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Best cheap broadband bundles and deals

What’s the best, cheapest broadband deal available on the market right now? 

That’s a good question, one we often hear from readers but not one that’s easily answerable. ‘Best’ largely depends on what you want. Do you just want broadband on it’s own and not have to pay line rental? Do you want landline calls with that and do you want the option of adding TV as well? 

Whatever you want, we’ve rounded up the cheapest deals here, with full price breakdowns, installation and delivery costs (where applicable) and everything else you need to know. 

Cheapest broadband only deal 

The cheapest broadband only deal on the market right now is Virgin Media SuperFibre 50. It gives you a superfast download speeds of up to 50Mbps and unlimited downloads for £30.25/month. 

There’s no charge for line rental and there’s no extra services like TV or landline calls thrown in, just superfast broadband. Aside from a £49.95 connection fee – which you can waive if you’re up for installing everything yourself

While £30.25/month might not be everyone’s idea of a bargain basement price, it is, however the cheapest broadband only service that’s available to the great majority of customers.

Wireless ISP Relish offers a £20/month broadband only service, but that’s only currently available to a small number of customers in parts of London. 

Similarly, Hyperoptic’s entry level 20Mbps service costs just £22/month, but it’s only available in a small number of places, while Virgin Media’s cable broadband products are available to over 12.5 million UK properties. Check out our feature on the best broadband only deals for more information

Cheapest broadband deal

If you can’t get or don’t want broadband from Virgin Media, here’s the cheapest packages from ISPs using BT’s Openreach network, which are more broadly available. 

Fuel Broadband 

  • Download speed: up to 17Mbps
  • Download cap: Unlimited
  • Wireless router: Free
  • Connection: Free 
  • Contract Length: 12 months
  • Broadband: Free for 12 months
  • Standard line rental: £16.40/month
  • Line rental saver: n/a 
  • Monthly total: £16.40/month 

Fuel Broadband is the ISP formerly known as Primus Saver and it’s unlimited broadband service is one of the cheapest going. 

For the entire duration of its 12 months Unlimited Fuel Broadband contract, you’ll only have to pay for the line rental (£16.40/month) to get your hands on an up to 17Mbps ADSL service with no download limits and no traffic management. This normally costs £5/month, seeing you save a grand total of £60. 

A free wireless router is also thrown in alongside evening and weekend landline calls if you want to use those. Fuel Broadband is also waiving the regular £20 activation fee. 

Between now and the end of December 2015, Fuel Broadband is also throwing in a free Amazon Fire TV Stick (worth £35) which means you’ll be able to access streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Demand 5 and Amazon’s own Prime Instant Video without having to worry about out of bundle data charges. Check out our review of the Amazon Fire TV Stick here

Direct Save 

  • Download speed: up to 17Mbps
  • Download cap: Unlimited
  • Wireless router: Free (£8.95 postage charge)
  • Connection: £24.95 
  • Contract Length: 24 months
  • Broadband: £1.95/month
  • Standard line rental: £17.75/month 
  • Line rental saver: £138
  • Monthly total: £19.70/month

Direct Save Telecom describes this as ‘the UK’s best value Home Phone and Broadband Deal’ and while you might dispute that, it’s hard to argue that its unlimited ADSL service is priced competitively. 

For just £1.95/month plus line rental you can get download speeds of up to 17Mbps, unlimited data usage with no traffic shaping applied. 

When it comes to line rental, you’ve got the option of paying a month £17.75/month (the standard rate) or paying for 12 months up front, which will cost £138, which is £75 less than if you paid the standard monthly rate.

There’s a one-off charge of £24.95 and a delivery charge of £8.95 for the free WiFi N router (a TP-Link TD-W8951ND). 

Direct Save contracts are 24 months long as standard and so are best suited for homeowners or folks who are sure they won’t be moving anywhere in the next two years. 

99p Stores

  • Download speed: up to 24Mbps
  • Download cap: Unlimited/75GB fair use cap
  • Wireless router: Free
  • Connection: Free 
  • Contract Length: 12 months
  • Broadband: 99p for 6 months (£6.01/month thereafter)
  • Standard line rental: £16.99/month 
  • Line rental saver: n/a
  • Monthly total: £17.98/month (£23/month after 6 months)

Cheap-as-chips high street retailer 99p Stores has teamed up with Home Telecom Ltd to offer a super-inexpensive unlimited ADSL service. 

For the first 6 months of this 12 month contract, you’ll pay just 99p for the broadband on top of the line rental (£16.99/month). After that, the price of the broadband rises to £6.01/month. 

While there’s no delivery charge for the free wireless router, there’s a one-off fee of £69 for connection. 

99p Stores is also throwing in a free McAfee anti virus subscription and a 30 day Now TV Movies Pass with its service to sweeten the deal. 

Read our review of the Now TV Box (2015)While the service is advertised as unlimited and having ‘no fair use policy’, Home Telecom’s terms and conditions quoted on the 99p Stores suggests otherwise. At present, the smallprint states that users are subject to a fair use policy which can see extra charges kicking in if a download threshold of 75GB is exceeded: 

“In line with our policy we reserve the right to charge clients for usage above our fair usage cap where a user exceeds this cap for 2 consecutive months – any charge (£1.25 per GB per month) will only apply to the second and any subsequent month of over usage and will only apply to usage above the cap. 

“In all instances we will seek to contact a client to warn of any potential over use before levying a charge.”

The site also advertises top download speeds of 24Mbps – the theoretical maximum possible on an ADSL2+ line – but unless Home Telecom Ltd can guarantee that ten per cent of its customers can get this speed, this is contrary to Ofcom rules brought into force back in 2012.

It’s more likely that the top speed you can expect to get will be 17Mbps. 

Who offers the absolute cheapest broadband service? 

To recap, here’s all the price information for Fuel Broadband, Direct Save and 99p Stores compared side by side. 

  Fuel Broadband Direct Save 99p Stores
Download speed Up to 17Mbps Up to 17Mbps Up to 24Mbps
Download cap Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited (75GB fair use cap)
Wireless router Free Free (£8.95 postage charge) Free
Connection Free £24.95 Free
Contract Length 12 months 24 months 12 months
Broadband Free for 12 months £1.95/month 99p for 6 months (£6.01/month thereafter)
Standard line rental £16.40/month £17.75/month  £16.99/month 
Line rental saver n/a £138 n/a
Monthly total £16.40/month £19.70/month £17.98/month (£23/month after 6 months)

If you were to opt for paying the annual rate of line rental, you’d pay a total of £195.30 which is a hair cheaper than the Fuel Broadband offer, which costs £196.80 over 12 months. 

Then again, Direct Save requires you to stick around for two years, which isn’t the most flexible of timescales, particularly for renters. 

The 99p Stores deal will see you paying £314.88 in total over 12 months. While the offer might seem attractive up front, it’s actually not a great deal compared to either Fuel Broadband or Direct Save’s offers. 

Cheapest broadband, calls and TV bundle

If you want a basic digital TV service thrown in with your broadband and calls, then your best bet is to check out what’s on offer from BT, TalkTalk and EE. 

BT Broadband + Weekend Calls and BT TV Starter

  • Download speed: up to 17Mbps
  • Download cap: 10GB
  • Wireless router: Free (£6.95 postage charge) 
  • TV set-top box: Free (no hard drive)
  • Calls: Unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines
  • Connection: Free 
  • Contract Length: 12 months
  • Bundle price: £7.50/month
  • Standard line rental: £17.99/month 
  • Line rental saver: £194.28
  • Monthly total: £22.99/month 

The entry-level BT TV deal, BT TV Starter, is free when taken alongside any BT Broadband product. 

BT TV Starter comes with a YouView set-top box, which gives you streamlined access to on-demand services like Netflix, All 4, BBC iPlayer, UKTV Play, Demand 5, ITV Player and more. On top of this, you can get channels like BT Sport 1, 2, ESPN and Europe as well as AMC from BT for no extra cost. 

While there’s no hard drive (meaning you can’t record shows) there is a time buffer, which lets you pause up to 15 minutes of live TV. The BT Sport mobile apps (iOS, Android) also mean you can stream live games on the go and cast them to your TV via Chromecast

The cheapest BT Broadband service you can get off the shelf is BT Broadband + Weekend Calls which gives you a 10GB capped ADSL service with no traffic shaping and free calls to UK landlines at weekends. 

TalkTalk Essentials TV

  • Download speed: up to 17Mbps
  • Download cap: Unlimited
  • Wireless router: Free (£6.75 postage charge) 
  • TV set-top box: Free (no hard drive)
  • Calls: Unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines
  • Connection: Free 
  • Contract Length: 12 months
  • Bundle price: £7.50/month for 6 months (£10/month thereafter)
  • Standard line rental: £17.70/month 
  • Line rental saver: £191.16
  • Monthly total: £25.20/month for 6 months (£27.70/month thereafter)

Essentials TV is TalkTalk’s cheapest digital TV, broadband and calls bundle. This gives you an unlimited, traffic-shaping free up to 17Mbps broadband, evening and weekend calls to UK landlines and a YouView-based digital TV service that comes with streamlined access to catch-up and on demand services like BBC iPlayer and Netflix as well as pay-per-view movies through the TalkTalk Box Office. 

Essentials TV costs £7.50/month for the first 6 months and £10/month thereafter. While standard line rental is charged at £17.70/month, if you can fork out £191.16 for 12 months in advance, you can save £21.24. There’s a £50 connection fee for new customers. 

EE TV, Broadband & Weekend Calls

  • Download speed: up to 17Mbps
  • Download cap: Unlimited
  • Wireless router: Free 
  • TV set-top box: Free, 1TB hard drive 
  • Calls: Unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines
  • Connection: Free 
  • Contract Length: 12 months
  • Bundle price: £4.95/month for 6 months (£12.95/month thereafter)
  • Standard line rental: £16.40/month 
  • Line rental saver: £165
  • Monthly total: £21.35/month for 6 months (£29.35/month thereafter)

Read our EE TV review plus EE TV vs rivals – How does it stack up?EE’s cheapest broadband, TV and calls bundle gives you an unlimited, up to 17Mbps service, a digital TV service with remote viewing and 1TB-worth of recording space and weekend calls to UK landlines. 

While EE’s broadband services are uncapped, there is a traffic management policy in place, which slows down certain types of traffic at peak times – see our guide on traffic shaping for a complete breakdown on this. While there’s no connection charge and the EE Brightbox wireless router is free, there’s a £6 delivery charge for the hardware. 

The EE TV set-top box gives you access to a range of catch-up and on-demand services including BBC iPlayer, Hopster, Demand 5 and more recently Now TV. There’s also the unique Replay feature, which automatically records the last 24 hours worth of programmes from up to six channels. The EE TV mobile apps also mean you can carry on watching content on your phone or tablet in another room. 

The 18 month bundle costs £4.95/month for the first 6 months and £12.95/month thereafter. On top of this, there’s line rental which is charged at either £16.40/month or £165/year. Opting to pay for 12 months in advance saves you £31.80. 

Who offers the absolute cheapest broadband, calls and TV bundle? 

 

BT Broadband + Weekend Calls and BT TV Starter

TalkTalk Essentials TV

EE TV, Broadband & Weekend Calls
Download speed Up to 17Mbps Up to 17Mbps Up to 17Mbps
Download cap 10GB Unlimited Unlimited
Wireless router Free (£6.95 postage charge)  Free (£6.75 postage charge)  Free
TV set-top box Free (no hard drive) Free (no hard drive) Free, 1TB hard drive
Calls Unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines Unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines Unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines
Connection Free Free (£50 for new lines) Free
Contract Length 12 months 12 months 12 months
Bundle cost £7.50/month £7.50/month for 6 months (£10/month thereafter) £4.95/month for 6 months (£12.95/month thereafter)
Standard line rental £17.99/month £17.70/month £16.40/month
Line rental saver £194.28 £191.16 £165
Monthly total £22.99/month £25.20/month for 6 months (£27.70/month thereafter) £21.35/month for 6 months (£29.35/month thereafter)

EE’s deal may be the cheapest for the first six months, but after then, it’s more expensive than both the BT and TalkTalk offerings. 

That said, the basic EE TV lets you record TV shows for future viewing, something you can’t do on BT and TalkTalk’s zapper boxes. 

If you want a digital TV bundle with BT and TalkTalk, you’ll need to add the BT Entertainment Plus pack (£10/month extra) or swap TalkTalk Essentials TV for TalkTalk TV Plus (£10/month). 

While EE TV has got some unique features like Replay, the included BT Sport pack gives you live and exclusive Premier League football, UEFA Champions League and MotoGP while TalkTalk TV will (eventually) fully integrate Blinkbox, which it acquired earlier this year, allowing you to access downloaded movies through your TV. 

In terms of price, TalkTalk wins here, but there’s added value to be found with the other providers too. 

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