5-minute guide to setting up broadband

What's the best broadband for me?

There’s no one provider or package that would suit everyone so finding the right broadband deal is a case of understanding your requirements and comparing the many offerings for the best fit.

Check what’s available

What kind of service and speed you can get will depend on availability where you live, so the first step is to check what’s available locally. Comparison website Broadband Genie offers a postcode checker which filters packages by location, or you can ask an internet service provider (ISP) to check for you.

If your broadband usage is mostly web browsing, email and social networking you do not necessarily need the fastest connection possible as these types of activities are not demanding, so a cheaper ADSL service may suffice. But if you regularly download or upload large files, play videogames or use streaming video and music services then faster fibre-optic internet can be a big help.

Tip: A broadband speed of around 2-3Mb will be sufficient for Skype video calls, audio streaming and standard definition video streaming, but if you wish to stream HD video from services like YouTube, iPlayer and Netflix aim for a minimum broadband speed of 5Mb.

  • You can check your broadband speed here

Data-usage limits

In the early days of broadband the services often came saddled with a data-usage limit which restricted how much you could download or upload each month. However many broadband services are now unlimited, so choose one of these if it's an option so you never need worry about butting up against a cap.

Set-up costs

Set-up costs vary depending on the type of connection you choose and the services installed in your home. If you already have an active line there may only be a relatively small activation fee but if a new line is required, the price will be higher. To save money, look for deals offering free setup.

When the router (BT calls its router a hub) arrives it is simply a case of plugging it in and following the set-up instructions. Each provider may differ slightly but if you follow the instructions carefully you should be fine. 

Running costs

When it comes to running costs you should take into consideration both the broadband fee and phone line rental. Line rental is required for almost all fixed-line services, with the exception of Virgin Media broadband-only packages.

Tip: If you’d like to reduce the monthly price, at least for a little while, keep an eye out for specials which give free broadband for a period of time. Remember line rental charges will still apply.

Thanks to Broadband Genie for sharing these tips.

  • Compare broadband, digital and home phone deals using Yours Switching. Click here or call 0800 083 4311 to find out more.