Getting online and searching the web
Choosing a broadband provider
Your broadband is provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and allows you to access the web, usually via a home, mobile or satellite broadband connection. They offer you access to the web for a monthly fee which may include extra services such as a home phone line or digital TV package. It’s important to carefully check what is included in the package and what hidden costs there may be.
Services such as Uswitch, MoneySavingExpert.com and others like them can help you start looking for a deal. Which? Magazine keeps an impartial eye on the market. Customer reviews are compiled into a ranking system by ISP Review. Comparing notes with neighbours is often worthwhile.
If you're in receipt of benefits, you may qualify for cheaper broadband. You can search the internet for the latest deals.
Details to check with your broadband provider include
- the full monthly contract cost – this sometimes rises after the first few months, so calculate the full annual cost to be sure you can make comparisons with other companies
- the contract duration, and any penalties for ending it early
- the cost of telephone support and whether 24-hour support is provided
- any limit to how much you can download
- whether there is a connection charge
- the bandwidth – the bigger it is, the faster, but bear in mind that your location may mean that you get slower than advertised speeds.
If you’re not confident with terminology and using the internet, Learn my way has lots of useful guides.