadband connection then you have to look at faster speeds and data allowances.  The more devices you have connected to the broadband the slower the speeds are going to be.  More people will also use more data. If there are people who are going to be online all the time then you should consider larger data limits.  You do not want to face excess use charges because you did not take this into account.  The contract length should suit the timeframe of your accommodation.  Some students stay in the same location for the entire academic year while others move every three months.

The One Month Contract

One of the most common student options is a one month rolling contract.  This is ideal for students because you do not have to worry about fees if you break a 12 month contract.  One problem you may face with these contracts is that you are limited to certain providers.  Not all broadband providers will have this type of contract.

When you look at the rolling contracts on offer you should see what data allowances they have and the speeds they can offer.  These contracts generally work off an ADSL connection and you will not find a fibre optic option.  This means that you are likely to get connection speeds of up to 16mb per second or 24mb per second if you are in an ADSL2+ area. 

The cost of the package is very important because as a student you are not likely to have much disposable income.  One month rolling contracts usually cost more over the ling-term, but can be cheap as a short-term option.  However, you will have to pay activation fees and you may need to pay for your router upfront.  Some providers do not charge you for the router, but you have to return it when you cancel the contract otherwise you will be charged.

BE Broadband Three Month Contracts

One of the advantages of using BE broadband is the three month contract option.  This option does cause the package to cost more monthly than taking a long-term contract, but it works better for students.  The three month contract option is not available with all of their broadband packages.  You need to verify if you can get this option with you package and what the extra charge implications are.

There are other providers that run special offers for students at certain times of the year.  These special options allow them to take out a broadband contract that fits the academic year.  One of these specials is offered by Virgin Media where students can take a 9 month contract on a fibre optic package.  This does not always run so you need to keep your eyes open for it.

Student Broadband and TV

If you are going to be sharing accommodation and everyone is willing to pitch in then you should consider getting a bundle package.  While you will be locked into the contract for a minimum of 12 months you are getting more for your money.   The overall cost of these packages is cheaper than getting the broadband and TV separately.

There are some provides that offer FreeView with their broadband and you do still get a special rate.  Some of these providers may offer a short contract term, but this will increase the overall costs.  You have to consider whether the services you are getting are worth the price you will ultimately have to pay.

Mobile Broadband

If you are not going to be sharing your broadband connection with other people then mobile broadband is an option.  You can get one month rolling contracts, PAYG or a fixed term contract.  The advantage to mobile broadband is that you can take your broadband with you when you leave your student accommodation.

Of course, having mobile broadband does limit what you are able to do because of the low data allowances and the slower speeds.  If you are going to be using the internet to study and go on social media then you can easily use mobile broadband.  However, if you are looking at gaming then you need to get a fixed line connection. 

When you look at the mobile broadband providers you have to consider the network coverage zone.  You should always look for strong signals in your area because this allows you to make the most of the broadband.  You also need to consider the cost of your mobile broadband.  You may find yourself paying more for the mobile broadband than you would for a fixed line contract.

Many students enjoy using mobile broadband because they can use it anywhere.  If you are on campus it is easy to log onto the internet and get any information that you need.  Of course, a lot of universities offer Wi-Fi to their students, but you may not always be able to connect to this.