Social:
Guides

Broadband Guides

Different types of broadband deals to consider

Types of broadband deals:

Not only are there many different types of broadband, from 4G to fibre, there are also several types of offering from providers varying in terms of their data allowances and speeds. Knowing about these options will help make a choice for a service that suits you.

Different customers will have very different needs from the service – you might want something easy to set up that can be also used on the go, or you might need a very fast connection, or perhaps the speed isn’t as important as the overall amount of downloading and uploading you can do. Knowing up front what the priorities are will help make an informed decision to get the best service for you.

Type of broadband deals available:

Standard deals – For most people with a phone line to their home, the standard ADSL offering from companies like BT or Plusnet will be easy to set up, reasonably priced, and have a good balance between value for money, data allowance, speed, and low setup cost.

Mobile broadband – If you are in student accommodation, commute a lot, don’t have a phone line, or simply do not have extensive data requirements, mobile broadband can be a great choice. It is easiest to set up (n many cases all you need is a smartphone) and with the distribution of 4G technology can rival other types of broadband in terms of speed (depending on the location). You can get mobile broadband in prepaid or billpay formats, and either is a good standard option. You can get mobile broadband via Mifis, dongle modems, or smartphone tethering.

Business broadband – While many smaller businesses make do with standard home broadband packages, there are several aspects of business broadband that make it a better option. Business customers have a priority support allocation from the call centres of the major providers, get priority bandwidth allocation, can get a fixed IP address, and can avail of greater security measures.

Heavy-use broadband – Also known as unlimited broadband, the data allowances of this category are significantly higher than with some other plans. While fair usage policies still apply, these options are good for those that stream or download large amounts of HD content.

Considerations

There are several things to keep in mind when selecting from the different categories of broadband.

Speed:

Even mobile broadband is now fast enough for most users’ needs, but it is worth looking at the speeds of the different possibilities and whether or not they suit your usage. Options like fibre broadband or cable can give speeds high enough to download and stream large amounts of HD content in nearly real-time, while the standard ADSL will be fast enough for the majority of people and minimum speeds are still quite competitive. 4G is slower, but still more than enough for standard streaming and downloading, browsing and communication – but it is important to know if your area has good enough mobile signal to support your use patterns.

Support and customer service:

Most providers provide adequate support for home broadband users. But if you rely on your broadband a lot and/or download a lot, it might be worth checking out which providers have the fastest response time. And as mentioned above, there is better customer support for business broadband users, with many contracts guaranteeing problem resolution within 24 hours if the service goes down.

Data allowances:

Business broadband typically has unlimited data allowance, as does fibre and cable. Most ADSL providers offer unlimited broadband, but the fair usage policies are generally lower than for the other types mentioned. Prepaid mobile broadband obviously has a limited prepaid amount of data, and billpay mobile broadband usually involves lower data limits than other options but still higher than prepaid.