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Student Accommodation

Best student broadband deals 2022

Fast reliable WiFi is the number one ingredient for a happy student house. But how do you know if you're getting the best student broadband deal? We've done the legwork for you!

student sat at desk and broadband router

Credit: insta-photos (left), Manuel Esteban (right) – Shutterstock

There are endless broadband offers out there, so it can get pretty overwhelming trying to pick out the best provider for your student house.

As part of our student bills series, we review and compare the best value broadband deals currently available for students.

Our broadband comparison refers to effective monthly cost to uncover hidden fees (e.g. router delivery). Click the link below prices for breakdowns.

Best broadband deals

BroadbandAvg. SpeedContractEffective Monthly CostWebsite
Now broadband
NOW Broadband Super Fibre
63 Mbps
FIBRE
12
months
£21.42 Inc. fees Visit »
Virgin Media
Virgin Media M200
213 Mbps
FIBRE
18
months
£28
Inc. fees
Visit »
Plusnet
Plusnet Unlimited Broadband
10 Mbps 12
months
£12.74 Inc. fees & reward Visit » £75 VOUCHER
Hyperoptic Broadband
Hyperoptic Ultrafast
500 Mbps
FIBRE
12
months
£35 Inc. fees Visit » LTD COVERAGE
BT Broadband
Fibre 2
67 Mbps
FIBRE
24
months
£30.66 Inc. fees & reward Visit » £110 REWARD
John Lewis broadband
John Lewis Broadband
36 Mbps 12
months
£25 Inc. fees Visit »
Sky Broadband
Sky Superfast
59 Mbps
FIBRE
18
months
£28 Inc. fees Visit »
Utility Warehouse Broadband
Utility Warehouse Ultra
38 Mbps 18
months
£24.33 Inc. fees Visit »
TalkTalk
TalkTalk Fast Broadband
11 Mbps 18
months
£25.05 Inc. fees Visit »
EE Broadband
EE Unlimited Broadband
36 Mbps 24
months
£24 Inc. fees Visit »

Student broadband reviews

Now broadband

NOW broadband

Super Fibre

A best-buy for high-speed fibre broadband. You get much faster speeds than standard broadband, essential for shared living and streaming.

The short contract length is perfect for most tenancies.

Get this deal »

Package details

  • Average download speed: 63 Mbps
  • Contract: 12 months
  • Advertised cost: £21pm
  • Effective cost: £21.42pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £257.

Effective cost breakdown

  • Broadband for 12 months: £252
  • Activation fee: £5
  • Calculation: (£252 + £5) / 12 = £21.42pm.

Visit NOW Broadband »

↑ Comparison table


Virgin Media

Virgin Media broadband

M200 Fibre broadband

If you’re looking for ultrafast fibre this broadband package unbeatable for value.

The only downside is that it’s on an 18 month contract.

Get this deal »

Package details

  • Average download speed: 213 Mbps
  • Contract: 18 months
  • Advertised cost: £28pm
  • Effective cost: £28pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £504.

Effective cost breakdown

  • Broadband for 18 months: £504
  • Activation fee: FREE
  • Calculation: (£504) / 18 = £28pm

Other packages

Virgin Media has some more bundle options available here, including some with TV too.

Visit deal page »

↑ Comparison table


Plusnet broadband

Plusnet broadband

Unlimited Broadband

Known for top-drawer customer service, this a good price if you’re not after a fibre broadband deal.

Get this deal »

Package details

  • Average download speed: 10 Mbps
  • Contract: 12 months
  • Reward: £75 voucher
  • Advertised cost: £18.99pm
  • Effective cost: £13.58pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £152.88.

Effective cost breakdown

  • Broadband for 12 months: £227.88
  • Activation fee: Free
  • Reward: £75 voucher
  • Calculation: (£227.88 – £75) / 12 = £12.74pm.

Visit Plusnet Broadband »

↑ Comparison table


Hyperoptic broadband

Hyperoptic broadband

Ultrafast [LIMITED COVERAGE]

Hyperoptic’s coverage is limited to certain buildings within a couple of major UK cities. Still, with an insane 500Mbps speed and low price, it’s 100% worth checking your postcode!

Get this deal »

Package details

  • Average download speed: 500 Mbps
  • Contract: 12 months
  • Advertised cost: £35pm
  • Effective cost: £35pm
  • Lifetime cost: £420.

Effective cost breakdown

  • Broadband for 12 months: £420
  • Activation fee: Free
  • Calculation: (£420) / 12 = £35pm.

Visit Hyperoptic Broadband »

↑ Comparison table


BT broadband

BT broadband

Fibre 2

This deal is one of the best in the market for this speed and at the moment you get 3 months free.

BT also offer a nine-month student broadband deal if that fits better with your accommodation contract.

Get this deal »

Package details

  • Average download speed: 67 Mbps
  • Contract: 24 months
  • Reward: £110 reward card
  • Advertised cost: £33.99pm
  • Effective cost: £30.66pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £735.75.

Effective cost breakdown

  • Broadband for 24 months: £815.76
  • Activation fee: £29.99
  • Reward: £110 reward card
  • Calculation: (£815.76 + £29.99 – £110) / 24 = £30.66pm.

Visit BT Broadband »

↑ Comparison table


John Lewis broadband logo

John Lewis broadband

Fibre Broadband

This deal is good value with the gift card.

Get this deal »

Package details

  • Average download speed: 36 Mbps
  • Contract: 12 months
  • Advertised cost: £25pm
  • Effective cost: £25pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £300.

Effective cost breakdown

  • Broadband for 12 months: £300
  • Activation fee: Free
  • Calculation: (£300) / 12 = £25pm.

Visit John Lewis Broadband »

↑ Comparison table


Sky broadband

Sky broadband

Sky Superfast

A no-frills package from Sky, offering good value but on a long 18-month contract.

Get this deal »

Package details

  • Average download speed: 59 Mbps
  • Contract: 18 months
  • Advertised cost: £28pm
  • Effective cost: £28pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £504.

Effective cost breakdown

  • Broadband for 18 months: £504
  • Activation fee: FREE
  • Calculation: (£504) / 18 = £28pm.

Visit Sky Broadband »

↑ Comparison table


utility warehouse broadband

Utility Warehouse

Ultra Broadband

Utility Warehouse (UW) are unique in that they become cheaper the more services you bundle together with them (eg. energy bills).

In our comparison, we have just used their standalone ‘Ultra’ broadband package.

The broadband contract is 18 months which may not suit all students.

Get this deal »

Package details

  • Average download speed: 38 Mbps
  • Contract: 18 months
  • Advertised cost: £24pm
  • Effective cost: £24.33pm
  • Lifetime cost: £437.99.

Effective cost breakdown

  • Broadband for 18 months: £432
  • Delivery fee: £5.99
  • Calculation: (£432 + £5.99) / 18 = £24.33pm.

Visit Utility Warehouse »

↑ Comparison table


TalkTalk broadband

TalkTalk broadband

Fast Broadband

Only worth considering if you’re happy with an 18-month contract – and even then it’s pricey.

Get this deal »

Package details

  • Average download speed: 11 Mbps
  • Contract: 18 months
  • Advertised cost: £24.95pm
  • Effective cost: £25.50pm
  • Lifetime cost: £459.05.

Effective cost breakdown

  • Broadband for 18 months: £441
  • Activation fee: £9.95
  • Calculation: (£441 + £9.95) / 18 = £25.05pm.

Visit TalkTalk Broadband »

↑ Comparison table


EE broadband

EE broadband

Unlimited Broadband

EE mobile customers get a mobile data boost and a cheaper price but, otherwise, there are better deals around with shorter contract lengths.

Get this deal »

Package details

  • Average download speed: 36 Mbps
  • Contract: 24 months
  • Advertised cost: £26pm
  • Effective cost: £26pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £588.

Effective cost breakdown

  • Broadband for 24 months: £588
  • Activation: Free
  • Calculation: (£588) / 24 = £26pm.

Visit EE Broadband »

↑ Comparison table

3 considerations when choosing broadband

Here’s how to find the best student broadband deals:

  1. What speed do you need?

    Download speed is probably the biggest factor to consider, especially if you’re sharing broadband with other housemates.

    If it’s too slow, you’re going to be suffering from buffering (and high blood pressure) for the length of the contract.

    The cheapest packages are standard broadband, with ‘potential’ download speeds of 10–11 Mbps (often less). This option is suitable for low-medium use by about three people.

    If you have a need for speed, fibre broadband are the words you’re looking for. Expect speeds from 50 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

    Fibre-optic broadband is now available for over 90% of the UK and has come down massively in price over the past few years. Overall, it represents the best value for student houses, especially when the cost is split between housemates.

  2. How long will you be in your house?

    Students are typically best off with a 12-month broadband contract to coincide with short-term tenancy agreements.

    If you are planning to stay put for longer, 18-month contracts can sometimes offer better value.

    Every now and then, a 9 month student broadband deal pops up (we’ll include these above if so). These shorter broadband contracts can suit students not staying at uni over the summer months (i.e. September – July), but aren’t always cheaper overall.

  3. Are you interested in subscription TV?

    All-in-one bundles of TV and broadband often give the best overall value, but only if you’re likely to pay for a TV package anyway.

    For this guide, we’re focusing on broadband-only. See our TV and broadband bundle comparison for more.

7 ways to get cheaper broadband

Not all of these tricks will apply to your broadband provider or situation, but a couple might save you money:

  1. Choose packages with unlimited data (we only review these)
  2. Pay for broadband upfront
  3. Opt-in to paperless billing
  4. Be aware of price hikes – then it’s time to switch, or…
  5. Haggle when the contract ends!
  6. It could be cheaper to pay a cancellation fee than see out a contract
  7. Seek out hidden charges when comparing broadband (see our ‘effective monthly cost’ calculations above for more info).

Student broadband FAQs

What is student broadband?

Some broadband providers in the UK market broadband packages especially for student households. They recognise that students tend to have short term tenancies, and share WiFi and bills with more people.

Mainstream broadband contracts can be up to 24 months, which is not practical for most students.

The best student broadband deals offer higher internet speeds, shorter contracts and exclusive student discounts.

Can I get a 9 month broadband contract?

Each summer one or two broadband providers tend to offer a 9 month broadband contract for students. In recent years, these have been BT Broadband and Virgin Media.

Look out for these deals in the table above from July – October. However there is no guarantee there will be a 9 month broadband deal every year.

When considering a 9 month contract, make sure it’s not actually cheaper to go for a longer 12 month contract over the period.

Can I get a 1 month broadband contract?

A 30 day rolling broadband contract offers the most flexibility of all. Students will save the cost of broadband when they are not living at university over the summer holidays.

Only Hyperoptic have a monthly rolling contract.

However 1 month contracts are often more expensive per month. So over the year you may actually be better off with a 12 month contract.

If you live alone, you may be better off using data on a cheap SIM only deal.

Can I get broadband without a phone line?

For standard broadband (ADSL), an active phone line is needed as that’s how internet data is transmitted.

Fibre optic broadband runs along a separate cable. This means you can usually do away with the phone line. Check with the provider to find out for sure.

Until recently, broadband companies would charge extra for phone line rental alongside advertised broadband prices. They must now include line rental in the total price. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need a phone line.

If you do need a phone line, it may need to be activated or reconnected by BT before you can install broadband.

Do I need to buy a broadband router?

A working router is needed to share the broadband connection and transmit WiFi.

Most broadband providers supply you with their own standard router (sometimes at a cost). It can be worth investing in a better router for stronger WiFi signal (browse on Amazon).

How long does it take to install broadband?

For phone line broadband connections, it can take up to 14 days. Fibre broadband connections can be activated sooner.

How long it will actually take depends on whether you need an engineer to come out or if anything needs activating.

How can I check my broadband speed?

Run a quick line test on SpeedTest.net to reveal your live download and upload speeds.

If they’re way below the advertised speeds, complain to your broadband provider.

What happens at the end of my broadband contract?

Broadband providers must now tell you when your contract is about to expire, and inform you of your options. This is a legal obligation.

Previously, this date could pass without you knowing.

As you might’ve guessed, doing nothing is almost never the cheapest option. You’re much better off switching broadband provider or haggling for a better deal.

How can I cancel broadband?

You have the right to cancel your broadband – without penalty – within the first 14 days of placing your order.

Beyond that, check with your provider for their early cancellation policy. It will almost certainly involve a penalty fee but, in some cases, it can be worth paying to switch to a cheaper or better service.

At the end of your student broadband contract, you usually need to give a month’s notice to the provider (but again check your specific terms).

Head over to our main student bills guide for everything you need to get sorted.

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