All around us, we see adverts everyday showing broadband internet packages at rock bottom prices. However, the majority of these deals are not as good as they sound on paper even though they look very pocket friendly. We are going to look at a few cheap broadband deals from different providers.

Cheap broadband, phone and TV bundles compared

It is cost effective to have a single provider take care of your broadband, phone and TV packages, and if you are looking for a provider to sign-up with, you can choose from BT, SKY and Virgin Media or perhaps Talk Talk.

BT: Their digital TV is known as BT vision. Customers can get this by signing up for any of their broadband offerings, which include, BT Broadband, BT More Broadband or the BT fibre service, which is superfast and delivers speeds clocked at either 38Mb or 76mb. With BT vision, you can watch as many as 50 digital TV channels. You will also be able to record, rewind and even pause Live TV.

Sky: Their TV service is very popular. This service can either be accessed via their 14Mb/s Broadband Lite or the Broadband unlimited package. You can either get 6 dedicated sports channels or 12 movie channels depending on the package chosen. Also, subscribers can watch their subscribed channels on their laptop as long as they have Sky Go, without having to pay anything extra at all!

Virgin Media: Virgin offers a staggering 200 digital TV channels. This is even without considering their versatile collection of movies and on-demand TV. They regularly top Ofcom charts when it comes to providing the fastest broadband service in the country.  They also allow customers to decide what they actually want in terms of the bundle; useful flexibility.

Mind the speed

When looking for cheap broadband deals always makes sure you take note of the advertised speed. Thankfully, new advertising laws now mean that broadband providers can only advertise speeds that are received by at least 10% of their total subscriber base.  What this implies is that you can take advertised speeds more seriously than in the past. Before now, broadband providers advertise speeds that looked wonderful on paper but in reality barely 1% of the subscriber base saw anything close to what was advertised. Imagine a scenario where 80% of a network’s subscriber base gets a speed of about 7mb/s, but the network advertises speeds above 10mb.

Always bear in mind that there are various factors that could influence your network speed. Don’t get overly ecstatic when you see cheap broadband deals advertised with a speed of say, 24mb/s. You may not be able to get that speed.

How a cheap broadband service provider operates

These providers are only able to provide low cost broadband services to people because they have so many users on their network, and thus can afford to charge low prices and still turn a profit. This, however, also means that their network will likely be congested to the extent that service could be affected if not properly managed.  This is why most of them normally apply a policy whereby all subscribers cannot go beyond a certain speed limit during peak hours. This ensures that everyone gets the same quality of service from the network.

If you are looking for superfast cheap broadband, look no further than BT and Virgin Media. They can offer superfast broadband, which could deliver speeds as high as 25mb/s and even more. Using their fibre optic technology, they now have broadband packages with speeds of about 100mb/s.

Broadband data usage limits

Most broadband providers have 3 types of packages for their users to choose from.

    The first package is one where there is no data usage limit whatsoever.
    The second one can be classified as unlimited but it comes with a fair usage policy or managed speeds.
    The third package is one that has a clearly spelt out download limit, which could be as little as 1GB or as high as 100GB per month.

Limited Broadband

If you are going to use a package with a fixed download limit then you will be able to download without any speed restrictions, but as soon as you hit your data allowance, you will have to pay extra fees. Some providers may even automatically upgrade you.

Fair Usage Policies

On a package with a fair usage policy you will likely find it hard to go beyond a certain speed limit during peak hours. This is especially true if you have already done some heavy downloads or uploads during the day. Some providers apply the policy as soon as you hit a particular data usage count, whilst others generally put their entire subscriber’s speed at a particular threshold during specific times. This is very beneficial to users who do not have heavy download requirements. Imagine not being able to check your favourite websites because many users on same network as you are doing heavy downloads.

Unlimited Broadband

If you are a regular online gamer, or your household is made of Internet hungry people, then it is advised that you make Sky or BT your broadband provider. They are the only providers that truly offer unlimited broadband connectivity. With them there is no worry of speed being throttled, so movie downloads, online radio or TV streaming can be fully enjoyed without restriction.

So there you have it, you now know where to look when searching for cheap broadband services. The choice of whether to go for limited, truly unlimited or a managed unlimited package lies solely with you. You need to consider what your household or personal internet needs are. If you regularly hit data limits on a limited package then you can either choose a package with a higher data allowance, or go for an entirely unlimited package. The whole idea is to save money so do not pay for a service you do not really need.  If you have a very busy schedule, with little time for dwelling on the internet, then it may not be advisable to pay for an unlimited service. At the end of the day Internet is lifestyle though and you may want to fork out an extra few pounds to be able to do what you want online.