Type of user
• Beginner/Light users
If you’re just starting out on the internet, then a low usage package may be the best option to start with. Most providers provide a low-cost option that is ideal for you as you get up to speed (pardon the pun).
If you’re exploring the internet, using email and downloading occasional clips, you don’t need to waste money on huge data allowances or superfast speeds.
As you start to want more, it is very simple to upgrade your package to a more expensive option at any point in your contract. Be aware that the same cannot be said for downgrading your package, so it’s always better to start low and add on additional services later.
• Gamers and movie buffs!
Let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. If you enjoy gaming online and/or streaming TV or HD movies, you’ll be classed as a heavy user. Services such as Amazon Prime Video or Netflix, along with online gaming forums, require high speeds to prevent the service from being interrupted.
They’re also hungry for data so you’ll probably need unlimited download limits. Exceeding limits can incur extra charges or see your download speed reduced.
Serious users will almost certainly need fibre-optic rather than ADSL broadband, as upload speeds on the latter are probably not sufficient to maintain connectivity.
• Working from home
If you work from home occasionally you’ll be able to use your home package, provided that’s okay with your company. If you run a business from home however, you’ll have to sign up for a business broadband package.
This brings with it advantages over home packages such as business grade security and better customer support. There’ll also be options around email addresses and web hosting.
Obviously it depends on the size and make up of your family. If your children are small, they may be more interested in Peppa Pig. Trust us, that won’t last long. By the time they reach teenage years you’re likely to be very heavy users!
With multiple users on multiple devices you can quickly burn through monthly allowances. As a consequence you should probably consider an unlimited data package unless you are very confident in your ability to restrict usage within a limit.
If you’re a student household, there are now specialist student packages available that tend to come on the market in August/September. They’re usually unlimited given the amount of time students spend online studying and socialising. The big advantage with these packages is that they have contract periods that fit around term times, rather than the typical fixed 12-18 months.
One word of advice before you sign up though. Look at the total cost over the shorter period versus a standard 12 month deal and just make sure that it works out cheaper for you.