Best value student broadband 2017
Every student needs the Internet for research and watching videos of cats. We've done the legwork to get you the best deal possible.
There are plenty of broadband offers out there, and it can get pretty confusing picking out the best provider for you. It's important to know what you're getting, and at what cost before placing your order.
On this page (and across our bills section) we compare the best value student broadband deals right now for you with an in-depth look into what you're really getting for your money.
And unlike other broadband comparisons, we also take into account the hidden set up costs to give you a more transparent overall cost. So there will be no hidden charges.
- An active landline is needed for most broadband contracts, but you can decide whether to bundle your home phone and broadband together (cheaper) or set them up separately. Some landlines may need to be activated too which can cost around £50.
- A working router that you can either buy yourself (find one on Amazon), or add it to your broadband order (sometimes free or just pay postage).
- Patience! It’s worth knowing that the whole process can take several weeks (usually between 3-6), so the earlier you order your broadband the better!
Don’t risk breaching any data or ‘fair use’ limits on your service. The consequences of doing so can be very costly! The cheaper your broadband package the more this can be an issue.
Think about how much you use the Internet, especially if you are sharing the connection between more than 3 people.
As an example, 2GB monthly download limit will allow you to watch around 3.5 hours of high quality iPlayer programs. Be aware that ‘unlimited’ download packages can also come with restrictions.
Download speed is another of the big factors to consider if you’ll be sharing broadband. If it’s too slow you’ll experience lag and really annoying buffering.
Be aware that advertised speeds are often ‘up to’ and you’ll rarely experience the maximum. It’s a bit like a road having a 70MPH speed limit but traffic restricts you to doing 55. If you really want the highest possible speed you might want to look into fibre-optic.
Do you already have a phone line installed or are you planning on bundling them together? It’s usually cheaper to do the later.
Also be wary of re-connection charges which sometimes pop up if the phone line is currently inactive.
If you don’t need or want a phoneline then Virgin Media doesn’t require one (see the deal here).
Although 18 month contracts can offer the best value, as a student you are more likely to be looking for 12 or 9 month contracts to coincide with your short-term tenancy agreement.
This year has seen more suppliers than ever before offering 9 month contracts, specifically aimed at the student market. However they aren’t necessary better value overall! See the table below.
Most broadband contracts are a minimum of 12 months but students tend only to use the service for 9 or 10 (September – July). Even so, in most cases you can save money by getting a 12 month contract and then cancelling or moving it over to your new house in the last 3 months.
You may have to pay a cancellation charge, but it can be cheaper than paying the remaining months.
For the best overall value, you may want to consider getting an all-in-one package including phone line, broadband and TV.
If so, read the Broadband & TV package guide too.
- Remember that the cost of broadband is likely to be divided between every housemate, making things much cheaper per person.
- Broadband activation could take up to 6 weeks with some suppliers, so it’s best to sort it early, and especially if you plan on living in the house throughout summer.
- It is not always best to go with a company that is offering ‘student broadband’. Remember to compare deals across the market, as we have here.
- Most students will end up taking a 12 month contract (in September) and then have to cancel after 9 months if they intend to move out. Always check out the cancellation costs for your provider to avoid any shocks, or go for a 9 month contract.
- Keep an eye out for any other hidden charges (such as router costs, download penalties etc).
- Although the greatest care and research was taken when writing this guide, some of the information will inevitable change over time. We do our best make timely updates, but always check on the provider’s website too!