Get half-price broadband before Christmas
Want to save money in the final weeks before Christmas? Look no further than your home phone and broadband provider.
Great offers come and go, but as the Christmas shopping season is getting underway there's no better time to start paying attention and grabbing the deals that can save you money. This month, it's all about half-price broadband.
There's a whole raft of half-price broadband deals expiring by the end of November, so if you're out of contract and ready to switch, it's worth taking time to compare prices online and find the best provider and package for your needs.
In addition to half-price broadband, you'll get £25 cashback when you sign up with Plusnet through Broadbandchoices.co.uk, the Ofcom-accredited comparison service. It costs from as little as £3.24 a month, rising to £6.49 after the first 12 months (if you live in a Plusnet low cost area). You also need a Plusnet landline, which costs £13.99 a month.
You'd be getting speeds of up to 16Mb, but the package is subject to a monthly 10GB usage limit. That makes it far better suited to lighter web users, not families running tons of wireless devices and streaming movies and TV.
Cable provider Virgin Media has a number of packages ideal for families, larger households or those who don't want to feel constrained by a download allowance. As well as unlimited downloads they'll give you superfast speeds of up to 30Mb.
Prices normally start from £14.50 a month, but until 29th November your first six months are half price, at £7.25 a month. The package includes a Virgin Media Hub router and free installation worth £49.95, but you'll need to pay line rental charged at £13.90 a month (which will rise to 14.99 from 1st February.
You can add a TV subscription from just £18 a month - £9 for the first six months - which will give you almost 60 digital TV channels and a Virgin Media TiVo box with 500GB storage.
If what you want is super-cheap broadband, look no further than supermarket giant Tesco. Launched earlier this year, Tesco's better-than-half-price package costs just £2.50 a month – the equivalent of less than 9p a day. Plus sign up before 2nd December and get a £30 Tesco giftcard to spend in store or online!
However, it's important not to be dazzled by low prices when there's so much more to consider. Remember, you'll also be charged for line rental and that's where Tesco makes its money back - you'll pay £13.75 a month for a landline, while the cost of the broadband jumps to £6.50 after 12 months.
Having said that, it compares well to a basic Plusnet service, which, despite being slightly faster - with speeds of up to 16Mb, compared to Tesco's 14Mb – has a 10GB download limit. Tesco broadband is unlimited, although downloads are subject to a fair usage policy.
It's still the new kid on the block, but EE - the mobile network formerly known as Everything Everywhere - has a cracking half-price broadband offer exclusive to Orange, T-Mobile and EE mobile phone customers. It actually runs all three networks, you see.
EE is offering unlimited broadband at half price for 12 months, which works out at £2.50 a month, increasing to £5 thereafter. You'll get speeds of up to 14Mb plus a Bright Box router worth £95. But again you'll need to pay line rental and EE charges £14 a month.
You can take the broadband even if your phone isn't on EE, T-Mobile or Orange - but prices for customers on other networks are double, at £10 a month plus line rental.
Anthony Hill is broadband expert at BroadbandChoices.
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