A quick overview of the different broadband types
Broadband is simply the standard means of connecting to the internet but the types differ by speedwhich is usually measured by megabits per second (Mbps). These are the primary categories:
This is the most basic level, and speeds in this package are usually up to 17 Megabits per second. It is also referred to as asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL)
Fibre Optic Broadband
Speeds in this package reach a maximum of 52 Megabits per second, although some go only up to 38Mbps. The Internet is delivered through complex plastic and glass wires known as fiber optic cables.
Superfast Fiber Optic
This one utilizes the same fiber cables, but it is faster. Speeds reach up to 76Mbps.
Ultrafast Fiber Optic Broadband
Speeds in this one reach up to 300Mbps. This type of package calls for more complex wiring, and it’s only available from a few service providers. We do not usually cover them, but Virgin Media currently has 100Mbps deal. It includes Virgin Media TV, but it is relatively cheaper compared to some slower deals without even a TV package.
So, do you really need fiber optic internet connectivity?
Well, this depends on your situation and connectivity needs. If you are a heavy internet user, i.e do a lot of streaming, game online or download and upload huge files, then you may want a fiber subscription. It may also make sense to avail one if you have multiple internet users at your location. You can get great broadband deals on Usave.
However, if you just use the internet for basic things like browsing and replying emails and a little bit of social media, then a standard speed connection would be the best option.
- How do You Check Your Broadband Speed?
- If There is a lot of Demand, can the ISP slow down your Speeds?
- How Do You Boost your Broadband Speed?
Keep in mind that not all deals are available on a national scale. However, you can use our comparison tools to find the best broadband deals in your region.
With fiber still being rolled out across the United Kingdom, only about 80% of users have access to it. Most of the major cities and towns have it, but some rural regions are yet to be connected. Also, the Ultra-fast fiber connection is only available to around 50% of the United Kingdom.
So, how long does it take to get a broadband connection for the first time? Or when switching? Well, this varies with the provider, but on average, it takes 5 to 10 working days to be properly connected. However, if you require an engineer, the duration is partly dependent on your availability.
Do not worry if you are unable to access the internet during the main installation day. It will just be for a few hours, and if you are at work, you may not even notice it.
More often than not, there is no need for an engineer. You just need one for the first time installation or when in need of a new line. Otherwise, you will just have to plug in the new kit.
In most cases, you do not have to contact your current internet service provider when switching. The new company will handle the communication unless you are switching from or to Virgin.
Many broadband providers often insist that you pay for their router. Although the cost is not a deal breaker, we include them in the deals in order to enable you to make a proper comparison.
Do You Have to Pay Exit Fines When Switching Providers?
Before Switching, How do You Determine the Quality of Customer Service?
Will You Get the Advertised Maximum Speed?
What are your Rights if the Provider hikes the Prices?
Keep in mind that the maximum speeds are ‘Up To’, and so if you see up to 100 Megabits per second, it does not mean you will get the full speeds. That is because broadband providers just have to provide the top speed to 10 percent of their clients.
Most have signed up to a practice code, stating that they provide a personalized estimate before you subscribe. As such, you have the right to ask for a fault check if you get significantly low speeds.
If the problem is not solved, you can be able to get out of the contract penalty free. However, the definition of considerably under-performing speeds is often where the speed is slower than what other clients in the same lines (usually over 90%). As you may have guessed, this can be hard to determine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t switch providers if you’re not happy with the service.
The switch may lead to some penalties in your case, and that is why it is usually best to time the shift. An excellent time to consider switching would be when you are moving to a new residence. However, ensure you inform your current provider. They can even offer a better deal with an attempt to keep you on board.